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Thread: RAF & Luftwaffe time in August 1942

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Prague, Czech Republic
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    Default RAF & Luftwaffe time in August 1942

    Hi all,

    I know that this theme was discussed here already several times but I would like to ask if anyone could confirm my analyze based on information which was already published on this forum:

    when cross checking the losses + victories for 18.8.1942 I totally confused myself...

    Am I right that on 18.8.1942 RAF time was GMT+1 and Luftwaffe time was GMT+2, i.e. Luftwaffe was 1 hour ahead of the RAF?


    @ Ross - what about an idea to create a sticky post in category Useful Books and Research Materials with this theme with the information which was already published on this forum in the past?
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Zelhem, Netherlands.
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    Hello Pavel,
    This article on "Timing differences UK and Germany during 1940-1945" was published in Bulletin Air War 1939-1945 (Dutch Studygroup Air War WW2) Nr. 99 pages 26/27 as "Time calculation 1940-1945" by the late Rob de Bruin, Great Bookham, England, member of the Studygroep, translated by Mr Jaap Woortman, also a member of the same Studygroup.
    Mr Woortman checked two sources: first his own Whitaker Almanac and he also contacted the Royal Observatory at Greenwich. The situation is as follows:
    1) Since 1916 Great Britain (from now on called England) has summertime. In winter they have GMT and in summer GMT+1.
    2) Middle European Time (MET), that was the time in the Netherlands during the German occupation; it was equal to GMT+1 and during the summer MET is equal to GMT+2.
    3) The English introduced on February 25th, 1940, their summertime GMT+1. In the Netherlands we had Dutch time. This means that from February 25th, 1940, it was 40 minutes later in England than in Holland. From May 16th, 1940, the Germans introduced MET and the Dutch were one hour ahead of the English.
    4) In England it was summertime during the war from February 25th, 1940, till October 7th, 1945.
    5) To get more daylight it went over to Double British Summertime (DBST). This was during:
    a - 1941 - May 4th till August 10th;
    b - 1942 - April 5th till August 9th;
    c - 1943 - April 4th till August 15th;
    d - 1944 - April 2nd till September 17th, and
    e - 1945 - April 2nd till July 15th.
    6) During these periods the time in England was GMT+2 and that's the same as MET (Summertime).
    7) To make things more clear some examples:
    Date - Time in Holland/Germany - Time in England:
    30-05-1940 - 12.28 - 11.28;
    22-06-1941 - 06.05 - 06.05;
    03-11-1942 - 14.18 - 14.18;
    01-04-1943 - 23.25 - 22.25;
    01-05-1943 - 20.08 - 20.08;
    06-06-1944 - 05.30 - 05.30,
    05-05-1945 - 08.00 - 09.00.
    8) The change of time was done in the early Sunday morning hours at 2.00 o'clock.
    9) Here follows a list of dates when the German time was equal to British time:
    a - 1941 - May 4th till August 10th;
    b - 1942 - April 5th till August 9th and November 2nd till December 31th;
    c - January 1th till March 29th and April 4th till August 15th and October 4th till December 31th;
    d - 1944 - January 1th till April 2nd and April 4th till September 17th and October 2nd till December 31th,
    e - 1945 - Januari 1st till April 2nd.

    c -

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts


    I think you are becoming confused with GMT, British Summer Time (BST = GMT+1) and Double British Summer Time (DBST=GMT+2).

    With effect from 24 October 1940 the UK adopted BST for the whole year, and from 4 April 1941 DBST for the summer months (approximately April to October although the actual date varied from year to year).

    I believe the concensus of opinion from previous threads was that times in ORBs were normally entered in GMT; although this is never clear from the ORBs thenselves I recall someone quoting the regulation for this. However, I've seen other time standards used in which case 'A' was added after the time to indicate BST and 'B' to indicate DBST.

    I've RN documents in which the time of origin of signals is geven as 'A' or 'B' but the times within the body of the signal is in GMT.

    I'm not sure about the Luftwaffe, but the German Navy used Central European Time (CET=GMT+1).

    That all probably confuses you even more!


    Edit: I was writing the above when Henk posted his. My source for the BST/DBST dates is at which provides the legislative history of the for GMT/BST/DBST from 1880 to 2002.

    Second edit.

    1. There was a long thread on the topic at

    2. In answer to your specific question and from my original source, DBST (GMT+2) ended at 0100 GMT on 9 August 1942 and for most people the time datum reverted to BST until the following spring - although that still doesn't resolve the datum being used in the ORB.
    Last edited by Lyffe; 28th April 2011 at 14:54. Reason: Additional source

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Default Comparable UK / German times

    Hi Pavel

    Have sent you an e-mail. Hope it helps?



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