Probus members get a lesson in aerial warfare

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Gainsborough Probus Club’s latest meeting feature guest speaker Rev David Cotton, who gave the talk Aerial Warfare in the Second World War.

He spoke with great authority and knowledge on the subject, all aspects being illustrated by photographs and diagrams.

Special praise was given initially to the work of Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding, who laid the foundations of fighter command tactics and organisation between 1936 and 1941.

He saw the Air Force as a potent weapon, and his strategic decisions showed his intuition and foresight.

Beyond the aircraft tactics, the organisation involved radar stations, the Observer Corps, balloons and anti-aircraft guns, a system which really worked.

Rev Cotton spoke about Fighter Command Groups during the war, the distribution of airfields throughout the UK (including well known ones in Lincolnshire), and the use of radar.

The different formations of planes in flight demonstrated the various theories which existed about the best way to use aircraft – clearly among the influential people everything was not always unanimously adopted.

Rev Cotton also talked about the aeroplanes used and developed during the war, fighters as well as bombers, both in the allied forces and in Germany, the importance of petrol supplies and different sorts of bombs, as well as the weaknesses and strengths of each aircraft.