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dialectic essay

dialectic essay - Bobby Sessoms HIST 213 Caddell Park or...

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Bobby Sessoms HIST 213 Caddell November 22, 2008 Park or Leigh-Mallory: More Valid Doctrine for Battle of Britain? The Battle of Britain was one of the most noted battles of World War II, and a red letter date in air power history. This strategic effort, waged by the German Luftwaffe air forces against Britain's Royal Air Force (RAF), was the first ever major campaign fought entirely by military air forces. Therefore, air power strategies and doctrines were crucial to the outcome of this battle and, ultimately, to the outcome of World War II. There were two competing schools of thought, within the RAF, regarding how to combat the German juggernaut. A most heated debate arose among the ranking officers in the British Royal Air Force. One point of view regarding how best to wage the air power war in the Battle of Britain, was propounded by the commander of the RAF's 12 Group. This was called the Big Wing Strategy. The other view of air power strategy was that set forth by the commander of the RAF's 11 Group and was called the Scramble theory. So, the question is which air power strategy was a more valid doctrine for the Battle of Britain, Leigh-Mallory’s Big Wing theory or Park’s scramble theory? British author, historian, and management consultant, Stephen Bungay, made a compelling case for employment of the Big Wing approach to the Battle of Britain.
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On the other hand, Robert Wright delivered his biased support for the scramble form of engagement. The cases made by each of these schools of thought will follow. First, some background on these two significant approaches is in order. The RAF’s 12 Group, responsible for defending the Midlands and East Anglia, was headed by Air-Vice Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory. He adopted a very different tactical doctrine from Park. His Big Wing theory called for fighters to form into large formations once they had scrambled. Thus, the incoming Luftwaffe bombing raids were to be met in strength with a formation consisting of three to five squadrons. He felt that this better enabled the RAF to counteract the large German bombing forces crossing the English Channel. Leigh-Mallory took a much more aggressive approach toward defending the coastline and advocated meeting the Luftwaffe over the Channel, so that they never actually reached the coast. Air-Vice Marshal Keith Park was the commanding officer of the RAF’s 11 Group. The 11 Group covered southeast England, the direct path of the Luftwaffe in crossing the Channel, as well as approaches to London. Park believed that the Fighter Command did not have sufficient time to assemble a “big wing.” Furthermore, he felt that attacks by a small number of fighters were more important because they broke up the enemy’s formation, thus greatly hindering it in its mission – to accurately drop explosive on a specific target. His position did not include fighting over the Channel because Park trusted that pilots shot down over land would have a better chance of survival.
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dialectic essay - Bobby Sessoms HIST 213 Caddell Park or...

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