A Conversation for Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader, DSO DFC

Although Bader's frustration...

Post 1

Al Johnston

...is easily understandable, it should be pointed out that the "Big Wing" was not a particularly successful concept: due to the time taken to get all the aircraft assembled, the wing often attacked only after the Luftwaffe had hit their targets, and it never achieved Bader's aim of destroying an entire German formation.

In 1941, when the command structure of Fighter Command had been replaced, a series of exercises were conducted that effectively re-fought the Battle of Britain, with the defenders using "Big Wing" tactics: they lost; with most aircraft being "destroyed" on the ground.

Where Bader better served the RAF was his instrumental role in promoting the "finger four" formation of two pairs of fighters, based on his observations of German tactics: indeed the result was almost identical to the German Schwarme developed by Adolf Galland and Werner Molders during the Spanish Civil War. By freeing RAF fighter pilots from the constraint of having to keep close formation in battle, the "finger four" undoubtedly saved many lives and contributed to the eventual defeat of the Luftwaffe.

Although Bader's frustration...

Post 2

Cal - interim high priest of the Church of the Holy Tail

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