The channel dash - the real story

Discussione in 'I Diari del Sesto' iniziata da 6S.Cipson, 4 Maggio 2010.

  1. 6S.Cipson

    6S.Cipson Active Member

    Hi all gentlemen,

    after the previous "scenery" presentations, made to left a bit of "Suspense" on this new Mini Campaign, having confirmations by CHAP, who is the Inventor and Designer, that this Scenario will be postponed after the end of the J-42 Campaign, in order to put him in condition to perfect and tune the related Template and, while we all thank the same CHAP for the great effort and commitment given, I would give my contribution with the explanation of this interesting War Story.

    Cipson

    (source: The Channel Dash Association)


    _____________________________________

    Operation Fuller - The Channel Dash

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    The Prelude

    On 12 February 1942, 18 young men of the Fleet Air Arm flew 6 fabric-covered Fairey Swordfish Torpedo Bombers from RAF Manston in Kent, at little more than 100mph to attack in the Straits of Dover, the largest German Battle Fleet ever assembled.

    The fleet included the Battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and the Cruiser Prinz Eugen, protected by 6 Destroyers, 40 Flak Ships and more than 200 fighter aircraft.
    All of the Fairey Swordfish were destroyed and only 5 of the aircrew were rescued alive from the cold, dark waters of the Straits.


    The Daily Mail reported at the time;

    "This is an episode of which Britons can be rightly proud. In planes which, against the German protecting aircraft, were as slow as a cart horse compared with a motorcar, 18 men of the Fleet Air Arm flew over the Channel.
    Crippled and ablaze before they got within range, they kept on, delivered their attacks - and died!"


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    The Admiralty predicted that the German Battleships would come through the Straits of Dover at night and a sophisticated plan of co-operation between 32 Motor Torpedo Boats and 6 Torpedo carrying Fairey Swordfish aircraft was devised to mount a converging attack on each side of the ships' bows, lit by flares from the aircraft.

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    The crews practiced this from the start of February but just 2 days before the attack, the Admiralty decided that the threat level had lowered.
    They removed most of the MTB's, leaving only 6 boats in Dover at 4 hrs. readiness.

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    825 Squadron were reforming after having lost their aircraft when the Aircraft Carrier HMS Ark Royal was sunk.
    3 replacement aircraft were to be collected from storage at Campbeltown in Scotland and Petty Officer WJ Clinton was detailed to go there to check-out polar diagrams for the replacement aircraft.
    He had arranged a date with his fiancé in London for that particular weekend, and as CPO Les Sayer's wife was living in Scotland, he willingly agreed to swap duties.
    Les had previously flown with pilot "Percy Gick" in the attack led by Esmonde against the Bismarck but now as CPO, he would fly with the CO. In his place however, CPO Clinton became Senior TAG and so it was his lot to accompany the CO.

    6 aircraft were sent to RAF Manston but 7 pilots were available. So, on the morning of 12th February, the 2 most junior pilots, Sub Lt Peter Blight, and Sub Lt Bennet tossed a coin to decide who should fly. Peter Bligh called tails and flew whilst Bennet stayed on the ground.

    Since they arrived at RAF Manston, on the morning of 4th February 1942, 825 Naval Air Squadron consisting of Fairey Swordfish had been on 5 minute standby but on 11th February as there appeared no real threat they were stood down.
    Their CO, Lieutenant Commander Eugene Esmonde, had a very important appointment in London on that day to receive the award of Distinguished Service Order from HM King George VI at Buckingham Palace, for his part in the attack on the Bismarck 7 months earlier.

    Squadron Senior Observer Lt Williams, took the opportunity to visit his mother and family who had been evacuated from their Leigh-on-Sea home to Ruskin Manor, Denmark Hill in London.
    He received a telegram recalling him to RAF Manston but with an air raid in progress no public transport was running.
    Jack Hulbert, a well known variety artist who was a war reserve policeman and as such had a petrol ration, was visiting a friend who had also been evacuated to Ruskin Manor.
    When he understood just how important it was for Lt Wiliams to return to RAF Manston he readily agreed to drive him there.

    That evening some RAF Officers together with the Fleet Air Arm flying crews arranged a small party to celebrate with Esmonde the award he had received that afternoon.
    The party ended reasonably early and soberly, for the Fleet Air Arm aircrews had to be standing by their aircraft at 0400 hrs. ready for take-off. This was a routine alert for the pre-dawn critical danger period, which the Admiralty believed the Germans might use to attempt to slip through the Straits. By dawn they were stood down again on a cold crisp morning with freezing snow swirling over the runways at Manston. In the corner of the dispersal area of the aerodrome 6 obsolete biplanes stood alone, fully exposed to the elements.

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    When the presence of the German ships in the Channel was established beyond doubt, Admiral Ramsey realized that these 6 old planes which had been standing by, on the assumption that a night attack would be ordered, were in fact the only aircraft immediately available to attack the German ships.
    But how could he send these slow planes out in daylight against the ferocious firepower of the German Battleships and accompanying heavy fighter escort? It would be certain death.
    Admiral Ramsey telephoned the First Sea Lord, Sir Dudley Pound, in Whitehall and pleaded with him not to be asked to send these 18 men on such a suicidal mission.
    Sir Dudley replied: "The navy will attack the enemy whenever and wherever he is to be found". Putting the phone down, Admiral Ramsey nodded to his Air Liaison Officer, Wing Cdr Constable-Roberts.

    At Manston Lt Cdr Esmonde addressed his crews in a clipped voice.
    "The balloon's gone up. Get ready".
    It was of course essential that the vulnerable torpedo carrying biplanes should be given fighter cover for their run in. When Lt Cdr Esmonde's phone rang again, it was 11 Fighter Group, saying; "We intend putting in the Biggin Hill Wing of 3 squadrons as top cover with the Hornchurch Wing of 2 squadrons as close escort to beat up the 'flak' ships for you". The voice continued: "Both Wings have been told to rendezvous over Manston. What time should they be there?"
    Lt Cdr Esmonde glanced at his watch and said: "Tell them to be here by 12.25 hrs. Get the fighters to us on time - for the love of God".

    At Dover Castle, despite Sir Dudley-Pound's ruling, there was evidently some misgivings, for Wing Cdr Constable-Roberts telephoned Esmonde again to stress that the Swordfish must go only if he was satisfied that the fighter cover was adequate.
    Both the RAF and RN officers on the spot felt that even with a heavy fighter escort, few Swordfish crews would return from this mission.

    [​IMG]

    At 12.25hrs Eugene Esmonde waved his arm to signal the take off.
    As the 6 biplanes climbed into the air, the Commanding Officer of RAF Manston' Wing Commander Tom Gleave, stood alone in the middle of the snow covered airfield and gave a farewell salute.
    The Swordfish circled at 1,500 feet over the East Kent coast waiting for their fighter escort.

    [​IMG]

    At 12.29hrs - 4 minutes after the arranged rendezvous time - the Swordfish were still circling over the coast off Ramsgate.
    The weather was thickening up but there was not a fighter to be seen in the sky let alone the promised 5 Spitfire squadrons.
    Only 10 Spitfires of No. 72 Squadron, commanded by Squadron Leader Brian Kingscombe, found the Swordfish and that was at 12.32hrs.
    The Swordfish and Spitfires circled for another 2 minutes but no more fighters arrived. Esmonde knew that it was case of 'now or never'.
    He waved his hand and dived down to 50 feet above sea level and led his squadron out to sea.

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    Squadron Leader Kingscombe at this stage had little knowledge of what was really happening.
    The security screen at this stage was still functioning.
    The orders which had been given to him were: "Get to Manston to escort 6 Swordfish and intervene between German E_Boats and British MTB's". He had thought it odd to be asked to intervene in a small naval scuffle, but just then it became obvious to him that there was a big flap on.
    He said later that as he made for the first of the Messerschmitt: "I saw a beautiful ship. I did not know that the Royal Navy had such a lovely ship".



    Ultima modifica: 4 Maggio 2010
  2. 6S.Cipson

    6S.Cipson Active Member

    Operation Fuller - The Battle


    [​IMG]

    The British aircraft were approaching the main Luftwaffe fighter screen flying through layers of cloud and meeting the enemy at all levels.
    As as they broke up one wave of attacking aircraft another flight dived to attack the Swordfish.
    There were 20 or more Me109s circling to make a mass dive on the old biplanes when 3 of Kingcombes Spitfires attacked and scattered them. Suddenly all 10 Spitfires were lost in a whirling air battle with the Luftwaffe.
    As the Squadron Leader's courageous and experienced Spitfire pilots began fighting furiously, the Swordfish pilots sighted the German battle fleet.
    From just about sea level up to about 2,000 feet the whole sky swarmed with Luftwaffe fighters, the largest number ever to have covered any Naval Fleet of any nation up to that time.

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    Onboard the Battle Cruiser Prinz Eugen the anti-aircraft gunnery officer, Cdr Schmalenbach, suddenly heard one of his lookouts shout: "Enemy planes at sea level"
    The Germans realised with a cold chill that here was their greatest danger of all - a suicide attack!
    When they were 2,000 yards away every flak gun in the German fleet from the 4 inch guns to the multi-barrelled guns manned by the German Marines, burst with flickering flame.
    With gold tracer shells and white stars of bursting flak around them, the Swordfish continued on unswervingly.
    Esmonde led his squadron over the destroyers while his TAG, PO Clinton, continually fired his machine gun at the diving Luftwaffe planes.
    Tracers fromthe destroyers and E-boats smacked into the cockpit as some FW190s now joined the attack.
    They dived onto the Swordfish and their cannon shells tore big holes in the fuselage and wing fabric.
    It was a miracle that they kept flying. Tracers set fire to Lt Cdr Esmonde's tailplane. Spitfire pilot Flt Lt Michael Crombie reported with the raging all around he was aghast to see a crew member (PO Clinton) climb out of his cockpit and crawl along the back of the fuselage to the tail wher he beat out the flames with his hands!
    By the time that 'Clints' Clinton had eased himself back to his cockpit they were over the outer screen of the flak ships and the German Battleships' main 11 inch guns came into action.
    Belching smoke and flame they laid down a barrage that sent spray splashing into the low flying and now limping aircraft.
    One shell burst right in front of the CO and it shot away his lower port wing.
    His Swordfish shuddered and dipped but Esmonde kept it flying. With blood pouring from wounds in his head and back Lt Cdr Esmonde hung onto the controls, holding his course steady for the Prinz Eugen.
    In the rear cockpit lay PO Clinton and the Observer Lt Williams, both killed in the last attack by a Focke-Wolf Fw 190.

    [​IMG]

    In a last desperate effort he pulled the Swordfish's nose up and released his torpedo just before a direct hit blew the Swordfish to pieces in a red flash.
    As pieces crashed into the sea lookouts on the Prinz Eugen reported the torpedo track, Captain Brinkmann ordered "Port 15", and the ship turned easily to avoid the torpedo.
    Aboard the German Battleships all this heroism by the Swordfish crews produced no sense of danger whatever, but certainly a feeling of compassion for the fliers sacrificing themselves against impossible odds. Admiral Ciliax, watching from the Scharnhorst Bridge, the Swordfishlumbering towards her, remarked to Captain Hoffmann: "The British are now throwing their mothball Navy at us.
    Those Swordfish are doing well to get their torpedos away".
    While all 3 ships steamed full speed ahead, firing everything they had, the torpedo planes continued flying straight towards them, just skimmimg the waves.

    The Swordfish immediately behind the leader followed in to attack and the Observer, 20 year old Sub Lt Edgar Lee, saw the CO crash into the sea.
    The Pilot, Sub Lt Brian Rose, tried to keep a steady course and when Edgar Lee had a clear sighting seeing the ships stand out under the clouds, he tried to give instructions through the Gosport Speaking Tube, shouting: "Now, Brian, now!"
    Unaware that the speaking tube had been severed by gunfire and that his instructions were not being heard.
    Brian Rose, wounded in the back by cannon shell splinters, held onto the controls, whilst Edgar Lee was too busy shouting directions to notice that the torpedo had been released.
    At the same time Brian was wounded the main petrol tank was hit. Fortunately it did not catch fire but fuel starvation made the engine splutter.
    Brian switched over to the 12 gallon emergency gravity tank which would allow them another 10 to 12 minutes flying time.

    As they were losing height, Brian tried to pass round the stern of the Gneisenau but flew right as they swerved away from the barrage of anti-aircraft fire, Edgar Lee turned and saw TAG 'Ginger' Johnson slumped over his gun.
    He had been mortally wounded when that cannon shell had hit them.

    [​IMG]

    Brian kept control of the plane and managed to bring it down on the ice cold sea about half a mile from the Prinz Eugen.
    Edgar managed to get Brian out of the aircraft and into the yellow dinghy he had released just as the battered Swordfish sank taking the body of Leading AIrman Johnson with it as he was still attached by his G-Strap.

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    The third Swordfish, flown by sub Lt Kingsmill, can claim to have had the most success, insofar as the TAG, Leading Airman 'Don' Bunce is credited with shooting down a German Fighter.
    Don was standing up firing his VIckers gun and after several bursts he looked down to where his seat should have been, only to see a gaping hole.
    In fact most of the fuselage was full of holes and tears.
    Suddenly through the mist Observer 'Mac' Samples caught a glimpse of a big ship which he identified as the Prinz Eugen.
    They continued over the battle fleet screen with a tremendous amount of flak coming up at them.
    It all seemed so unreal.
    The three aircrew watched the shells and bullets ripping throughwings and amazingly the Swordfish kept flying.
    Suddenly a cannon shell hit the fuselage immediately behind the Pilot and exploded, wounding both Pat Kingsmill and Mac Samples.
    Don Bunce saw that the Observer was covered in blood but as he was continuing to shout orders to the pilot to try to dodge the attacking aircraft, Don continued to fire his Vickers gun.
    Pat Kingsmill recalls: "The tracers came floating gently towards us and then whizzed past.
    There were more and more large splotches in the sea as aircraft and ships fired at us and their shells burst into the waves.
    We were really in it, when suddenly I felt a sharp pain in my shoulder and my foot went squelchy.
    Oddly enough I didn't feel any more pain and I managed to keep control of the plane.
    Mac had been hit in the legs at this point but luckily Don Bunce was unhurt".
    Whilst still concentrating on the Prinz Eugen, as the sea was rough Pat wondered whether the torpedo would run true.
    He chugged along at 50 feet but could not at first get lined up properly. He then turned back to make another run in against the intense flak sent up from the Destroyer screen.
    As he once again flew towards the Prinz Eugen, the German gun crews could be seen in their sleek black anti-flash overalls as they continued to fire everything they had at them.
    Mac felt a sudden burning sensation in his leg and when he looked down at his black flying boots he was astonished to see that in one there was a neat pattern which looked like button holes.
    He felt no pain but whilst gazing at his leg that had been drilled with holes, he did not notice that Pat had dropped his torpedo, aimed at the Prinz Eugen, from about 2,000 yards.
    As Pat's Swordfish, ripped and shaken by the flak, veered back once more over the destroyer screen a shell sliced off the tops of two or three cylinders which greatly reduced the engine power.

    Losing height rapidly he pulled the stick back to bring the nose up to keep flying.
    With the fabric of the wings tattered with holes the plane could not maintain height and was gradually sinking towards the water when the engine burst into flames and the port wing caught fire.
    Don continued firing at the same time as screaming insults at the Germans.
    Pat tried to shout to Mac through the Gosport Tube, not realising that it had been shattered, to say that he was going to attempt to get back to base.
    Covered in blood Mac managed to climb up towards the pilot and shouted into his ear; "We'll never make it, ditch near those MTB's", and pointed in the direction of Pumphrey's boats, which were still in the area. Kingsmill's burning plane, with the engine shot to pieces, glided silently towards the sea.
    The crew saw the 2nd Vic of three Swordfish, led by Lt. J. C. Thompson, approach the Prinz Eugen at about 100 feet.
    Pat Kingsmill, being unable to gain height, passed underneath them.

    Thompson's Swordfish limped on, the fabric of the wings and fuselage now tattered and in ribbons and their crews wounded or dying.
    They still maintained a steady course and flew into the red and orange wall of exploding shells.
    One after another the Swordfish with their young aircrews were blown to pieces.
    Of these 9, only the body of Leading Airman William Granville-Smith was recovered.
    That was the last that anyone saw of those three planes.

    As he watched the smoking wrecks falling into the sea, Captain Hoffmann of the Scharnhorst exclaimed; "Poor fellows. They are so very slow.
    It is nothing but suicide for them to fly against these big ships".
    Everyone on the bridges of the Battleships felt the same.
    Willhelm Wolf, on the Scharnhorst, said:
    "What an heroic stage for them to meet their end on. Behind them their homeland which they had just left with their hearts steeled to their purpose still in view".


    Operation Fuller - The Epitaph.

    The heroic attack was over. As the last of the Fairey Swordfish Torpedo planes blew up and splashed into the sea and the German fighters resumed their patrol, it was 12.45hrs.
    825 Naval Air Squadron had only taken off from RAF Manston 20 minutes earlier.

    Of the 5 survivors, only Observer Edgar Lee was not wounded although the wound of Donald Bunce was slight.
    Pat Kingsmill and Mac Samples had serious leg injuries.
    Brian Rose had back injuries but after some months was fit for duty.
    He died in his aircraft 2 years later.

    The surviving Officers were each made a Companion of the DSO and Don Bunce received a CGM.
    The others who lost their lives were awarded a posthumous Mention in Dispatches.
    And, for their exceptionally brave, Commanding Officer, Lt Cdr Eugene Esmonde DSO, a posthumous Victoria Cross - incredibly, the second Victoria Cross to be won by his immediate family.

    The Bodies of Lt Williams and PO Clinton were recovered from the sea, taken to RAF Manston and buried in Aylesham Cemetery, near Dover, Kent.
    The body of PO Clinton was returned to his home in Ruislip, Middlesex, where he was buried with full military honours in St Martin's Church Cemetery.
    Lt Cdr Esmonde's body was recovered from the River Medway at Gillingham, Kent, having drifted from near Calais.
    He was buried on 30 April 1942 in grave number 187 of the RC Section, Naval Reservation, Woodland Cemetary, Gillingham, Kent, with full military honours.
    Nearly two weeks later, the body of Leading Airman W G Smith was found on Upchurch Marshes, close to Gillingham, Kent.
    Naval authorities would not allow his widow to have his body for burial at his home town of Poplar, East London, and he was buried at a private ceremony in grave number 1393 in the same Woodlands Cemetery Naval Reservation, 40 yards away from his Commanding Officer.



    825 Naval Air Squadron Aircrew who took part in 'Operation Fuller'



    Esmonde, E Lt Cdr(A) DSO RN

    Williams, WH Lt RN

    Clinton, WJ PO(A)


    Kingsmill, CM Sub Lt(A) RNVR

    Samples, RM Sub Lt(A) RNVR

    Bunce, WJ PO(A)


    Rose, BW Sub Lt (A) RNVR

    Lee, EF Sub Lt (A) RNVR

    Johnson, AL PO(A)


    Thompson, JC Lt RN

    Wright, EHF Sub Lt(A) RNVR

    Tapping, E L/A


    Wood, CR Sub Lt RN

    Parkinson, RL Sub Lt(A)

    Wheeler, HTA L/A


    Bligh, P Sub Lt RNVR

    Beynon, W Sub Lt RNVR

    Smith, WG L/A



    [​IMG]
    Sub Lt Edgar Lee RNR.

    Edgar later in the war flew with the RAF in Lancaster Bombers and has the distinction of having flown with two recipients of the Victoria Cross Medal as he also flew with Guy GIbson


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    Sub Lt. Brian Rose DSO

    Thie photo shows Brian after the Channel Dash and promoted to Lieutenent.


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    Leading Airman (TAG) Don Bunce.
    Don is depicted in the fine painting opposite by the acclaimed aviation artist 'Philip West' which, graphically illustrates him at his standing at his Vickers gun.










    -.-
    Ultima modifica: 4 Maggio 2010
  3. 6S.Carmine

    6S.Carmine Pilota del 6° Stormo

    LOL! lo swordfish in frontale con il FW è stupendo pero'! lol
  4. 6S.Franz

    6S.Franz Guest

    Sempre superlativo CIP!
    Belle le foto veramnete stupende...
  5. 6S.Robby

    6S.Robby Mordicchio Pilota 313° F.T.V. Pilota del 6° Stormo

    fantastico
  6. 6S.Tox

    6S.Tox Pilota del 6° Stormo

    Grande Cippo,e' una fortuna averti con noi :smokin:
  7. 6S.Anton

    6S.Anton Personale a terra

    Grande Cip!!
  8. 6S.Robby

    6S.Robby Mordicchio Pilota 313° F.T.V. Pilota del 6° Stormo

    per stasera come siamo messi? la campagna non deve partire oggi? il radar c'è?
  9. 6S.Cipson

    6S.Cipson Active Member

    No Robby avevo postato questi Messaggi...


    ______________________________
    PROBLEMS ON CHANNEL [​IMG]Posted: Sun May 02, 2010 9:05 pm 6S.Cipson
    [​IMG] [​IMG] Joined: 14 Nov 2009 Posts: 226

    Guys,

    Temo che Chap abbia incontrato più problemi del previsto e per di più sembra che lo Sqn YU-non sia d'accordo con questo nuovo incontro ...
    (potevano anche dirlo prima, e si sarebbe risparmiato un sacco di lavoro...)

    Ho confermato a Chap che il Team ASSE è pronto a combattere, ma se l'avversario fa troppi problemi, sono anche pronto a posporre lo Scenario a data di definire (e, a questo punto, con l'Avversario da definire ...)

    Mi dispiace di questo contrattempo, ma come vedete si sta confermando una volta di più che il Team Asse dimostra più serietà e affidabilità che gli Alleati.

    Restate in contatto per le prossime News.

    Per il momento grazie a Tutti i piloti Asse per la serietà dimostrata.

    Ancora una volta avete dimostrato che Voi Tutti siete più che Grandi: Voi siete Nachtwölfe! (Lupi della Notte!)



    ________________________________



    Thank you & Gott strafe England
    6S.Cipson
    ____________________________________________________________
    1 Fliegerdivision "Nachtwölfe" Kommando - "Sie kamen als Nachtwölfe..."

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    ____________________________________________________________





    Posted: Mon May 03, 2010 10:56 pm 242Sqn_Chap

    [​IMG] Joined: 27 Jul 2008 Posts: 628


    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I do think this is a great Idea.

    But there is a lot going on at the moment as we near the end of J42.

    Also what is set up is not as good as it could be (its just set on the existing template).

    This should have a new start date, differant weather etc etc Historical squadrons assigned and set up etc etc etc

    ....and importantly I don't really know how many Allied pilots we would re-alisticaly get at this moment.

    In a few weeks as we get to the end of J42, there are suddenly going to be a lot more people who will want to do something new and a little short 'scenario' like this will be perfect.


    _______________________________________________________________
    Posted: Tue May 04, 2010 12:01 am 6S.Cipson
    [​IMG] [​IMG] Joined: 14 Nov 2009 Posts: 226


    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    OK, CHAP.

    then You can officially confirm to everybody that THE CHANNEL DASH will be posponed to Data to Define
    , to have the time to well define Rules & Structures.

    Thank you for your great effort and damned good Job.

    You too are a Nachtwölfe... [​IMG]

    __________________________________________________________________
    1 Fliegerdivision "Nachtwölfe" Kommando - "Sie kamen als Nachtwölfe..."

    [​IMG][​IMG]
  10. 6S.Cipson

    6S.Cipson Active Member

    Diavoli, ho aggiunto alla storia del Channel l'AFTERMATH postato da Warg.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    AFTERMATH

    The Unique Opportunity.

    Of the five survivors, Lee was the only one unhurt.
    After being thawed out in hospital at Dover, he was taken to see Admiral Ramsay, Flag Officer Dover, in Dover Castle, where he learned that Kingsmill's crew, although severely wounded and in hospital at Ramsgate, had also survived the attack.
    Brian Rose recovered from his injuries, but was killed in a flying accident in 1943.

    Lee went back to Manston that night to sort out the kit of the missing men. It was a poignant ending to a day the details of which no 20-year old could ever forget.
    The men at Manston who had jeered kindly at the old Stringbags now honored Lee.
    The mess was hushed as he entered, and he was given the reception that he and Esmonde and all the others had earned.

    What had the sacrifice been worth?
    Was it an act of callousness to send six Swordfish against three German capital ships with all the protection they could call on as they sped along the coastline of Occupied Europe?

    Up to this moment of the war the Fleet Air Arm Swordfish had enjoyed remarkable success in this form of attack.
    Twice they had dropped against the Bismark successfully and without loss.
    In the Mediterranean they had been the only torpedo-bombers available, and, although operating mostly at night, they had sunk many thousands of tons of Axis shipping.
    At Taranto and Matapan their success was already legendary.
    The German squadron, with fighter cover, was a different proposition; but then the Swordfish were to have cover too.

    The Swordfish crews were taken by surprise by the number of fighters employed against them.
    They were extremely unlucky in being intercepted so soon: at the time of interception they had another thirteen minutes' flying ahead of them before they could expect to reach the target.
    Yet every Swordfish reached the outer screen, about two miles from the capital ships, and three of them certainly dropped their torpedoes.
    The other three had only a mile or so to go to the dropping point when last seen.

    No man was more experienced in this type of work, no man was a better flier, than Esmonde.
    His decision to leave without the escort must be regarded as altogether above criticism.
    In any case it bears the closest inspection.
    No one expected to sink these ships, either in the Swordfish or the Beauforts that were to follow.
    But Esmonde and the men of the Swordfish expected to get at least two hits.
    That was how they assessed their chances.
    Two hits, at the least.

    When Esmonde marched out to his aircraft, men who knew him had never seen his face so grim.
    He expected to hit the German ships.
    He did not expect to return.
    Esmonde was posthumously awarded the V.C.
    The four officers who survived were awarded the D.S.O. and the only surviving gunner the C.G.M.
    The twelve men besides Esmonde who gave their lives were mentioned in dispatches.

    Most of the men of the torpedo bombers in 1942 were men waiting for death.
    Those who knew they were to attack the Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen in the Channel did not expect to survive.
    Thirteen men in a war is not very many.
    But on the evening of 12th February 1942, for the 20-year-old Lee, the only man of an entire squadron to return to base, the world seemed empty.


    The Ship Busters
    R Barker






    -.-
  11. Midnight

    Midnight Member

    Grande Cip! Peccato che no ci ho capito una Cip-pa! Ora scrivi in inglese?
    Mi limito a guardare i disegnini....
  12. 6S.Cipson

    6S.Cipson Active Member


    Ah ah :p LOL. No il problema è che questo è un'estratto di un articolo postato sul Forum SEOW, riportato "as is"....

    Poi, uno della new generation come te l'inglese dovrebbe averlo così...;)

    In ogni caso prova con Google translate: http://translate.google.it/#

    Conseguenze

    L'opportunità unica.

    Dei cinque sopravvissuti, Lee è stato l'unico illeso.
    Dopo essere stati scong.... in ospedale a Dover, è stato portato a vedere l'ammiraglio Ramsay, Bandiera Ufficiale Dover, nel castello di Dover, dove ha imparato che l'equipaggio Kingsmill, anche se gravemente ferito e in ospedale a Ramsgate, aveva anche sopravvissuto all'attacco.
    Brian Rose recuperato dalle ferite, ma fu ucciso in un incidente di volo nel 1943.

    Lee tornò a Manston quella notte per risolvere il kit degli scomparsi. E 'stato un finale commovente di una giornata i cui dettagli non di 20 anni potrà mai dimenticare.
    Gli uomini a Manston che avevano deriso gentilmente a Stringbags vecchio ormai onorato Lee.
    La mensa era silenzioso mentre entrava, e lui è stato dato l'accoglienza che aveva guadagnato lui e Esmonde e tutti gli altri.....


    Fa un pò di errori, ma, correggendoli, tutto sommato la storia si capisce...:rolleyes:
  13. Midnight

    Midnight Member

    Dovrei saperlo nì, voi dovete saperlo così!
    Ma visto che sono italiano parlo italiano, che ti credi che se mi ferma un inglese per strada a chiedere informazioni qui a Milano mi metto a parlare inglese? Gli inglesi sono avanti, si, ma son bastardi! Parlo per esperienza ...

    Scherzi a parte lo so un pochino ma per leggere sta spataffiata devo prendere un ora di permesso.
  14. 6S.Insuber

    6S.Insuber Personale a terra

    Grande Cipson, ottimo racconto!

    Piccola correzione, tanto per pignoleggiare :) : "Squadron Leader Brian Kingscombe" si chiamava in realtà Kingcome.

    Bye,
    Insuber

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