By Helmut Ritgen
Textual content by means of Oberst a.D. Helmut Ritgen with unique wartime photos by way of the writer. This well-informed account of the sixth Panzer department is mainly priceless as the writer fought with the eleventh Panzer Regiment. It records the inception, formation and constitution of the department and chronologically follows its development through the warfare. The textual content is supported by means of color images taken by means of the writer in the course of global struggle II and gives an in depth exam of existence within the Panzers while at the same time documenting their relentless growth. Feared via Allied squaddies and devastating of their quick prosecution of the early battle the Panzers have been the trendy German combating males; good built, fantastically influenced and unstoppably winning. until eventually the Allies have been in a position to consolidate their troops, re-engineer their gear and redraw their strategies the Panzers ruled Europe with a thunderous conquering strength.
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The Spitfire IX was a marriage of the powerful Merlin 61 (and later Merlin 63) engine with the Mk V airframe, thus retaining the older variant’s superb handling but greatly improving the fighter’s overall performance. Although introduced as a stop-gap, the Spitfire IX became Fighter Command’s standard aircraft for the rest of the war. The new Mk IX was soon blooded when, shortly after midday on 30 July, an Fw 190 was destroyed by Flt Lt Don Kingaby (flying BR600) west of Boulogne, his victim possibly being Oberleutnant Herbert Heck, who crashed on the coast near Samer in Wk-Nr 5303.
More established pilots also hit their stride at this time, with No 501 Sqn’s Flt Lt ‘Ginger’ Lacey claiming his first Spitfire victory on the 10th whilst escorting Blenheims attacking Cherbourg. Having spotted two Bf 109s diving down as they approached the coast, the high-scoring Battle of Britain ace quickly shot one of them down for his 24th victory – Lacey’s last success had come on 30 October 1940. A week later, when to the south of Portland, he shot down a Heinkel He 59 floatplane. New units continued to become operational with the Spitfire during the summer of 1941, among them No 452 Sqn – the first Spitfire unit of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
Flying Spitfire VB BM143/BP-A, in which he is seen here, Brothers shot down a Bf 109 over Le Havre to claim the unit’s first victory, and his 13th of 16 (via John Dibbs) 15/03/2016 15:45 55 Plt Off Evan Mackie, who joined No 485 Sqn in early 1942, claimed the first of his 23 victories over France on 26 March. His personal marking reflected his nickname of ‘Rosie’ (E D Mackie) Nevertheless, before April was out the new Tangmere Wing Leader, Wg Cdr ‘Dutch’ Hugo, had also been lost in combat with Fw 190s off Dover on the 27th, although he bailed out wounded and was rescued.