Thursday, June 16, 2005
RAF planning in early August 1940
The decision was made that the highest priority was to rearm existing squadrons rather than divert aircraft to new squadrons. By the end of September, the plan was to have "five medium bomber squadrons, three fighter squadrons, and one bomber transport squadron would be reamred with modern aircraft: a total of 84 Blenheim IVs, 60 Hurricanes, 12 Wellingtons and a small quota of replacements." The SAAF would receive 24 Hurricanes, where they would form new squadrons. From the French orders from the Glenn Martin company, there were 150 Marylands available. The Middle East and the SAAF would divide these. Immediately, three Marylands would be diverted to use for long-range reconnaissance. Three more Marylands were sent to Malta to use for spares. More aircraft were in transit. 24 Hurricanes had been sent around the Cape. They were close to arriving in Egypt. 36 were in transit to Takoradi. 24 Blenheim IVs had arrived in Egypt by way of Malta. Antoher 24 were in transit to either Takoradi or Egypt. Six Wellingtons were newly arrived in late August. Desperate measures were required after the fall of France. One step was to use Takoradi as an arrival point in Africa for aircraft. They were then sent on to Egypt by air. This is based on the account in Vol.I of the Official History.