reply to post by RalagaNarHallas
Your video is not archival. I'm afraid it is a cgi cartoon. One very blatant error it contains is that fighters did not swirl around the skies with
guns blazing like that. A target was closed in on to around 250yds and fired at in two second bursts. The Spitfire shown in the video would have been
out of ammo before he completed the turn.
As others have said, the Germans simply didnt figure they would need drop tanks, which they otherwise could have used to cross the channel and then
ditch when crossing the coast to gain more time over England.
Although the Germans were perfectly aware of radar and had it themselves, they had not considered using it as an early warning air defence tool and so
fighter control was a total mystery to them, the regularity and efficiency with which they were met by British fighters came as a complete shock.
Short range was not an issue for the RAF as the Spifires and Hurricanes were operating in their design role over home territory. Incidentally the
Spitfire NEVER dominated in the Battle of Britain. The Hawker Hurricane shot down more enemy aircraft than all other defences (ie aircraft including
Spitfires, AA Batteries etc) combined.
Other factors that tipped the Balance were the rather cavalier and amatuerish leadership of the Luftwaffe during the Battle that experienced and
knowledgable pilots were often hamstrung by, plus the fact that RAF fighter Command grew in size during the course of the Battle while the Luftwaffe
shrank so that by the end of September the German numerical superiority at the outset of the BoB was reversed.
German morale was also damaged by the constant, inaccurate, reassurances from Luftwaffe intelligence that the RAF was on its knees and down to its
last few planes (a myth that many believe to this day) when in reality every raid was being met by swarms of hundreds of fighters.
The depletion of German numbers was partly offset by the introduction of Italian fighters and bombers late on, following their declaration of war on
an enemy they thought all but defeated, but in actual combat over the UK the Italians were ineffective and of little help to the Luftwaffe and were
quickly withdrawn again.
Study shows that the failings of the British side (stupidly rigid and outdated tactics at the outset, thinking the Boulton Paul Defiant was of any use
in daytime, lack of large quantities of 100 octane fuel, canvas covered control surfaces that made Spitfires impossible to control in a high speed
dive, carburetted engines that cut out in negative g turns etc) were quickly and efficiently dealt with, while German failings (winding down aircraft
production in the belief the war was nearly over, rigidly observed 'chivalric' codes in which wingmen were made to leave targets for their leader
and chaotic planning of raids etc) continued throughout the period of the Battle of Britain and were not addressed until later in the war when Russia
was attacked. These are probably the most salient points IMO.