When war came to Lincolnshire in September 1939, it was already a bomber county so far as the RAF was concerned. And a bomber county it was to remain throughout the six long years of conflict. But it was never intended that the county would serve as the base for a massive bombing campaign, as in fact happened. The RAF had very different ideas about what should happen. To understand what happened in Lincolnshire and why, it is necessary to understand what was expected of the men who would fly from the county.
In 1934 the British government had decided to end its policy of defence cut backs that had seen the RAF shrink from 188 operational and 194 training squadrons in 1919 to just 16 front line squadrons. Prompted by the rapid growth of the German Luftwaffe, and the equally impressive Japanese and Italian air forces, the government began to build up the air force, with the aim of reaching 75 squadrons by March 1939, a target later uprated to 112 squadrons, of which 53 were to be bomber squadrons.
It was unfortunate for the crews of Bomber Command based in Lincolnshire, and elsewhere, that the rapid expansion of the force was based on a number of assumptions that turned out to be completely mistaken.
from HEROES OF RAF BOMBER COMMAND: LINCOLNSHIRE by Rupert Matthews
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