Francis Marliere wrote:I would add that it would be difficult for the LW to maintain a signifiant CAP over the Channel all the time. German fighters had short range and could not stay on station for a long time. The protection would be either thin or intermittent. In the other hand, the RAF would choose when and were to attack.
Francis Marliere wrote:, but I am not sure that German radar stations could really help in this scenario.
First, I am not enclined to think that they could be operationnal in time. France only collapses in late June and I guess it takes severall to build a network of radar stations (plus the communication stuff and control centers).
Then, I am a bit sceptical on the capacity of such early war radars to detect RAF planes flying at low level over England. Interferences, blind arc and limited radar horizon would make things difficult.
Anyway, if the German fighters wait on their airbase to be laerted by the radars, I can't see how they could get in time over the invasion fleet. Assume that a formation of RAF planes flying 200 knots is detected 20 nm away from a German convoy. They will reach their target in 6 minutes. That means that the German fighters have just 6 mn to scramble, take-off, fly at least 30 nm and engage the ennemy. That's IMHO impossible. The Bf109 can engage only if they are already on station over the channel.
The Luftwaffe’s tasks during this phase were to protect the Wehrmacht’s invasion build up on the coast and to establish air superiority over the Channel. …He (Oberst Johannes Fink) sought to draw Fighter Command into a battle of attrition…Air Chief Marshall Sir Hugh Dowding….Air Vice Marshall Keith Park … were well aware of German intentions from radio intercepts, which had been decoded by the Ultra Organization, and refused then or later to take the bait..
The British determined not to forfeit their own coastal waters, were continuing to run convoys of small colliers through the Channel and the Thames Estuary…
The next day brought an improvement of Luftwaffe tactics. The German’s newly installed radar and wireless interception stations ....allowed Oberst Fink to hit the convoys when they were most vulnerable.
..the first wave found the convoy unprotected by fighters.
By the next morning, half of Convoy CW8 had been sunk by dive bombers or E-boats. The Admiralty cancelled all sailings of merchant ships through the Straits of Dover by day. By July 28 the RN was forced to withdraw its destroyer forces (from the area), and on the 29th all movement of British naval units by day was stopped.
Fink had thus won his battle. The significance of his victory was minimal, however, as only limited forces had been committed, and the RAF, and the RN still possessed the means and the will to cripple any invasion force
tommy303 wrote:Well, 252 fighters were required for covering the Channel Dash, so I would imagine at least that would be necessary, if not more.
The attacks were of small scale and uncoordinated, and the German fighter screen proved sufficient to fight them off. The 190s and 109s even had time to strafe the RN MTBs and old destroyers that periodically attemted to attack out of the mist.....No British shell, bomb, or torpedo had touched a German ship.
I concur on all your points! The failure of the Luftwaffe to project deep behind enemy lines, coordinate with the KM in vital maritime operations, provide front as well as homeland support while providing for adequate replacement planning was what doomed it to failure. The Japanese had many of the same issues and suffered the same fate. Placed side by side, allies vs axis, one strategy over time produced victory while the other ultimately led to defeat.
aurora wrote:In my opinion the Luftwaffe was an elite Fighting Force-well armed and its sound aircraft flown by dedicated pilots and crew.
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