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Thread: Main Briefing or Nav Briefing first?

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    Default Main Briefing or Nav Briefing first?

    I suspect one of these lists of times is incorrect. At the bottom of the page of the Battle Order for Gelsenkirchen, November 6, 1944, the main briefing is given as 0230 hrs and the Nav briefing as 0300 hrs. This makes sense as one would expect that navigators would require more than 30 minutes to do their charts.
    http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oo...92/914?r=0&s=3
    However the Battle Order for Munster November 18, 1944 records the Nav briefing as 0830 and the Main briefing as 0900.
    http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oo...92/916?r=0&s=3
    I believe the Munster one to be in error.

    Thoughts?

    Jim

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    Default Re: Main Briefing or Nav Briefing first?

    Main briefing first. The crew/Navigators don't know where they are going yet until the main briefing. Then, the navigators, gunners, w/o's, bomb aimers are given their individual briefings.
    Andrew

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    Default Re: Main Briefing or Nav Briefing first?

    Thanks! That is what I understood as well.

    Ji

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    Default Re: Main Briefing or Nav Briefing first?

    Have many battle orders from Canadian Squadrons. Nav briefing is between 30 minutes to 1 hour before the main briefing. 431 Sq op to Dusseldorf on April 22/23, Nav briefing 18:00 hours, main briefing 19:15 hours.
    April 26/27,1944 op to Essen. Nav briefing 19:30 hours, W/Op briefing 20:00 hours, Main briefing 20:30 hours.
    Seeming like the navigators got extra time to deal with the course and turning points.
    Hope this helps.

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    Default Re: Main Briefing or Nav Briefing first?

    Richard,
    it doesnt make sense to brief the navigators when the crew as a whole do not know the target for tonight. The following four pages are from the book 'Bomber Intelligence' by WE Jones who was responsible for the briefings at Kirmington, and explain very eloquently the nightly briefing proceedure, in this case Berlin. Note at the end where he says "individual crew members go to navigation, bombing, gunnery and signals for their final preparations"




    Andrew

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    Default Re: Main Briefing or Nav Briefing first?

    It came to my mind to reveiw the briefing scene from 'Appointment in London' being that it is the most accurate Bomber Command film I have seen, to see if our point of discussion is actually illustrated in the movie, only to find that entire film has been uploaded to youtube, so for the benefit of everyone here, this is the link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqqfHJXdamc ,the briefing scene being at the '54.15' point, even though the navs etc going to separate briefings is not shown, the main briefing is absolutely superbly captured on film, and agrees with the briefing as described by Jones in his book.
    Andrew

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    Default Re: Main Briefing or Nav Briefing first?

    106 Squadron Order of Battle for Königsberg August 1944 shows -

    Meal 16.40
    Navigators 17.00
    Specialists 17.30
    Captains 17.30
    Main 18.00

    HTH

    Mike

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    Default Re: Main Briefing or Nav Briefing first?

    Appendices for 625 Sqn O.R.B. (AIR27/2144) give timings for briefings, meals and transport quite regularly from March 1944.A typical one, for operations 15-16/3/44, is; 15.00 Nav. and A/B meal, 15.30 transport to crew room Nav. and A/B, 15.45 briefing Nav. and A/B, 15.45 meal for remainder, 16.15 transport to S.H.Q. remainder, 16.30 main briefing, 17.00 snack in crew room, 17.15 transport crews to aircraft. 170 Sqn appendices typically time Nav briefing 45 minutes before main briefing when times are given.
    Regards.

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    Default Re: Main Briefing or Nav Briefing first?

    I have seen reference to the the Briefing times both ways round.
    Below is a snip from a Bomb Aimers Briefing Card.


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    Default Re: Main Briefing or Nav Briefing first?

    Damn! I thought this would be easy to resolve. Thanks Richard. I will give you a call. It’s not particularly important. I’m just trying to understand the day and preparation for the operation. Dad did say it was the crew’s responsibility to bring the window into the aircraft and stack it.

    The times for 419 Squadron are only referenced in a few of the battle orders and as in my first post, the one for Neuss, only leaves the Navigators with 30 minutes for their charts, which cannot be correct.

    Dad’s navigator is still alive and completely “with it” so I will inquire with him again. He mentioned that he often worked on the charts right up to just before takeoff, arriving at the aircraft on his own. He did say he “Did Not” prepare the captain’s maps for dad, so it seems that dad must have done them himself.

    Edit: thinking about this further, the navigator briefing may just be briefing, not working on charts which would presumably take more considerable time. I will phone dad’s nav, in the next few days. Fortunately, he quite enjoys our chats, so I’m not a burden. He’s 97.

    Jim
    Last edited by JDCAVE; 19th July 2020 at 15:53.

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