AHC: Peerless Air Ministry

Also names starting with B! Maybe even alternate?

Aggressive: Buccaneer, bagpipe (no offense to Scots), beigerent, battle, bellicose, blizzard, blitz (on the nose?), bruiser, butcher, bully, breaker, blackjack (Tu160 needs a new nickname), blade, blaze, blackout (more suitable for a bomber), barbarian

Animals: Bison, bat, bear, boar, bogey (imaginary but still counts), bull, buffalo

Defensive: bulwark, bastion
 
The PR Spitfire pilots had to be very careful with fuel management mainly as they had CofG issues so they had to keep the aircraft trimmed at all times. They had the range but they were nowhere as agile until they had burnt off a lot of fuel.
 

perfectgeneral

Donor
Monthly Donor
The PR Spitfire pilots had to be very careful with fuel management mainly as they had CofG issues so they had to keep the aircraft trimmed at all times. They had the range but they were nowhere as agile until they had burnt off a lot of fuel.
The aft tank will be smaller with the bubble canopy redesign and leading edge tanks help. As for being heavy generally, for take off and channel fuel weight that hardly matters and paper mache drop tanks can be dropped later in a sticky situation.
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Can the universal wing use a cannon and a .5 inch mg?
 
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Yes, that is why it was called the Universal wing. IOTL they carried 4 x 20mm Hispano, 2x Hispano and 4 .05 Browning they pretty much didn't bother with the .303.
 

Errolwi

Monthly Donor
Fascinating Picture, Thank you for posting it on TTL. Interesting to see such a large crowd watching in the background. The 'War' has obviously moved on by this stage. Did this aircraft still carry the identity letters OK 1?
In august 1943 Park was still flying his personal Hurricane, so this picture was taken after that date, i supect it might have been taken when park left Malta in Late 1943 to take up his post as AOC-in-C Middle East based in Cairo.
Per reply tweets, inauguration of RAF Safi, May 1943. Maybe just had the rank indication added for the event?
 
Fuel management on any long range fighter mission becomes a very important operational factor. Due to poor fuel management most of the Hurricanes launched from HMS Eagle in late 1940 failed to reach Malta. flying at the wrong altitude and using less than optimum throttle/propeller pitch combination was the primary cause of most of these aircraft running out of fuel before reaching Malta.
 
11.19 The Best laid plans
11.18 . The Best laid plans

Sir Hugh along with the Chief of the General staff and the First Sea Lord were attending a full cabinet meeting to discuss the wars progress, and plans for future operations.

Amongst the topics was the prosecution of the bomber war against Germany and of course the defence of Britain against the Luftwaffe ‘Blitz’. Having set out in general terms the realities of the current capabilities of the RAF regarding both of these situations Sir Hugh was pleased to see most of the cabinet nodding their heads in agreement with the points he had made. Next on the agender was reinforcements for Malta and Middle East Command especially in regards to the soon to be launched operation Compass in North Africa.

Sir Hugh had expressed his concerns to the meeting about the ability of the RAF units on Malta to provide adequate defence against a proper ‘Blitz style attack on the island’. When Churchill had proclaimed that with the extra aircraft now available surely the RAF squadrons on Malta could handle anything the Italians could throw at them. Sir Hugh’s response was basically that whilst he might not be worried by the Regina Aeronautical he should be worried by the Luftwaffe, with the current situation between the Greeks and Italians on the Albanian front, where the Greeks had pushed the majority of the Italian invaders back into Albania, what would be the likely effect if the Italian Army in Libya was to also suffer a sever defeat on the Egyptian border. Mussolini would surely cry for help and the quickest help that Germans could give would be a Fleiger Corps or two sent to Italy. One based on the Adriatic coast could pound the Greek army in Alabamia fixing it in place. The second based on Sicily could then reduce Malta and seal the Sicilian Narrows making supply convoys to Malta very difficult and close the Gibraltar to Alexander route for Middle East Supplies. Standing at the map in the cabinet office Sir Hugh illustrated his points and asked Sir Dudley Pound as First Sealord to confirm his conclusions regarding the potential effect on the Naval operations in the central Mediterranean. Turning back to the map Sir Hugh continued, pointing to eastern Greece , stating that if the Germans and the Bulgarians come south through Eastern Macedonia and Western Thrace there was no possibility that the Greek army could hold them, this was confirmed by a curt nod from Sir John Dill Chief of the General Staff. Who then added that staff estimates were that a force of no less than twenty Divisions would be needed to hold Eastern Macedonia alone. At most the Army could send four divisions and that would mean stripping both North and East Africa of seasoned divisions. Further if Macedonia and Eastern Thrace fall then the Greek position on the Albanian border would also become untenable and a general withdrawal would be inevitable.

Dudley Pound had then risen from his chair, gone over to the map and had continued where Sir Hugh had left off, explaining that if Greece fell then unless the Island of Crete was fortified and held naval operations in support of the Army in North Africa could well become too costly in terms of ships and men. Turning to Sir John Dill for confirmation he continued by stating, as Sir John had made clear, that even stripping the Army of most of it’s formations in North Africa would not help the Greeks to hold a concerted German assault. Then Sir Dudley gave his considered opinion that unless the Prime Minister and the cabinet was willing to sacrifice those four divisions and the security of North Africa then no troops should be sent to main land Greece.

Looking somewhat aghast Churchill glowered around the table, before he could speak, Sir John Dill spoke up, reminding the Prime Minister that so far the Greek Government had refused all offers of troops, principally because they did not want to provoke the Axis and also because they were as aware as the British that any less than twenty divisions was unlikely to make any real difference if the Germans and their Bulgarian allies attacked. Sir John Dill then stated that as Chief of Staff his considered advice to the cabinet was that the best way to help the Greeks in the current situation was to reinforce the efforts in the Middle East to fix in place and defeat the Italian forces in Italian North Africa. Mussolini would then face a choice of writing off the Italian Army in Africa or reinforcing it. Those reinforcement if sent would mean less Italian forces to fight the Greeks. Also the Italian reinforcement convoys would be vulnerable to attack by RAF and Naval units based on Malta. This in itself could result in the Italians having to devote aircraft to suppress Malta. Sir Hugh then continued stating that recent experience had shown that a good fighter defence could extract a heavy toll from an enemy bomber force. By concentrating resources on somewhere like Malta where the enemy were coming to you it would be far more effective and less wasteful of valuable British and Commonwealth pilots than offensive fighter sweeps over France and the continent where the boot was on the other foot and the Luftwaffe would hold the tactical advantage.

Sir Hugh suggested that the Greek Government be approached to see if and how soon airfields could be built in Crete. If the Greeks were to ask why, Sir Hugh suggested that they be told that it was to secure the supply line between the British in Egypt and the Greek Mainland. When asked what forces should be sent to Crete, Sir Hugh responded that in his view provision should be made for at least two wings of fighters, plus Bomber and Maritime patrol aircraft. Providing there was adequate hard stands, fuel and warlike stores then reinforcements could be flown in at short notice. Whether the Greeks would accept such a garrison on the Island was another matter.

Sir Antony Eden, glanced across to the Prime Minister and then suggested that the situation was sufficiently fluid, especial when taking into account the vacillation of the Turks as to their continued neutrality as well as the disturbing reports being received by the Foreign Office from Bagdad , that he should lead a mission to Greece and Middle East as soon as possible to negotiate on behalf of HM Government. His presence as Foreign Sectary would lead political weight to such a diplomatic approach and would lead to less ruffled feathers with both existing and potential allies. This statement was met with murmurs of approval from around the table. Whether that was enough for Churchill was a thought that stuck with Sir Peter.
 
Can CSC successfully sit on Churchill?

One would hope a joint CSC would work better than CIGS alone. I know it's too early for Brooke (is he Home Forces yet BTW)
 
This is good news, instead of throwing away forces to try and keep Greece in the fight, a stronger Malta with better defences and more troops available for Compass is a very very good thing for sure. And an earlier build up on Crete, proper runways, and defences there, A++ Double good!
 
The PAM time line is I think considered by many to simply be a RAF Wank. The title 'Peerless' does rather imply that but I have tried I hope to keep every change within the bounds of historical probability. As an example, just getting the Castle Bromwich factory up and running on the original planned schedule has huge ramifications down the line. Starting with several hundred extras Spitfires there are other knock on' and therefore development less disruption of other aircraft productions. For instance less panic in fighter production means less disruption of bomber production and aircraft development. However the law of unintentional consequences comes into effect, due to the above in the PAM TL there is no drivers for the Miles M20 emergency fighter design, this therefore removed the aircraft's teardrop canopy as a driver for the fitting of such a canopy to proposed Spitfire Mk V ITTL. This is just one example of twists an turns that i am trying to keep track of!
 
This is good news, instead of throwing away forces to try and keep Greece in the fight, a stronger Malta with better defences and more troops available for Compass is a very very good thing for sure. And an earlier build up on Crete, proper runways, and defences there, A++ Double good!
Couple of points of caution.

Better Airfields on Crete are well and good but the biggest problem for Crete is the lack of ports and roads.
Those airfields can only be built and supported from the sea.
Air transport alone won't cut it ... not in '45 and most certainly not in '41.

In 1940/1 Cretan ports were small and all on the North Coast -
closest to the usual sea routes to the Greek Mainland (and other islands).
Once the Axis holds those points, the existing Cretan ports become too dangerous for merchant convoys.

If Crete is to become the outer defence of the Eastern Med Basin,
(which lies to the south of the island with no other land between it and the Libya/Egypt coast)
there has to be a suitable port created on the SOUTH coast
and to make that unloading point effective the whole road network of the island needs to be upgraded.

Unfortunately, such infrastructure upgrades are a double-edged sword.
If the Axis succeed in taking Crete with all those facilities in place (or even half completed)
then THEY have much more control of the Eastern Med.

So a token garrison is not enough.

Holding Crete is NOT cheap (even if the OTL losses on the Greek mainland are avoided)
 
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Hecatee

Donor
Couple of points of caution.

Better Airfields on Crete are well and good but the biggest problem is the lack of ports and roads.
Those airfields can only be built and supported from the sea.
Air transport alone won't cut it ... not in '45 and most certainly not in '41.

In 1940/1 Cretan ports were small and all on the North Coast -
closest to the usual sea routes to the Greek Mainland (and other islands).
Once the Axis holds those points, the existing Cretan ports become too dangerous for merchant convoys.

If Crete is to become the outer defence of the Eastern Med Basin, there has to be a suitable port created on the SOUTH coast
and to make that unloading point effective the whole road network of the island needs to be upgraded.

Unfortunately, such infrastructure upgrades are a double-edged sword.
If the Axis succeed in taking Crete with all those facilities in place (or even half completed)
then THEY have much more control of the Eastern Med.

So a token garrison is not enough.

Holding Crete is NOT cheap (even if the OTL losses on the Greek mainland are avoided)
True enough, and one might argue that a more successfull Compass leading to the full collapse of Africa and no Afrika Korps may mean a stronger Axis force somewhere else, more means, less fuel sunk and so more availlable for Barbarossa, etc... For instance a stronger Fallshmirtjagers force availlable for use on the eastern front, does it mean more operations on the soviet rear leading to more soviet casualties/prisonners ?

On the other hands Crete in allied hads may also means potential earlier hits against Ploesti and thus a worsened Axis fuel situation... Could it also lead to more allied operations against Sardigna and Corsica to have more airbases from which to pound on Italy ?

There is no single easy way to plot the future from a stronger or just simply held Crete !
 
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