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RAF: The Battle of Britain 1940» Forums » Sessions

Subject: The Campaign: Raid Day Two, the 17th of August, 1940 rss

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Jim Keenan
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Britain was calm, relaxed. A clear day greeted the inhabitants of this Island Empire. Six days had passed since England effectively beat back the Luftwaffe's opening gambit and no German planes had attempted any more raids. Despite this, the intelligence division had enough information to be certain of imminent attacks.

A moderate number of squadrons took to the skies early. As 0600 came and went the British Air command began to question the veracity of their intel. 0700 and still no gruppen of messerschmitts had been seen. Expectations were that the push would again come from the south, but this time from both the 2nd and 3rd Luftflottle's. Expectations were met shortly after 0800.

Nine German gruppen headed in low toward the Port in Portsmouth. They were met by four British squadrons. The Messerschmitt pilots fared better taking out a couple squadrons early, losing only one themsleves. Several Bombers got through, hitting mostly water, but doing enough damamge to disrupt the port.

At 1000 Britain launched another patrol, just in time to defend against 12 gruppen headed toward the airfield at Biggin Hill. Fighter force was met with equal force; however, radio's began to cut in and out on the British side. The defense became unorganized, and though no squadrons were decimated, they were able to stop just one German fighter gruppen. Still, things could have been worse had the Germans intelligence not failed. The bombs that rained down landed on a defunct airfiied and some empty warehouses.

As the day wore on it became clear that Germany was not content with little hit and run missions; rather, the Germans sent in large raiding party after large raiding party, two of which hit the airfield art North Weald quite hard as one followed quickly upon the other. Although the british lost little in the way of aircraft, and took down four times as many messerschmitts, the bombers that got through devasted the area and took out the airfield for the remainder of the day.

Satisfied with a modicum of success, The Germans sent only one more raid in the late afternoon. A fighter mission that led to little in the way of any depletion of British resources. A better day in the campaign for Germany, and yet the British may feel it was more like a draw as their counter-intelligence efforts staved off destruction that the fighters couldn't stop.
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