Title Graphic


Footnotes for Chapter II

1>. In Seventy Days. E.M. Glover--Frederick Muller.

Footnotes for Chapter IV

. When fighting over the soil of China each American pilot received the equivalent of £125 sterling for every Japanese aircraft he shot down.

Footnotes for Chapter V

1. The Wing suffered only two fatal casualties after the combat of 12th September. These occurred in an unusual and unfortunate manner. The bumpy surface of the airfield made it necessary for a couple of airmen to hang or sit on the tail plane of each Hurricane while the aircraft taxied into position. On 27th September, in a 'scramble' to intercept an enemy machine, a pilot of No. 134 Squadron took off without realizing that his two men were still on the tail. The aircraft crashed from 50 ft., seriously injuring the pilot and killing both airmen.

2. No. 2 P.R.U. operated in the Middle East. No. 3 P.R.U. had previously served Bomber Command, but had been absorbed into No. 1 in June 1941; it was later re-formed in India. No. 4 P.R.U. was formed in October 1942 for work in French North Africa.

3. In some aircraft the dinghy was carried in a valise; in others it was stowed in the wings or the outside of the fuselage. In most of the latter types the dinghy was automatically ejected on impact with the water.

Footnotes for Chapter VI

1. No. 58 Squadron (Whitleys) and eight Liberators were transferred from Bomber to Coastal Command in April, and six Lancasters of No. 44 Squadron followed for temporary work in June. From July onwards a Whitley squadron for coastal duties was also maintained by No. 10 (Bomber) O.T.U. This squadron, to which crews were attached in turn towards the end of their training, did most gallant work, flying some thirty-five anti-U-boat sorties each week until July 1943. In the course of these operations it destroyed one U-boat and damaged four, but only at the very heavy cost of thirty-five aircraft.

2. These were the five Liberator I's (operational range 2,400 miles) of No. 120 Squadron. Long-range aircraft, as distinct from V.L.R., at this time included the remainder of No. 120 Squadron's Liberators (Mark II 1,800 miles, Mark III 1,680 miles), together with the Catalinas (1,840 miles), the amphibian Catalinas (1,600 miles) and the Sunderlands (1,300 miles). All other aircraft in Coastal Command were medium or short range.

3. The War Cabinet Battle of the Atlantic Committee, after a burst of important decisions in the spring of 1941, had settled down into reviewing progress rather than initiating fresh developments.

4. The monthly total of mines laid by bomber aircraft, only 62 in January 1942, had grown to 1,285 in January 1943.

5. During 1942, Bremen, with 2,729 sorties and 4,293 tons of bombs directed against it, took second place as an objective only to Essen. Hamburg (1,602 sorties and 2,043 tons of bombs) occupied the fifth place, and Kiel (629 sorties and 927 tons of bombs) sixteenth.

Footnotes for Chapter VII

1. The centre station, known as the 'Master', transmitted a radio pulse simultaneously with a 'Slave' station situated further North. The time-lag between the reception of these two signals in the aircraft told the navigator how much farther he was from one station than the other, and so enabled him to draw a curve on which the aircraft must be. The same process, repeated with a second signal transmitted by the ' Master' and a 'Slave' to the South, enabled a second curve to be plotted. The aircraft was at the intersection of the two curves.

The task of the navigator was simplified by a special chart which showed curves of distances from the stations in the form of a lattice. The navigator could either work by dead reckoning, using 'Gee' as a periodic check, or he could fly along one line of the lattice and check at the intersections.

2. Bomber Offensive, Sir Arthur Harris (Collins)

3. Bomber Command Blenheims operated for the last time on 17th/18th August, 1942, Whitleys (apart from aircraft in operational training units) on 29th/30th April, and Hampdens on 14th/15th September. Bomber Command Bostons operated for the first time on 12th February, Mosquitos on 31st May and Venturas on 3rd November.

4. Manchesters operated for the first time on 24th/25th February, 1941, and for the last time on 25th/26th June, 1942. Lancasters (two aircraft only) operated over land for the first time on 10th/11th March, 1942.

5. Several others, and their families, were killed in neighbouring houses.

6. In view of later controversy over Harris's interpretation of this directive, it is worth quoting the following minute from the Chief of Air Staff to the Deputy Chief on 10th February, 1942: 'I suppose it is quite clear; to the C.-in-C] that aiming points are to be the built-up areas, not for instance the dockyards or aircraft factories where these are mentioned'. The D.C.A.S. replied that he had specifically confirmed this point with Bomber Command by telephone.

7. All statistics of damage to German houses are taken from the local police records. The figures exclude houses which suffered damage only to roofs and windows.

8. 30 lb. and 250 lb. incendiary bombs were now available besides the old 4 lb. bomb. Neither of the new weapons, however, was a great success. The 250 lb. bomb broke up on impact with only partial ignition and was soon withdrawn from use. The 30 lb. bomb gave off dense black fumes which concealed the target from later aircraft; it proved suitable only for the final stages of the attack. Despite bad ballistics the 4 lb. bomb thus remained the best incendiary weapon in 1942, and indeed throughout the war. After May 1942 a 4 lb. incendiary bomb with an explosive charge also did good work.

9. The German 'Baedeker' raids had begun two nights earlier (24th/25th April).

10. The first 4,000 lb. H.C. bomb was dropped on 30th March, 1941; the first 8,000 lb. H.C. bomb on 10th February, 1942. For the development of these and other bombs Air Commodore P. Huskinson's book Vision Ahead (Werner Laurie 1949) is amusing and informative.

Footnotes for Chapter IX

1. Down the Flights each ruddy morning,
Sitting waiting for a clue,
Same old notice on the flight board,
Maximum effort--guess where to.

Seventy Squadron, Seventy Squadron,
Though we say it with a sigh,
We must do the ruddy mail run
Every night until we die.

Have you lost us navigator?
Come up here and have a look;'
'Someone's shot our starboard wing off!
'We're alright then, that's Tobruk'

Seventy Squadron, etc.

Oh to be in Piccadilly,
Selling matches by the score,
Then we should not have to do the
Blessed mail run any more.

Seventy Squadron, etc.

2. The largest gun in the British tanks was the two pounder; the Germans' smallest gun fired a 4½ lb. shell and their largest a 14 lb. shell.

Footnotes for Chapter X

1. Briefed to Attack, Hodder and Stoughton.

Footnotes for Chapter XI

1. Quoted in Brigadier Desmond Young's Rommel.

2. Quoted in Brigadier Desmond Young's Rommel.

Footnotes for Chapter XII

1. Quoted in Volume IV of his war memoirs--The Hinge of Fate (Cassell).

2. For his determination in trying to fight his squadron through to its objective and back to base, Wing Commander Malcolm was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. His name is commemorated in the Royal Air Force Malcolm Clubs, the first of which opened some months later in Algiers.

3. In their desire to become proficient some of the pilots apparently went too far. The following masterly communication from the commanders of three naval vessels at Sousse tells its own story:--

1st May, 1943

To the Mess President of No. 244 Wing


It has been observed by various individuals of unimpeachable character that Spitfires are making use of valuable dan buoys as targets.

These dans, which mark the way through a minefield, have been laid at enormous expense and with great skill and daring in order to safeguard the shipping bringing you your bully, biscuits, pickles and booze (R) booze. Should the unlikely event occur of one of these buoys being sunk or damaged by your planes, no booze will be forthcoming. Calamity !!!!

For a fee we could lay a very large-sized beacon for you to practise on and perhaps hit.

Should this pernicious habit of buoy-strafing not cease, no further pennies will be contributed to buy you new Spitfires.

Geoffrey R. Price, Lt. R.N.V.R.
Robin Bell, Lt. R.N.V.R.
C. W. Pearce, Lt. R.N.V.R.

Footnotes for Chapter XIII

1. Bomber Offensive. Sir Arthur Harris (Collins).

2. His own account of the raid was published after his death in his book Enemy Coast Ahead (Michael Joseph).

3. NIGGER was the name of Gibson's dog, run over and killed just before his master took off on the operation.

Footnotes for Chapter XIV

1. El Alamein to the River Sangro. Viscount Montgomery (Hutchinson).

Footnotes for Chapter XVI

1. The Desert Air Force. Roderic Owen (Hutchinson).

2. In fact they numbered no more than 350.

3. Calculated Risk. General Mark Clark (Harrap).

. Before he left he wrote and signed a statement dated 15th February in which he says categorically that the only Germans who had ever been within the enclosure of the sacred Monastery of Cassino 'were three military police who had been withdrawn twenty days before the attack.

Footnotes for Appendix II

1. The appointment is that of Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief except where otherwise stated.

2. Renamed Air Defence of Great Britain, 15th November, 1943.

3. Disbanded 1st June, 1943.

4. Higher operational control over Middle East Air Forces, including Malta, and over Northwest African Air Forces.

Mediterranean Air Command became Mediterranean Allied Air Forces on 10th December, 1943, into which formation Middle East and Northwest African Air Forces were absorbed.

5. Absorbed into Northwest African Air Forces (Mediterranean Air Command) 18th February, 1943.

6. Renamed No. 45 (Ferry) Group, 11th April, 1943 after formation of Transport Command.

Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Larry Jewell & Patrick Clancey, HyperWar Foundation