Kittyhawks or Hurricane...which aircraft was preferred in the DAF?

Hurricane was not the first development of a biplane into a monoplane either

Add a mid set wing, and behold, a Grumman Wildcat


Grumman-F3F-Title.jpg
 
The decisive element for both aircraft operating was the nocturnal visits by Stirlings men disrupting enemy airfields. The Hurricanes did provide sterling service in North Africa then onto the battles for Burma and Malaya.

While the Kittyhawk became famous with that Hollywood film Torbruk and a truly terrible seventies film with Doug McClure.

Anyone got information on Spitfires in the ground attack role in Italy?
Didn't Ian Smith - PM of Rhodesia get shot down flying Spitfires in the ground attack role in Itatly in 1943-44. He spent six months operating with Italien partisans before regaining Allied lines. Harold Wilson was a civil servant excused military service on medical grounds.
 
The P-40 got the Merlin and used the American Packard copy of the Merlin but either engine (Merlin or Allison) had it's adherents. Clarke was scathing about the quality of overhauled Packards,though,which he reckoned would seize up quicker than the originals when hit.
P-40F had the Merlin or Packard powerplant, the rest used Allison's. F's were easy to spot as no nose scoop on top of the cowling
 
But we’re the Fs a better aircraft with the Merlin ?
bit better at altitude, but all a bit pointless as the P-40 generally fight its war under 10,000ft.

in the hands of a competent pilot who used its strengths, the P-40 was a very dangerous adversary, well able to best a Bf109F and was still looking after itself on VE Day.

bit like the Grumman F4 Wildcat, although nominally obsolete by 1945, the last FAA kills of WWII in the ETO occurred when some enterprising BF109s tried to molest some Avengers escorted by Wildcats bombing targets on the Norwgian coast in late March 1945.
8 Bf109G’s vs 8 Wildcats - 4 shot down. All Wildcats returned home for tea and stickies.

.
 
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The German footsloggers hated the strafers and were well pissed off with the attention given to the Luftwaffe top scorers,whom they felt were concentrating on racking up high scores and looking for medals instead of shooting down strafers or bombers. This wasn't necessarily the full truth but,to the average soldier, they were constantly asking for air cover and not getting it. The Luftwaffe was under constant attack on it's airfields, spares were in very short supply and serviceability was very low,so they couldnt be everywhere.
 
The P40s often went above 10,000 feet. They had to do so to get the edge on the Japanese in the China and Burmese campaigns and in New Guinea. Japanese aircraft routinely went as high as they could get, to stretch their range, so it wasnt uncommon to dive on their enemies from 15,000 feet. In the Italian and Tunisian campaigns, transit to the combat areas often took them over 10,000 feet and they usually divebombed from that altitude, cloud cover permitting.
 
Don’t forget the Japanese trialed the P40s they liberated in the Dutch East Indies. Back to North African skies ;)
 
The Hurry, love her to death, was an early monoplane fighter. Bear in mind ww2 saw you go from 300mph to 600mph in the space of 5-6 years. P40 was at least half a generation in advance - all metal stressed skin vs canvas and aluminium and it was faster and had very good aileron control. You had to fight her differently to her advantages. Both were strong, capable, but I understand that the P40 was what you wanted under your bum in air to air if you couldn't get a Spit. When the yanks came into the Italian/N African campaign and got P51s, they often kept a P40 as a hack. It was used dissimilar combat against the new joiners by the old n bold and gave them a salutary lesson in not being lured into flying to the enemy tune.
 
This one where the German tank crew discuss Panther tanks on the Eastern Front many months before the Panther made its debut

I thought the rendition of the Tiger Easy 8 was particularly admirable.
 
Didn't Ian Smith - PM of Rhodesia get shot down flying Spitfires in the ground attack role in Itatly in 1943-44. He spent six months operating with Italien partisans before regaining Allied lines. Harold Wilson was a civil servant excused military service on medical grounds.
"

The future Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith served in the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the Second World War, interrupting his studies at Rhodes University in South Africa to join up in 1941. Following a year's pilot instruction in Southern Rhodesia under the Empire Air Training Scheme, he was posted to No. 237 (Rhodesia) Squadron, then stationed in the Middle East, in late 1942. Smith received six weeks' operational training in the Levant, then entered active service as a pilot officer in Iran and Iraq. No. 237 Squadron, which had operated in the Western Desert from 1941 to early 1942, returned to that front in March 1943. Smith flew in the Western Desert until October that year, when a crash during a night takeoff resulted in serious injuries, including facial disfigurements and a broken jaw. Following reconstructive plastic surgery to his face, other operations and five months' convalescence, Smith rejoined No. 237 Squadron in Corsica in May 1944. While there, he attained his highest rank, flight lieutenant.

In late June 1944, during a strafing attack on a railway yard in the Po Valley in northern Italy, Smith was shot down by anti-aircraft fire. Parachuting from his aircraft, he landed without serious injury in the Ligurian Alps, in an area that was behind German lines, but largely under the control of anti-German Italian partisans. Smith spent three months working with the local resistance movement before trekking westwards, across the Maritime Alps, with three other Allied personnel, hoping to join up with the Allied forces that had just invaded southern France. After 23 days' hiking, he and his companions were recovered by American troops and repatriated.

Smith was briefly stationed in Britain before he was posted to No. 130 (Punjab) Squadron in western Germany in April 1945. He flew combat missions there until Germany surrendered in May. He remained with No. 130 Squadron for the rest of his service, and returned home at the end of 1945.

"

" The son of an industrial chemist, Wilson was educated at the University of Oxford, where, as a fellow of University College (1938–39), he collaborated with Sir William (afterward 1st Baron) Beveridge on work that led to Beveridge’s epochal report (1942) advocating social insurance and other welfare measures. On the outbreak of World War II, Wilson was drafted into the civil service. As director of economics and statistics (1943–44) at the Ministry of Fuel and Power, he produced a study of the mining industry. His book New Deal for Coal (1945) was the basis of the Labour Party’s plans for nationalizing the coal mines. "
 
The P40s often went above 10,000 feet. They had to do so to get the edge on the Japanese in the China and Burmese campaigns and in New Guinea. Japanese aircraft routinely went as high as they could get, to stretch their range, so it wasnt uncommon to dive on their enemies from 15,000 feet. In the Italian and Tunisian campaigns, transit to the combat areas often took them over 10,000 feet and they usually divebombed from that altitude, cloud cover permitting.
But wouldn’t they fly a high low high profile to conserve fuel? As I am to understand it the P-40 had a 90 gallons of internal fuel , and could fly for 700 miles at 20,000 feet clean, which was ok for the aircraft of the time frame. But lugging around a decent bomb load would reduce that significantly.

Do you know how far the RAF bases were set up behind the front lines?
 
But wouldn’t they fly a high low high profile to conserve fuel? As I am to understand it the P-40 had a 90 gallons of internal fuel , and could fly for 700 miles at 20,000 feet clean, which was ok for the aircraft of the time frame. But lugging around a decent bomb load would reduce that significantly.

Do you know how far the RAF bases were set up behind the front lines?
The RAF got quite good at the flying circus thing and the landing grounds followed the allied advance. Often better equipped bases further back with advanced LG's closer to the action Presumably out of artillery range and close to a supply route.

General principles here, although alas the western desert campaign is glossed over:


This is paywalled :(


This is quite helpful although it's a preview not a full copy



Film at 11..

 
The P-40s and other strafers were often only about 15 minutes from the front and operated off rough airstrips,often little more than a wide open piece of desert that might have a strip rolled or graded flat and have stones picked off it or small gullies filled in or marked, with steel matting for hard standing. They were often flooded out of use when it rained. In Italy,they had a longer transit to the front and they had mountains and capricious weather to deal with, so they would often climb high to get around thunderstorms or to avoid hills and mountains. The greatest risk was from flak, especially the 20mm variety.
 

Pteranadon

LE
Book Reviewer
Neville Duke, the leading allied ace in the Mediterranean Theatre had eight victories in P40s, the rest in Spitfires. Here is a photo of him at Tangmere Aviation Museum at a fund raiser. He is "flying" a flight sim of a P40 with his markings. I heard him talk about Spit v Me109, illustrated with some hand movements to illustrate how each aircraft behaved close to a stall, but not P40 v Hurricane.
 

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The P-40s and other strafers were often only about 15 minutes from the front and operated off rough airstrips,often little more than a wide open piece of desert that might have a strip rolled or graded flat and have stones picked off it or small gullies filled in or marked, with steel matting for hard standing. They were often flooded out of use when it rained. In Italy,they had a longer transit to the front and they had mountains and capricious weather to deal with, so they would often climb high to get around thunderstorms or to avoid hills and mountains. The greatest risk was from flak, especially the 20mm variety.
Allied pilots came to dread the German quad 20 mount. The Germans became quiet expert at setting Flak traps with them.
 
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