Allied Fighter Aces: The Air Combat Tactics and Techniques by Mike Spick

By Mike Spick

Many millions of fighter pilots of many nations--British, American, Australian, Canadian, Polish, and plenty of more--flew, fought, and died in Allied airplane. a number of grew to become well-known. approximately 5 percentage of fighter pilots accounted for a few 40 percentage of all air victories, and those have been the aces.

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Example text

Nor, it became apparent, did they know which airfields housed fighters and which did not. Consequently a great deal of the German bombing effort was dissipated against secondary targets. The air fighting of August was very heavy. The advantages of single squadrons were speed of reaction and flexibility, but this meant that units of 12 aircraft or less routinely intercepted huge raids of 100 plus. To the pilots it looked and felt frightening, but it worked. Fortunately they were rarely alone, as other squadrons converged on the German Balbos from all sides.

Fortunately they were rarely alone, as other squadrons converged on the German Balbos from all sides. Three notable British victories were scored during the month. On 18 August, the Ju 87 Stuka units took a terrible beating, losing 17 aircraft with another seven damaged. After this they were withdrawn from the battle. Spitfires and Hurricanes also carved a deadly swathe through the twin-engined Bf 110 heavy fighters, to the point where they were also deemed to need fighter escort. Finally, rising bomber losses caused the Bf 109s to be ordered to provide close escort.

Blast it! I am going too fast; they are past me, on either side—so close that I thought we would hit. Inexperienced in combat as Widge Gleed was at this time, it was a trifle optimistic to expect that the rearward-facing gunners of the 110s had not seen his formation, especially after the time consumed in manoeuvring from Vic to line astern, then into echelon prior to the attack, which 37 ALLIED FIGHTER ACES was launched from sufficiently far away to give the German fighters time to reverse into it, making it a head-on pass.

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