Poll: Leigh-Mallory 1940

Discussion in 'Polls' started by merlin, Nov 28, 2007.

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Leigh-Mallory 12 Group Commander?

  1. Dowding sacks him, over 11 Group airfield's cover?

    21.1%
  2. Dowding sacks him, over 'Big Wing' intrigues?

    42.1%
  3. No change from how it happened?

    21.1%
  4. Wasn't appointed - judged better qualified for another post?

    15.8%
  1. merlin

    merlin Member

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    Curious how everyone feels!?

    Leigh-Mallory

    - Do you think Dowding, should have had Leigh-Mallory sacked for his lack of co-operation over the cover for Park's airfields?

    - Do you think Dowding should have had Leigh-Mallory sacked for his intrigues over Bader's 'Big Wing'?

    - Think no charge necessary from how it originally happened?

    - Or think he was ill suited to the post of 12 Group commander in the first place (perhaps more qualified for something else)?

    If not Leigh-Mallory, who would you have in charge of 12 Group, whether before (Q:4) BoB or during (Q: 1-2)?
     
  2. HoHun

    HoHun Active Member

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    Hi Merlin,

    >Do you think Dowding, should have had Leigh-Mallory sacked for his lack of co-operation over the cover for Park's airfields?

    From what I have read, it's my impression you can't really blame Leigh-Mallory as Dowding himself had failed to make his expectations clear to him.

    Another problem in judging Leigh-Mallory's role is that according to Winterbotham's "The Ultra Secret", Leigh-Mallory was not given the code-breakers' intelligence information Dowding and Park received.

    This really looks a bit like sub-optimum leadership on part of Downing, but maybe the "Big Wing" controversy is actually overestimated in its impact on the conduct of the Battle of Britain anyway ...

    Regards,

    Henning (HoHun)
     
  3. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I think that items 1 and 2 are the same. The main problem with the big wing was the time it took to form up in the air. This meant that in nearly ever case by the time they turned up, the enemy had gone.
     
  4. Bernhart

    Bernhart <b>2012 Forum Fantasy Football Champion</ b>

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    wonder if there where any other choices? I'm thinking at the time there probably wasn't alot of qualified guys to take over his post if he was sacked
     
  5. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    I think I'm with Glider on this. The first 2 questions are similar. Leigh-Mallory was charged with protection of 11 Group airfields and utilized the Big Wing for this - which took precious time to form.

    That being said Bernhart is correct that not many candidates were in the wings to replace him unless it was from the frontlines like Tuck.
     
  6. freebird

    freebird Active Member

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    Saul (13 group -Scotland) or Brand (10 group - West country Somerset/Cornwall) were competant and had proven it in the early raids.

    That being said I agree with HoHun, Dowding should have stepped in after the first failure to protect Debden Weald (Aug 24) He should have ORDERED L. Mallory to protect the vital fields, not waste time with big wings.

    L. Mallory comes off as an ambitious schemer, not what you need to deal with in a time of crisis. His handling of the air support for Dieppe was terrible, he was mainly concerned with the air battles, gave little thought to supporting the ground troops.
     
  7. merlin

    merlin Member

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    Thanks for the feedback.
    I think some have missed the distinction in Q2. Obviously the problem with the airfield cover was because of the time taken to form up a 'big wing'. But they are different questions because to operative word in Q2 is intrigues.
    That is - the questions in Parliament about it, the conference with Sholto-Douglas - where Dowding Park are taken aback to find that Leigh-Mallory has Bader with him!!
    Granted Dowding performance wasn't brilliant in the sense that:
    'fighting area attacks' continued too long,
    and ways to spread 'best practise' to all the Squadrons weren't followed.
    But if Leigh-Mallory had been in the post so long - why didn't he know the 'system'.
    Maybe with his experience - he should have been with the RAF in France!?
     
  8. Downwind.Maddl-Land

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    As always, there are pros and cons. The 5 Sqn Big Wing was certainly too big. However, the 3 Sqn wing was tried first (but not for long) and became standard later. Therefore, was this configuration probably the optimum and was it expansion for expansion's sake, until it proved too unweildy?

    My Armchair theory is 2 Sqn Wings that can mutually support each other if time permits their coordination. A larger version of the Schwarm/Rotte.
     
  9. freebird

    freebird Active Member

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    I'm not even sure that Dowding had the authority to have L-Mallory sacked, it would have had to have been OK'ed by the Chief of the Air Staff, Sir Cyril Newall. Since Newall was promoted over Dowding to the post, I don't even know if perhaps he wanted Dowding out, he might not have minded the intrigues.
     
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