Sunday, October 31, 2021

good morning jacob

  















Improvisation is the Plan

Transport 250,000 troops, their equipment and supplies,

on river barges repurposed for crossing the treacherous

English Channel in order to invade Britain. 

Admiral Raeder warned Hitler the German navy was

unable to protect his invasion fleet from British attack,

even under the best of circumstances.  In turn,

Hitler's army had no enthusiasm for this adventure.

There was little serious effort to implement Hitler's order.






Hitler gives the mission to defeat Britain to his

second in command, Hermann Goering.

The Luftwaffe commander is supremely confident

of victory and feels no need to coordinate the actions

of his various air fleets for maximum effect.

German intelligence was poor, providing false hope

in place of actual facts to color the decision-making 

process.







Churchill tours bombed out Coventry Cathedral.


Churchill has faith in eventual victory over the Nazis

because America is bound to enter the war against Hitler

and their overwhelming industrial might will make 

the decided difference in defeating Germany. 






Lord Beaverbrook


Beaverbrook performed his role brilliantly as Air Minister -

his responsibility being to make sure the RAF was never

short in their supply of fighter aircraft.






RAF commander Dowding's system for Air Defense


This pamphlet, available to British citizens in 1941,

describes in some detail how all the organized parts

coordinate to ward off enemy bombers targeting them.


It's all there except for the most critical component -

RADAR - which was still classified TOP SECRET.








Frustrated RAF pilots complained of the small size

of their .30 caliber machine gun rounds.  While 

lethal to humans they could seem like bouncing BBs

off the hide of a cow for all the good it sometimes did 

in knocking a bomber from the sky.






RAF commander Dowding had two guiding rules:


protect the pilots / we've no shortage of planes


shoot down bombers / avoid the fighters

bombers attack vital ground locations

bombers are easier to down


it's how you beat the Germans







Tight confines aboard a German bomber.


Bomber crews made up the vast majority of Luftwaffe deaths.

These men realized their lives were being risked for a fa├žade -

at best a bluff.  No real effort was being made to fashion

together an invasion force with any chance of success. 


No surprise, then, the morale of the despairing 

being a problem.






An official enthusiasm for invasion of England was allowed 

to dwindle as bleak autumn weather took hold over the Channel.

Hitler was content with leaving his fleet of U-boats to strangle

the island nation of its Atlantic lifeline to its many critical needs.


Meanwhile Hitler begins plans for a spring invasion of Russia

in the coming year.  His alliance with Mussolini will require an

unwanted divergence of armor to bail out the Italian dictator's

hapless military challenge to British forces in North Africa.


Germany's war of quick victory 

devolves into a years long battle

of attrition with sustained struggle

on several broad fronts, a conflict

beyond the nation's capacity 

to maintain.


_______________



l o v e

   d a d







©  Tom Taylor



coldValentine








Sunday, October 24, 2021

good morning jack

  










now our fate lies with victory in the air








Cities are now the front line.

 

Logic, based on a presumption, makes it so.



Hitler made no plans to invade England.

His mind had already turned to Russia.

They alone stood in the way of German greatness.

Britain was militarily finished.

Churchill would come to realize this. 



* * * * *



Disposition of Forces / 10 July 1940


The challenge for Britain is to focus your air defense 

to meet the attack of enemy bombers no matter the direction.

This approach requires being able to see over the horizon

to detect a pending attack, determine the air fleet's size and

its intended direction.  


Radar will neutralize the Luftwaffe's numerical superiority.


The RAF will not be required to broadly disperse its fighters.

The air force will be saved the costly expense of constant patrols

by RAF fighters to provide the nation's watchtowers.  An efficient

management of radar information enables the RAF to concentrate

its attack on a fleet of bombers using aircraft from various bases.





Map Legend

 








As good as it gets in 1940 
but its short range give opposing
RAF pilots a lethal shot at
plodding German bombers.


M E S S E R S C H M I T T


s p e e d                                348 mph

r a n g e                                410 miles

g u n s                                    2 x 20 mm cannon

CANNON PROJECTILES EXPLODE 

                                               2 x 7.92 mm mg

MG - MACHINE GUN


 

Fighter protection for German planes bombing Britain

was limited to the short range of the Messerschmitt Bf 109.

 






Hugh Dowding

RAF COMMANDER



Designed the British air defense

fully appreciating the decisive role

radar would need to play in

preventing the RAF from being 

overwhelmed by German numbers.






German Heinkel He 111s fly low over the Channel

in attempt to evade British detection.








A German bomber already showing its age

by the time of the Battle of Britain.  Without the Bf-109

this Heinkel would be a sitting duck in an RAF attack

because its own defensive field of fire is too easily evaded.


H E I N K E L


s p e e d                                200 mph

r a n g e                                1,224 miles

p a y l o a d                            4,410 lb

c r e w                                    4 - 5

a r m a m e n t                        6 - 7   7.92mm MG 







RAF pilots came from across the British Commonwealth.


RAF losses were too great to rely solely on England for pilots.

But even with a reliable source of qualified recruits it still

takes a year to fashion them into fighter pilots.  Too often,

rookie replacements were expected to match wits with an

experienced Messerschmitt pilot.  RAF generals were given

no choice but to throw any flier available into the fiery mix.







Rugged and likable by those who flew it

the Hawker Hurricane was still a transitional fighter,

still constructed in part with cloth and wood,

it was better suited to attacking bombers

than taking on a Messerschmitt one on one.


H A W K E R


s p e e d                            324 mph

r a n g e                           600 miles

a r m a m e n t                8 x .303 in. MG / 4 each wing


 





The Spitfire was the equal of the Bf 109.  



S U P E R M A R I N E


s p e e d                        355 mph

r a n g e                        575 miles

a r m a m e n t              8 x .303 in. MG


 

T A C T I C S

 

the one clear advantage German pilots

had over their RAF counterparts.

Luftwaffe pilots flew in pairs with one

always assigned the role of wingman -

making sure no one pounces on you

from out of nowhere.  The British,

on the other hand flew in groups of three.

The weakness here was that there was 

always one plane set up for a relatively

easy blindside kill.







London burns.  


The RAF is a punch-drunk fighter set up for 

a knock-out blow.  Instead, Hitler suddenly

turns his attention away from destroying the RAF.

It's taking too long.  Time to pillage the village

of one's enemy.  This switch to the strategic strategy

of bombing cities gives the RAF a desperately 

needed respite.  Their fliers find time for needed rest.

Bombed air bases are repaired and the nation's

stock of fighter aircraft are replenished.








The Brits fight on with steeled will.

The Americans take notice.








A grainy image from a Spitfire gunsight 

records the final moments of a German bomber

and its four members on board.  

The Spitfire riddles its target

with .30 caliber rounds coming from eight 

machine guns, four in each wing.  All that is left

for this crew is riding this nine ton piece of machinery

to its gravity induced fate.








Invasion barges collect in harbors along the English Channel.


what it's all about


The Luftwaffe needs control of the air if an invasion of Britain

is to be anything more than wishful thinking, which it barely is.

Hitler's Operation Sealion is ill-conceived and rushed. 

But that is left for him to find out.




________________________




l o v e    

   d a d





©  Tom Taylor 



coldValentine



Sunday, October 17, 2021

good morning jessicca

  

















1930s:  mechanized, motorized, industrialized


The 1939 German invasion of Poland

revealed for the first time to all nations

the decisive outcome that results when

fast moving armor teams up with 

friendly ground support planes firing

overhead.








Blitzkrieg comes to full bloom in France

where concentrated firepower was rapidly

deployed to pierce the enemy's defense

then run havoc through their backfield

much as a cavalry would in previous times:

on battlefields with similar terrain 

laced maybe with roads amidst trees,

over hills, across streams and rivers.

 

Motorized armor gives one greater speed

in maneuvering troops but is otherwise 

constrained by the conventional obstacles

provided by terrain and distance.


 





A I R  P O W E R  -   THE REAL REVOLUTION OF WORLD WAR 2

 

Warfare has added the third dimension of vertical

position as part of the fluid, rapidly changing battlefield.

The chess match has gone 3D.  Armies unprepared

for overhead attack have their valuable military assets 

 quickly picked off like fish shot in a barrel.


The German's Ju-87 Stuka dive bomber provided much

of the offensive power that gave blitzkrieg its global

reputation.  A well-placed bomb on an enemy position's 

head saves ground forces from a potentially costly

assault. 







s t r a t e g i c   b o m b i n g


total war -  everyone is a legitimate target


The German Army brass wasn't all that keen 

on making the Luftwaffe Hitler's centerpiece 

of future military strategy.  For starts, the

strategic bomber with its necessary four engines

costs too much to develop.  


Germany's greatest military asset is its army.

Renowned worldwide.  You don't dump

a sure thing for untested technology.  

Most Luftwaffe generals agree the

proper role for German air power 

is to be in support of the nation's army,

which, interestingly, is the service they

once belonged to prior to the Luftwaffe.

 

This decision means an air force of tactical

planes with limited range and small payload

yet able to provide deadly results when closely

coordinated through radio communications

with troops on the ground.







B - 17    Flying Fortress


T H E   B O M B E R   W I L L   A L W A Y S   G E T   T H R O U G H

STANLEY BALDWIN / BRITISH PRIME MINISTER - 1932



A V O I D    C O S T L Y    B A T T L E S   

A T    T H E    F R O N T.


Crush enemy's ability to wage war through strategic bombing


destroy military factories and the laborers manning them


modern militaries require free flow of industrial output


cut off petroleum and prized military hardware

without energy becomes junk just lying around.

 

 What if you're the U.S. military and you find you are

up against the German Army with an American Army

that is currently little more than a military police manning

a friendly border.  Maybe technology provides the fast-track

catchup to fending off world-class militaries.  Possibly 

 a strategy heavily invested in air power is the way to provide

necessary defense without rousing suspicions of an isolationist

American voter rigidly opposed to foreign entanglements.

 

 

The U.S. Army Air Force's faith in daytime strategic bombing

 as a feasible, worthwhile endeavor was severely tested 

when raids targeting heavily defended industrial sites such as

at Schweinfurt, Germany and Ploesti, Rumania resulted in

an unacceptably high loss in planes and their crews.







H e r m a n n    G o e r i n g

L U F T W A F F E    C H I E F


Second only to Hitler in power.



I PLAN TO HAVE BRITAIN DOWN ON ITS KNEES


SO THAT THE ISLAND'S OCCUPATION BY


OUR TROOPS CAN PROCEED WITHOUT RISK.



Goering is confident of the Luftwaffe's victory

in the coming conflict with Britain's RAF,

an air force outnumbered and outmatched

as was proven in their recent encounter 

with German planes over France.



WHO CONTROLS THE AIR WINS THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN


Victory is decided by planes -  not tanks, not ships.







R A D A R



The Germans have it but don't quite know what to do with it.


They will learn its value through their experience with the Brits


in the near future.










V 2


1945


i m m u n e   t o   d e f e n s i v e   c o u n t e r m e a s u r e s



1 5    Y E A R S    L A T E R   


w e   f a c e



M U T U A L    A S S U R E D    D E S T R U C T I O N

O U R     B E S T     C O N C E I V E D     P R E V E N T I O N

F R O M     A T O M I C     H O L O C A U S T 



M  A  D


a murder / suicide pact between 

the globe's two most powerful nations


Each armed with missiles pointing to the other's cities

Ready to fire their nuclear volley upon sign of 

the other's attack


galactic nihilism is, almost



_________________



love

   dad





©  Tom Taylor



coldValentine