Tuesday, 23 October 2012

RAF in Sussex "in the thick of it" - 1940

The fall of France and the entry of Italy into the conflict profoundly altered the entire balance of the war. Italy’s army may not have been of high quality, but its fleet and air force was. Suddenly the entire Mediterranean became a war zone as the Royal Navy struggled with the Italian Navy and air force for control of the vital sea lanes. Closer to home, German warships and U-boats now had the use of France’s Atlantic ports, putting them much closer to the convoy routes across the Atlantic on which Britain relied.

Of rather more concern to the men of RAF Fighter Command in Sussex was the fact that the Luftwaffe was now based just over the Channel instead of hundreds of miles away in Germany. Enemy bombers would no longer be coming from the east with limited flying time over Britain, they would now be coming from the south with hours of fuel to spare. More worryingly, the bombers could now be escorted by the short-range single-engined Messerschmitt Bf109 in large numbers, not only by the less nimble twin-engined Messerschmitt 110 fighter.

Sussex was now right in the front line. Soon the RAF bases there would be in the thick of it.

from "Heroes of Fighter Command: Sussex" by Rupert Matthews
Buy your copy HERE

Book Description

11 Oct 2007 Aviation History
Throughout the second half of the 1930's, war with Germany seemed increasingly likely. The RAF, preparing for the coming struggle, formed Fighter Command in July 1936 under the legendary Air Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding. In this well researched and excellently written book Rupert Matthews tells the story of courageous individuals whe despite the odds, flew mission after mission during the 2nd World War.

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