Air Chief Marshal Sir Frederick William Bowhill, was a senior commander in the Royal Air Force before and during the Second World War. Bowhill started his career as a midshipman in the merchant navy in 1896. In 1912 he attended the Central Flying School and in 1914 he was given command of the seaplane carrier HMS Empress, he became Officer Commanding No. 8 Squadron of the Royal Naval Air Service in 1915 and Station Commander at RNAS Felixstowe in 1918. That year he commanded RNAS Killingholme. After the war Bowhill was not to rest for long from operational service. In 1920 he was the Chief of Staff to Group Captain Robert Gordon for the successful Somaliland campaign, he went on to be Officer Commanding the RAF Depot in Egypt in 1925, Senior Air Staff Officer at Headquarters RAF Iraq Command in 1928 and Director of Organisation and Staff Duties at the Air Ministry in 1929. In 1931 he was appointed Air Officer Commanding the Fighting Area of the Air Defence of Great Britain and in 1933 he became Air Member for Personnel.
He served in World War II as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief at RAF Coastal Command as Air Officer Commanding RAF Ferry Command, in which capacity using his knowledge of the sea he properly identified the position of the German battleship Bismarck using a Catalina flying boat allowing it to be sunk. His last appointment was as Air Officer Commanding Transport Command in 1943 before retiring in 1945
Anti-submarine warfare is a branch of underwater warfare that uses surface warships, aircraft, or other submarines to find and deter, damage, or destroy enemy submarines. Successful anti-submarine warfare depends on a mix of sensor and weapon technology and experience. Sophisticated sonar equipment for first detecting classifying and tracking the target submarine is a key element of ASW. To destroy submarines, both torpedos and naval mines are used, launched from air and underwater platforms. ASW involves protecting friendly ships; the first attacks on a ship by an underwater vehicle are believed to have been during the American Revolutionary War, using what would now be called a naval mine but what was called a torpedo, though various attempts to build submarines had been made before this. The first self-propelled torpedo was launched from surface craft; the first submarine with a torpedo was Nordenfelt I built in 1884-1885, though it had been proposed earlier. By the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War all the large navies except the German had acquired submarines.
In 1904 all still defined the submarine as an experimental vessel and did not put it into operational use. There were no means to detect submerged U-boats, attacks on them were limited at first to efforts to damage their periscopes with hammers; the Royal Navy torpedo establishment, HMS Vernon, studied explosive grapnel sweeps. A similar approach featured a string of 70 lb charges on a floating cable, fired electrically. Tried were dropping 18.5 lb hand-thrown guncotton bombs. The Lance Bomb was developed, also. Firing Lyddite shells, or using trench mortars, was tried. Use of nets to ensnare U-boats was examined, as was a destroyer, HMS Starfish, fitted with a spar torpedo. To attack at set depths, aircraft bombs were attached to lanyards. Problems with the lanyards tangling and failing to function led to the development of a chemical pellet trigger as the Type B; these were effective at a distance of around 20 ft. The best concept arose in a 1913 RN Torpedo School report, describing a device intended for countermining, a "dropping mine".
At Admiral John Jellicoe's request, the standard Mark II mine was fitted with a hydrostatic pistol preset for 45 ft firing, to be launched from a stern platform. Weighing 1,150 lb, effective at 100 ft, the "cruiser mine" was a potential hazard to the dropping ship. During the First World War, submarines were a major threat, they operated in North Sea, Black Sea and Mediterranean as well as the North Atlantic. They had been limited to calm and protected waters; the vessels used to combat them were a range of fast surface ships using guns and good luck. They relied on the fact a submarine of the day was on the surface for a range of reasons, such as charging batteries or crossing long distances; the first approach to protect warships was chainlink nets strung from the sides of battleships, as defense against torpedoes. Nets were deployed across the mouth of a harbour or naval base to stop submarines entering or to stop torpedoes of the Whitehead type fired against ships. British warships were fitted with a ram with which to sink submarines, U-15 was thus sunk in August 1914.
RN in June 1915 began operational trials of the Type D depth charge, with a 300 lb charge of TNT and a hydrostatic pistol, firing at either 40 or 80 ft, believed to be effective at a distance of 140 ft. In July 1915, the British Admiralty set up the Board of Invention and Research to evaluate suggestions from the public as well as carrying out their own investigations; some 14,000 suggestions were received about combating submarines. In December 1916, the RN set up its own Anti-Submarine Division but relations with the BIR were poor. After 1917 most ASW work was carried out by ASD. In the U. S. a Naval Consulting Board was set up in 1915 to evaluate ideas. After American entry into the war in 1917, they encouraged work on submarine detection; the U. S. National Research Council, a civilian organization, brought in British and French experts on underwater sound to a meeting with their American counterparts in June 1917. In October 1918, there was a meeting in Paris on "supersonics", a term used for echo-ranging, but the technique was still in research by the end of the war.
The first recorded sinking of a submarine by depth charge was U-68, sunk by Q-ship HMS Farnborough off Kerry, Ireland 22 March 1916. By early 1917, the Royal Navy had developed indicator loops which consisted of long lengths of cables lain on the seabed to detect the magnetic field of submarines as they passed overhead. At this stage they were used in conjunction with controlled mines which could be detonated from a shore station once a'swing' had been detected on the indicator loop galvanometer. Indicator loops used with controlled mining were known as'guard loops'. By July 1917, depth charges had developed to the extent that settings of between 50–200 ft were possible; this design would remain unchanged through
Bay of Biscay
The Bay of Biscay is a gulf of the northeast Atlantic Ocean located south of the Celtic Sea. It lies along the western coast of France from Point Penmarc'h to the Spanish border, the northern coast of Spain west to Cape Ortegal; the south area of the Bay of Biscay washes over the northern coast of Spain and is known as the Cantabrian Sea. The average depth is 1,744 metres and the greatest depth is 4,735 metres; the Bay of Biscay is named after Biscay on the northern Spanish coast standing for the western Basque districts. Its name in other languages is: Asturian: golfu de Biscaya Basque: Bizkaiko golkoa Breton: pleg-mor Gwaskogn French: golfe de Gascogne Galician: golfo de Biscaia Gascon and Occitan: golf de Gasconha Latin: Sinus Biscaiensis Spanish: Golfo de Vizcaya Parts of the continental shelf extend far into the bay, resulting in shallow waters in many areas and thus the rough seas for which the region is known. Large storms occur in the bay during the winter months; the Bay of Biscay is home to some of the Atlantic Ocean's fiercest weather.
Up until recent years it was a regular occurrence for merchant vessels to founder in Biscay storms. The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Bay of Biscay as "a line joining Cap Ortegal to Penmarch Point"; the southernmost portion is the Cantabrian Sea. The main rivers that empty into the Bay of Biscay are Loire, Garonne, Adour, Bidasoa, Urumea, Urola, Artibai, Oka, Nervión, Agüera, Asón, Pas, Nansa, Sella, Nalón, Esva, Eo, Landro and Sor. In late spring and early summer a large fog triangle fills the southwestern half of the bay, covering just a few kilometers inland; as winter begins, weather becomes severe. Depressions enter from the west frequently and they either bounce north to the British Isles or they enter the Ebro Valley, dry out, are reborn in the form of powerful thunderstorms as they reach the Mediterranean Sea; these depressions cause severe weather at sea and bring light though constant rain to its shores. Sometimes powerful windstorms form if the pressure falls traveling along the Gulf Stream at great speed, resembling a hurricane, crashing in this bay with their maximum power, such as the Klaus storm.
The Gulf Stream enters the bay following the continental shelf's border anti-clockwise, keeping temperatures moderate all year long. The main cities on the shores of the Bay of Biscay are Bordeaux, Biarritz, Nantes, La Rochelle, Donostia-San Sebastián, Santander, Gijón and Avilés; the southern end of the gulf is called in Spanish "Mar Cantábrico", from the Estaca de Bares, as far as the mouth of Adour river, but this name is not used in English. It was named by Romans in the 1st century BC as Sinus Cantabrorum and Mare Gallaecum. On some medieval maps, the Bay of Biscay is marked as El Mar del los Vascos; the Bay of Biscay has been the site of many famous naval engagements over the centuries. In 1592 the Spanish defeated an English fleet during the eponymous Battle of the Bay of Biscay; the Biscay campaign of June 1795 consisted of a series of manoeuvres and two battles fought between the British Channel Fleet and the French Atlantic Fleet off the southern coast of Brittany during the second year of the French Revolutionary Wars.
USS Californian sank here after striking a naval mine on 22 June 1918. In 1920 SS Afrique sank after losing power and drifting into a reef in a storm with the loss of 575 lives. On 28 December 1943, the Battle of the Bay of Biscay was fought between HMS Glasgow and HMS Enterprise and a group of German destroyers as part of Operation Stonewall during World War II. U-667 sank on 25 August 1944 in position 46 ° 00 ′ N 01 ° 30 ′ W. All hands were lost. On 12 April 1970, Soviet submarine K-8 sank in the Bay of Biscay due to a fire that crippled the submarine's nuclear reactors. An attempt to save the sub failed, resulting in the death of forty sailors and the loss of four nuclear torpedoes. Due to the great depth, no salvage operation was attempted; the car ferries from Gijón to Nantes/Saint-Nazaire, Portsmouth to Bilbao and from Plymouth and Poole to Santander provide one of the most convenient ways to see cetaceans in European waters. Specialist groups take the ferries to hear more information. Volunteers and employees of ORCA observe and monitor cetacean activity from the bridge of the ships on Brittany Ferries' Portsmouth to Santander route.
Many species of whales and dolphins can be seen in this area. Most it is one of the few places in the world where the beaked whales, such as the Cuvier's beaked whale, have been observed frequently. Biscay Dolphin Research monitored cetacean activity from the P&O Ferries cruiseferry Pride of Bilbao, on voyages from Portsmouth to Bilbao. North Atlantic Right Whales, one of the most endangered whales, once came to the bay for feeding and for calving as well, but whaling activities by Basque people wiped them out sometime prior to 1850s; the eastern population of this species are considered to be extinct, a
Karl Dönitz was a German admiral who played a major role in the naval history of World War II. Dönitz succeeded Adolf Hitler as the head of state of Nazi Germany, he began his career in the Imperial German Navy before World War I. In 1918, he was commanding UB-68. Dönitz was taken prisoner. While in a prisoner of war camp, he formulated what he called Rudeltaktik. At the start of World War II, he was the senior submarine officer in the Kriegsmarine. In January 1943, Dönitz achieved the rank of Großadmiral and replaced Grand Admiral Erich Raeder as Commander-in-Chief of the Navy. On 30 April 1945, after the death of Adolf Hitler and in accordance with Hitler's last will and testament, Dönitz was named Hitler's successor as head of state, with the title of President of Germany and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. On 7 May 1945, he ordered Alfred Jodl, Chief of Operations Staff of the OKW, to sign the German instruments of surrender in Reims, France. Dönitz remained as head of the Flensburg Government, as it became known, until it was dissolved by the Allied powers on 23 May.
Despite his postwar claims, Dönitz was seen as supportive of Nazism during the war, he is known to have made a number of anti-Semitic statements. Following the war, Dönitz was indicted as a major war criminal at the Nuremberg Trials on three counts: conspiracy to commit crimes against peace, war crimes, crimes against humanity, he was found guilty on counts and. He was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment. For nearly seven decades, Dönitz was the only head of state to be convicted by an international tribunal until the conviction of Liberia's Charles Taylor in April 2012. Dönitz was born in Grünau near Berlin, Germany, to Anna Beyer and Emil Dönitz, an engineer, in 1891. Karl had an older brother. In 1910, Dönitz enlisted in the Kaiserliche Marine. On 27 September 1913, Dönitz was commissioned as a Leutnant zur See; when World War I began, he served on the light cruiser SMS Breslau in the Mediterranean Sea. In August 1914, the Breslau and the battlecruiser SMS Goeben were sold to the Ottoman navy.
They began operating out of Constantinople, under Rear Admiral Wilhelm Souchon, engaging Russian forces in the Black Sea. On 22 March 1916, Dönitz was promoted to Oberleutnant zur See; when the Midilli put into dock for repairs, he was temporarily assigned as airfield commander at the Dardanelles. From there, he requested a transfer to the submarine forces, which became effective in October 1916, he served as watch officer on U-39, from February 1917 onward as commander of UC-25. On 2 July 1918, he became commander of UB-68. On 4 October, after suffering technical difficulties, this boat was sunk by the British and Dönitz was imprisoned on Malta, he realized. However, he had learned that convoys could be attacked at night by several U-boats; the war ended in 1918, but Dönitz remained in a British camp near Sheffield as a prisoner of war until returning to Germany in July 1920. He continued his naval career in the naval arm of the Weimar Republic's armed forces. On 10 January 1921, he became a Kapitänleutnant in the new German navy.
Dönitz commanded torpedo boats, becoming a Korvettenkapitän on 1 November 1928. On 1 September 1933, he became a Fregattenkapitän and, in 1934, was put in command of the cruiser Emden, the ship on which cadets and midshipmen took a year-long world cruise as training. In 1935, the Reichsmarine was renamed Kriegsmarine by the Nazis. Germany was prohibited by the Treaty of Versailles from having submarines. On 1 September 1935, he was promoted to Kapitän zur See. Now under the Anglo-German Naval Agreement they were allowed small submarines, he was placed in command of the first U-boat flotilla Weddigen, which included U-7, U-8 and U-9. The British believed that the submarine was no longer a menace because, when submerged, they could be located by the echos from sound pulses: ASDIC or sonar. Many in Germany felt the same. However, Dönitz proposed to attack convoys at night with packs of U-boats — operating on the surface, where they were faster than merchantmen, — and firing torpedoes at 600 yd. German doctrine at the time, based on the work of American Admiral Alfred Mahan and shared by all major navies, called for submarines to be integrated with surface fleets and employed against enemy warships.
By November 1937, Dönitz became convinced that a major campaign against merchant shipping was practicable and began pressing for converting the German fleet entirely to U-boats. He advocated guerre de course, pointing out that destroying Britain's fleet of oil tankers would starve the Royal Navy of the fuel to run its ships, which would be just as effective as sinking them, he argued a German fleet of 300 of the newer Type VII U-boats could knock Britain out of the war. Dönitz revived the World War I idea of grouping several submarines together into a "wolfpack" to overwhelm a merchant convoy's defensive escorts. Implementation of wolfpacks had been difficult in World War I owing to the limitations of available radios. In the interwar years, Germany had developed ultrahigh frequency transmitters, which i
A bomber is a combat aircraft designed to attack ground and naval targets by dropping air-to-ground weaponry, firing torpedoes and bullets, or deploying air-launched cruise missiles. Strategic bombing is done by heavy bombers designed for long-range bombing missions against strategic targets such as supply bases, factories and cities themselves, to diminish the enemy's ability to wage war by limiting access to resources through crippling infrastructure or reducing industrial output. Current examples include the strategic nuclear-armed bombers: B-2 Spirit, B-52 Stratofortress, Tupolev Tu-95'Bear', Tupolev Tu-22M'Backfire'. IV, Avro Lancaster, Heinkel He 111, Junkers Ju 88, Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Consolidated B-24 Liberator, Boeing B-29 Superfortress, Tupolev Tu-16'Badger'. Tactical bombing, aimed at countering enemy military activity and in supporting offensive operations, is assigned to smaller aircraft operating at shorter ranges near the troops on the ground or against enemy shipping.
This role is filled by tactical bomber class, which crosses and blurs with various other aircraft categories: light bombers, medium bombers, dive bombers, fighter-bombers, attack aircraft, multirole combat aircraft, others. Current examples: Xian JH-7, Dassault-Breguet Mirage 2000D, the Panavia Tornado IDS Historical examples: Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik, Junkers Ju 87 Stuka, Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, Hawker Typhoon and Mikoyan MiG-27; the first use of an air-dropped bomb was carried out by Italian Second Lieutenant Giulio Gavotti on 1 November 1911 during the Italo-Turkish war in Libya. Although his plane was not designed for the task of bombing, his improvised attack on Ottoman positions at Ainzzarra had little impact; these picric acid-filled steel spheres were nicknamed "ballerinas" from the fluttering fabric ribbons attached. In 1912, during the First Balkan War, Bulgarian Air Force pilot Christo Toprakchiev suggested the use of aircraft to drop "bombs" on Turkish positions. Captain Simeon Petrov developed the idea and created several prototypes by adapting different types of grenades and increasing their payload.
On 16 October 1912, observer Prodan Tarakchiev dropped two of those bombs on the Turkish railway station of Karağaç from an Albatros F.2 aircraft piloted by Radul Milkov, for the first time in this campaign. This is deemed to be the first use of an aircraft as a bomber; the first heavier-than-air aircraft purposely designed for bombing were the Italian Caproni Ca 30 and British Bristol T. B.8, both of 1913. The Bristol T. B.8 was an early British single engined biplane built by the Bristol Aeroplane Company. They were fitted with a prismatic Bombsight in the front cockpit and a cylindrical bomb carrier in the lower forward fuselage capable of carrying twelve 10 lb bombs, which could be dropped singly or as a salvo as required; the aircraft was purchased for use both by the Royal Naval Air Service and the Royal Flying Corps, three T. B.8s, that were being displayed in Paris during December 1913 fitted with bombing equipment, were sent to France following the outbreak of war. Under the command of Charles Rumney Samson, a bombing attack on German gun batteries at Middelkerke, Belgium was executed on 25 November 1914.
The dirigible, or airship, was developed in the early 20th century. Early airships were prone to disaster, but the airship became more dependable, with a more rigid structure and stronger skin. Prior to the outbreak of war, Zeppelins, a larger and more streamlined form of airship designed by German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, were outfitted to carry bombs to attack targets at long range; these were strategic bombers. Although the German air arm was strong, with a total of 123 airships by the end of the war, they were vulnerable to attack and engine failure, as well as navigational issues. German airships inflicted little damage with 557 Britons killed and 1,358 injured; the German Navy lost 53 of its 73 airships, the German Army lost 26 of its 50 ships. The Caproni Ca 30 was built by Gianni Caproni in Italy, it was a twin-boom biplane with three 67 kW Gnome rotary engines and first flew in October 1914. Test flights revealed power to be insufficient and the engine layout unworkable, Caproni soon adopted a more conventional approach installing three 81 kW Fiat A.10s.
The improved design was bought by the Italian Army and it was delivered in quantity from August 1915. While used as a trainer, Avro 504s were briefly used as bombers at the start of the First World War by the Royal Naval Air Service when they were used for raids on the German airship sheds. Bombing raids and interdiction operations were carried out by French and British forces during the War as the German air arm was forced to concentrate its resources on a defensive strategy. Notably, bombing campaigns formed a part of the British offensive at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle in 1915, with Royal Flying Corps squadrons attacking German railway stations in an attempt to hinder the logistical supply of the German army; the early, improvised attempts at bombing that characterized the early part of the war gave way to a more organized and systematic approach to strategic and tactical bombing, pioneered by various air power strategists of the Entente Major Hugh Trenchard.
The Vickers Wellington is a British twin-engined, long-range medium bomber. It was designed during the mid-1930s at Brooklands in Weybridge, led by Vickers-Armstrongs' chief designer Rex Pierson. Development had been started in response to Air Ministry Specification B.9/32, issued in the middle of 1932. This specification called for a twin-engined day bomber capable of delivering higher performance than any previous design. Other aircraft developed to the same specification include the Armstrong Whitworth Whitley and the Handley Page Hampden. During the development process, performance requirements such as for the tare weight changed and the engine used was not the one intended; the Wellington was used as a night bomber in the early years of the Second World War, performing as one of the principal bombers used by Bomber Command. During 1943, it started to be superseded as a bomber by the larger four-engined "heavies" such as the Avro Lancaster; the Wellington continued to serve throughout the war in other duties as an anti-submarine aircraft.
It holds the distinction of having been the only British bomber, produced for the duration of the war, of having been produced in a greater quantity than any other British-built bomber. The Wellington remained as first-line equipment when the war ended, although it had been relegated to secondary roles; the Wellington was one of two bombers named after Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, the other being the Vickers Wellesley. A larger heavy bomber aircraft designed to Specification B.1/35, the Vickers Warwick, was developed in parallel with the Wellington. Many elements of the Wellington were re-used in a civil derivative, the Vickers VC.1 Viking. In October 1932, the British Air Ministry invited Vickers to tender for the issued Specification B.9/32, which sought a twin-engine medium daylight bomber. In response, Vickers conducted a design study, led by Chief Designer Rex Pierson Early on, Vickers' chief structures designer Barnes Wallis proposed the use of a geodesic airframe, inspired by his previous work on airships and the single-engined Wellesley light bomber.
During structural testing performed at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, the proposed structure demonstrated not only the required strength factor of six, but reached 11 without any sign of failure, proving the geodesic airframe to possess a strength far in excess of normal levels. This strength allowed for the structure design to be further developed to reduce the size of individual members and adopt simplified standard sections of lighter construction. Vickers studied and compared the performance of various air and liquid-cooled engines to power the bomber, including the Bristol Pegasus IS2, Pegasus IIS2, the Armstrong Siddeley Tiger, the Rolls-Royce Goshawk I; the Pegasus was selected as the engine for air-cooled versions of the bomber, while the Goshawk engine was chosen for the liquid-cooled engine variant. On 28 February 1933, two versions of the aircraft, one with each of the selected powerplants, were submitted to the tender. In September 1933, the Air Ministry issued a pilot contract for the Goshawk-powered version.
In August 1934, Vickers proposed to use either the Pegasus or Bristol Perseus engines instead of Goshawk, which promised improvements in speed, climb rate and single-engine flight capabilities without any major increase in all-up weight. Other refinements of the design had been implemented and approved, such as the adoption of variable-pitch propellers, the use of Vickers-produced gun turrets in the nose and tail positions. By December 1936, the specification had been revised to include front and midship wind-protected turret mountings. Other specification changes included modified bomb undershields and the inclusion of spring-loaded bomb bay doors; the proposal had been developed further, a mid-wing arrangement was adopted instead of a shoulder-mounted wing for greater pilot visibility during formation flight and improved aerodynamic performance, as well as a increased overall weight of the aircraft. Design studies were conducted on behalf of the Air Ministry into the adoption of the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine.
In spite of a traditional preference of the establishment to adhere to the restrictive tare weight for the aircraft established in the tender, both Pierson and Wallis believed that their design should adopt the most powerful engine available. In response to pressure from Vickers, the Air Ministry overlooked, if not accepted, the removal of the tare weight restriction, as between the submission of the tender in 1933 and the flight of the first prototype in 1936, the tare weight rose from 6,300lb to 11,508lb; the prescribed bomb load and range requirements were revised upwards by the Air Ministry. F. Andrews stated to be "a high figure for a medium bomber of those days". During the development phase of the aircraft, the political and military situations in Europe drastically transformed. With the rise of fascist dictatorships in Germany and Italy, the British government had become keen to reevaluate the capabilities of the nation's armed forces, including the Royal Air Force. By 1936, the need for a high priority to be placed on the creation of a large bomber force, which would form the spearhead of British offensive power, had been recogn