The Fairey Battle is a mythical airplane in its own way.
So many unsung heroes.
The Fairey Battle endured a disastrous wartime career. However, in this counter factual article aviation historian Greg Baughen argues that things could have been very different.
In September 1939 ten Fairey Battle squadrons head for France. Nobody expects them to achieve much. Ludlow-Hewitt, in charge of Bomber Command, has given up all hope of using them to bomb the Ruhr. Instead they will be used for short-range low-level ground attack missions against advancing German forces. Early reconnaissance missions over France demonstrate just how vulnerable the bomber is. Battle formations prove totally incapable of defending themselves against Bf 109s. Planes burst into flames as soon as their unprotected fuel tanks are hit. The French Air Force comes to the rescue and provides fighter escorts and for a while the Battles are able to operate reasonably successfully. However, General Vuillemin, the French Air Force…
View original post 605 more words
Much has been written about the eight central characters in this story. These individuals have been described in contemporary and subsequent sources alike, as Saboteurs, Nazis and Spies. Certainly to call them such, fed into the political expectations of the day. Yet their country had chosen them for this mission based on unique qualifications, separate and apart from whatever devotion they felt for the fatherland, or to the Nazi party. It may be that these guys deserve every evil name that’s been heaped upon them. Or maybe they were just eight guys who got caught up between two nations at war. It’s an interesting story. You decide.
The German submarine U-202 came to the surface in the small hours of June 12 at Amagansett, New York, near Montauk Point. The inflatable that came out of its hatch was rowed to shore at what is today Atlantic Avenue beach, Long Island…
View original post 1,153 more words
So we never forget…
It was D+4 in the invasion of Normandy, and the 2nd SS Panzer Division (“Das Reich”) had been ordered to stop the Allied advance. They were passing through the Limousin region in west central France, when SS-Sturmbannführer Adolf Diekmann received word that Waffen-SS officer Helmut Kämpfe was being held by French Resistance forces in the village of Oradour-sur-Vayres.
Diekmann’s battalion sealed off the nearby village of Oradour-sur-Glane, unaware that they had confused it with the other village. Everyone in the town was ordered to assemble in the village square to have their identity papers examined. The entire population of the village was there, plus another 6 unfortunates who were riding their bicycles in the wrong place, at the wrong time.
The women and children were locked in a village church while German soldiers looted the town. The men were taken to a nearby barn, where machine guns had already…
View original post 422 more words
Pilot Officer Harold Floren sitting at the controls of KB700 Ruhr Express around the time of her first operation, November 1943.