By Alfred Price
Spitfire Mk Is and IIs served purely in brief within the frontline with the RAF, yet their pilots have been answerable for reaching awesome ratings opposed to the Luftwaffe in the course of 1940/41. This quantity info the RAF's first aces of worldwide struggle 2 who helped stem the German tide in the course of Britain's fight for survival within the sour years among 1939 and 1941. Early-mark Spitfires have been infamous for his or her mild armament, overheating engines and brief diversity, yet throughout the dogfights over Dunkirk and south-east England, then the 1st tentative sweeps throughout France, many pilots accomplished ratings of be aware.
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Extra resources for Spitfire Mark I/II Aces 1939–41
Ermland Launched in 1939, Ermland was commissioned into the Kriegsmarine in September 1940. She was despatched to act as a supply tanker for the battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, but was recalled when those warships were unable to break out into the Atlantic. From January to March 1941 she served them during Operation 'Berlin', a raiding cruise against Allied merchant shipping. Shortly after the conclusion of this mission Ermland was ordered to sea again to support the damaged Bismarck as she struggled to reach the safety of occupied France, but the tanker was recalled when the news of Bismarck's sinking was received.
Although many of these might not have been applicable to service on modern warships, the character-building element of these training cruises was undeniable. These ships did carry armament for training purposes, consisting of a small number of 2cm flak guns. At the outbreak of war they were relegated to more mundane tasks such as floating administrative offices or transport vessels. It is a testament to the soundness of their design and construction that all three are still in existence today, and two are still in seagoing service - albeit not in the service of their nation of origin.
A programme of construction resulted in the appearance in the late 1930s of three new sister ships of a new class of three-masted barques: the Albert Leo Schlageter, the Horst Wessel and the Gorch Fock. These beautiful ships were to be responsible for training a new generation of naval officer cadets in seamanship over the next few years, carrying out goodwill cruises to a number of foreign ports throughout the world. 46 Albert Leo Schlageter After the outbreak of war brought her sail training voyages to an end, Albert Leo Schlageter remained in port where she served as an administration ship - in effect, floating offices.