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Thread: What did RAF Coastal Command do during WW2?!

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Bewdley, UK


    For the short period when the Allied convoys were crossing to Normandy and the first few weeks until beach head breakout the concern was U-boats from Biscay and E-Boats from The Hauge would carry out quick attacks to cause havoc with the transports.

    Coastal Command created a plan to guard the flanks by Stopper and Percussion Patrols.

    In short, standing patrols would be done 24/7 so that every Channel Flank grid square would be visited by an A/S aircraft, radar in daylight, Leigh Light in hours of darkness - every 30 minutes!

    Extra cover was provided for weather and equipment failure. No square was left without eyes on for more than 40 minutes. Tasking was spot and attack for surface runners or force submerged to deplete battery and top speed.

    It worked, only 1 U-boat carried out an attack on the whole D-day armada - most had to return to base due to poor battery charge

    From Wikipedia (transcribed from Command official history)
    When the Allies launched Operation Overlord in June 1944, U-boats attempted to interdict shipping, but lost 24 of their number from 6—30 June. A further 12 submarines from Norway joined 35 from French ports for operations, only to suffer 50 attacks on the first day. Six returned due to damage. On 25 August 1944, owing to the Allied advance toward U-boat ports, all submarines were ordered to Norway. This evacuation from France was complete by 30 September. Between 6 June and 31 August 20 out of 30 Schnorchel boats were lost.

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  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2018


    Hi Everyone
    The role of Coastal Command during the war is a very good question to ask - and I do agree that the lack of overall recognition of its role is a major bugbear. A few years ago, my son decided to write his undergraduate dissertation on RAF Detling which was part of CC and he found very quickly that there was little published research on it and hardly anything on RAF Detling. In a way that was good as it forced him to go to the primary sources: AIR41 and the IWM oral history recordings. He gained a good mark, but we are still unclear if he ever received any credit for what was original research. And it was only relatively recently that a memorial at Detling has been erected! I now always say that CC did not have the 'glamour' of Fighter and Bomber Commands, was starved of cash and resources but operated from the first to the last day of the war - a proud record which should be recognised!

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2011


    I think a quick look at eBay really shows the general perception of the RAF and apart from items that include the word "Rare" aviation items generally include the words "Spitfire" "Lancaster", "Battle of Britain" or "Dambuster". Nothing else apparently existed so what chance does Coastal Command have? Mind you, it is fun spotting the obvious or blatant misselling on said auction site. There are, of course, other online auction sites available.

    I never really understood why PR was attached to Coastal Command except perhaps the term General Reconnaissance which most CC squadrons seemed to be at one stage. Was some PR moved to 2TAF after 1943?

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