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Thread: France 1940. What was 'Flap'?

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    Default France 1940. What was 'Flap'?

    I've been reading the RAF Narrative, The Campaign in France and the Low Countries. The Chronology contains the following and I'd appreciate it if someone could explain what 'Flap' refers to.

    1940 January 13-15 "Flap"
    15 H.Q. B.A.A.F. formed at Coulommiers, under Air Marshal Barratt.

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    Default Re: France 1940. What was 'Flap'?

    I guess it might depend a little on context within the narrative but 'A bit of a flap' would have meant 'A bit of a panic' or 'A bit of a problem' at that time.

    I have a book by Sqn Ldr D H Clarke DFC,AFC - one of the chapters is entitled 'A Bit of a Flap' - this chapter was about a mistake or mis selection of the Flaps whilst flying a Miles Magister so quite an apt chapter title on both counts.

    From 'What were they like to fly' by D H Clarke DFC,AFC

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    Default Re: France 1940. What was 'Flap'?

    [QUOTE=bvs;175805]I guess it might depend a little on context within the narrative but 'A bit of a flap' would have meant 'A bit of a panic' or 'A bit of a problem' at that time.

    Thank you for replying. The Chronology mentions it several times as if it was an event of significance. Perhaps it was short hand for a general state of alert due to immediate, pressing threats. Even so, it seems strangely colloquial for an official report, even if it was a first draft.


    1939
    November 1 No. 3 Air Mission formed at Valenciennes.
    11-15 "Flap": German attack considered imminent.

    1940

    April 11-16 "Flap"
    13 No.16 (A.C.) squadron (Lysanders) joined Air Component
    9 German invasion of Denmark and Norway.
    April-May Air Component's two Gladiator squadrons reequipped with Hurricanes.
    May 7 "Flap"
    10 German invasion of Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg.
    Execution of Plan "D" ordered.
    Last edited by william heber percy; 12th August 2022 at 07:38.

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    Default Re: France 1940. What was 'Flap'?

    And those of us who's jobs in the RAF were, basically, ground-based were often said to have been in "The Penguin Air Force". On land the penguin flaps the 'wings' but does not 'fly'. So your RAF post was "all FLAP, but no FLY"!!!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 12th August 2022 at 08:55.
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default Re: France 1940. What was 'Flap'?

    Quote Originally Posted by william heber percy View Post
    1939
    November 1 No. 3 Air Mission formed at Valenciennes.
    11-15 "Flap": German attack considered imminent.
    I that sort of context I would say it was almost definitely used for a general state of alert/worry due to immediate, possible/imagined threats using a very common RAF vernacular/colloquialism of that time.

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    Default Re: France 1940. What was 'Flap'?

    Thank you Peter and bvs.

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    Default Re: France 1940. What was 'Flap'?

    I think it was a fairly common expression at the time and later, and indeed across the services.

    When I was in the Army in the 1970s we had a sergeant known as 'Flapper' H**** due to his over excited demeanour when under pressure! 'Flapping' was distinctly not what you wanted to do.

    Geoff

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