The Anniversary of The Channel Dash - 1942 - and the wider RN Fleet Air Arm during the Second World War

Daz

LE
One type of Dive Bomber

SBD Dauntless, the SB2C Helldiver, the A36 Apache all continued in their roles of dive bomber
Two carrier-specific aircraft and one that was not replaced/updated when the P51 was upgraded - on the land-based role there was a tendency to move to Fighter bombers/twin-engined bombers instead.

Dive bombers had a role, however, it did require air supremacy/air superiority to avoid excessive losses
 

Daz

LE
well, all the Luftwaffe proved was that unescorted bombers in daylight get chopped up by unmolested fighters as they should have known.


Heligoland Raid - December 1939

22 RAF Wellingtons attacked in daylight losing 12 of their number to fighters.

that was the RAF that claimed ‘There is every reason to believe that a very close formation of six Wellington aircraft will emerge from a long and heavy attack by enemy fighters with very few if any casualties to its own aircraft’.
A common thought by the bomber boys - hence the USAAF getting a kicking during the Schweinfurt raid, for instance, not to mention becoming converts to the use of fighter escorts on daylight missions, something they had been warned about, but ignored
 
well, all the Luftwaffe proved was that unescorted bombers in daylight get chopped up by unmolested fighters as they should have known.


Heligoland Raid - December 1939

22 RAF Wellingtons attacked in daylight losing 12 of their number to fighters.

that was the RAF that claimed ‘There is every reason to believe that a very close formation of six Wellington aircraft will emerge from a long and heavy attack by enemy fighters with very few if any casualties to its own aircraft’.


Apples and oranges a bit there.

Wellington's carried considerably more defensive armament than a Stuka
Not enough to defend themselves from fighters but at that point in the war that wasn't established fact.

Even later in the war with more heavily armed bombers there was still the often mistaken belief that bomber formations could defend themselves from fighter attack
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
Apples and oranges a bit there.

Wellington's carried considerably more defensive armament than a Stuka
Not enough to defend themselves from fighters but at that point in the war that wasn't established fact.

Even later in the war with more heavily armed bombers there was still the often mistaken belief that bomber formations could defend themselves from fighter attack

when the Japanese and American carriers bombers came to play, the brought fighters, lots of good ones
 
well, all the Luftwaffe proved was that unescorted bombers in daylight get chopped up by unmolested fighters as they should have known.


Heligoland Raid - December 1939

22 RAF Wellingtons attacked in daylight losing 12 of their number to fighters.

that was the RAF that claimed ‘There is every reason to believe that a very close formation of six Wellington aircraft will emerge from a long and heavy attack by enemy fighters with very few if any casualties to its own aircraft’.
The Americans paid a dreadful price in pursuing the theory that heavily armed bomber forces could fight their way in daylight to and from deep penetration targets without fighter escort.

Examples: The 100th Bomb Group (the "Bloody Hundreth") went to Munster on 10th October 1943 with only 13 planes, after a mauling the previous day when they had visited a Focke-Wulf plant at Marienburg. Of the thirteen, one returned, and that damaged beyond repair. It was captained by a man who became an Air Force legend, Lt (later Colonel) Robert "Rosie" Rosenthal.

The Munster Raid was controversial as it marked the first time that the Eighth overtly unloaded on residential areas. The aiming point was the Domplatz, the square in front of the cathedral, and time over target was 1200, when Sunday worshippers were leaving Mass.

Just four days later, the Eighth went to Schweinfurt for the second time, having failed to deliver a knockout blow on an earlier raid in August. Schweinfurt 2 turned out to have the heaviest pro rata loss rate of the war, with 60 Fortresses lost out of 291 despatched, a further 17 returners damaged beyond repair and yet another 120 less severely damaged. As a result American bombers were not sent to attack targets in the German hinterland for several months, waiting for the arrival in numbers of P-51 Mustangs which could escort all the way to the targets and back.
It was an acknowledged American defeat, and a crushing riposte to American bombing theory, but having said that, whatever the losses, no American raid ever turned back.
 
The Americans paid a dreadful price in pursuing the theory that heavily armed bomber forces could fight their way in daylight to and from deep penetration targets without fighter escort.

Yes but that was Americans bravely continuing with a less than optimal plan they were warned would not work whilst they adapted

Not thick brit officers stupidly doing something at the start of the war that everyone realised later was a bad idea

 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
‘To Train The Fleet For War‘ - The definite read on the US Navy’s Fleet Problem exercises in the 1020’s, 1930’s is now available online.
a weighty 426 page read, but well worth it.

 
Two carrier-specific aircraft and one that was not replaced/updated when the P51 was upgraded - on the land-based role there was a tendency to move to Fighter bombers/twin-engined bombers instead.

Dive bombers had a role, however, it did require air supremacy/air superiority to avoid excessive losses
A36 Apache wasn't supposed to be replaced by the P-51, the 51 was never intended to be roled a dive bomber. Apaches served in Italy & Burma until VJ day
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
Yes but that was Americans bravely continuing with a less than optimal plan they were warned would not work whilst they adapted

Not thick brit officers stupidly doing something at the start of the war that everyone realised later was a bad idea

Yes, the RAF were a bit thick, they hadn’t done their homework.
Low flying lightly built medium bombers with a small defensive armament of rifle calibre machine guns weren’t going to cut it against a determined fighter defence - and the RAF had to completely leave the skies during the hours of daylight within a few months of the commencement of hostilities.
Some very basic operational testing, they had a large fighter force after all, rather than a messianic belief ‘The Bomber Will Always Get Through’, would have shown them that.
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
The Americans paid a dreadful price in pursuing the theory that heavily armed bomber forces could fight their way in daylight to and from deep penetration targets without fighter escort.

Examples: The 100th Bomb Group (the "Bloody Hundreth") went to Munster on 10th October 1943 with only 13 planes, after a mauling the previous day when they had visited a Focke-Wulf plant at Marienburg. Of the thirteen, one returned, and that damaged beyond repair. It was captained by a man who became an Air Force legend, Lt (later Colonel) Robert "Rosie" Rosenthal.

The Munster Raid was controversial as it marked the first time that the Eighth overtly unloaded on residential areas. The aiming point was the Domplatz, the square in front of the cathedral, and time over target was 1200, when Sunday worshippers were leaving Mass.

Just four days later, the Eighth went to Schweinfurt for the second time, having failed to deliver a knockout blow on an earlier raid in August. Schweinfurt 2 turned out to have the heaviest pro rata loss rate of the war, with 60 Fortresses lost out of 291 despatched, a further 17 returners damaged beyond repair and yet another 120 less severely damaged. As a result American bombers were not sent to attack targets in the German hinterland for several months, waiting for the arrival in numbers of P-51 Mustangs which could escort all the way to the targets and back.
It was an acknowledged American defeat, and a crushing riposte to American bombing theory, but having said that, whatever the losses, no American raid ever turned back.

The Luftwaffe also paid a heavy price, flying into the massed fire of 100’s .50 Calibre guns took a steady toll on the Luftwaffe, and while historians write the raids off as a defeat, The Germans were shocked and Speer felt a second follow up raid would have been catastrophic.
Ditto the Regensburg Raid, amongst the significant damage to the Messerschmitt plant was the destruction of jig tooling being made for a new fighter, putting it back months, the Me262.
the deep raids might have temporarily stopped, but USAAF heavy bombers carried on bombing the Reich.
 

Daz

LE
A36 Apache wasn't supposed to be replaced by the P-51, the 51 was never intended to be roled a dive bomber. Apaches served in Italy & Burma until VJ day
I never said it was, I pointed out that when the P51 was updated, they did not update/continue the dive bomber variant (A36 Apache) but in general went down the fighter-bomber route instead
 

Daz

LE
Yes, the RAF were a bit thick, they hadn’t done their homework.
Low flying lightly built medium bombers with a small defensive armament of rifle calibre machine guns weren’t going to cut it against a determined fighter defence - and the RAF had to completely leave the skies during the hours of daylight within a few months of the commencement of hostilities.
Some very basic operational testing, they had a large fighter force after all, rather than a messianic belief ‘The Bomber Will Always Get Through’, would have shown them that.
But not as thick as the USAAF who after joining the party late, persisted in unescorted daylight raids despite being told about the losses they'd face - The RAF (and other airforces) at the beginning of the war at least had the excuse of working off an unproven doctrine and changed their tactics accordingly, the USAAF had several years of observation and feedback from friendly forces to show it was a shit idea, but ignored the evidence ....still RAF grrrrrrrrrrrrr
 
Last edited:
Radio telephony did not get invented in 1895 - that was the date of one of the early experiments. Wireless Telegraphy (Morse) was invented around the turn of the century, but it would be years after the First World War that it was possible to convey voice - I cannot remember if it was in the 1920s or 1930s.

Nope. 'On Christmas Eve 1906, Reginald Fessenden used a synchronous rotary-spark transmitter for the first radio program broadcast, from Ocean Bluff-Brant Rock, Massachusetts. Ships at sea heard a broadcast that included Fessenden playing O Holy Night on the violin and reading a passage from the Bible. This was, for all intents and purposes, the first transmission of what is now known as amplitude modulation or AM radio.'

Ze Germans (them again) conducted the first ground-controlled air intercept trials in 1917.
 
You clearly haven’t studied the battle very well..... cough.
Did they or did they not end up with the bombers attacking unescorted -

Regardless of what was planned - you claimed that there was always freindly aircover around - i gave an example of where that wasnt the case and they sufferred accordingly

Yes, the RAF were a bit thick, they hadn’t done their homework.
Low flying lightly built medium bombers with a small defensive armament of rifle calibre machine guns weren’t going to cut it against a determined fighter defence - and the RAF had to completely leave the skies during the hours of daylight within a few months of the commencement of hostilities.
Some very basic operational testing, they had a large fighter force after all, rather than a messianic belief ‘The Bomber Will Always Get Through’, would have shown them that.

Which rather misses how much Technology had advanced - the light bombers were intended to be (and often were) as fast as the fighters - so going low and fast lay there primary defence (and lets not forget Tornado and F1-11 relied on much the same principles 40 years later - It may have failed in 1940 but it cannot be dismissed as without merit )
The mediums were designed to deal with fighters far inferior to those of 1939 at the time of their conception intercepts would have been harder ( fighters being slower ).
Nor was the RAF alone in its belief in the bomber and its use - they werent the only ones forced to learn painful lessons in 1940 - some of them were even learnt by the seemingly infallable Luftwaffe
 
But not as thick as the USAAF who after joining the party late, persisted in unescorted daylight raids despite being told about the losses they'd face - The RAF (and other airforces) at the beginning of the war at least had the excuse of working off an unproven doctrine and changed their tactics accordingly, the USAAF had several years of observation and feedback from friendly forces to show it was a shit idea, but ignored the evidence ....still RAF grrrrrrrrrrrrr
Joined the party late because we had nor reason to be early. We joined the party after we were ATTACKED. And then sent most of our men and resources to help you instead of fighting the Japanese who attacked us first.
 

Yokel

LE
Nope. 'On Christmas Eve 1906, Reginald Fessenden used a synchronous rotary-spark transmitter for the first radio program broadcast, from Ocean Bluff-Brant Rock, Massachusetts. Ships at sea heard a broadcast that included Fessenden playing O Holy Night on the violin and reading a passage from the Bible. This was, for all intents and purposes, the first transmission of what is now known as amplitude modulation or AM radio.'

Ze Germans (them again) conducted the first ground-controlled air intercept trials in 1917.

I did not know that but it was still not 1895! Was the transmitter small enough to be carried by an aircraft? However there is a major difference between the radio technology that existed in 1925 and that in 1935, or between 1930 and 1940.
 

Daz

LE
Joined the party late because we had nor reason to be early. We joined the party after we were ATTACKED. And then sent most of our men and resources to help you instead of fighting the Japanese who attacked us first.
Actually, the German declaration of war against the United States came before you declared war on Germany :)
 
Top