Bader's Last Fight: An In-Depth Investigation of a Great WWII Mystery

Bader's Last Fight: An In-Depth Investigation of a Great WWII Mystery

by Andy Saunders


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Bader's Last Fight: An In-Depth Investigation of a Great WWII Mystery by Andy Saunders

On 9th August 1941 one of the greatest icons of the Second World War, Douglas Bader, was shot down, captured and later incarcerated. But by whom, and how? Was it by one of his deadly German opponents, as Douglas Bader himself maintained, or was it by one of his own side?
There has been much debate and controversy among historians and in 2003 the author of this book revealed for the first time that Bader may have been victim to ‘friendly fire’. That revelation was followed by interest in the national press and later by a TV documentary. In this book aviation historian Andy Saunders develops his hypothesis, backed up by strong evidence and a wealth of statistics, and separates fact from fiction. He expertly dissects all the material relating to the day itself, and subsequent events. He has also continued the quest to find the legendary fighter pilot’s aircraft, which holds vital clues. And he has startling new material to divulge here also. This book will fascinate all who read it and will be seen by most observers to be the final word on one of the great mysteries of the entire war.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781473895409
Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Limited
Publication date: 04/24/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Andy Saunders is a freelance writer and researcher specialising in military aviation history with particular emphasis on the Battle of Britain and the air war over north-west Europe 1939 – 1945.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vii

Introduction vii

Author's Note xi

Chapter 1 Setting the Scene 1

Chapter 2 Circus 68 10

Chapter 3 The Tangmere Wing and Circus 68 21

Chapter 4 Reach for the Sky; Myth and Reality 33

Chapter 5 Collision? Or Shoot Down? 39

Chapter 6 The Experiences of "Buck" Casson 51

Chapter 7 The Loss of Unteroifizier Schlager 61

Chapter 8 RAF Fighter Command Claims For Circus 68 68

Chapter 9 Through Bader's Eyes 84

Chapter 10 Bader's Landing, Capture and Imprisonment 91

Chapter 11 The German Perspective 102

Chapter 12 The Hunt for Spitfire W3185 110

Chapter 13 Continuing the Quest: The Television Documentary 124

Chapter 14 Friendly Fire - The Phenomena Examined 142

Chapter 15 Aerodynamics and Science 150

Chapter 16 Conclusions 158

Postscript 167

References 170

Appendix A Operational details of Circus 68. 172

Appendix B The combat report by Group Captain D.R.S. Bader - 1945. 180

Appendix C Defining of claims over enemy aircraft. 182

Appendix D Complete listing of Luftwaffe aircraft losses. 183

Appendix E Luftwaffe fighter claims against Circus 68. 185

Appendix F RAF losses during Circus 68 on 9 August 1941. 189

Appendix G Transcript of R/T transmissions by the Tangmere Wing during Circus 68. 191

Appendix H RAF Fighter Command claims during Circus 68. 200

Appendix I Weather data for Saturday, 9 August 1941. 202

Appendix J Spitfire losses in St Omer region.. 204

Appendix K History of Spitfire W3185. 213

Appendix L The saga of the leg. 214

Appendix M The search for Bader. 220

Appendix N Air intelligence (AIk) Report 398/1941. 222

Appendix O In Memorium. 227

Appendix P Spitfire G-MCDB. 228

Selected Bibliography 230

Index 231

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