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AIRCRAFT ENGINEER

FIRST

AERONAUTICAL

Editor

C. M. POULSEN

WEEKLY IN THE

G.

Managing

GEOFFREY

Editor

SMITH

WORLD .• FOUNDED W09

Chief. Photographer

JOHN

YOXALL

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No. 1652. Vol . XXXVIII .

AUGUST 22, 1940

Thursdays, Price 9d.

The Outlook-

Air Defence

bombing raid. The fact that they have been able to d o this has saved very large numbers of their bombers from destruction, and so has permitted the latter to get into position to drop their bombs. Ha d th e bombers come without fighter escorts, or only escorted b y more or less cumbrous long-range fighters, it is certain that the figures of German losses would have been much larger than they actually have been. It would not have merely meant that instead of shooting down, say, 30 fighters, we should have shot down 30 bombers. Unescorted bomberscan be shot down much more quickly, and, therefore, in a given time one can destroy far more of them than one can destroy of th e fighters. There must be few people now who would say that there is nothing in air defence.

Heavy

T HE Germans seem to b e really in earnest, bu t exactly what they are earnest about is not so

clear. They have been sending over formations of aeroplanes in increasing numbers, starting some fort- night ago with a mere hundred, and increasing to 400,

LIGHT ha s always clung to its belief in air In the inter-war years many writers

cast scorn on such a theory, insisting that nothing could stop enemy bombers from hammering ou r cities

possible form of defence harder until h e desisted.

Advocates of that theory usually contemplated that both

sides would deliberately bomb th e civilians on th e other side, using gas an d an y other form of " frightfulness " at their disposal. They seemed to gloat in prospect a t

barbarism, an d waved

aside all ideas that ou r air defences could do anything ' to check th e enemy.

Well, we an d other upholders of the validity of air defence never professed that all bombers could be excluded from this country, or from an y other country; but, though a t times we seemed to be a voice crying in the wilderness, we did no t admit that air bombing un - backed b y the victory of other arms would ever beat a virile nation to its knees, an d we did believe that ou r Fighter Command would take a very heavy toll of the raiders, an d so very

seriously check the damage which the}' could do . In the engagements of the last week th e Fighter Command ha s most glori- ously vindicated our belief in its powers. Of course, we had not foreseen that the Germans would possess the aerodromes on th e Frenc h side of th e Channel, an d so would be able to send large escorts °f fighters with every

at their will, an d that ou r only was to hammer th e enemy still

the idea of total wa r in all its

Raids

'

500, an d 1,000 machines 1 a day. These large-scale attacks have been coming by day , thus confirming the estimate that th e Ger-

mans do not believe in night bombing as suffi- ciently accurate to giveuse- ful military results. Cer- tainly their air crews have not had the training and practice in night flying which ours have had , for the leaflet raids were very

KING

The

CONGRATULATES

SQUADRONS

FIGHTER

Secretary of State tor Air has received the

His Majesty the King:—

following message from

" Please convey

my warmest congratulations to die

Fighter Squadrons who, in recent days, have been so heavily engaged in the defence of our country.

have read with ever-

increasing admiration the story of their daily victories.

" I, like all their compatriots

I

wish them continued success and the best of luck."

I5th August, 1940

GEORGE R.I.

useful in that respect if in

no other. But daylight raiding, especially in a