The Chronology: Page-34
Wednesday September 4th

It is a wonderful thing to see our nation at war, in its fully disciplined state. This is exactly what we are now experiencing at this time, as Mr Churchill is demonstrating to us the aerial night attacks which he has concocted. He is not doing this because these air raids might be particularly effective, but because his Air Force cannot fly over German territory in daylight. Whereas German aviators and German planes fly over English soil daily, there is hardly a single Englishman who comes across the North Sea in daytime.

They therefore come during the night — and as you know, release their bombs indiscriminately and without any plan on to residential areas, farmhouses and villages. Wherever they see a sign of light, a bomb is dropped on it. For three months past, I have not ordered any answer to be given, thinking that they would stop this nonsensical behaviour. Mr Churchill has taken this to be a sign of our weakness. You will understand that we shall now give a reply, night for night, and with increasing force.

And if the British Air Force drops two, three or four thousand kilos of bombs, then we will now drop 150,000, 180,000, 230,000, 300,000 or 400,000 kilos, or more, in one night. If they declare that they will attack our cities on a large scale, we will erase theirs! We will put a stop to the game of these night-pirates, as God is our witness. The hour will come when one or the other of us will crumble, and that one will not be National Socialist Germany. I have already carried through such a struggle once in my life, up to the final consequences, and this then led to the collapse of the enemy who is now still sitting there in England on Europe's last island.

Portion of Adolph Hitler's speech at the Sportsplast September 4th 1940
To watch Hitler make this speech to the thousands that had gathered before him, mesmerised, following every word that he spoke. And between each sentence, they would chant "Hitler, Hitler, Hitler." and as soon as he raised his hand, they stopped, and a sudden silence came over the entire crowd who followed him, believing that it would be this man that will lead them to victory.

William S. Shirer informs us that the audience was made up of mostly women, German female workers, nurses and social workers. He stated that Hitler made mention that while German bomber attacked England by day,  the cowardly RAF comes over only at night. Yet Hitler failed to tell his audience as to the reason why.  Mr Shirer went on to say that when Hitler stated that he would drop 150,000, 180,000 bombs and so on that Hitler was forced to stop because of the hysterical performance of the women.

"We will stop the handiwork of these air pirates, so help us God." At this the young German women hopped to their feet and their breasts heaving, screamed their approval.

"The hour will come," Hitler went on, "when one of us will break, and it will not be National Socialist Germany." At this juncture the raving maidens kept their heads sufficiently to break their wild shouts of joy with a chorus of: "Never, Never!"

Though grim and dripping with hate most of the evening, Hitler had his humorous and jaunty moments. His listeners found it very funny when he said: "In England they're filled with curiosity and keep asking: "Why doesn't he come?' Be calm. He's coming! He's coming!" And the man squeezed every ounce of humour out of his voice.

William L. Shirer The Rise of the Third Reich 1940-41 p213
Back on September 1st, the Luftwaffe Staff Operations IA had issued an order that listed thirty British factories that were to be destroyed. Each one of these made many vital parts for the manufacture of aircraft. RAF airfields it stated were to continually be attacked. But the German plans were still going astray. The Luftwaffe had failed to destroy the Royal Air Force in two weeks as originally planed. They had also failed to wipe the Royal Air Force from the skies in preparation for the invasion of Britain. The Battle of Britain was now in its 55th day, and it now appeared more than ever that plans were now to be made to make an attack on London itself.

The British War Cabinet was now convinced of this more than ever now. Attacks on the British capital could not be very far off. Kesselring earlier at the meeting with Göring and Sperle had mentioned that the time had come when the German Air Force should now make its attacks on London, but this was still not favoured by Göring who still thought that he could crush the RAF whereas Sperle thought that caution should be implemented as the British air force had more aircraft than the Luftwaffe had been led to believe, and he was right.



Over the southern half of England it was expected to be fine and warm. Skies should be mainly clear with occasional cloud. The Channel areas were expected to remain fine with good visibility. The north of England and most of Scotland was expected to have rain periods with some heavy falls and strong winds could be expected.


0830hrs: Formations of enemy aircraft were detected coming across the narrow part of the Channel between Dover and Folkestone. But again, formations were divided as another had been detected coming in over the Thames Estuary. 66 Squadron Kenley (Spitfires) were vectored to the Thames Estuary as was 72 Squadron Croydon (Spitfires) and 111 Squadron Hurricanes (Croydon). Most of the action commenced from 0900hrs onwards as the British fighters engaged a mixture of Bf110s and Bf109s.

0930hrs: The Bf109s stuck to their task well, keeping the Hurricanes and Spitfires at bay and allowing a number of the Bf110s to get the Eastchurch where again the airfield. Fighter Command released a number of squadrons towards the Dover area but some excellent defensive action by the British fighters stopped most of the Bf110s from getting through, although the harbour and the barrage balloons came under fire. but most of the Damage was at Lympne where a number of bombs hit buildings and again the aerodrome was cratered. The balloons at Dover continued to be shot up. 111 Squadron, even though they forced the Bf109s to retreat did lose two of their pilots, both over the Channel off Folkestone. Eastchurch also became a target and a number of bombs made deep craters in the runway and some stores were damaged.

1230hrs: Radar at Dover and Rye detected a wide formation coming across the Channel for the midday attack. Some 300 enemy aircraft were detected crossing the coast in the vicinity of Folkestone and Beachy Head. This consisted of 50+ Heinkel He111s, 30+ Dornier Do17s and 200 Bf109s. Again they split into groups and headed towards five different targets. A total of fourteen squadrons of Fighter Command were to be placed at readiness. More enemy aircraft are spotted coming in from the Channel close to Brighton and Worthing in Sussex.
All anticipated the positioning of the enemy bombers meant that their plan again was the break into two separate formations as seemed the usual tactics of the Luftwaffe over the last few days. Keith Park again was to take no chances placing half his squadrons at readiness from Tangmere to Debden, and the other half on standby.

1300hrs: 43 Squadron Tangmere (Hurricanes) were ordered up giving protection along the Sussex coast. 46 Squadron Stapleford (Hurricanes) were to patrol the Thames Estuary, 66 Squadron Kenley (Spitfires) who had already been up once that morning, 72 Squadron Croydon (Spitfires) also up for a second time, 79 Squadron  Biggin Hill (Hurricanes), 222 Squadron Hornchurch (Spitfires), 249 Squadron North Weald (Hurricanes), 234 Squadron Middle Wallop (Spitfires), 253 Squadron Kenley (Hurricanes), 601 Squadron Tangmere (Hurricanes), 602 Squadron Westhampnet (Spitfires) and 603 Squadron Hornchurch (Spitfires) were all scrambled for this biggest build up of the day. 11 Group were further reinforced by 73 Squadron (Hurricanes) who had been transferred from Church Fenton to Debden, 41 Squadron (Spitfires) came down from Catterick and found their new home at Hornchurch. With all personnel fresh and rested, it would not be long before their services were put to good use.

1315hrs: Squadrons were divided as two separate formations came in from two different parts of the English coast. Heavy action took place over north Kent and as was usual in the Thames Estuary with the skies over Kent and Sussex were chaos, vapour trails now hung like heavy white clouds as two thirds of 11 Group battled it out at 20,000 feet. What radar did not pick up was a low flying formation of Bf110s that were following the railway line from Hindhead to Guildford until it was too late.

This small formation of Bf110s managed to get through the British defences and were not intercepted until just north of the town of Guildford which is to the south-west of London. They were met by 253 Squadron Kenley (Hurricanes) who had reasonable success, although a couple of Bf110s did get through, and although the target was the Hawker factory at Brooklands, they mistakenly hit the Vickers factory again. Six 500kg high explosive bombs fell on the machine shops at the Vickers factory killing 86 personnel and seriously injuring 630 others. Six of the Bf110s were destroyed prior to the bombing of the Vickers factory, while another nine were destroyed as they turned for home.

1320hrs: Park instructs that a squadron patrol the sector station to the south of London, and also a squadron was to patrol the sector station of North Weald who was still trying to repair the damage of the previous day.  While all this was going on, the crack Bf110 ErpGr 210 group crossed the coast almost unnoticed and attacked the radar station at Poling, but not before a Spitfire squadron had been instructed to intercept.
German aircraft had now crossed all along the south coast, and now Tangmere was brought into the action. Ventnor radar had picked up enemy formations coming in from the Channel:

Patrolling over Tangmere the 12 Spitfires of 234 Squadron led by Pat Hughes have spiralled up to 15,000 feet (4 600 m) by 1.20 p.m. Down below, on the airfield, the Hurricanes of 601 Squadron are taking off. At the controls of one is Clive Mayers.

Hughes spots two groups of German aircraft. About 50 Bf 110s are coming in over the coast while 15 others are already circling over Haslemere lower down. Detailing Red, Yellow and Green Sections to attack the larger formation, Hughes leads Blue section down after the others. As soon as the Spitfires are sighted the 110s form their usual defensive circle. Hughes attacks the leading Messerschmitt head-on. His aim is deadly. The 110 rears up and another short burst strikes its fuselage, causing it to erupt in flames.

Seconds later the Australian comes in directly behind another 110 and fires briefly twice. The heavy escort fighter crashes and blows up. Suddenly Hughes is surrounded by three Messerschmitts and he notices a fourth slipping in behind. Manoeuvring wildly he fires three sharp bursts to break them up and causes one to dive away. He pounces after it and empties the remainder of his ammunition, The 110 sinks and turns slowly towards the coast, it cannot get far because both engines are burning.

While all this is happening 601 Squadron intercepts bandits near Worthing. Clive Mayers goes into line astern following Red 1 who attacks a defensive circle of Bf 110s. Mayers finds a Messerschmitt slightly below him and fires briefly from above and behind. He attacks again from dead astern and sees smoke coming from both engines. He dives underneath and, as he does so, notices Red 1 attacking. He leaves his section leader to deliver the coup de grace & he last sees the Messerschmitt trailing smoke with Red 1 in dogged pursuit.

Looking around he sees another aircraft flying our to sea. It: is a Dornier bomber. Gradually he overhauls it but as he draws abreast it suddenly turns towards him. Mayers reacts quickly and charges in head-on. He presses his firing button and the bomber's glasshouse nose shatters to pieces as he flashes past. As he hauls back on his Hurricane's controls, the crippled German plane rolls over onto its back and dives vertically into the sea.

The German escort fighters have suffered badly and 234 Squadron alone claims a record 14 Bf 110s and one Do 17 destroyed for only one damaged Spitfire.
However, while the RAF fighters are successful in the air, a formation of bomb-carrying Bf 110s reaches Brooklands and drops 6 bombs on the Vickers works, destroying the Wellington bomber assembly sheds and inflicting 700 casualties, among them 88 dead. It is an unintended success for the Germans because they had been after the Hawker factory nearby -- which escapes unscathed. Another raid reaches Rochester where the Short Bros factory producing the new four-engined Stirling bombers is damaged.

Dennis Newton - A Few of the Few Australian War Memorial Canberra 1990 p154

By nightfall, the Luftwaffe changed from the bombing of Fighter Commands airfields and aircraft producing factories, to the bombing of large towns and cities. Night bombing raids were made on Bristol, Cardiff , Swansea, Liverpool, Newcastle and Tilbury Docks. In South Wales, large oil storage tanks received direct hits and the red glow lit up the dark night sky that it was a wonder that they couldn't see it from London. In all, for the day, the RAF had shot down 20 German aircraft which consisted of 6 Bf109s, 1 Heinkel He111 and 13 Bf110s.
Fighter Command lost fifteen valuable aircraft, 9 Spitfires and 6 Hurricanes. 6 RAF pilots were killed.

In Berlin, Hitler was addressing an audience of women at the opening of the Winterhilfe at the Sportpalast. In his usual sarcastic manner, he informed them of the astounding success that the Luftwaffe was having on the Royal Air Force, he fed them largely inflated figures that indicated that the Luftwaffe had actually shot down more RAF aircraft than the RAF actually possessed. He was just giving them propaganda, the women knew nothing of figures, figures meant nothing to them. They wanted to know when England would be invaded, to which he told them that "England will collapse" and he told them that ".....the people in England are asking, 'Why doesn't he come?', and I reply to them......'I am coming'". The chant went up at the Sportpalast, "Hitler" "Hitler" "Hitler". he spoke on the subject of the RAFs night attacks on the capital Berlin, and he repeated words that had been spoken many times before. ".......we will not let the RAF sleep any more.....they are murderers, they drop their bombs on our beloved city and kill innocent women and children......we are now answering, night for night....when they declare that they will increase their attacks on our cities, then we will raze their cities to the ground......we will stop the handiwork of these night air pirates, so help us God. When the British air force drops 3,000 or 4,000 kilograms of bombs, then we will in one raid, drop 300,000 or 400,000 kilograms and the hour will come, when one of us will go under," and his voice raised almost to fever pitch, "It will never be Nationalist Socialist Germany". The cry went up from the many thousands of women, with right arm outstretched in front of them, almost as if they were punching the air, "Never.........Never.........Never".

Despite much opposition to the bombing of London, things were busy in the preparation of the pending invasion. Air Force photographs and through British intelligence reports, thousands of landing craft were ready for mobilisation in many of the harbours along the coast of northern France. Trucks carrying amphibious craft were in a nose to tail convoy along the French coastal roads.

Goering and Kesselring stated that the British Air Force was all but finished, and the recommendation was put to Hitler that the time had come that London, the inland cities and the dockland areas be attacked and bombed as a prelude to the invasion. The next day, Hitler was to issue the directive that attacks be now made on the inhabitants and air defences of the British cities, and that directive was to include London.

0915hrs: Channel 5m E of Folkestone. Hurricane R4172. 111 Squadron Croydon
F/L D.C. Bruce listed as missing. (Crashed into Channel after combat with Bf109)
0915hrs: Channel 5m E of Folkestone. Hurricane Z2309. 111 Squadron Croydon
P/O J. Macinski listed as missing. (Shot down by Bf109 and pilot baled out but body was never found)
[ The above is as recorded, but aircraft excavated at West Stourmouth is believed to be Hurricane Z2309 ]
1000hrs: Ashford. Spitfire N3048. 66 Squadron Kenley
Sgt A.D. Smith died of injuries 6.9.40 (Baled out with serious injuries after combat with enemy aircraft)
1000hrs: Banstead. Hurricane V6638. 253 Squadron Kenley
F/O A.A.G. Trueman killed. (Shot down over during combat action over Kenley aerodrome)
1315hrs: Hawkwell. Hurricane P3052. 46 Squadron Stapleford
F/O R.P. Plummer died of injuries 14.9.40 (Shot down in flames by Bf110. Pilot baled out with serious burns)
1330hrs: Maidstone. Spitfire X4278. 222 Squadron Hornchurch
P/O J.W. Cutts killed. (Shot down by Bf109. and aircraft crashed at Sutton Farm)
Originally listed as missing but body fragments discovered on excavation of crash site. Now listed as KIA
1335hrs: Yalding. Spitfire K9962. 222 Squadron Hornchurch
Sgt J.W. Ramshaw killed. (Crashed after combat with Bf109s. Was dead on arrival at West Kent Hospital)
1340hrs: Biggin Hill. Hurricane P3676. 79 Squadron Biggin Hill
Sgt J. Wright died of injuries 5.9.40. (Shot down by Bf110 over base. Pilot crash landed aircraft at Surbiton)
2130hrs: Kirton-in-Lindsay. Defiant N1628. 264 Squadron Kirton-in-Lindsay
F/O D.K.C. O'Malley killed
Sgt L.A.W. Rasmussen killed. (Aircraft crashed during night landing practice)
Unknown time: RAF Digby. Hurricane V7406. 151 Squadron Digby
P/O R. Ambrose killed. (Crashed into a crane during take off on ferry flight. A/C burnt out)
Unknown time: 25m S of Bognor. Spitfire R6909. 151 Squadron Warmwell
Sgt J.K. Barker killed. (Possibly shot down by Do17 over Channel. Body washed up on French coast)

The Battle of Britain - 1940 website © Battle of Britain Historical Society 2007