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Bitter was the rivalry between RAF 12 Group Commander Leigh Mallory, and 11 Group Commander Keith Park. Not least because Leigh Mallory was a strong supporter of the Big Wing theory of 242 Sq CO Douglas Bader, who advocated hitting the enemy en force, with massed fighters, while Park preferred the quicker and more efficient tactic of harrying the enemy constantly with smaller units. On 7 September Bader made his first Big Wing attack and took so long forming up, he effectively failed to engage the enemy. Park was enraged.
On 11 September Bader got his second chance, when his Big Wing comprising squadrons 19, 242 and 310 (Cz) met a heavy Luftwaffe raid over London. This time the Wing had formed up in time, and met the raid in strength, claiming 20 victories for the loss of 5 Hurricanes and 2 pilots.
Distinguished RAF historian Tom Gleave concluded about the Big Wing attacks, "of 32 Big Wings launched by 12 Group, only seven met the enemy, and only once did a Big Wing arrive first."
Can you make an impact in Bader's Big Wing?
(Features as flyables Hurricane, Spitfire, Bf110C, Bf109e4, Ju88.)
Big Wing forming up with 19, 242 and 310 Squadrons
Bader meets Luftwaffe raid over central London
Big Ben under attack
(*Note: this mission uses squadron strength unit sizes and is GPU intensive. The player can customise the number of aircraft to suit their machine specs.)