WI: Douglas Bader keeps his legs

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by merlin, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. merlin

    merlin Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    Messages:
    465
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Occupation:
    Customer Service Manager
    Location:
    Cardiff
    Suppose Douglas Bader, when he is doing his crazy low-level aerobatics in the Bristol Bulldog, had a luckier landing! Maybe broken bone(s), but no lasting injuries. That is - he stays in the RAF, rather than be discharged - to re-enlist when the RAF is desparate.

    What rank could he have achieved - '39/40?
    Would/could he have had any effect on RAF policy - he was an admirer of the air aces of WW1?
    Would when war came, he still have a 'flying job'?

    Interesting to read what other 'posters' think!
     
  2. k9kiwi

    k9kiwi Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Messages:
    850
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    Self Employed
    Location:
    Kiwi Land
    It would be irrelevant.

    Even Bader attributed most of his success as being able to pull and sustain higher G forces than other pilots due to not having so much leg room as it were to lose the blood into.

    And by the time of war starting he would have only been up to Sqn Ldr by the days time lines for promotion.
     
  3. wilbur1

    wilbur1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Messages:
    2,206
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Mechanik
    Location:
    Escondido,Ca
    Yeah i think you got it there kiwi:D
     
  4. merlin

    merlin Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    Messages:
    465
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Occupation:
    Customer Service Manager
    Location:
    Cardiff
    k9kiwi:
    Bader OTL may have benefitted in tight turns - with his lack of legs, but that doesn't deminish his skills before the accident.
    You don't get to be in the Hendon Air Display if you are just an average pilot!

    Bader was not shy in 'blowing his own trumpet' he was good in the air, he was, I believe, a good rugby player, with his peers he was good company. People above him, may want to associate with him so that so of his popularity rub off! And so he rises - its not what you know, but who you know.
    True in a peacetime RAF the availability of promotion may be low, but you are forgetting the large expansion of the RAF that went on mid to late thirties. And besides, there were opportunities for 'active service' in the Middle-East.
    IOTL he was faced with a culture-shock when he re-joined, new aircraft, and also new methods of Command Control - only the former he really understood!
    Perhaps, in this situation, he as an 'old hand' might have been instrumental in amending the restrictive 'Fighting Area Attacks'!
     
  5. Emac44

    Emac44 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,581
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    QR Train crew Guard
    Location:
    Brisbane Queensland
    Merlin that maybe all true and it is speculation. But the Royal AirForce in 1939 was still an Old Boys Club and Bader would have been right in the middle of this Old Boys Club. Whether Bader would have been a Squadron Leader (if his accident hadn't occured at Hendon) at the outbreak of war in 1939. Bader was certainly career minded as far as the Royal Air Force was concerned. But he was also a maverick as well and this would have possibley worked against him as far as the Promotion of Officers was concerned in the RAF. My speculation would be Merlin. Bader might have been transferred as a Squadron Leader or maybe even a lower Officer Rank to say either to Singapore Malaya or even the Middle East just prior to World War 2 as his own mouth would have worked against him at times in England. One has to examine Bader's irritating character to others in the RAF. We like to think Bader appealed to every one as a all round figure. But not every one in human nature would find Bader appealing and chances are Bader would have pissed of some one in the hiearchy of the Royal Air Force
     
  6. merlin

    merlin Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    Messages:
    465
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Occupation:
    Customer Service Manager
    Location:
    Cardiff
    Yes, he was an opinionated so-and-so, even smart-arse! Which I agree could work against him. And indeed, he could be a bit of a b***** to those below him!

    So Emac44 thanks for your plausible alternative. But given that - does that mean no 'Big-Wing' in the BoB?
     
  7. Emac44

    Emac44 Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,581
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    QR Train crew Guard
    Location:
    Brisbane Queensland
    Who knows Merlin. We are working on speculation. The WHAT IF SCENERIO. If Hitler had been killed in 1917 in the Trenches would WW2 had occured. See what I mean Merlin. But seeing Bader was a Pilot he eventually would be transferred back to England. If that transfer took place prior to September 1939 possibly. But would Bader had been as a rallying point for pilots if he hadn't been injuried at Hendon so seriously?
     
  8. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Messages:
    1,900
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Still a student
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    Less G's? Pretty interesting when you think about it. The smaller pilots the better, maybe midgits!
     
Loading...

Share This Page