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Douglas Bader

combat claims

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4 replies to this topic

#1 curmudgeon

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Posted 04 November 2017 - 10:25 AM

I've tried this twice before ...

 

Reading Orange's book 'Dowding' there are two unsettling pieces of information.

 

The first (p200) is double-barrelled ... on 30 August 10 Hurricanes led by Bader attacked a force of 100 Luftwaffe  aircraft, shooting down 12 and damaging others and without suffering a single bullet hole in return. Allegedly there is no other evidence of this air battle. Further down the page is an observation that squadrons in Bader's wing claimed twice as many victories as other squadrons, and that these later results are known to be inflated. The citation is to Orange's book 'Park', which I don't possess.

 

The second (p226) is to fighter sweeps over France where in 1941 the RAF claim June-December was 731 fighters destroyed, whereas German losses for all of 1941 came to 103 in combat + 50 odd to accidents and c.

 

So the question is 'how many German aircaft did Bader likely shoot down?' His claim was 22

 

 



#2 flying kiwi

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Posted 05 November 2017 - 09:41 AM

 ... on 30 August 10 Hurricanes led by Bader attacked a force of 100 Luftwaffe  aircraft, shooting down 12 and damaging others and without suffering a single bullet hole in return. Allegedly there is no other evidence of this air battle. 

 

I wouldn't know where to start researching an answer to your main question. On the quote above, I'm thinking about how difficult it is for ten people to keep a guilty secret over a number of years. If Bader and his pilots hadn't attacked anyone at all and invented a story, as could be inferred from what you write, I suspect we would have heard more about it over the intervening years.



#3 bearoutwest

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Posted 05 November 2017 - 11:49 PM

Your best bet may be to find the relevant "Battle of Britain - Then & Now" or "Fighter Command - Losses" books and see if anything corresponds. That will at least tell if any Luftwaffe losses occurred on the day(s) in question.
Good luck, ...geoff

#4 curmudgeon

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 11:38 AM

Fundamental problem is there was a lot of confusion ... including blue on blue, gross mis-estimation of size of formations, over estimates of victories, ... and combats scattered across SE England and the channel. If it were simple then I'm sure it would have been done. The RAF attitude however, is in sharp contrast to the RN where attacks on U-boats were followed up in detail. The 700 odd claimed in the second half of 1941, at a cost of hundreds of RAF lives, endangering Malta and North Africa, losing Singapore, for about 100 Luftwaffe fighters in the theatre over the entire year ... was a scandal as we presume Luftwaffe returns and resupply data, and resistance observations, must have shown the discrepancy.



#5 Ricky

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 06:05 AM

I was doing a bit of checking on Bader's career to narrow down which year the incident happened (1940) and came across the statement that other squadrons were involved in the incident, so while German aircraft were destroyed it is impossible to say for sure who by.




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