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Author Topic: Pilot skills - D.Bader & Hurricanes
No105_Archie
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posted 11-30-1999 05:13 PM     Profile for No105_Archie   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post
I just finished reading a biography of Douglas Bader. For those who haven't heard he was an RAF pilot who lost both his legs before WW2. He crashed his plane doing a slow roll on a dare. When the war broke out he talked his way back into the RAF rose to the rank of Wing Commander and had an official count of 22 1/2 kills before he was shot down. He ended the war as a POW. The point of all this is that he downed 22 + mostly 109 s & 110 s in a Hurricane ! So for all of us PC Pilots who debate which plane is best, remember that a guy with two tin legs shot down 22 + enemies in a supposedly inferior plane !

I think I'll try a BoB in a Hurri again !


Posts: 498 | From: St. John's , Nfld. Canada | Registered: Nov 1999  |  IP: Logged
Casey
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posted 11-30-1999 08:04 PM     Profile for Casey   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post
Bart:

Yes, Bader was an awesome dude!

But didn't he switch over to a Spitfire, before his last missions?

Good timing; I am in the middle of a BOB campaign and just knocked down my thirteenth bandit with a Hurricane. Now I'm psyched.

Good hunting.


Posts: 636 | From: America | Registered: Nov 1999  |  IP: Logged
Edwin Rommel
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posted 11-30-1999 10:23 PM     Profile for Edwin Rommel   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post
Ja- Herr Bader was in ein Spitfeuer when shot down- He switched to Spitfeuers just after the BoB and was on a daylight circus escort mission when he was shot down. Therefore it would be correct to play ze BoB mit Herr Bader in a Hurricane.

Danke

E.R.


Posts: 4399 | From: Dusty Oasis, Nord Afrika | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Tobiwan
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posted 12-01-1999 12:45 AM     Profile for Tobiwan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post
He was not shot down...he was rammed (accidentily I believe) by a Bf-109F.

He was flying a Spitfire Va at the time. The Va was an unusual plane created at Bader's insistance...it was a Spitfire V but with the Mk1s "a" wing with 8 x .303 MGs. He didnt like cannon.

I must say that after flying the Spitfire Ia in the BOB alot I like the 8x.303 VERY much for busting up Bf-109s. For killing bombers however which is what you do most of the time it sucks.

Viva la Hispano.


Posts: 893 | From: Amanzimtoti, KWA-Zulu, South Africa | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Tannethal
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posted 12-01-1999 01:21 AM     Profile for Tannethal     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post
Bader was shoot down not rammed,
when he was captured he was brougth to JG26 and met some of the famous pilots.
I think Galland was also there.
Bader also took a seat in a Franz. There is a picture of him sitting in the plane and some Luftwaffe officers around it. It looks as if one of them has drawn a pistol but that was a pair of leather gloves.
Bader asked if it could be possible to send a plane to England to pick up new prothese, cause his were damaged in the bail out.
There germans didn't send a plane for the fear it and the pilot might be captured.
Regardless of this thoughts they promissed a RAF Bomber free passage to their airport to deliver the prothese by paradrop.
The British sent a bomber and droped the artifical legs, along with some bombs, on the German Airfield.
The British stated they didn't drop any bombs
but the Luftwaffe soilders on the airfield have no doubts about what else besides the legs was dropped.

Posts: 537 | From: Olbernhau Germany | Registered: Oct 1999  |  IP: Logged
Capitan Manduca
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posted 12-01-1999 05:12 AM     Profile for Capitan Manduca   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post
Yes, the british were so "gentelmen"...

BTW, "It's the man, not the machine" is the lesson. D. Bader also had advantage 'cos his blood never dropped to his legs, so he could take more G's without a blackout.

------------------
"Roll over, spin round and come in behind them. Move to their blindsides and firing again"
Iron Maiden - Aces High


Posts: 888 | From: Madrid, España | Registered: Nov 1999  |  IP: Logged
Slickster
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posted 12-01-1999 09:44 AM     Profile for Slickster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post
Bader met Rudel after the war. One leg between them, and an unbelievable amount of mayhem done.
Bader and Sanford-Tuck had a bit of a tiff over the A wing and cannon, Sanford-Tuck favoring the cannon.
Bader escaped from prison camps several times during the war, finally ending up in Colditz castle, sort of the Nazi's version of Alcatraz.
When he bailed out of his Spit one of his legs got trapped, and he left his prosthetic legs behind in the cockpit, thus the need for a fresh set.

------------------
Rick "Slick" Land


Posts: 551 | From: Fayetteville, AR, USA | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Slickster
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posted 12-01-1999 09:53 AM     Profile for Slickster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post
Capitan, I see you like heavy metal from some of the older bands, hmmmm? OK. Blue Oyster Cult (Buck Dharma played the nastiest guitar I ever heard) recorded "ME 262" on their "Secret Treaties" album. It's the entire story of the Swallow, in 4/4 time at a blazing speed. Lines like:
ME 262 Prince of turbojets
A jumping Jumo 004
Blasting clustered R4M's from my snout
And see these English pigs go burn.
Cool, huh? Need to get onto their web sites to dechipher some of the lyrics, as the BOC was notorious for slurring the words.
The chorus was/is:
They hung there dependant
From the sky
Like some heavy metal fruit.
Must these Englishmen live,
that I might die?
Aggh. When I get home I'm playing it again.

Posts: 551 | From: Fayetteville, AR, USA | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Nashwan
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posted 12-01-1999 02:40 PM     Profile for Nashwan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post
The RAF were offered free passage to drop replacement legs for Bader, but declined. They dropped the legs , along with a load of bombs, on a normal bombing raid, not undercover of a unmolested flight. Bader was not shot down, but as I understand it, he was the one who rammed the 109.

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PhyrePhly5
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posted 12-01-1999 03:51 PM     Profile for PhyrePhly5   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post
Hmmm... lemme see if I've got the consensus straight on Bader's career, here...

He was shot down. He was not shot down, he was rammed. He rammed somebody else. He was not rammed. He bailed out without his legs. He bailed out with his legs, but they were damaged in the bailout. The British dropped him a new pair of legs on "free passage". The British dropped him a new pair of legs and bombs on "free passage". The British did not have free passage. The British did not drop bombs. The British dropped the legs and bombs, but it was not under free passage.

Have I missed anything? Now, who can point me to a RELIABLE source about what actually happened, here?

[This message has been edited by PhyrePhly5 (edited 12-01-1999).]


Posts: 38 | From: Houston, Texas | Registered: Oct 1999  |  IP: Logged
Tannethal
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posted 12-02-1999 02:11 AM     Profile for Tannethal     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post
Sum it up and you get a funny result.
Now I laughed for nearly a minit and can't still barely get myself together.

Posts: 537 | From: Olbernhau Germany | Registered: Oct 1999  |  IP: Logged
Edwin Rommel
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posted 12-02-1999 04:02 AM     Profile for Edwin Rommel   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post
Herr Feuer Fliegen Funf

Ich glaube zhat ze book by Wing Commander Johnie Johnstone is ze most accurate on zhis- I vill check it out and get back to you!

Danke
E.R.


Posts: 4399 | From: Dusty Oasis, Nord Afrika | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Hun Hunter
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posted 12-02-1999 07:25 AM     Profile for Hun Hunter   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post
Not the definitive version chaps, but close to it. I got this from one the Galland interviews (there weren't many. Galland states the story as Bader being shot down by one of the pilots of JG26. He did indeed "lose" one of his legs bailing out while the other was damaged on landing. Bader promptly demanded to be introduced to the "Officer" who shot him down, not believing it could be a pilot of any lower rank. Galland erred on the side of chivalry and grabbed the nearest Officer to him and introduced the two "comabatants". Bader then made the request directly to Galland to have his spare set of legs sent to him. Galland agreed and guaranteed safe passage to a transport plane to parachute the legs over the base. This they did, but I believe one of the RAFS light bombers was used and they dropped a few bombs followed by Baders appendiges. I don't know the fate of the bomber aircraft. I can imagine it though!

[This message has been edited by Hun Hunter (edited 12-02-1999).]


Posts: 1304 | From: In a water tight cavern under Sydney Harbour Bridge | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Gavin
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posted 12-02-1999 11:39 AM     Profile for Gavin   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post
Other interesting topics on Douglas Bader, not wanting to spoil the Bader love-in, but just to add info from books I am reading/have read ( Duel of Eagles by P. Townsend and Fighter by L. Deighton )

Mr. Bader had some part in the sacking of the hero of the Battle of Britain, Mr. Dowding. Bader was a squadron commander in 12 Group, which in turn was commanded by Leigh-Mallory, who appears to have had a real grudge with mr. Dowding. Before the battle, mr. Mallory had been in charge of 12 Group for years, and it was expected that he would be offered the more prestigious job of 11 Group Commander (11 Group being the most southernly Group, which did the Lion's share of combat in the Battle of Britain) instead, Dowding appointed Keith Park in charge, who was a distinguished World War 1 ace and a friend of Dowding's. Needless to say, Mallory was pissed. Leigh-Mallory had a theory back then known as the 'big wing'. This theory, which he soon had mr. Bader on side with, involved organizing vast armadas of aircraft together (known in slang terms back then as a 'Balbo') before confronting the enemy. It was reasoned that such a force would decimate any German formation it found, probably true. The big problem with a balbo was the time it took to organize such a formation. The bombers would already have hit their target and be on their way home before the balbo could find them. This was ok according to Leigh-Mallory, who reasoned, better to decimate a bomber force AFTER their target rather than just scratch them BEFORE their target. Douglas Bader had tried to prove the big wing theory and had worked on the scramble times in 12 Group. It just wasn't feasible in 11 Group sectors, though, because of the short warning times. Dowding preferred maneuvering small squadron-sized formations of 12 aircraft, which he found, were more flexible, and less prone to disaster, ie, if 60 aircraft miss the bombers, it's a disaster, but if 1 of 5 groups of 12 fighters miss, and the rest find the bombers, though attacking independently, it's not a total loss. Also, 12 fighters could climb to intercept altitude much faster, and with independent squadron control, you don't have the entire RAF on the ground refueling at any one time, something the Luftwaffe DID think about and try to catch on several occasions.

Over time, Leigh-Mallory and Bader developed quite a friendship, and often united to criticize Dowding.

Seems that Douglas had a friend in Parliment, who had the ear of mr Churchill. A certain meeting between this member and Churchill is recorded, after which the Group commanders were summoned for a talking to.

This kind of political in-fighting was common in the higher ranks of the RAF and other services, and the British are quite fortunate it didn't cost them more in the war.

After the battle, as we all know, mr Dowding was retired, a thankless reward for saving the country. He was criticized for not giving the 'Big Wing' theory more acceptance, and Leigh-Mallory was promoted.

There's a great photo in mr. Deighton's book, showing Dowding having a whispered discussion with Douglas Bader before the Battle of Britain flypast after the war. The don't look too friendly to each other!

Douglas Bader was an outstanding fighter pilot and leader who should have kept his nose out of politics, imho. I have great respect for him as a pilot.

It is interesting to note that before Operation Bodenplatte, Adolf Galland wanted to use the aircraft committed to the battle in a similiar 'Big Wing' theory to assault the American heavy bombers. In this environment, I'm sure the theory would have been more practical, indeed, the Germans found that attacking heavy bombers with small groups of fighters was suicide, due to the concentration of escort fighters and defensive firepower.

Another chilling reminder of how different the Battle of Britain might have been if the Germans had come with 4-engine bombers...

------------------
"Only the spirit of attack, born in a brave heart, will bring success to any fighter aircraft, no matter how highly
developed it may be." - Adolf Galland.


Posts: 370 | From: Victoria, BC, Canada. | Registered: Nov 1999  |  IP: Logged
TonyH
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posted 12-03-1999 04:38 AM     Profile for TonyH   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post
Another interesting point. After the war the big wing theory was tested continiously in conditions similar to the Battle of Britain. It failed miserably every time and was concluded to be a dodgy idea given the circumstances of the situation during the Battle. In peace-time there might be time to fine tune the practice, but this was not possible in war-time. After the war also, in the war ministries official 'Battle of Britain' memorandium and records, not one mention is made of Dowding. This was rectified in later years of course.........

However, here is THE FACTS on Baders last combat flight over Europe.

According to 'Reach for the sky' Bader's Biography.....

He had just changed to the Spitfire Vb, the last in his wing to do so, as he always had a preference for the a wing type with 8 .30s. After the war he apparently admited this was a stubborn mistake. Anyway, on the 9th of August '41, his squadron flew a sweep over Le Touqet in which he says that while on the tail of a 109 another nearly collided with him after he'd shot down the one in front. He milled about for a bit and then said that he felt a shudder and the controls tighten. He looked back and the rear fuselage was gone. He concluded that a 109 hit him by mistake. While bailing out his right leg got caught and he had to leave it behind. After being picked up by the jerries, he asked could they get the leg from the wreckage of the plane. They did and some of the lads at st Omer did a repair job on it that delighted Bader. The Luftwaffe gave the RAF a Height and course for st Omer to drop a new leg, which his wife stuffed with tea, chocolate and socks etc, over the airfield there. D.B. said "I bet they drop it with bombs". They did.

In the 'First and the Last' Galland's autobiography, Galland says that it was never confirmed who shot down Bader, but he got a call from I/JG 26 with a victory claim, I read in a seperate Biography, by David Baker.
Anyway, when Bader was captured he wanted to know who shot him down and if possible could he meet him. Bader said that he thought it intolerable to be shot down by an N.C.O. But Galland presented him with a blond haired flyling officer. Galland also said that Bader commented on seeing bits fly off his plane and then the rear fuselage was gone......

There you go gentlemen, from the horse's mouths as it were. I wish I had the books in work with me today so I could write down the text exactly.

For the record, I too think Bader was not only an exceptional pilot but also an exceptional man. But I also think he had more than his fair share of flaws. A severe stubbernness and an unwillingness to admit when he was wrong for instance. Also he was rather a grudger and self righteous, proof of this is the collusion between him and Leigh-Mallory to have "stuffy Dowding", as he called him removed from his post unceremoniously after the Battle of Britain.

[This message has been edited by TonyH (edited 12-03-1999).]


Posts: 287 | From: Dublin, Ireland | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
JohnM
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posted 12-03-1999 07:53 AM     Profile for JohnM   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post

I also heard that as a POW Bader's attitude to his German captors often meant that everyone else in the camp had to suffer because of it.I suppose the next best news a POW'er could have was that Bader really had escaped and no they can't find him.Still a great man though.
Take note you Americans,Spitfires really could make it across the channel without runnig out of fuel,even if it was only as far as Le Touqet!

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