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Spitfire Season (5)

By patspeirs  
Spitfire Season (5)


Rhubarb - the RAF code name for low-level interdiction missions in Occupied France. As the fighter arm of the RAF recovered from the disaster of the escape from France in 1940 and the attrition of the Battle of Britain it became possible to take the fight to the Luftwaffe. Low level sorties were authorised, often in poor weather conditions, in which sections of aircraft were tasked against ‘targets of opportunity’ in specific areas. The pilots were thus given freedom to roam looking for rail and road transport, unsuspecting aircraft on local flights and commit general mayhem on military targets. Airfields with their comprehensive AA capability were generally avoided or very strictly limited to the ’one pass, haul ass’ adage. These tactics proved very successful and were used until the end of the war in Europe - indeed they survived right up until 1960 with the Canberra BI8 specifically designed for such interdiction missions.

The image shows an ‘Empire Strikes Back’ scenario with a section of MkVb Spitfires from 402 Canadian Squadron streaming through France in the early morning light on the hunt for suitable targets. Typical ‘Rhubarb’ stuff and a flight profile much loved by all aircrews!

Image is a multiple composite constructed from the usual airshow pics and a suitable, if not quite la belle France, background -actually Lancashire (I plead artistic licence!).

Tags: Spitfire Aircraft Digital art Ww2

Voters: Carrie_1, kaybee, LynneJoyce and 42 more

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27 May 2010 10:09AM
Nicely timed.

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LynneJoyce Plus
8 20 99 United Kingdom
27 May 2010 10:26AM
Artistic license granted! Another great composite.
27 May 2010 10:27AM
Love it - the weather adds to the image.

I'm envious - never get to see such things.
brilliant shot well executed
27 May 2010 10:54AM
Wonderful image and write up.
Love this one Pat - excellent work as per usual !

RonnieAG Plus
7 153 116 Scotland
27 May 2010 12:04PM
A very well created image yet again, Pat, and it certainly looks as if it could be northern France. The accompanying narrative is so interesting and explains why the fighters should be flying as such low level. Fascinating and exhaustively researched work in every way.
Regards, Ronnie.
jeni Plus
8 7 United Kingdom
27 May 2010 12:39PM
excellent work on this, it certainly doesnt look like a compsite.
franken Plus
14 4.1k 4 Wales
27 May 2010 12:40PM

27 May 2010 2:13PM
One mans France is another mans Lancashire - stunning work with an outstanding outcome. I really love this Rhubarb. Ann
27 May 2010 3:15PM
Excelent work, I thought it was real!

27 May 2010 6:17PM
Terrific action Pat ~ Can just here the Merlin Whirring overhead ~ Lovely Action all the way... The Few!
9 41 Scotland
27 May 2010 7:01PM
Got to be my favourite one out of the spitfires grampa looks amzaing. Perfect lighting and colour and well done in getting a readers choice.

Thanks Connor - much appreciated.
Not Grumpy.
27 May 2010 7:05PM
Really like the view point here Pat.

John Smile
27 May 2010 10:46PM
Really wonderful, brings the war into our homes. Brilliantly described.
Mynett Plus
8 142 6 United Kingdom
28 May 2010 6:47AM
superb love the bg too with the low lying mist the perspective works a treat

28 May 2010 8:55AM
Excellent capture,very well taken.
28 May 2010 8:59AM
artistic licence granted with pleasure another great shot and commentry to go with it love the terminology used click click
superb capture, excellent composition and timing,Well done!
harrattp Plus
10 11 4 England
28 May 2010 5:15PM
I just wish I could do half as good a job on my images as you do Pat. Truly superb work.

Thanks Paul - I see a very fine selection of images in your gallery, particularly trhe kingfisher selection - really first class, no way are you 'dragging'.
28 May 2010 7:20PM
great story with picture to go with it as usual pat.terry
RTR Plus
7 8 8 United Kingdom
28 May 2010 8:28PM
Beautifully done and very believable, your walls at home must be adorned with these! .... Rich.
29 May 2010 6:14PM
Great work and informative as always.


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