'I will now continue.' Said Park this morning we covered the part the RAF will take in the inevitable battle ahead.
I will now outline the part the Royal Navy will play.'
There was some murmuring within the ranks.
'As you, hopefully, will not know, a number of out carriers are now based in the Irish Sea and in the Western Isles. These are out of the range most of the Reds. The aircraft from these carriers will be able to carry out the duties that our groups would normally do themselves. This will be a great asset for us all. Up to another 500 fighters to cover the rest of the country some based on the ships and others on land based at airfields in the North West, and Ulster.' said Sir Keith.
A voice spoke up. Sir Keith didn't know whom.
'But don't the navy still use Martlet's?'
'Yes we still have some of them, but also a lot of the newer American aircraft like the Corsairs, and a couple squadrons of the new Bearcat. We were very lucky to have some of these. We also have a fair few of their naval bombers like the Avenger I would now like to pass you over to the Royal Navy and ask them to give you more details.'
The meeting carried one until near dusk.
Many of the pilots returned to their squadrons, some being as little as five miles away, other stayed in Duxford or Cambridge. Among those did remain was Bader and Garland. They were in the snug at The Plough.
Soon they were joined by four more officers.
'So Major Falck what more can you tell us about your night fighting experiences?' asked Bader.
'Well, one of the best ways, as you well know is to get under and behind the bomber and a hit and run. I think you call it.'
'We had good radar. But not as good as you had, and you have even better now. What we all need to do is just teach to each other how we, sorry you.'
Bader nodded. 'Please continue Major.'
Falck did. 'If we can talk to your bomber boys and ask them how they did it, then maybe we will know had to stop the Stalinist's.’
More pilots joined the group, they had to move to the main bar, and tables pushed together
The conversation turned to the use of planes the Russians had used on the Eastern front. Mostly the small PO-2's that were used to buzz German ground forces at night.
One German officer spoke of his experiences 'The main concern was not the damage the little planes could do, but what they might do. Some had bomb load of, maybe 200kg or more of bombs. We didn't encounter any with that amount. One thing I can tell you, we could hear them before we could see them. They flew in low and were gone in 30 seconds. It was very frightening'.
Ideas of the kind of plane they could use went back and forth. No decision was made; it was not up to them anyway.
The weather had, at last, cleared a little. Part two of the bombing of the Russian airfields was about to begin.
Rhubarb's, Ramrod's and Circuses were to, again, start, this time with a lot more planes. The idea was the same as the last war. A small number of bombers escorted by a larger number of fighters. The thinking, again was the same.
Get their fighters up and then shoot them down.
All of them down.
The only problem was the Russian rockets, but with the high speed of the aircraft they were going to put up it shouldn't matter too much this time. Unlike the aircraft of Bomber Command, Fighter Command's aircraft are least one hundred fifty miles an hour faster. Giving the Red's no time for them to get their act together.
The bombers to be used were Mosquito's and Beufighters and not the Bristol Blenheim's and other now, obsolete bombers as before. The new Wellington radar aircraft would see the Soviet fights before the NATO fighters and bombers could and then direct them to the targets, while the bombers would go for the command centers that the French had told them about. Also it was the first time The Free French had taken part in such a raid.
All 11 Group fighters were going, this meant 12 group would have come move down to protect the bases in the south east.
Everything was up, from Spitfire MK IX's to recovered German. From Meteor’s to Mustangs to the new Hawker Tempest's. Two squadrons were to going in first, to lure the Yak's and Mig's up, they then were going to turn tail a run.
Run straight into the path of over five hundred fighters. The more aircraft Stalin got airborne the more they could shoot down. Meanwhile the bombers would continue their attacks deeper into France and the Low Countries than they had been before. These were to be escorted by a further five squadrons. More than one hundred planes in all.
Another of the ways Fighter Command decided was, if you can't shoot them down get them over England, and over your own fields 12 group would take care of them, if not their fuel would run out. Either way one less Russian. They then would have to take more from the rest of Europe and therefore take pressure away from Scandinavia.
The attack was going to take place at one in the afternoon. Not at dawn, not at dusk but lunchtime. Everyone had lunch didn't they?
Also a smaller number of P-47's, P-51's and Spitfire's would go to Normandy and hit anything they could, air bases, railways, roads, and if they were lucky enemy fuel depot's.
By 15.00 hours most had come back. By 16.30 no more had returned back to their own bases. Others had landed elsewhere, or crash landed on English soil, those which ended up in the channel he hoped would be picked up later. Those who hadn't been heard of, maybe they were alive. The stories he had been told by, his now German allies, he didn't even want to thinking about.
Claims of over three hundred enemy aircraft shot down had reached the office of Air Chief Marshall, Sir Keith Park, as well as many ground targets destroyed. Sir Keith knew the claims of shot down Russian aircraft were well over the top. Maybe eighty?
As for the ground targets they would have to wait until the photographs had been checked.
NATO's own losses where a lot better than he had hoped. Less than ten percent planes down with only six percent of aircrew unaccounted for.
Unaccounted for, but not all dead.
Then the most important question.
'Can we get away with it again?' He said aloud 'we might', but that would be the last time to get at the Reds the same way. They would be up all the time bad weather or not. The strength and range of their radar was still a matter of discussion. It was better than what Germany had in '45 that was for sure.
As for any radar the Russians it must go, and that was a job for small teams of commando’s. And if what he had heard was right, the bloody SS.
He smiled. Then laughed.
At least they were now our bastards.