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Thread: Butt Report 1941

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    Default Butt Report 1941

    Hi all

    Does anyone know if Kew holds a copy of the above, civil servant Mr D M Butt's analysis of bombing (in)accuracy, in 1941? I've tried looking via the NA Catalogue but no luck.

    I gather this was a very important document (certainly its contents came as something of a shock) so I wonder if the original was retained and filed somewhere. Has anyone seen it?

    Interested to hear.

    Ian

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    From the good old Wiki

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butt_report

    Its somewhere within these perhaps:
    http://www.adam-matthew-publications.co.uk/collections_az/cab-1-01/contents-of-reels.aspx
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Default Butt report

    Hello,

    Looking at Google the following came out :

    Butt report. The Oxford Compagnion to WWII by ICB Dear & MRD Foot

    Oxford university press 2001

    Best regards

    René

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    Ian,

    Entering 'analysis' into the TNA catalogue and a 1941 to 1941 date range, and 'AIR' files brings forth 52 entries, one of which is:

    AIR 8/1356 Bomber Command: night photograph analysis 1941 July - Sept.

    A strong candidate for the Butt Report, perhaps?

    AIR 14 entries also worth a look in this same selection.

    Errol

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    hello,

    I've tried to find it at Kew too, but to no avail. I once found a website mentionning the CAB series (Cabinet). The author (U.S. ?) was talking/writing about the Butt Report and quoting the CAB series in his sources. I checked a few possibilities, without success. One document was right in the correct period for the Butt report, and very interesting : the scientifical explanation of the atom bomb for the Prime Minister (that was back in august or september 1941 !).

    I'm also really interested in having a look by myself. the "search" tool in the TNA online catalogue with "Butt" or similar words brought nothing. Errol's suggestion might be useful.

    Joss
    Last edited by jossleclercq; 13th April 2009 at 07:15.

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    Hi,
    Is there the slightest possibility that a copy of the report is within the papers of Archibald Sinclair's file on the Bombing of Germany AIR8/1015

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    According to "The Strategic Air War against Germany, 1939-1945" by Sebastian Cox, the full Butt Report has been reproduced in Volume IV, Appendix 13 of "The Strategic Air Offensive Against Germany", (HMSO) which I believe is this one:

    http://www.naval-military-press.com/strategic-air-offensive-against-germany-1939-1945-volume-iv-a-pr-19656.html

    By the note in Cox's book, the report is only 8 pages long, but then again, it was a Cabinet report so I suppose it would be summarising teh salient points for Churchill

    A

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    Ian,
    The following is taken from "Bombing 1939-45" by Karl Hecks, Robert Hale Ltd, 1990, ISBN 0709040202.

    In recognition of the accuracy problem, in July Bomber Command was directed to attack Germany's nine largest rail centres when they were visible in moonlight, and its industrial towns on other nights. But the problem was now quantified by the Butt Report on 18 August, prepared by D.M. Butt of the Cabinet Secretariat. The report's statistics showed that although on average 67 per cent of the bomber crews despatched claimed to have attacked the target, only about 20 per cent dropped their bombs within a 5-mile radius of the target. For the Ruhr with its strong defences and industrial haze, only 7 per cent of bomber crews achieved this. [Webster and Frankland, Vol.1, 1961:247*] Further, although night bombing was most accurate in moonlight conditions, it was becoming less safe to operate near full moon because of the increasing losses to night fighters. In response, Cherwell proposed to Churchill the use of expert navigators, or aircraft with special navigation aids, to fly ahead of the main force, to find and mark the target; this led eventually to the RAF's Pathfinder Force. In September, the Air Staff in Britain advocated a force of 4000 heavy bombers; Churchill was not receptive, contrasting the already high cost of the bomber offensive with the meagre results achieved.

    *Webster, C and Frankland, N, "The Strategic Air Offensive Against Germany, 1939-45", Vols I, II, and III (HMSO 1961).

    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 13th April 2009 at 16:30.
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default Butt Report

    Thanks chaps. A few things there to go on.

    I'm still hoping to find a copy - or even the original - tucked away somewhere at TNA! Rather than a description of it in another publication.

    Ian

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    Default Churchill's papers

    A search for Lord Cherwell's papers (he commissioned the Butt study) came up with this potential source in the CAB and PREM papers:

    PREM 3/10 - AIR (continued): BOMBING: Measures for improving accuracy of bombing, September 1941-December 1944

    Although this one appears to be a response to Butt, there are other reports and minutes prior to that in other series of the collection.

    Papers concerning Defence & Operational Subjects, 1940-1945 Winston Churchill, Minister of Defence, Secretariat Papers.

    http://www.adam-matthew-publications.co.uk/collections_az/cab-1-01/contents-of-reels.aspx
    David

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