AHC: Peerless Air Ministry

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by perfectgeneral, Jun 6, 2018.

  1. StevoJH Well-Known Member

    Sep 3, 2008
    Newcastle, NSW
    It’s earlier in the TL.

    From memory it is the defiant with a new wing that allows 2 x 20mm cannon to be carried in each wing. (4x20mm total).
  2. tomo pauk Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2016
    Thank you.
  3. Driftless Geezer

    Sep 16, 2011
    Out in the Driftless Area
    And no turret - single seat. The swap of the turret etal for the 4x20's would still leave the Defiant about 6000 lbs empty? It should have made for a decent bomber killer/CAS platform for the early war.
  4. Threadmarks: Informational 8.9a

    sonofpegasus Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2012
    A quick update on aircraft ITTL.
    Hurricane Mk1c/d as OTL but with constant speed propeller and armed with two 20mm cannon and 4 .303Mg, fitted with self sealing fuel tanks. Merlin using 100 octane fuel.
    Spitfire MkII as OTL but with constant speed propeller and armed with two 20mm cannon and 4 .303Mg, fitted with self sealing fuel tanks. Merlin using 100 octane fuel.
    Defiant MkI Single seat monoplane fighter, 4 x 20mm cannon, self sealing tanks and Merlin engine using 100 octane fuel.
    upload_2018-10-6_17-17-43.png Boulton and Paul defiant MkI, fighter Command June 1940.

    Gloster Reaper, (OTL Gloster F9/37), Twin Pelides engines, 4x 20mm cannons, 100 octane fuel in self sealing tanks.
  5. Some Bloke Well-Known Member

    Jun 13, 2008
    A small village in Arkhamshire.
    Perhaps the Defiant might take over from the Hurricane in the ground attack role in due course, it's still a bigger aircraft
  6. Driftless Geezer

    Sep 16, 2011
    Out in the Driftless Area
    The OTL Defiant has a listed range of 465mi, which seems short... IIRC, most of the OTL fuel was in wing tanks, so this version moves fuel to behind the pilot?
  7. Threadmarks: Informational 8.9b

    sonofpegasus Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2012
    Here are the weights given for the Defiants turret system:-
    Total weight of The equipped and manned turret weighed 790 lbs. Broken down as:-

    o 361lbs (164kg) for the turret itself

    o 88lb (40kg) for the four guns

    o 106lb (48kg) for the ammunition

    o 35lb (16kg) for the oxygen equipment and gunsights.

    o 200 lbs (90kg) for the gunner

    All of that would appear to be behind the COG and COL which gives some problems with taking this weight out and putting fuel in. From what I have been able to find the prototype did fly without the turret and ballasted for guns but no record of where they planned to move the fuel tanks. I think that low and behind the Pilot could be the best place.
    perfectgeneral likes this.
  8. Threadmarks: 8.10 Noises Off And Other Distractions

    sonofpegasus Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2012
    8.10 Noises off and other distractions

    Sir Phillip had never before considered how difficult it would be to curb Churchill’s enthusiasm for all things military and especially things that made a loud bang! Now that Churchill was Prime Minister and de-facto Minister of Defence he was sticking his finger into every conceivable pie including the AM and the MAP. Containing the Prime Ministers interference was becoming almost a full time job, in fact quietly Sir Phillip had arranged for an extra sectary and assistant, and old friend from Sir Phillips days on the Board of Trade, who understood the inner workings of the civil service to join his office and oversee all contact between the AM and MAP with No10. So far that simply expedient seemed to have calmed down some of the alarms and searches for answers. Whilst a document marked ‘Action This Day’ would appear all too frequently they were now dealt with without undue panic and disruption to all and sundry.

    One such dictum from No10 resulted in a large congregation of various ministry and military types at the Orefordness ranges for a demonstration of ant-invasion measures and new weaponry. On land, the War Department showed of various anti tank obstacles and the latest abominably fiery contraptions dreamt up by the Department for Petroleum Warfare. On the shore line were a collection of beach obstructions and other anti invasion measures. The navy had moored a number of barges and unseaworthy old coasters in the shallow tidal waters as targets for the RAF. The purpose was to show the effectiveness or other wise of the various proposed means of attack. One of the more panicky measures had been to order thousands of bomb racks to permit Tigermoths and other training planes to be flown by instructors to attack the enemy on the beaches in the event of an invasion. This proposal had been opposed by both Training Command and by Fighter Command as variously a waste of valuable instructors or a wanton distraction from the serious business of supplying Fighter Command with sufficient pilots. Sir Phillip was rather hoping that today demonstration of the vulnerability of the Aircraft and how ineffective their tiny 20lb bombs would be might put an end to the matter. Therefore the first attack on the targets was by a flight of training aircraft despite bombs landing both close and on the targets very little apparent damage was done. This was followed quickly by a Mixed flight of Mile Kestrels and masters armed with larger 125lb bombs. Whilst one barge was sunk by a bomb the strafing with 303 machine guns showed nothing more than bright strike marks on the ships plating.

    Following this came a flight of Four Polish Hurricane Mk1d’s (some were calling this the MkII) the entire flight concentrated on one of the larger coasters, strafed by sixteen 20mm cannon and hit by at least two of the eight 250lb bombs dropped, at last real damage was seen as the coaster slowly settled in the water. Next up were a pair of Beaufightes which swept in at low level and plastered one of the coasters with several hundred 20mm cannon shells which basically dismantled it.

    The finale of this part of the demonstration was an attack by a section of two hawker Henleys armed with the still secret 60lb rocket projectile. These two aircraft swept down in a shallow dive and let fly with their four machine guns as an aiming marker then a full salvo of all eight rockets from each aircraft aiming at a cluster of moored barges and a couple of coasters. Here was instant mayhem! The rockets were effective enough in ripping into the barges but with each Henley delivering in simple terms for, Churchill’s benefit, the near equivalent to a light cruisers broadside the sheer density of the rocket attack made up for its inherent inaccuracy.

    Having so far watched the demonstration in stony silence now the prime minister became really quite excitable and demanding to know how many squadrons of rocket armed fighters the RAF had awaiting the invasion. On being informed that there were none he promptly demanded that every available aircraft that could be armed with rockets was done so immediately. It would now fall to Sir Phillip and the AM to implement a practical program whilst assuaging Churchills more enthusiastically unrealistic demands.

    As soon as the demonstration was over Sir Phillip and the rest of the party from the AM and MAP headed the short distance to Martlesham to meet the pilots and see the aircraft used in the display. As they arrived on the flight line there appeared to be a heated argument going on by the wing of one of the two rocket firing Henleys. As Sir Phillip and his entourage walked up to the throng of people they could hear the plumiest of voices holding forth from the centre of the gathering, saying “ I am not having some jumped up Jonny Foreigner telling me we have got all wrong. Especially when we have just given Winnie a bloody good show. So I suggest you trot along now and spout you nonsense elsewhere, my good man.” The owner of this offensive manner was an immaculately turned out Wing Commander whose uniform creases where as sharp as knives and his shoes shiny enough to blind you.
    The object of this popinjay of an officer’s distained was one of the pilots from the Polish Hurricanes. Sir Phillip noticed that he had Czechoslovakia embroidered on the right shoulder of his battle dress. Turning to one of his companions Sir Philip told him to go and have a quite chat to the Czech pilot and see what all the palaver was about. Meanwhile Sir Phillip approached the Henley where with his heavily waxed moustache still twitching with suppressed anger stood the immaculate Wing Commander.
    For the next ten minutes Sir Philip was given a detailed account as to the development of the rockets and the rails from which they were fired by this officer. Having been, along with Sir Hugh Dowding the driving force behind the program to develop the rockets in the first place Sir Phillip knew more about the system than most people and the way he was being talked down to by the Wing Commander did not bode well for the mans future employment in the RAF.
    Sometime later Sir Phillips arrived at the Polish Hurricanes where his aid was still in deep conversation with the Czech pilot and his Polish colleagues. Sir Phillips Aide explained that the fracas with the Wing Commander had come about because Josef Frantisch (the Czech pilot) had had the temerity to tell the Wing Commander that the long launch rails he was so proud off and which did so much to rob an aircraft of its manoeuvrability were quite unnecessary for the accuracy of the rockets. Josef then explained again how because the rockets were being launched from an aircraft flying at several hundred miles an hour there was already an airflow over the tail fins to ensure that they flew straight and true when fired. Josef went on further to explain that what was more important to the accuracy of the rockets was to eliminate any aircraft yaw or side slip as the rockets were fired.
    The member of Sir Philips retinue who had been chatting with Josef was nonother than Archibald Montgomery Low a scientific advisor to the AM, formerly a test pilot in the Great War and an acknowledged British pioneer of rockets and control systems. Low was able to confirm that theoretically Josef was correct and some simple tests from a modified aircraft would quickly prove the case. Low also noted that the buffoon of a moustachioed popinjay masquerading as a Wing Commander had stated that the early trials were from static launching on the ground had clearly shown that without a rail to guide the rocket it had little accuracy. Sir Phillip smiled gently and commented that it was probably time that the Wing Commander was assigned to a post more suited to his unique talents.
  9. Schlock Well-Known Member

    Jul 7, 2018
    Bomb disposal?
    Derwit and Sam R. like this.
  10. sonofpegasus Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2012
    That's cruel, but good!!!
    Derwit and Sam R. like this.
  11. Colin Haggett Member

    Nov 20, 2017
    Melbourne, Australia
    That would put too many innocents at risk. There might be a vacancy for guard commander for the Heard Island weather station
    Derwit and steamboy like this.
  12. sonofpegasus Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2012
    I thought of the weather station at Port Stanley might benefit from some spit and polish.
    Derwit and steamboy like this.
  13. Driftless Geezer

    Sep 16, 2011
    Out in the Driftless Area
    While there, he could serve in a military liason capacity with the Argentines..... An officer with his tact and diplomacy, what could possibly go wrong? ;)
    Coulsdon Eagle and Derwit like this.
  14. steamboy Well-Known Member

    May 11, 2015
    His Majesty's Weather Station Rockall would be a good post. Or Commander Air Defence - Falkland Islands.

    And as always, an excellent write up. I don't know much about the development of rockets in WW2 but I assume this might help with a lot of the accuracy issues they had.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
    Derwit likes this.
  15. Threadmarks: 8.11 Fighting Over The Ditch And Elsewhere

    sonofpegasus Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2012
    8.11 Fighting over the Ditch and elsewhere

    From the start of July there was an immediate change in the tempo of Luftwaffe operations. On July Fourth just before eight in the morning twenty JU 87’s had attacked Portland and it’s naval base. The Hurricane fighters of both 238 and 501 squadrons were scrambled a little late and did not engage the enemy formation until after the majority of the JU87’s had attacked and hit the auxiliary AA ship HMS Foylebank then lying at one of the admiralty buoys. Despite this no less than eight of the JU87’s were shot down as they fled back to France, for the loss of two Hurricanes and the loss of a single pilot. The surviving pilot was picked up by the Weymouth based ASR launch which then went on to pick all the surviving Luftwaffe aircrew it could find whilst searching for the last missing pilot. The search had to be curtailed when the Hurricanes ran low on fuel and as per standing orders the rescue launch did not loiter when within easy range of the enemy air bases on the Cotin peninsular.

    One of the reasons for the delay in scrambling fighters to intercept the raid on Portland was not only the relative inexperience of the controllers in 10 group HQ at Box but also the fact that this raid was accompanied by a number of distraction penetrations by other Luftwaffe aircraft to mask the main attack. One of these decoy aircraft was shot down near Bristol by a fighter from 92 Squadron based at Pembry.

    This attack confirmed that the current RDF stations could not give sufficient warning of low level formations for guaranteed interception of raids on coastal targets and as the result of the loss of the Foylebank with so many men killed, numbering some one hundred and ninety seven out of a crew of just under three hundred officers and men, one of the ships gunners would subsequently be awarded a posthumous V.C.

    A hasty enquiry held by the RAF jointly with the RN was convened later that day and one of it’s immediate recommendations was that at least one flight would be despatched daily to operate from a sectors forward airfield. This arrangement would be reviewed as the weight and axis of the Luftwaffe attacks developed.

    This was not the only example of inexperience and gaps in training to become apparent at this time. On July the eighth a section of four Spitfires from 54 squadron under the command of flying officer Desmond McMuulen was vectored onto a formation Me 110’s as it crossed the coat near Dungeness. As the Spitfires manoeuvred to attack the 110’s they were bounced by the Me 109’s which were acting as top cover for the 110’s. Two of the spitfires were shot down in the initial contact and a third was damaged in the ensuing dogfight. The two surviving spitfires managed to break of the engagement claiming a 110 and a 109 shot down with a second 109 as a probable. It was pure good fortune that both downed British pilots survived though Flying officer Coleman was wounded and would not be fit to fly in combat for several weeks. An afteraction assessment came to the conclusion that lack of experience in using the new ‘finger four’ section formation introduced since Dunkirk conjoined with targets fixation of all four pilots concentrating of their attack against the 110’s had led to the impending attack by the top cover not being spotted. This lack of vigilance especially by the second pilots in each pair was noted and a fighting instruction emphasising this was issued initially to all Squadrons in 11 Group and subsequently on direct instructions of Dowding to all Squadrons within Fighter Command.

    On July 10th Park in 11 Group instigated a new procedure instead of a flight being sent each morning to the forward airfield as recommended after the loss of HMS Foylebank on July 4th 11 group would send an entire Squadron forward. The morning started off early with the usual Luftwaffe reconnaissance flights, though today after the usual game of RDF directed cat and mouse a Spitfire from RAF Coltishall managed to engage and shoot down a Do 17. Other than this skirmish the morning was relatively quite by as the afternoon progressed the airborne activity observed by the RDF stations started to increase. The centre of activity appeared to be a westbound convoy of coasters which was at that time off Dover and hence at its closest point to the French coast. As was standard procedure 11 group had a standing patrol of eight Hurricanes, in this case from Biggin Hill over the convoy.

    RDF was still not capable of giving accurate numbers of attacking enemy aircraft but the sector controllers at both Hornchurch and Biggin Hill reacted quickly and as the large attacking formation of around twenty Do 17’s escorted by some thirty Me110’s and twenty Me 109’s approached reinforcements for the standing patrol arrived. First on the scene were 56 squadron from Northwold but forward based at Manston for the day. Within half an hour elements of a further three squadrons had joined the fray.

    In total some forty RAF fighters were engaged with the battle spreading as far west as Newhaven where a train was strafed killing the driver and injuring the fireman. Whilst one small coaster was sunk in the convoy, three RAF fighters were downed including one from 111 squadron that lost a wing colliding with a Do 17. The RAF would claim a total ten fighters and eight bombers shot down with a further four probable and several others damaged. Out of seventy Luftwaffe aircraft involved in the convoy attack this result gave a claimed kill rate of over 20% based on the RAF pilots after action reports.

    Meanwhile there was activity elsewhere, The eastern sectors of 11 group had a visitation from Luftwaffe aircraft based in Holland. Bombs were dropped on the airfield at Martlesham and the fighters sent to intercept failed to do so, with the Luftwaffe bombers making good use of the cloud cover and rainfall. No 10 Group had significant activity to counter when seventy bombers from Luftflotte 3 raided targets as far apart as Falmouth, Swansea and R.O.F. Pembry. In total these raids killed some thirty people with damage done to some shipping, railways and a power station.

    Once again the lack of experience in 10 Group coupled with the weather conditions meant that there were few interceptions but various squadrons would make claims accounting for thirteen enemy bombers whilst Six fighters were lost to all causes in 10 Group. However AA command had the satisfaction on the south coast of scoring what would probably remain the fastest kill in their history. According to the battery log the event was recorded thus;- 1312Hrs- enemy aircraft sighted at 8,000 ft. 1314Hrs-opened fire on E/A; range 7,000 yards. 13141/2 Hrs- cease fire. Enemy had disappeared. 1325hrs- enemy reported in sea.
    Jonathan Kan, Rui, andys and 31 others like this.
  16. steamboy Well-Known Member

    May 11, 2015
    Seems both sides are feeling one another out now and Eagle Day is starting to ramp up. The RAF's still got a lot of learning to do, both in the air and on the ground, but as always, superb stuff.
  17. Threadmarks: 8.11a Informational

    sonofpegasus Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2012
    Fighter Command, Strengths and Locations of Units by Sector as of 6pm on 7th July 1940

    Sector stations marked *

    No 10 Group, Headquarters Box

    234 Squadron Spitfire Mk II St Eval

    609 Squadron Spitfire Mk II Exeter*

    87 Squadron Hurricane MkIc Exeter*

    213 Squadron Hurricane MkIc Exeter*

    92 Squadron Spitfire Mk II Pembrey*

    607 Squadron Defiant Pembry*

    73 Squadron Defiant Pembry*

    263 Squadron Reaper Filton

    640 Squadron Beaufighter NF Filton

    501 Squadron Hurricane MkIc Middle Wallop*

    238 Squadron Hurricane MkIc Middle Wallop*

    No 11 Group, Headquarters Uxbridge

    56 Squadron Hurricane MkIc North Weald*

    25 Reaper NF Marltesham.

    151 Squadron Hurricanes MkIc North Weald*

    65 Squadron Spitfire MkII Hornchurch*

    74 Squadron Spitfire MkII Hornchurch*

    54 Squadron Spitfire MkII Hornchurch*

    600 Squadron Reaper NF Biggin Hill*

    79 Squadron Hurricane MkIc Hawkinge

    610 Squadron Spitfire MkII Biggin Hill*

    32 Squadron Hurricane MkIc Biggin Hill*

    85 Squadron Hurricane MkIc Debden*

    17 Squadron Hurricane MkIc Debden*

    19 Squadron Spitfire MkII Duxford*

    264 Squadron Defiant Duxford

    64 Squadron Spitfire MkII Kenley*

    615 Squadron Hurricane MkIc Kenley*

    111 Squadron Hurricane MkIc Croydon

    1 Squadron Hurricane MkIc Northolt*

    257 Squadron Hurricane MkIc Northolt*

    43 Squadron Hurricane MkIc Tangmere*

    145 Squadron Hurricane MkIc Tangmere*

    601 Squadron Hurricane MkIc Westhampnett

    12 Group, Headquarters Watnall

    249 Squadron Hurricane MkIc Church Fenton*

    616 Squadron Spitfire MkII Leconfield

    253 Squadron Hurricane MkIc Kirton-in-lindsey*

    222 Squadron Hurricane MkIc Kirton-in-lindsey*

    46 Squadron Hurricane MkIc Digby*

    611 Squadron Spitfire MkII Digby*

    266 Squadron Spitfire MkII Digby*

    29 Squadron Reaper NF Digby*

    23 Squadron Reaper NF Wittering*

    229 Squadron Hurricane MkIc Wittering*

    137 Squadron Reaper Wittering*

    247 Squadron Defiant Wittering

    66 Squadron Spitfire MkII Coltishall*

    242 Squadron Hurricane MkIc Coltishall*

    123 Squadron Defiant Coltishall*

    96 Squadron Reaper NF Coltishall*

    13 Group, Headquarters Newcastle

    141 Squadron Defiant Turnhouse*

    245 Squadron Hurricane MkIc Turnhouse*

    602 Squadron Spitfire MkII Drem

    152 Squadron Spitfire MkII Aklington*

    72 Squadron Spitfire MkII Aklington*

    235 Squadron Bisley NF Aklington*

    41 Squadron Spitfire MkII Catterick*

    219 Squadron Spitfire MkII Catterick*

    604 Squadron Blenheim NF Catterick*

    232 Squadron Defiant Unsworth*

    605 Squadron Defiant Unsworth

    14 Group, Headquarters Inverness

    3 Squadron Hurricane MkIc Wick*

    504 Squadron Hurricane MkIc Castletown

    603 Squadron Spitfire MkII Dyce*

    302 Squadron POC Spitfire MkII Dalcross*

    303 Squadron POC Spitfire MkII Dalcross*

    305 squadron POC Hurricane Mk1d Milltown

    306 Squadron POC Spitfire MkII Lossiemouth

    307 squadron POC Reaper NF Banff

    308 Squadron POC Spitfire MkII Lossiemouth
  18. perfectgeneral Velocireader. Highly socially inept. CMII Donor

    Jan 13, 2008
    Grantebrycge, 888 a.d.
    I'm guessing Unsworth is still a sector station for the 605 Squadron entry. *******
  19. sonofpegasus Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2012
    You are correct I lost a * !! my apologies. you will I hope notice that the sectors are a little different to OTL and also 14 group exists.
    perfectgeneral likes this.
  20. Threadmarks: 9.1 Sorting The Wheat From The Chaff

    sonofpegasus Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2012
    9.1 Sorting the Wheat from the Chaff.

    July Tenth,

    “Day, convoy raids off North Foreland and Dover.

    Night The east coast, home counties and western Scotland attacked.

    Weather. Showery in south-east England and Channel. Continuous rain elsewhere.” (1)

    Since the declaration of war Sir Phillip had made a habit of making the first business of the day a revue of the briefing papers prepared by each of the RAF’s commands summarising the previous days activities. Included after a very brief summary of the last twenty four hours activity were figures for losses, Crew Numbers and current aircraft availability, having read and digested this information and any attached note Sir Phillip would then have a short telephone conference with Newall as CAS regarding the latest information.

    Looking through the reports for the 10th two things that stood out for Sir Phillip were firstly the sheer number of sorties flown by Fighter Command, six hundred and nine on this single day and the second notable fact was the number of enemy aircraft claimed destroyed. If they were correct then yesterday had been a very damaging day as far as the Luftwaffe was concerned. However Sir Phillip was well aware that what was claimed in the after action intelligence reports and how many aircraft were actually destroyed were not necessarily the same. Just take the counter claims by the Luftwaffe.
    Lord Haw Haw was claiming that no less than 16 RAF fighters were shot down by the Luftwaffe on the 4th of July. This was no less that four times the actual losses suffered by the RAF. So If this was taken as a benchmark then claims by the British Broadcasting Corporation regarding the German losses would have to divided by four as well. This was one reason why The AM had issued instructions to every Police station, ARP Post, as well as the Observer corps and via the War office to every military formation in Britain that all downed aircraft whether RAF or enemy must be both reported and guarded until examined by AM/RAF experts. Aircraft downed off the coast were to be reported by any observer, especially the coastguard and coastal artillery or any other military/naval post directly to the AM.
    At the AM there was a dedicated department for the investigation of downed aircraft who worked closely with their colleagues in the MAP who were responsible for the collection of the wrecks. RAF aircraft would be sent to the appropriate repair or salvage centre. Downed enemy aircraft once they had been examined in situ by the RAF/AM would be removed to the nearest enemy aircraft dump where any usable material would be removed for recycling. By locating every possible wreck and examining what damage had brought it down the OR teams at the AM could not only ascertain as accurately as possible what brought the aircraft down but with the time of the crash recorded as closely as possible, as well hopefully information from surviving crew, multiple claims for the same aircraft could discounted from the total. How the total recorded, related to the number claimed, as to the number announced for public consumption was going to cause some intense arguments.

    Whether the RAF liked it or not the individual score of enemy aircraft downed was a matter of great importance to the pilots themselves and of intense interest to the general public who at this time needed popular heroes. More importantly within the RAF the scores of each Squadron was a source of great unit pride and a boost to moral. Before he left for America Beaverbrook had had a meeting with Sir Phillip regarding the RAF’s shopping list of aircraft and other matters pertaining to the AM and MAP. At the end of the meeting Beaverbrook had stated quite bluntly to Sir Phillip that within the realms of national security his newspapers would be expecting access to Squadrons and pilots to be able to report on what would be the decisive battle of the war so far and that Sir Phillip had better find a way for the RAF to co-operate or the papers would have to resort to back channels.

    The subject of PR and how the RAF was presented in the newsreels and newspapers was subsequently the subject of a discussion at the next cabinet meeting and was also discussed by Sir Phillip with all the Governments in exile as there were special circumstances regarding the safety of both the Pilots and their families in the occupied countries. RAF High Command were adamant that no individual officer should be singled out for plaudits other than reporting the gazetted award of decorations. In the Great War when pilots had been lauded as individual heroes for their prowess in aerial combat and had become popular icons and the subsequent loss of such pilots as Albert Ball had had very a negative impact upon moral both within the RFC/RAF and the population at large. Officially this experience from the earlier conflict was given as the reason for not naming individual pilots. Sir Phillip new that this policy could never be made watertight and that a compromise position had to be taken.

    The AM final stance was to inform the papers that Squadrons and units could be identified (when cleared by RAF headquarters) but individual pilots could not be named. When a pilot was posted away from or withdrawn from operational flying then the media restrictions would be lifted as already done in the case of a gazetted gallantry of service medal.

    The media restrictions included not identify RAF stations and operational details but of course when filming aircraft how did you avoid showing however briefly identification letters and other useful details. All in all Sir Phillip could see that this was going to be a very bumpy road and that there was no easy way to accommodate or please everybody.

    There was another worry Sir Phillip had regarding the overseas pilots and that had been partially highlighted by the recent incident of the popinjay wing commander and the Czechoslovak pilot flying with the POC. That was that due to some of these pilots speaking only a little English and that with a very evident foreign accent they could be mistaken for Germans. This could have most unfortunate consequences especially considering the current fear of fifth columnists. Couple this to the the possible fear and anger raised by the bombing and strafing of civilians it could if not countered result in tragic mistakes being made. As with the reporting of downed aircraft notifications every Police Constable and every Home Guard unit was given explicit instructions that the safeguarding of all pilots and aircrew whatever their nationality was of prime importance.

    Sir Phillip had this pointed out to the press and the movie news services and in early July features were printed and short news reels shown to remind the populace that there were pilots from many countries flying and fighting in their defence and in a parallel campaign the individual consequences for anyone who meted out summary justice were also highlighted. Sir Phillip could now only hope that there would be no unfortunate incidents for any such occurrence would surely sour relations with our allies. Mind you Sir Phillip thought wryly there were at least some erstwhile allies, principally French speaking, to whom the meting out summary justice would in his very private opinion see justice well served.

    (1) Dailey summary quoted verbatim from the The Narrow Margin by Derek wood and Derek Dempster.