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AIRCRAFT ENGINEER
FIRST AERONAUTICAL WEEKLY IN THE WORLD .• FOUNDED W09
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Editor G. GEOFFREY SMITH Chief. Photographer
C. M. POULSEN JOHN YOXALL

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No. 1652. Vol. XXXVIII. AUGUST 22, 1940 Thursdays, Price 9d.

The Outlook-
Air Defence bombing raid. The fact that they have been able to do
this has saved very large numbers of their bombers from
LIGHT has always clung to its belief in air destruction, and so has permitted the latter to get into
defence. . In the inter-war years many writers position to drop their bombs. Had the bombers come
cast scorn on such a theory, insisting that nothing without fighter escorts, or only escorted by more or less
could stop enemy bombers from hammering our cities cumbrous long-range fighters, it is certain that the figures
at their will, and that our only possible form of defence of German losses would have been much larger than they
was to hammer the enemy still harder until he desisted. actually have been. It would not have merely meant
Advocates of that theory usually contemplated that both that instead of shooting down, say, 30 fighters, we should
sides would deliberately bomb the civilians on the other have shot down 30 bombers. Unescorted bombers can
side, using gas and any other form of " frightfulness " be shot down much more quickly, and, therefore, in a
at their disposal. They seemed to gloat in prospect at given time one can destroy far more of them than
the idea of total war in all its barbarism, and waved one can destroy of the fighters. There must be few
aside all ideas that our air defences could do anything people now who would say that there is nothing in air
' to check the enemy. defence.
Well, we and other upholders of the validity of air
defence never professed that all bombers could be Heavy Raids '
excluded from this country, or from any other country;
but, though at times we seemed to be a voice crying in
the wilderness, we did not admit that air bombing un-
T
HE Germans seem to be really in earnest, but
exactly what they are earnest about is not so
clear. They have been sending over formations
backed by the victory of other arms would ever beat a of aeroplanes in increasing numbers, starting some fort-
virile nation to its knees, and we did believe that our night ago with a mere hundred, and increasing to 400,
Fighter Command would 500, and 1,000 machines1 a
take a very heavy toll of .. day. These large-scale
the raiders, and so very attacks have been coming
seriously check the damage KING CONGRATULATES FIGHTER by day, thus confirming
which the}' could do. SQUADRONS the estimate that the Ger-
In the engagements of mans do not believe in
the last week the Fighter The Secretary of State tor Air has received the night bombing as suffi-
Command has most glori- following message from His Majesty the King:— ciently accurate to give use-
ously vindicated our belief ful military results. Cer-
" Please convey my warmest congratulations to die
in its powers. Of course, tainly their air crews have
Fighter Squadrons who, in recent days, have been so
we had not foreseen that not had the training and
the Germans would possess heavily engaged in the defence of our country.
practice in night flying
the aerodromes on the " I, like all their compatriots have read with ever- which ours have had, for
French side of the increasing admiration the story of their daily victories. the leaflet raids were very
Channel, and so would be I wish them continued success and the best of luck." useful in that respect if in
able to send large escorts I5th August, 1940 GEORGE R.I. no other. But daylight
°f fighters with every raiding, especially in a