Who Downed Douglas Bader?

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by PandaLOVE, Aug 28, 2006.

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  1. I watched the 2 hour documentary this evening Who Downed Douglas Bader? It was a well made documentary and finished leaving me with a sense of warmth and pride.

    Remarkable when they enearthed a well preserved wreck of a Spitfire hoping it was baders but found instead the goggles and leather flying cap of the pilot initialed D.B. Turned out to be a FS/WO with exact same initials as Bader. How choked I was when they accompanied the elderly widow of the pilot to the spot where her husband was downed, showed her the assembled Spit' and presented her with her no longer lost husbands cap and goggles. It put me back in my place....
  2. Personally, I thought it was a pile of steaming poo, a programme that tried (and failed) to denigrate the memory of one of this country's true heroes with second-guessing side swipes and snide remarks about arrogance and stubbornness. Typical of the sort of cack masquerading as historical documentaries on C4.

    (Rustles Telegraph, harrumphs and grumbles)
  3. It pissed me off no end, starts off with them digging a Spit out of the ground "we came to find the lost Spitfire of Douglas Bader and here in this field, close to where he landed is a downed spitfire", 45 mins later - 45 mins of watching men walk fields with metal detectors do we learn that it's not DB's Spit at all but some other blokes....
  4. [lowers telegraph to catch eye of passing thread]

    Another programme designed as a mystery, with lots of ads and resumé after each break.

    A damned good 60minute documentary stretched to tedium.

    On the Bader character bit, I didn't think they were as harsh as others had been.

    On the who brought him down and how, it was all a bit of a puzzle and there's a strong chance that the final theory reflects the actualité.

    Sorry for being so vague, but I'd hate to spoil it for anyone that has yet to see the prog

    [raises Telegraph for 40 winks]
  5. i always thought it was due to a mid air with a 109 over france, can't say i watched it either......"poor show" as he no doubt would of said
  6. I thought it was alright, to be honest. Im not overly familiar with the history of Douglas Bader but I recognised the name and vaguely remembered his reputation as a bit of an Ace. Not surprising that he may have been shot down by one of his comrades, when they did the sillhoutte of the spitfire and the new shape ME109 it may have been an easy mistake to make. I'd be inclined to say that I had a collision then drop one of my mates in the sh*t!
  7. I thought it was good to see "Spitfire Guru" Peter Arnold on the scene. A terribly nice man and a pleasure to talk with about all matters Spitty. Pete has in the past let me see some quite wonderful photos of wrecks held in scrapyards as late as the 70's , including Failsworth's? in Manchester, where his 2 Spits came from , as far as I can remember. He has travelled all over the world in support of Spitfires, and is invariably the first point of reference for histories on individual aircraft.

    I did have my heart in my mouth when that flying helmet came out of the wreck , thinking "Oh christ he's still in it" , but that soon passed whwn I saw Pete, so I knew the research would have already been done to determine if remains were on board or not.
  8. recently had a flower show up here, the usual battle of Brit fly past and that. flight path came straight over the house, I shot up grabbed the camera, said to the misses, "theres a spitfire" she asks "how do you know " I said "the sound, unmistakeable" "muppet" she said. charming
    along with it was a Mustang with bright yellow cowling, sadly no Lancaster or hurracain again!

    I tell ya if i win the super super lottery i'm getting a spity restored.
    she loves the stealths, they just don't seem to have a soul........
  9. Many people who knew Bader would agree that the man was arrogant and seld effaced. He was human after all and any study of the man and his considerable achievements should consider all the facts, warts and all. He was real British hero (in the truest sense of the word and not overworking that sobriquet like the media seems to these days) and his faults make him all the more interesting in my book.
    Sometime in the last two years 'After The Battle' magazine produced an indepth look at his loss. Well worth a read.
  10. Seem to remember reading, or hearing, somewhere that one of the main reasons he was so good in dogfights was he could achieve faster and tighter turns than the other fellas. Apparently having no lower limbs acted like a modern G-suit.

    As for the programme itself, I only caught snippets (as ashamedly I was wathing the All Star Cup) and from what I saw it was the usual type of documentary which works better with no ads and none of the cliff-hanger, resume nonsense.

    From what I saw it should have stuck with one thing or the other, either how,when,who,what caused his downing or the searching for his aircraft. Seemed quite similar to the Red Baron documentary, in fact wouldn't mind seeing similar stuff on Orde Wingate.
  11. Yes I'd heard he could be a right git when he wanted to be. If you have a singular individual who is so bloody good then you must expect singular behaviour from that person.

    It doesn't deny him his talent and achievements to examine his faults. We all have them.
  12. I had the distinct pleasure of meeting the man who bought him up, the lte Wing Commander Gordon-Burge. He was ex-RFC and an absolute gent.

    He gave me an ancient A3 sized book called "Histiore de l'Aviation" in which he had written his military service, and types on which he'd flown...SE5A and all of that kind of stuff.

    I have no doubt that Bader was an absolute b@stard but then again, Guy Gibson VC was supposed to be as well, he is remembered for the results he achieved rather than being a nice bloke ( well, that and having a dog with a slightly un-PC name...)

    Anyway, the Wing Commander lived in an old peoples' home with his wife of about a million years; my mother worked there which is how I got to meet him. His wife pre-deceased him, he followed her within 24 hours.
  13. OK, I agree the programme was stretched but since I love Spit's I lapped it up and as far as I'm concerned, if Douglas Bader was the nastiest sh1t that ever lived, well that's up to him. Like those in the air, on the ground and on the seas, he put it on the line.... (rather Churchilian of me eh?) and for that alone he can be as arrogant and self opinionated as he wants... hoorah!

    ...and I'm with Admag, if I won the lottery, fcuk Farrari's, yachts and speed boats, I'd restore a Spit'....
  14. That's 3 of us. However, if you don't require a Spitty with 'Provenance' you should just about be able to build one from new ,There are that many specialist shops now existing ,less the Merlin Power plant , though Falconer do build a suitable powerplant if you're going up to Mk IX http://www.falconerengines.com/prod03.htm . Heard one, they do make a Merlin type sound.

    Drawings are here... http://www.spitfirerestoration.com/

    Want to buy one? http://www.historicflying.com/content.htm
  15. I thought the programme was too long but it came up with a fascinating possibility of how he downed but we will never know for sure. It is shame his memory has to be tainted by him being involved in the sacking of Dowding and Park after the Battle of Britain.