Alternative RAF, 1936-41?

Hood

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The RAF in 1939 was very much like the Cavalry on the Western Front in 1915, too many of its leaders were completely out of touch. It is ironic that so many of the RAFs senior leaders between the wars were ex cavalry officers.

Another irony is that the Middle East in WWI saw highly mobile Corps and Army scale combined arms operations integrating Cavalry, Infantry, Tanks, Armored Cars and Aircraft being used successfully together in a way that was not seen again (with trucks instead of horses) until the Middle East and African campaigns in WWII.
Yes Trenchard and his cronies saved the RAF from dismemberment during the 1920s but only by creating its own mythological war winning role - one that it couldn't even reference beyond arcane writings by Duhet and others that bore no reality to wartime experience.

Defensively the RAF understood its role well, offensively less so.
But then other nations like France, Russia, the USA and even Japan to some extent followed similar paths.

At a pinch you could say those massive numbers of 1,500 Battles and 2,000 Blenheims in 1940 were a large tactical bombing resource, although they were not really intended as ground attacking air support platforms but rather pressed into that role due (even the Battles of the ASF were originally meant to be bombing Germany from France) and of course many of them were overseas.

Certainly a lot of innovative stuff happened in the Middle East, both before and during the war. Being far away from the Air Ministry was a blessing.
 

riggerrob

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If we focus on colonial production ...
During the mid-1930s, a frustrated Frank Whittle accepts an offer to establish an engine test facility near Montreal ... then the most heavily industrialized city in Canada. With proper funding, machinists, test cells, etc. he perfects an airworthy jet engine a few years ahead of OTL and avoids ruining his health by burning out on benzadrine. deHavilland of Canada misses out on a contract to build Tiger Moths for the BCATP, but does build large numbers of Mosquitos and early Vampires.
By 1941, Canadian Prime Minister W.L. MacKenzie King tires of signing death letters for RCAF bomber crews, so suspends training of Canadian-born bombardiers and air-gunners within the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Canadian bombardiers and air gunners till in training are shifted to RCAF Coastal Command which patrols the Western Atlantic.
With RCAF Bomber Command only flying Mosquitos, air crew casualty rates drop. With Mosquito being the only combat plane built in Canada, production shifts to trainers and transports. Fairchild of Canada still builds many hundreds of PT-19 trainers. Miles of Canada builds hundreds more Hawk primary trainers.
Given the shortages of RCAF bomber crews, Victory Aircraft shifts production away from Lancasters to AVRO York transports. Through a series of developments, York Mark IV sports American-made radial engines, a nosewheel and a cargo ramp under the tail.
As an aside, Canadian Car and Foundry continues building Grumman designs under-license. The license arrangement allows Grumman to sell airplanes to the British Fleet Air Arm while the USA remains neutral.
CCF also buys licenses from Budd to shot-weld rail cars. Given that they already have the tooling in house, CCF builds hundreds of Budd Conestoga transport airplanes.
Boeing of Canada still builds hundreds of Catalina patrol planes, but later shifts to making Martin Mariner patrol planes.
 

uk 75

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Of course in changing the real RAF into something else there is the risk that instead of Hurricanes and Spitfires supported by a radar chain you get the RAF that some politicians believed was necessary, with loads of Battles and Whitleys and not much in the way of fighters. Changing history can be tricky.
 

Justo Miranda

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France had only the Maginot Line for its defence, but the British Islands were protected by eight barriers that the Germans did not manage to cross. The English Channel, the Royal Navy, the Chain Home with 21 radar stations, the Anti-Aircraft Command with 350,000 personnel, 1,340 heavy guns and 370 low level guns, the Balloon Command with 40,000 personnel and 1,400 balloons, the Royal Observer Corps with 30,000 personnel, the Fighter Control System force multiplier and the Hurricanes, Spitfires, Defiants and Blenheims of the Fighter Command. After the Battle of France, the Germans, believing the war was over, neglected the manufacture of airplanes and the training of pilots. On the other hand, the British in their desperate isolation, doubled the production of previous year by building 15,000 aircraft in 1940.

They also strove to improve the performance of the fighters in combat operations by introducing numerous modifications on existing models. New self-sealing fuel tanks, armoured windscreens, constant speed airscrews, special carburettors for the Merlin engines to not lose power in inverted flight and IFF equipment were installed. The harmonisation of guns was reduced to 200 m to increase the hitting power and the Browning Mk.II machine guns were hurried into service with Ball and de Wilde incendiary and tracer rounds. Hundred octane gasoline was also imported from the USA.
 

Archibald

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On paper (and until late 1939 at least) the French plan was fine, even with Gamelin-crétin at the controls: Maginot line on the German (and Luxembourg !) border, then the Ardennes WITH GIRAUX SEVENTH ARMY IN RESERVE IN REIMS, then the bulk of the French Army, plus the BEF, plus the Belgian army and its Chasseurs Ardennais - plus the French Cavalry.

What went wrong ?

- Moving the encounter from Escault to Dyle to Breda
- Sending Giraud army there (it was the reserve)
- Manstein clever faint
a) two Panzers sent exactly where they were expected
b) seven panzers sent exactly where they were NOT expected

Note that the two panzers sent to their death in central, flatland Belgium were stopped dead in their tracks in Gembloux / Namur. There the battle proved the worth of the French armies.

For nothing.

Had things happened more or less according to the plan, the Panzers rushing out of the Ardennes after the breakthrough would not have met, De Gaulle 4th DCR but the full might of Giraud 7th Amy. And there things might have been different.

Instead, Giraud hastily returned from Breda without its Army and strategic reserve only to be taken prisonier and spent two years in a Stalag...
 

Archibald

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55 and 71 infantry divisions and the Bulson panic... Lafontaine 3rd DCR NOT attacking but scattering for the night...
 

tomo pauk

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The MB-2 as a fighter-bomber? No liquid cooling that can be damaged, it is reasonably fast, fixed U/C might be less susceptible for battle damage (while also being faster & cheaper to make), there is no dibs on Dagger VII engine, that is a low-level engine anyway making ~1000 HP between sea level and ~8000 ft.
 

Nieuport

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Chamberlain gets a lot of grief for his peace in our time (while he was busy looking for the bigger stick he handed over to Churchill) but he was responsible for the major reorganization of the British aviation industry (having drafted the legislation and gotten it passed) that made winning the Battle of Britain and the Second World War possible. Without him, the war would have been lost because the British would have been unable to build enough aircraft modern enough to take on the Luftwaffe. France attempted the same thing, but was just too late, and so got caught before they were ready. Mistakes in specifications and in choosing certain types was inevitable, and few could have been identified early enough to make better choices.

That said, numerous areas of research could definitely have seen real funding much earlier.
- If development of the Whittle jet engines began 7 years earlier, a squadron of Meteor Mk.Is in 1939 would have been worth a wing of Hurricanes. Canada didn't have enough engineers to have done this though, even with hiring women engineers (as they did) though.
- Research into radar could also have been started a few years earlier - bomb aiming and fleet defence would both have been vastly improved. One of the largest, but least known major advance during the war was with fuses. Radar fuses to be specific. The difference in performance for aircraft only increased by about 200% during the war, but Allied AAA saw a 500% improvement in hit rates, which not only meant more enemy aircraft being downed, but it would also have reduced the carnage from the fragments of the shells hitting the ground - something that caused as much or more damage than the German bombs.
- Likewise, research into computers to break codes could also have started earlier, and bomb aiming and gunfire spotting computers would also have benefited from those advances.

Tactics were a huge shortcoming - sending unescorted bombers in daylight against both Bf 109s and 88s was absurd in hindsight as they severely underestimated the ability of fighters to down bombers. In WW1 fighters with a couple of guns went against bombers every bit as fast and with double (or more) the guns firing back. By WW2 the gunners were badly outgunned, and the fighters had a huge speed advantage which changed the gunner's view of their target from one coming directly toward them, to crossing their arc of fire at high speed - which made them useless. Send in the Hurricanes and Spitfires first to drive the Bf 109s off, and the early raids would not have been the bloodbaths they were. Then because the gunner doesn't really have a job, leave him at home and carry more bombs to the target - reducing the number of sorties needed, and increasing the speed of the aircraft - a single gunner adds thousands of pounds to the weight of the aircraft, and adds a lot of drag.

Start production of various types in Canada a few years earlier. It took time to ramp up production, and even a six month head start could have meant extra squadrons in service.

The Mariner was junk, so would have been a waste of effort - the British had valid reasons for rejecting it, and the Botha was too lethal to its own crew to even use as a trainer due to poor stability and control - my grandfather turned down a chance to fly in one for that reason. The MB.2 was from a minor designer with no production facilities, and he could not stop fiddling with the design so it was never, ever going to be a contender. Paper performance claims never hold up in the real world.
A major issue with aircraft production was how many man-hours it takes to build a particular aircraft - both the Spitfire and Hurricane scored badly in this area, for different reasons. The Spitfire's wing, and the Hurricane's fuselage were both unusually labour intensive, and the earlier development of simplified replacements (such as the Typhoon & the properly winged Tempest) would have been helpful.
 

EwenS

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...... and the Botha was too lethal to its own crew to even use as a trainer due to poor stability and control - my grandfather turned down a chance to fly in one for that reason. .....

Except the Botha was used as a trainer. No 10 (Observers) Advanced Flying Unit was formed as late as May 1942 with 44 Bothas and 21 Battles in its fleet of some 120 aircraft based at Dumfries and Annan in South West Scotland. The Battles were replaced first, by the end of the year, with withdrawal of the Bothas started but not completed until Aug 1943. The replacement for both types was the Anson. The last of the Bothas weren't withdrawn from second line duties until Sept 1944.
 

robunos

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A major issue with aircraft production was how many man-hours it takes to build a particular aircraft - both the Spitfire and Hurricane scored badly in this area, for different reasons. The Spitfire's wing, and the Hurricane's fuselage were both unusually labour intensive

Hence my posts about the 'Defiant Fighter' upthread . . .

cheers,
Robin.
 

robunos

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the Botha was too lethal to its own crew

The problem with the Botha, and the Beaufort, for that matter, was that the original requirement called for a three-seat aircraft. However, after development had started, a fourth crew member was added, but more powerful engines were not made available, so that from the start, both aircraft were overloaded and underpowered . . .

cheers,
Robin.
 

tomo pauk

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A major issue with aircraft production was how many man-hours it takes to build a particular aircraft - both the Spitfire and Hurricane scored badly in this area, for different reasons. The Spitfire's wing, and the Hurricane's fuselage were both unusually labour intensive, and the earlier development of simplified replacements (such as the Typhoon & the properly winged Tempest) would have been helpful.

Spitfires' wings and fuselage were labor-intensive. Instead of using single-piece stampings, the fuselage formers and wing's ribs were built-up pieces.

Hence my posts about the 'Defiant Fighter' upthread . . .

Defiant Fighter is about equal to Hurricane fighter. We'd probably want something equal if not better than Spitfire...
 

robunos

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Of course, but I was referring to the comment about ease of manufacture. The Defiant's structure was designed for ease of construction. Double curvature of the skin was avoided wherever possible, and in the case of the rear fuselage, the skin was cut out in one piece, the stringers were attached to it flat on the bench, and then the whole thing wrapped around the fuselage formers. which were mounted in a jig, and fastened to them.
Defiant Fighter is about equal to Hurricane fighter. We'd probably want something equal if not better than Spitfire...

Better performance is always desirable, but IMHO, until the end of the Battle of Britain period, 'what we have is good enough, let's get more of them . . .'

cheers,
Robin.
 

tomo pauk

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Better performance is always desirable, but IMHO, until the end of the Battle of Britain period, 'what we have is good enough, let's get more of them . . .'

Even historically the RAF have had a steady influx of fighter aircraft - a reason why RAF declined both Miles M.20 (good, it was a waste of Merlin XX engine) and turret-less Defiant. Having enough of trained pilots was sometimes not a thing, especially during the BoB. We'd want to put the hard-to-come-by pilots into something capable.
 

Archibald

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Burn the Botha. An aircraft named after South Africa apartheid-loving PM, can't be a good aircraft... and indeed it was a flying coffin; so why bothar ? :p:p:p
 

Archibald

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I'm not sure however it is worth the combustible needed to burn it. Maybe dunking it into the sea ? with a lot of rocks (not worth led !) to be sure it never, ever, comes floating to the surface...
 

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This is the TTL version of the table in Post 25 on Page 1 that shows Aircraft requirements - Scheme "F" required by 31st March 1939 and orders decided at 12th October 1936.

The aircraft are presented in a different order, which is:
  1. Fighters.
  2. Army Co-operation aircraft.
  3. Heavy Bombers.
  4. Medium Bombers.
  5. Bomber Transports.
  6. General Reconnaissance and Torpedo Bombers, General Purpose Bombers and Light Bombers.
  7. Flying Boats.
  8. Fleet Air Arm types.
  9. Trainers and Communications aircraft.
In this version of the table all aircraft are listed by their service names regardless of whether it had been bestowed before the original table was made.

The differences in detail are:
  • 389 Hawker Hurricanes requisitioned from Boulton Paul on 8th May 1936 instead of the OTL requisition of 389 Hawker Hotspurs from Avro on the same date.
  • 144 Hawker Hurricanes requisitioned form Westland on 8th May 1936 instead of the OTL requisition of 144 Lysanders on 16th June 1936.
  • IOTL 272 heavy bombers of the B.9/32 type (Hampden and/or Wellington) were still required. However, ITTL:
    • 136 Vickers Wellingtons were requisitioned from Vickers (Shadow) on 27th July 1936. ITTL these were the first aircraft to be ordered from the Vickers shadow factory at Chester. IOTL the Air Ministry ordered 100 Wellingtons from Gloster in October 1937 and then transferred the contract to Chester. The OTL batch was delivered between 4th August 1939 and 27th June 1940. The 150 aircraft ordered ITTL would be delivered between May 1938 and March 1939.
    • 136 Handley Page Hampdens were requisitioned from English Electric on 27th July 1936. IOTL this firm did not receive its first contract for Hampdens until 21st December 1938 when 75 were ordered. The first aircraft flew on 22nd February 1940 and was delivered on 19th March 1940. Therefore, ITTL the first aircraft might fly in August 1938 and be delivered in September 1938.
    • The original document has a badly written note below which I think says 100 Hampdens for and then 2 illegible words which could be the 100 Herefords (Hampdens with Napier Daggers) that were ordered from Short & Harland in August 1936. They were delivered between August 1938 and July 1940. A second batch of 50 was added in 1938 and according to Air Britain L1000 to N9999 they were all delivered in July 1940. A completely different aircraft would be ordered from Short & Harland ITTL.
  • 80 Handley Page Harrow bomber transports were ordered from Short & Harland instead of 80 Bristol Bombays. IOTL 50 Bombays were delivered from April 1939 to June 1940 and the rest were cancelled. ITTL the Firm began delivering the aircraft sooner and completed all 80 aircraft by June 1940.
  • The Bristol Bolingbroke was the General Reconnaissance version of the Blenheim and 354 were on order (134 from Bristol and 220 from Rootes) in both timelines.
  • The requisitions for 320 Handley Page Hampdens from Bristol and Blackburn replaced the 78 Bristol Beauforts and 242 Blackburn Bothas ordered IOTL. The 244 T.B.G.R. Hampdens that were still required would be ordered from Blackburn's shadow factory at Dumbarton in December 1936.
    • IOTL the first Beaufort didn't fly until 15th October 1938 and the first aircraft wasn't delivered until November 1939.
    • IOTL the first Botha didn't fly until 28th December 1938 and the first aircraft wasn't delivered until March 1939. Dumbarton delivered its first Botha in October 1939.
    • The Hampden was selected ITTL because it was well ahead of the Beaufort and Botha in development. Design of the aircraft began in September 1932 when Specification B.9/32 was issued and it flew on 21st June 1936. Therefore, it stood a better chance of entering service when required.
  • I've requisitioned all the flying boats and amphibians at Saunders Roe and Shorts so that Supermarine can concentrate on building Spitfires.
    • IOTL 11 Saro A.33s and 11 Sunderlands were requisitioned on 2nd June 1936. However, the Saro requisition was cancelled after the prototype was written off and the Sunderland requisition was increased to 21 on 1st October 1936 to compensate.
    • ITTL requisition of 2nd June 1936 was for 21 Sunderlands and no A.33s. This was to make room at Saro for other work. 21 Sunderlands would be ordered from Canadian Vickers instead of the Saro Lerwick for the same reason.
    • IOTL 23 Stranraers were ordered in two batches. The first contract placed in August 1935 was for 17 aircraft and the second placed in May 1936 was for 6 aircraft. However, second contract was cancelled to allow Supermarine to concentrate on its Spitfire contract.
    • ITTL 34 Spitfires were ordered from Supermarine in August 1935. The Air Ministry wanted the Firm to complete these aircraft as soon as possible so it ordered 23 Londons from Saunders Roe instead of 23 Stranraers from Supermarine. This increased the number of Londons built from 31 IOTL to 54 ITTL.
    • The Spitfire order was increased to 310 aircraft in June 1936 to be delivered by 31st March 1939. Production of the 168 Walruses requisitioned on 6th June 1936 was subcontracted to Saro to help Supermarine deliver the Spitfires on time.
  • The changes to naval fighters are:
    • IOTL 190 Skuas and 135 Rocs were put on requisition from Blackburn on 6th June 1936. The Skuas were ordered from the Firm the next month. However, the Roc contract (for 136 aircraft instead of 135) wasn't let until April 1937. Furthermore, the aircraft were ordered from Boulton Paul instead of Blackburn.
    • ITTL the Admiralty and Air Ministry decided to turn the Fairey P.4/34 into the Fulmar in 1936 instead of 1938. Fairey's factories were busy building Battles and Swordfish so the 325 Fulmars were put on requisition from Blackburn instead of Fairey. In common with OTL 190 aircraft would be ordered in July 1936 and 136 in April 1937 for a total of 326 Fulmars instead of 190 Skuas and 190 Rocs. However, all the aircraft were ordered from Blackburn because the Air Ministry wanted Boulton Paul to concentrate on building Hurricanes.
    • AIUI the was Fulmar stressed for dive bombing and ITTL it was formally designated a Fighter Dive Bomber (F.D.B.) aircraft because some of them were being built instead of the Skua.
  • 250 Airspeed Oxfords have been ordered from De Havilland instead of their OTL order for 250 Dons. All other things being equal the number of Oxfords built by De Havilland was increased from 1,515 IOTL to 1,765 ITTL.
  • 400 Hurricanes are on requisition from Gloster instead of the OTL requisition for 400 Henleys. Furthermore, they date of requisition was brought forward from 1st July 1936 to 8th May 1936. That is when the Hurricanes were put on requisition from Boulton Paul and Hawker. The requisition will not be reduced to 200 aircraft in 1937.
Note that the requisition dates are not the same as the order dates and the requisition pre-dates the order. For example IOTL the date of requisition for the 310 Spitfires was 8th May 1936 but the order date was 3rd June 1936.

Alternative Scheme F.png
 
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NOMISYRRUC

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Any similarities between Post 100 on this thread and Post 205 on Page 11 on the Alternatehistory.com thread "Hawker Hurricane even more prolific and versatile?" are purely deliberate. This is because it's almost a verbatim copy.

The only change is that I've replaced "Post 92 on Page 5" in the first sentence with "Post 25 on Page 1".

That thread was started by an @tomo pauk who I presume is also the @tomo pauk that started this thread.
 

alertken

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We're filling the boots of Air Minister (7/5/35-12/5/38) Vt.Swinton and Air Council Member for R&D (1/4/36-6/38)/Devt+Prodn,(-15/5/40) AM Sir W.Freeman. They handled RAF Expansion Schemes, extracting £ from much-traduced (see Nieuport #89) Chamberlain, at Treasury, then PM. What those of us who are air-centric, like the Air Marshal, overlook, is that Air sat as one claimant among many to the public purse. RN did just as good a job at the trough. Army did not. We did not re-introduce conscription until 2/39* with the novel thought of an Expeditionary Force to N.France. Till then Army was for colonial policing, largely S.Asian-manned. European Land incursions would be stopped by blockade by Sea and Air. Remember, the world-view of Leaders like Swinton, Freeman, was that the Central Powers had folded, 11/18, under civilian starvation, so riot, insurrection, largely caused by actual RN blockade and, after Austria-Hungary folded, 3/11/18, Air, about to move to Prague, in range of Berlin. Kaiser Bill knew that and was away 9/11, though no Allied boot was on the Heimat. That is why UK Policy was to repeat with 1936's versions of Paralysers to deter, or else lay down a hard rain.

Hood,#67, disparages the Combined Bomber Offensive, and we here know that pickle-barrel accuracy of the US Norden bombsight was, ah, disinformation: still-just-teenagers, some at home on a tractor, most not, in fog, flak, fighters and fear would not find the barrel...or the city...or the county...or...even by day (can't say clear, bright, still-air day). Marshals knew that - most had tried their best in 1918.

“I dare say (as many hands are) engaged in making (Heavies) as on the whole Army prog” 7% of war effort {12% “measured (as) production+combat man hours”} SoS/War, 2/3/44, R.Overy,Why the Allies Won,Cape,95,P128 (more, with {to be} 2,003 RAF B-24).
TINA. We put the Nation to build/repair/operate Paralysers because There Is No Alternative. To suggest there was a flesh-sparing option, credible to Authoritarian regimes, available to Ministers in 1935-38 is...wishful thinking (ditto likewise, today's AW Deterrence).

So: my A to OP's Q is: (we moved some non-Aero resources into Aero in 1936; then compulsion, 4/38: no civil auto). If...we had imposed (compulsion) no civil activity, in 1936, and put not some but all of Austin/Rootes &tc onto...?: would that have curbed Axis ambition?
G.C.Peden,Br.Re-Armament & the Treasury,SAP,79, says not, because Finance is the 4th. Arm of Defence and if you spend yourself broke, the bad guys win. I say not, because until engines worked, big structure worked, young men had been trained...waste of space. TINA.

(* corrected 2/12/21: Br.Expeditionary Force
funded 23/4/39; conscription reintroduced by 27/4/39 Military Training Act).
 
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tomo pauk

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So: my A to OP's Q is: (we moved some non-Aero resources into Aero in 1936; then compulsion, 4/38: no civil auto). If...we had imposed (compulsion) no civil activity, in 1936, and put not some but all of Austin/Rootes &tc onto...?: would that have curbed Axis ambition?

Thanks for the input.
I've never suggested that an 'alternative RAF in 1936 to 1941' has a role to curb Axis amibion, but merely invited the interested in a discussion of what to change/remove/introduce in the RAF (not just the hardware they are to be using). The 'zero sum game' is 100% okay with me.
 

Archibald

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The RAF in 1939 was very much like the Cavalry on the Western Front in 1915, too many of its leaders were completely out of touch. It is ironic that so many of the RAFs senior leaders between the wars were ex cavalry officers.

If you want to get ride of them, I would happily trade them for the absolute idiots doing the same job in France the same year. I mean, really. Pierre Cot and Guy La Chambre, and all the bureaucrats around them... Dear God.

If you think the Air Ministry and RAF leadership, 1939, were stupid, then I shudder to think about their French counterparts. Dumb, dumber, dumberer... dumberererererererer would apply to the French bureaucrats.

I once calculated France and Great Britain must have the same number of small Aerospace companies by 1936, give or take: 15 or 20.

Somewhat remarquably, what the Front Populaire did in 1936 (Resistance is futile. Prepare to be assimilated) you did it in 1960 with BAC creation. In both case it was pretty atrocious.
 

Foo Fighter

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Make the thin wing Typhoon (Tempest) instead of the fat wing version and have that from day one. What FW-190?
 

NOMISYRRUC

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This is the TTL version of the table in Post 27 on Page 1.

It's the order of battle of the Metropolitan Air Force at 1st April 1939 as projected in October 1936.

Alternative Scheme F - Metropolitan Air Force.png

The aircraft are presented in a different order, which is:
  1. Fighters.
  2. Army Co-operation aircraft.
  3. Heavy Bombers.
  4. Medium Bombers.
  5. Torpedo Bombers.
  6. General Reconnaissance.
  7. Flying Boats.
 
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NOMISYRRUC

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This is the TTL version of the table in Post 28 on Page 1.

It's the order of battle of the Overseas Commands at 1st April 1939 as projected in October 1936.

Alternative Scheme F - Overseas.png
 

NOMISYRRUC

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So: my A to OP's Q is: (we moved some non-Aero resources into Aero in 1936; then compulsion, 4/38: no civil auto). If...we had imposed (compulsion) no civil activity, in 1936, and put not some but all of Austin/Rootes &tc onto...?: would that have curbed Axis ambition?

Thanks for the input.
I've never suggested that an 'alternative RAF in 1936 to 1941' has a role to curb Axis ambition, but merely invited the interested in a discussion of what to change/remove/introduce in the RAF (not just the hardware they are to be using). The 'zero sum game' is 100% okay with me.
For what it's worth No. 1.

I'm trying to be "reasonably" close to what was spent in the real world.

E.g. the version of Aircraft Requirements for Expansion Scheme F at October 1936 which is in Post 100 has the same number of aircraft as the "real world" version which is in Post 25 on Page 1.

Similarly the October 1936 projections for the Metropolitan Air Force and Overseas Commands in Posts 107 and 108 have the same number of squadrons and the same number of aircraft as the "real world" versions which are in Posts 27 and 28 on Page 1 of the thread.

For what it's worth No. 2.

The tables in Posts 25, 27 and 28 were transcribed from National Archives file Air 20/67.
 
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alertken

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N #29: 2,184 Battles: that appears to confirm V #29: RAF Seniors: "delusional". Industry capacity expanded 1935-37 must do something, learning while waiting for Proper Jobs (that's a Cornish beer), so we can accept 50 Bombay in Sydenham, 14 Hendon, Fairey/Heaton C, but: 2,184 Battles? train their 3-man crews? to deliver 1,000lb! Belgium thought 18 would suffice for about as long a Front as RAF might hold.

Air Minister Swinton, in Memoirs (60 Years of Power),P.119: “(Firms) would like to have built a lot (of) death-traps for a nice fraudulent balance sheet”, but he was seething from 5/38 sack, blamed for late Heavies. Firms built only what a willing Buyer wanted to buy and for most of those Battles, that was...him.

For most of the death-traps lambasted here, inadequacies were not evident until Boscombe Down trials, by when many had been courageously ordered off-the-drawing board. But...Battle, Lerwick, the logic of turret fighters, of Naval torpedo-fighters?

I try to explain/excuse some idiocies, evident after, not before deployment, but: maybe V #29, delusional, is too kind.
 

Archibald

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2,184 Battles
I was shocked, too, by such an enormous number. As we said earlier in this thread - think of all the Merlin fighters that could have been built instead.
Bombers were a necessity, but Blenheim at least
a) used radial engines so no real loss for fighters
b) was fast and twin engine, although it did not made a large difference in May - June 1940...

Defiant and Battles wasted nearly 3500 perfectly good Merlin engines. Meanwhile the RAF struggled to get enough Hurricanes, while the FAA waited for the Fulmar, with such death traps as the Skua and Roc.

The Battle (2200 built) was Great Britain's Potez 63 (1100 built): large numbers of a seemingly modern aircraft... and in the end, a death trap against the LW.
 

uk 75

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The Battle was seen by politicians as a modern looking monoplane bomber. Its operational use was a dismal failure.
Fast forward to the 1991 Gulf War and the very British Tornado JP233 combo seems to meet the same fate hitting Iraqi airfields as the Battles had attacking the Sedan bridges.
If the large number of Battles had been used differently might they have been more useful?
 

Justo Miranda

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Defiant and Battle they had been designed for a strategic situation prior to the defeat of France. The Defiant was supposed to be able to intercept German bombers (without fighter escorts) from bases in the Third Reich without problems. The Battle was just a colonial bomber and no one thought it had to face the fearsome Flak in Europe.
 

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