Warfare in News
Posted on Thursday 10th November
The Spitfire was being flown by an American pilot named Roland 'Bud' Wolfe over the Republic of Ireland when it experienced engine failure. Wolfe parachuted safely to the ground and his plane smashed into the boggy Donegal hillside.
An excavation took place earlier this year as part of the forthcoming Dig WWII television series by 360 Production.
The soft peat soil and a layer of clay – and the inaccessibility of the site – created perfect conditions for preservation, and even the Rolls Royce Merlin engine was recovered, along with surviving artefacts such as the paper service manual and first aid kit.
A specialist team of Irish soldiers were present who later cleaned the weapons and straightened up sections which were damaged by the impact. They selected the best preserved body and assembled a gun to fire made up of parts from all of the Spitfire's 6, which had been underground for 70 years.
Historian Dan Snow, Dig WWII presenter, test fired the re-built machine gun remotely and using modern bullets to prevent jamming. More details and video footage of this can be seen on the BBC News website.
The machine guns will be made safe and added to a permanent display in Derry, where Wolfe was stationed, with the rest of the Spitfire.
Battle of Britain(Commemorative magazine)
by Roni Wilkinson
The Battle of Britain took place between July and October 1940.
The Germans needed to control the English Channel to launch their invasion of Britain. To control the Channel the Germans needed control of the air. This meant that they had to take on Fighter Command, led by Sir Hugh Dowding, of the Royal Air Force.
At the start of the war, Germany had 4,000 aircraft compared to… Read more...
Of further interest...
Dig WW2 - Paul ReedTue 28th August
Military historian Paul Reed discusses his role as series consultant on the new BBC documentary series Dig WW2. Read article...
Lady Lucy Houston - The Unsung HeroineThu 9th June
Miles Macnair, author of Lady Lucy Houston DBE, writes for Warfare Magazine. Read article...
The Battle of Britain: Black ThursdayWed 12th August
During the summer and autumn of 1940, the Luftwaffe launched their air campaign to gain superiority over the RAF. They were not successful, and this defeat marked a turning point in the Allies’ favour. A handful of the 3000 or so airmen who fought in the Read article...
Spitfire and the Battle of BritainThu 19th April
Spitfire and the Battle of Britain article extracted from Battle Stations by Taylor Downing and Andrew Johnston, reproduced by permission of Pen & Sword Books Ltd. Read article...