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Did a drive-by copy edit, altered the pics from px to thumb. I'm not sure but I think that if you want a different size pic it's |thumb|upright=x.x| with 0.75 or whatever after upright=. If you put a RN ship into {{HMS|''ship name''|letter number|6}} it does the italics and link for you.Keith-264 (talk) 13:31, 14 April 2016 (UTC)

PS thought operation code names weren't capitalised?Keith-264 (talk) 15:21, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
Spent the day copy editing, removing typos and overlaps, added a couple of maps, bungled the GRT notation and made the headers systematic. Revert as desired and I'll add something from Hinsley about Ultra later. Regards Keith-264 (talk) 16:29, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
Mostly not fussed about anything. Only exception is the pre-battle parts. I think there has been a misunderstanding there. I didn't follow standard format: strategy German/Strategy British etc. The campaign has already been explained to death. Instead I just put in evolving strategy to discuss what the German approach was and why, and how the British were reacting - or more to the point what the RAF and Royal Navy were doing to help each other. Neither side had what one could call a proper strategy at this point, which is why this phase was just a series of skirmishes. I think both sides were using the extent of the kanalkampf to decide what their strategy would actually be. Dapi89 (talk) 19:01, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
I will throw the maps in. I'm just deciding what pictures need to be sacrificed. I realise it needs a map. There's too many glory pictures at the moment - aircraft and AOC's, and the like. Dapi89 (talk) 19:03, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
I have to admit to a little consternation when they disappeared. ;O)) I was really proud of them. It's the header I changed, not the content, not having a strategy is something to discuss under strategy. I'm working on a paraphrase of Hinsley and Ultra which does had some British strategy and assessments of German strategy such as it was. It looks like the Germans needed quite a bit of time to recover from the French gig but the Kanalkampf is also a conventional pushing in of outer defences in siege warfare so not unusual. Perhaps there's a difference between strategy, operations and tactics to be described? Regards Keith-264 (talk) 19:31, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
I had a look in the navy OH for convoy detail but there was disappointingly little. Keith-264 (talk) 20:01, 15 April 2016 (UTC)

Strategies: sources for blockade option[edit]

  • With reference to German strategy, the blockade of Britain was one of their strategic options which was covered by Hitler Directives Nos. 1, 6, 9 and 13: see Battle of Britain#German aims and directives for an outline with sources. The invasion option was always provisional, and preparations for that were only directed with No. 16, issued on 16 July after the Kanalkampf had already started under the previous directives. Also note Battle of Britain#Phases of the battle which the Royal Air Force Museum (and other sources) identify as including the earlier nuisance raids/probing attacks as well as the Kanalkampf which begins during their first phase and continues through nearly all of the second phase. . dave souza, talk 20:38, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
Thanks that helps. The OH Defence of the UK volume might shed some light too. Regards Keith-264 (talk) 21:25, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
Yes David, correct. But we already know this. However, these options/directives containing anti-naval operations were also provisional and dependent on the situation at hand. Strategy is adopted, directives may not be (note that they were all created before the surrender of France). Immediately thereafter (after France), these directives were abandoned or expanded upon with the affect that some measures/options were sidelined within a month (1 August). In this case Goring had already issued a directive to the OKL on 30 June which outlined the defeat of the enemy air force as the primary objective for the Luftwaffe and shipping was to be used to bring the RAF to battle. That intent (to target the RAF) was crystallised on 1 August by Hitler and acted upon. I agree that attacks on imports were a long-acknowledged German option, ultimately, they did not pursue it during the Battle of Britain. The attacks on shipping were more about luring the RAF out than shutting down British imports, suggesting, as per Walther Wever's Conduct of the Air War (1935), that achieving air superiority was the main goal and the trigger for the Kanalkampf. Dapi89 (talk) 09:31, 16 April 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, but I don't know what your source is for saying these directives were abandoned or not acted on: Overy 2011 p. 56 says "Probing attacks began against ports and shipping on the basis of instructions issued earlier in May, but still current, for blockade attacks on British imports." Hitler's 1 August directive says "2. After achieving temporary or local air superiority the air war is to be continued against ports, in particular against stores of food, and also against stores of provisions in the interior of the country." As Overy p. 56 puts it, "the air force was then expected, without explanation, to switch back to the blockade role it had started with."
Bungay pp. 32–33 notes the basic options as discussed by Jodl of a "siege using U-boats and air power to cut Britain's sea-lanes", and describes a strategy of isolating Britain "so that a siege could simultaneously begin": Bungay concludes "The Germans were keeping their options open. " On p. 122 he says "In his first directive of 30 June, Göring set out the mixed purpose of destroying the RAF and cutting off Britain's overseas supplies, with the emphasis on the former. This reflects the general indecision over siege versus decision". Williamson Murray p. 45 makes similar points about Jodl's June memorandum posing, as the first direct avenue, "an offensive by air and sea against British shipping combined with air attacks against centers of industry", with the precondition for success in all three avenues of "the attainment of air superiority", making that precondition sound like a tactic to achieve the strategic options. He describes Göring's 30 June operational directive as putting Luftwaffe attacks on the RAF first, to "create the conditions necessary for an assault on British imports and supplies, while at the same time protecting German industry. "
Bungay p. 122 continues; "On 11 July, Jeschonnek issued a further order .... giving official sanction to preliminary attacks on shipping in the Channel, which Göring's Directive did not mention. Kesselring and Sperle had already begun attacking Channel convoys." . . dave souza, talk 07:34, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
Bonus source: Richard North (16 February 2012). The Many Not The Few: The Stolen History of the Battle of Britain. Continuum International Publishing. p. 319. ISBN 978-1-4411-3151-5. , on Directive no. 9; "many of the bombing raids in the early stages of the Battle of Britain, classed as Kanalkampf by the Germans, were primarily attacks on shipping, and therefore, implementing this directive.". . . dave souza, talk 07:51, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
I had a quick look in Grand Strategy vol. II (History of the Second World War Butler 1957) which has a brief discussion of the directives beginning in June and doesn't seem to see indecision, rather choices, since Hitler and co wanted to end the war on terms and waited for the British to notice. Air-sea operations were intended to pressure the British into terms and eventually the invasion was to follow up an economic collapse and finish them off. RegardsKeith-264 (talk) 07:59, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
Yes, the sources indicate that Hitler wanted to agree terms with the British for an armistice which he hoped would see them cooperating with his attack on the Soviet Union, the OKW thought the British were beaten and just needed a display of force to concede an armistice: thus both air and sea operations had that aim, whether by achieving air supremacy, economic warfare, siege blockading essential supplies including food, or possibly terror bombing in retaliation for RAF attacks. The invasion planning was an afterthought, again aimed at political pressure on Britain but with no confidence that it would be practical: see Williamson Murray p. 45 – Jodl "commented that German strategy would require a landing on the British coast only as the final blow ("Todesstoss") to finish off an England that the Luftwaffe and navy had already defeated." . . dave souza, talk 16:39, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
David, thanks for that. It may interest you to know I have seen all of these sources at some point.
But it still shows that shipping was never the leading consideration. You say "option", I agree. But to say this became "strategy" is false. The February directive of 1941 was the only directive that the Luftwaffe acted upon, whereby the sea became the Luftwaffe's foremost target.
Anti-shipping operations were not to be considered until air superiority had been won. These attacks were not the centre piece of German air strategy, they were used as a tactic to achieve air domination. Dapi89 (talk) 09:46, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
You seem to be reaching very odd conclusions, not supported by these sources. Can you set out your sources? Are you suggesting the Luftwaffe awaited a 1941 directive before attacking shipping, even though this article shows attacks on shipping from 1 July 1940? The "foremost" target, or more accurately a need for at least local air superiority before fully succeeding in strategic aims, doesn't mean that the Luftwaffe didn't have other aims. Don't forget the navy was also involved, and from the OKW viewpoint the strategy of blockade continued in force. . . dave souza, talk 16:39, 17 April 2016 (UTC) amended 17:03, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
Interestingly enough David, you didn't mention the following in directive 17: "Attacks on south coast ports will be made on the smallest possible scale, in view of our own forthcoming operations". Dapi89 (talk) 09:49, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
The continuing blockade/siege following on from achieving temporary or local air superiority wasn't confined to south coast ports. Directive no. 9 lists 22 ports, only one of which seems to be on the south coast. . dave souza, talk 16:48, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
Was the Kanalkampf an operational level enterprise on the south coast as a preliminary to attacks inland, all to gain air superiority for a possible invasion, concurrent with a longer-term air offensive against all of Britain, as an economic strategy complementing a military one, both intended to be a catalyst for diplomacy?Keith-264 (talk) 17:03, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
As Patrick Bishop (29 August 2013). Battle of Britain: A day-to-day chronicle, 10 July-31 October 1940. Quercus. ISBN 978-1-84916-594-5.  states, planned blockade "was the thinking that sustained the Kanalkampf." Bungay p. 122 suggests it was less formal: "Kesselring and Sperle had already begun attacking Channel convoys. They were not sure what else to do." In my understanding, Channel shipping was a suitable blockade target within easy reach of Luftwaffe bombers based in France, and fighting over water put the RAF at a disadvantage compared to battles over the UK mainland, suiting the rather over-confident Jagdwaffe aim of luring RAF fighter up and shooting them down. At the start of July 1940, invasion had hardly been discussed: Operation Sea Lion#Invasion planning shows planning only starting on 2 July, and Göring's operational directive of 30 June 1940 made no mention of invasion.. . dave souza, talk 17:44, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
[1]] p. 18 by Horst Boog has "When the battle for air superiority over England was finally opened by the Luftwaffe on 13 August 1940, more than seven weeks had elapsed since the fall of France. In this period Britain had been able to complete the build-up of her defences, especially her radar-directed fighter defence and reporting system. Meanwhile, on the German side, no coherent air strategy to be used against the British Isles was yet visible."Keith-264 (talk) 17:25, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
Lots of good detail in that source, interesting to see the Fliegercorps I on 1 August proposing measures including siege/blockade of supplies, I'd already read about Fliegercorps II proposing attacks on London to bring up RAF fighters to shoot them down, as discussed below. . dave souza, talk 18:19, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
Williamson Murray p. 45 outlines Göring's 30 June 1940 directive; in summary, the Luftwaffe were to go all out to destroy the RAF, to "create the conditions necessary for an assault on British imports and supplies". Whether due to over-confidence or faulty intelligence, they began the assault on Channel shipping without first destroying the RAF. Bungay p. 125 discusses the failure of the Luftwaffe command to cooperate as a whole, with planning for Adlerangriff by "separate operational units guided by nothing more than platitudes and a wish-list". The "RAF – or was it just fighter command – was to be destroyed, but in addition ports, merchant shipping, the Royal Navy, the aircraft industry, , transport infrastructure and industry had all appeared, disappeared from and reappeared onto target lists for the pre-invasion offensive". Thirdly, the "naive assumption was that if British fighters came up to fight they would be shot down." Which gives some credence to the Jagdwaffe thinking that bombers were lures to bring up RAF fighters, an idea leas popular with the bomber crew. . . dave souza, talk 18:07, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
Keith, that Boog reference is a neat summation of where the Germans were going.
David, I'm not making odd statements and that isn't what I said. Of course shipping attacked, but it was used as bait to encourage the RAF to battle (as these sources keep showing). I keep agreeing that the Luftwaffe had other aims - it's obvious from the directives – but it's clear the purpose of the Channel offensive was to defeat air defences. No major undertaking against British ports was made in July or August 1940. Not until February 1941 when the strategy of gaining air superiority had long been abandoned, did ports and shipping become the strategy. And strategy is implemented, directives are not (necessarily).
I'll be happy to bring the sources to the table when I have them to hand (take a look through the bibliography for a rough idea on where this comes from). But if you look at the article "evolving strategy", you'll see that this has been fairly treated. Dapi89 (talk) 18:42, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
Just FYI: Sönke, Isby for specific information on the Luftwaffe and the sea war. James and Sebastian Cox is also useful. Dapi89 (talk) 18:51, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
No major undertaking against British ports was made in July or August 1940. How is this measured? The sources I've read say that channel shipping, channel ports, airfields and the aircraft industry were subjected to bigger attacks than before. Keith-264 (talk) 18:57, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
Just dashed up to grab my copy of David Isby's book. Strongly recommend for analysis on the directives issued in 1940. He doesn't just rattle of them off word-for-word and assume that's what the Luftwaffe tried to do. There is far too much to copy here but here as his summations: The German operational staff [Air Fleet Command] considered the main target in Britain was the aircraft industry, and regarded the blockade of England as a secondary task, to be carried out by occasional attacks on the principal ports and shipping......
The directives for the targets in this operation expressly stated that sea attacks on warships and shipping must take second place to critical military objectives. This shows the extent to which the German command hoped for decisive results purely from air warfare and from attacks on land targets......
Thus the German announcement on the 18 July 1940 of a total blockade of the British Isles was not implemented. Not until the beginning of 1941, did the German High Command begin to recognise that, contrary to earlier conceptions, the greatest damage to the British war effort had occurred through heavy shipping losses.....Resulting from this, Hitler on the 6 February 1941, directed that future air attacks were to be concentrated on those targets......accordingly the first quarter of 1941 marked a shifting of targets for the operational Luftwaffe command, to British coastal centres and to shipping.
I hope this provides context to the directives. Just the start. Dapi89 (talk) 19:10, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
Interesting, so that suggests that for the Luftwaffe the Kanalkampf was merely a secondary task, and they should have been attacking airfields earlier. Odd that, as Horst Boog points out, Fliegercorps I and II had to meet Göring on 1 August and give their suggestions for tactics to destroy the RAF, before he decided on his tactics. What does Isby say about OKW and Kriegsmarine strategy? It also contrasts with Overy's analysis of the bombing campaign against various ports, culminating with London docklands. As for the total blockade not being implemented in 1940, Bungay's assessment is that the Luftwaffe and U-boats lacked the resources to do that successfully, and Hitler wanted a quick result rather than a war of attrition, for various reasons. These various points should be covered, as should the probing and training aspects of the Luftwaffe nuisance raids from June to September. . dave souza, talk 20:45, 17 April 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── It looks as though various parts of the Wehrmacht were looking at strategy from a parochial perspective, which is what bureaucratic states do without top-down decisions. Presumably Hitler's desire for a negotiated peace came first, which is why whatever strategic decisions were being taken were local and provisional, ideally they wouldn't need to be coordinated since the war would soon end. While that was going on, the air war followed military principles by the Luftwaffe attacking targets closest to them, partly because they were worth while and partly to bring FC to battle at a disadvantage. These seem to me to be operational decisions rather than strategic ones or military decisions as part of a diplomatic policy intended to obviate the need for a military campaign.Keith-264 (talk) 10:08, 18 April 2016 (UTC)

From July to October 1940 the Luftwaffe and the RAF clashed above southern England in the series of air combats that became known as the ‘Battle of Britain’. Some doubt if there was ever a coherent German plan; bombers would simply bash Britain until it gave up, which it surely had to. (Rankin A Genius for Deception, 2009, p. 282) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Keith-264 (talkcontribs) 20:29, 17 April 2016‎Keith-264 (talk) 10:08, 18 April 2016 (UTC)
Interesting Keith.
Isby's views complement my own view: that the Luftwaffe had the means (with the Kriegsmarine) to impose a much more effective blockade by actually applying pressure to coastal targets/ports and rail facilities. His view is that the Luftwaffe (with fewer resources in February 1941) carried out a reasonably effective campaign during the Blitz. He also says aerial mining and shipping attacks during the phoney war were effective but "spasmodic" (p. 109)—indicating its failure to achieve a place atop the strategic agenda in any practical sense before 1941. One of his views on strategy is that the blithe assumptions that air power would bring victory was most problematic. The raison d'etre for any air force is the defeat of it's opposite number. Isby regards the Luftwaffe's activities as merely pursuing service doctrine. The Luftwaffe never cooperated, or fashioned an inter-service strategy with the navy, tailored for dealing with this particular enemy until February 1941 so he sides with the Kriegsmarine. He also takes the view that the OKW did not share the Kriegsmarine's desire for siege warfare and this did not change until the following winter (p. 110) when the chances of invasion evaporated. In any case, the OKL and OKW's desire for a quick victory explains why the campaign against sea communications never got going—it wasn't a fast enough method. James Corum and his works The Luftwaffe's Way of War and the Operational Air War show that air interest in naval matters mentioned little of sea interdiction. Rather, only air intervention in naval battles. Dapi89 (talk) 11:51, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
That's all very good but to add it to the article will mean doing the same for the RAF and its relations with the army and navy, which could collide with your reluctance to duplicate material in the other articles. (I discussed this with Australian Rupert over the sub-articles for the Somme and he noted that we can't assume that a reader is au fait with the big stuff, so I've had to add it to each one, it's very time-consuming.) Tooze is very good on the frailty of the German war economy and the importance of peace with Britain. Things were only going to get worse while the British blockade kept Germany out of world markets and its dependence on the USSR increased. PS I've put the table back with the right citations.Keith-264 (talk) 12:13, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

Indeed. It's almost all there. If we can find a very concise way of doing it, there shouldn't be too much bother. This article was meant to be done the German way—without much regard for strategy! Dapi89 (talk) 12:51, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

I think I can add to the end of "evolving strategy" to briefly explain some of directionless antics re: strategy and cooperation between the two services. Dapi89 (talk) 13:01, 22 April 2016 (UTC)


[2] how do these statistics compare to more modern treatments (particularly losses)?Keith-264 (talk) 23:05, 15 April 2016 (UTC)

Difficult to say. Mason puts them in a table at the end of each chapter—unit type/pilot/aircraft number/fate/time and location. It is comprehensive for 1969. I haven't seen anything similar. Dapi89 (talk) 08:47, 16 April 2016 (UTC)
I wondered if more modern treatments were more accurate. I'll lay off editing while you're busy because I've already caused one edit frenzy but I'd be interested in your concept for the article. Are you sure that strategy was disorganised, British strategy seems simple, to stay in the war and German strategy seems clear according to the Hitlergrams. Are you minded to add to the Aftermath section? Is there an at-a-glance weather record for each day and do you intend to add context about operations other than the kanalkampf while it was on? Regards Keith-264 (talk) 10:05, 16 April 2016 (UTC)
I'm done for the day here, so carry on if you want.
The British assumed invasion would be the German response to the rejection of their terms. They did not assume their enemy would feel air superiority was enough to force them to terms. Until the Germans made the first move, they could only guess and implement strategy accordingly. At the beginning of the air encounters, they only sought to keep losses low and inflict maximum damage. Park did not develop an air strategy (contesting all raids with small force to avoid a comprehensive defeat) until August, and even then Mallory gave him trouble for it (Big Wng) - therein lies another conflict over strategy. There was also the conflict between the navy and air over how important the convoys were indicates that strategy was up in the air (excuse the pun) and not quite as neat and simple as is assumed. The air ministry did not see the channel convoys as fundamental to Britain's survival.
As for the Germans, I don't think they had a strategy in mind at all until 1 August. These directives (mostly from 1939) were really to give the Luftwaffe a way of exerting some pressure. They were not a series of carefully planned steps to defeat Britain. As soon as Western Europe was won, priorities shifted immediately. Now the Luftwaffe didn't have to venture across the north sea with unescorted bombers, it could strike at British air power which was consistent with doctrine.
I'll have to go now, I'll give some thought to the last question. Dapi89 (talk) 11:07, 16 April 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, that seems to me to be operations rather than strategy. Regards Keith-264 (talk) 11:43, 16 April 2016 (UTC)
Added channel convoys section with detail on the navy side but since its thematic rather than chronological, you might want to move it or cut paragraphs into the other sections? Keith-264 (talk) 08:04, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
Looks good. I'd keep it 'as is' for now. The layout is better looking. I do think their should be additions made to the aftermath section. I didn't want to re-hash what is already written on the other articles but provide a summary of where both sides went from here. Later in the winter, the battle for air superiority was over, and once again the Luftwaffe returned to shipping as a means to exert pressure. However, this time, the February directive (war economy) (1941) ordered ports to be targeted to support the U-Boat campaign; the directive was acted upon. Goring didn't like it but Hitler insisted. That was an example of strategy. With regard to weather: not really. Whenever it featured as a factor Mason mentions it but not otherwise. Given the Germans did not begin the actual offensive until 12 August, I doubt the weather was a hindrance to them. Context is always important so I was told, so a sliver of info on other operations is fine as long as it relates to the kanalkampf. I'm assuming you're thinking of Atlantic shipping? Dapi89 (talk) 08:46, 17 April 2016 (UTC)

Only a little, to show the Luftwaffe was operating with longer as well as short-term objectives on the south coast. FW 200s flying west of Ireland were beyond the range of British fighters, 10 Group was formed to cover the SW of England relatively late, oceanic convoys were being re-routed to west coast ports but it took time to limit sailings along the channel coast etc (I'd never heard of the Mobile Balloon Barrage Flotilla or the Channel Guard either). I did a section from the navy perspective to give the reader some context on the what, why and hows of coastal convoys but Roskill wasn't specific about the south coast railways being too busy with military freight to carry the coal. I quite agree that where there are other articles they only need a link and a summary paragraph because this article is about the Kanalkampf not the Battle of Britain but I'm not sure about what should go in the background and prelude sections (see below). You've put in most of the work so I think your concept for the article is something the rest of us should work with. Regards Keith-264 (talk) 09:01, 17 April 2016 (UTC)

Article structure[edit]

I think the description of British inter-war, inter-service rivalries, should be in the Background section and be next to a similar paragraph or two on equivalent German institutional quarrels. The description of the tactical disputes over FC priority from Dunkirk to the Kanalkampf would be better in the prelude, again next to a similar one for the Luftwaffe. Regards Keith-264 (talk) 08:49, 17 April 2016 (UTC)

Not sure. The RAF-Navy history and dealings I felt should be all under the same banner; then they are immediately relatable to one another. The reader doesn't have to hunt further down to see how that affected inter-service operations in May and June 1940 (stretching to July). It also suits the chronology: all of these disputes occurred in/before May and June and maybe unsuitable for a prelude which begins in July. The Luftwaffe did share a similar history with the Kriegsmarine, but then again the Germans could not use U-Boats in the channel and its fast-craft and surface force was too puny to sustain large-scale operations. But perhaps an expansion beyond merely mentioning Goring's prejudices against the Kriegsmarine is in order. Dapi89 (talk) 09:18, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
I think it's a matter of taste but I'd separate pre-war (background, air warfare theory, service rivalries), pre-Kanalkampf (Battle of France, Dunkirk prelude any lessons compared to pre-war theory, service rivalries/understandable differences of priority/intervention by higher authority) and Kanalkampf (with something on other operations e.g. what German long-range bomber and reconnaissance aircraft and Bomber and Coastal Command were up and how it bears on the Kanalakampf such as did 2 Group attack Stuka/fighter/bomber airfields), keeping the first two as small as possible, with links to their articles so that the Kanalkampf section is the biggest in the article. In the Aftermath I'd do an analysis section on the meaning of the Kanalkampf and its effect as judged by RS (any differing schools of thought/interpretations/periodisation for eg) and a paragraph on subsequent operations (BofB and later channel coast operations, any developments in air-sea operations elsewhere). Oh and was the Regia Aeronautica involved in any channel operations? Keith-264 (talk) 09:52, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
Sorry Keith, no not to my knowledge. Dapi89 (talk) 13:01, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

Names and titles[edit]

Do we routinely need to specify what type of aircraft each time a squadron is mentioned? I'd wikilink the first mention of an air unit, with aircraft type and commander in brackets and trust the reader after that. Keith-264 (talk) 11:41, 17 April 2016 (UTC)

Agreed. Dapi89 (talk) 18:56, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
Wasn't as easy as I expected so abbreviated KG, JG, StG etc.Keith-264 (talk) 09:08, 19 April 2016 (UTC)


Anyone mind if I move the details from the notes in the infobox to a casualties section and then quote them in the lead?Keith-264 (talk) 10:59, 19 April 2016 (UTC)

Keith, I just dropped in but can't do much/any editing. Appreciate the effort but there is a real problem here: all the citations have been taken out and "casualties" has very few references that don't support the information. It should be restored to the original. There was a reason why a had to do the citations that way in the first place, because each loss lists Mason gave is at the end of each day in his book. To be exact, the only way of covering this is to do it the way I did. Dapi89 (talk) 10:41, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
Bugger!Keith-264 (talk) 10:44, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
Restored the citations, serves me right for rushing. Apols Keith-264 (talk) 10:52, 20 April 2016 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

I must say, it's looking in much better shape now. Keith-264 (talk) 13:34, 22 April 2016 (UTC) @Dapi, if you want to use — — instead of ( ) brackets you'll need to change all of them for consistency.Keith-264 (talk) 11:20, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

I'll get around to it. Dapi89 (talk) 11:36, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

Night defence[edit]

Keith, I am generally ignorant of how much you are familiar with the air war in 1940. The abysmal preparation for night defence was one of the few failings of the Air Ministry and it's handling of Fighter Command. It was used by Dowding's enemies to usurp his command in the end. This is an established fact in the historiography. Dapi89 (talk) 12:41, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

Your scepticism is irrelevant, it's in Collier so unless you challenge the source with a contradictory one or show that Collier isn't RS, you're straying into OR. If you revert it again I will ask for you to be edit banned.Keith-264 (talk) 13:45, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
Don't threaten me again. If you like, I'll drown you in sources (and I don't mean the spicy kind). It just goes to show how little you know. You've ruined what I thought was going to be a smooth collaborative arrangement. 17:37, 23 April 2016 (UTC)Dapi89 (talk)
you need to take a step back.Keith-264 (talk) 21:56, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
Here is the passage I paraphrased

In the course of the month thirteen aerodromes, sixteen industrial plants and fourteen port areas were bombed, but the bombing was nowhere heavy enough to do lasting damage.30 The heaviest casualties caused by a single attack occurred at Cambridge, where nine people were killed on the night of the 18th. A few German bomber units gained experience of night-flying over the United Kingdom, but at the heavy cost of compromising one of their most important aids. Begun at a time when the British Government was called upon to decide how far the few fighter squadrons left in France after the withdrawal of the Air Component should be reinforced, the raids were of too minor a character to bear heavily on that issue; and such effect as they may have had upon it was scarcely calculated to advance the German cause.31 Moreover, their immediate cost in aircraft lost was fairly heavy. Either because they underestimated the defences or because their navigational researches required it, German pilots flew too low for safety. Of twenty-two night combats between German bombers and British fighters in June, five occurred at altitudes below 9,000 feet and only three above 12,000 feet. The average height of the bombers was probably about 10,000 feet. Consequently the imperfections of the defences were minimised. In the absence of the airborne radar and improved gun-laying devices with which he and General Pile were still experimenting, Dowding relied on searchlights to supplement the ordinary methods of interception used in daylight.32 At such low altitudes the searchlight crews, although handicapped by old-fashioned sound-locators, proved capable of holding and illuminating their targets quite well, even on moonlit nights. In the course of the night raids eleven bombers were brought down. German losses for the month also included a minelaying seaplane and a reconnaissance aircraft of bomber type.33

[3]Keith-264 (talk) 13:56, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

It's garbage. Losses were not heavy, search lights did not work well, and above all the low-flying of German pilots did not, at all, cause the imperfections of the defences to be minimised. These losses you speak of, they were not to defences but to a lack of experience in night flying. Stand-by for corrections. Dapi89 (talk) 17:37, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
Shockingly bad. Dapi89 (talk) 17:37, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
I don't have the luxury of copy and pasting from a website, and John Ray's book (see bibliography) covers RAF inadequacies over 20 pages, so I am not copying it all here. General Pile (noted above) was quoted as saying " at that time night fighter defence was deplorably inefficient". The detail is commendable, and this only the first source I'll be using. Dapi89 (talk) 17:51, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
Thanks Keith, Collier looks a very useful source. The paraphrase may exaggerate the situation: "quite well" isn't perfect, but apparently enough to inflict significant losses: perhaps in combination with other factors. However, note Chapter 10: "AT THE beginning of July the Luftwaffe continued its policy of harassing the United Kingdom by means of light and widely-scattered night attacks. By flying higher than in June its bomber-crews escaped serious interference from the defences while causing a good deal of inconvenience. .... The beginning of the month was also notable for a new series of daylight raids, differing markedly from the occasional attacks on ports which had been delivered in the past." . . dave souza, talk 19:36, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
  • From a slightly different perspective, Richard Overy (6 May 2010). The Battle of Britain: Myth and Reality. Penguin Books Limited. ISBN 978-0-14-196299-3.  pp. 61–63: "Minor bomb attacks began on Britain on the night of 5/6 June, and small-scale spasmodic raids continued throughout the rest of June and July. .... German orders called for probing attacks across the British Isles against air, naval and economic targets. ... The German Navy was engaged in blockading Britain", and pp. 65–66 – "the first phase of the battle, in June and July, was used by the German air force to probe that defensive shield to see just how brittle it was. German operations took the form of regular armed reconnaissance raids combined with short hit-and-run attacks against widely scattered objectives by day and night. Small numbers of bombers or dive-bombers were used, loosely protected by larger fighter screens intent on wearing down fighter command when the RAF flew up to engage the bombers. German targets lay mainly along the coast by day, but at night they roamed over much of Britain .... German air fleets sustained regular attrition.... The attacks certainly supplied German airmen with the opportunity to train in night-flying techniques, but they equally gave the British... weeks of precious preparation and practice." Note also p. 83, "The main weight of German bombing slowly gravitated towards night attack, which produced much lower bomber losses", and pp. 95–96 – [in September] "in the absence of adequate aerial radar to find bomber in the dark, contact with night raiders was largely accidental. At night, the anti-aircraft defences were the main line of defence. ... [they] claimed 337 aircraft destroyed from July to September, but of those only 104 were at night ... The reality was that aircraft were very difficult to shoot down at night from the air or from the ground until the advent of new detection equipment." Hence Dowding got it in the neck. . . dave souza, talk 20:14, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
I really don't know why Dapi keeps rejecting a simple description of an event with an explanation—faulty German tactics in a source which in footnote 33 links to a primary source—by referring to generalisations and now I don't care. I've put the comment back one last time in the hope that it is left alone or put in context as OzR suggests and I resign from the article. Good luck with it.Keith-264 (talk) 07:03, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
It's in good hands Keith.
David, Collier is not useful. Nigel Parker's Luftwaffe Crash Archive: Volume 1 1: A Documentary History of Every Enemy Aircraft Brought Down Over the United Kingdom, September 1939 – 14 August 1940 is an excellent source. It lists the number of aircraft, unit, name of personnel, factory and code number of the aircraft. The fact of the matter is two bombers were shot down by AAA fire in June 1940 - not 11. Dapi89 (talk) 17:55, 28 April 2016 (UTC)


G'day all, it's great to see this article being worked on. I notice that there has been a difference of opinion about the interpretation of some aspects, e.g. this edit. This happens from time to time as even reliable sources do not always agree on everything. Potentially the best solution here then is to contrast them in the article, rather than choosing one opinion over the other. For instance, "Smith argues that X resulted in Y; however, Jones has written that X actually resulted in Z". By attributing the opinions in the text, we are letting the reader know that it isn't black and white and allowing them to do further research to determine which they agree with. Anyway, good luck with taking the article further. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 22:34, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

Thank youKeith-264 (talk) 06:52, 24 April 2016 (UTC)


The standard translation for the German "Kampf" is fight, not battle. Battle is usually the equivalent for the German "Schlacht". "Kampf" is smaller than "Schlacht", more locally limited. A literal translation of "Kanalkampf" would be 'Channel Fight'.