Monday, 4 June 2018

The Butt Report 1941

Photo: Unknown photographer

During the Second World War British armed forces suffered a long string of catastrophic military defeats in Norway,Belgium,France,Greece,Hong Kong,Singapore and other places.

A significant factor in all of those defeats was a lack of tactical air power.

Tactical air power on land and sea had been starved of resources to fund a strategic bomber force.

Photo: Unknown Royal Air Force official photographer.

One Lancaster bomber cost as much as five Spitfire fighters.

The military resources lost to Allied forces as a result of the lack of tactical air power were many times greater than the resources lost to the Axis forces as a result of the strategic bombing campaign.

This was illustrated by one of the most important documents of the Second World War which was written by David Miles Bensusan-Butt and known as "The Butt Report".

Many years ago we wished to give our readers an opportunity to read this important report but were unable to find an online copy.

Someone has now solved that problem.

His name is William Thomas and he is the author of the Ether Wave Propaganda blog.

He has transcribed the report and published his transcription online in this blog post.

His transcription can be read here:

The Butt Report 1941.


TrT said...

Although the Butt Report was no doubt true, it was also politically expedient.

Better to blame lack of tactcal airpower, no ones fault, than a utterly useless war office that hadnt improved since Crimea.
Better to attribute German success to Tactical Airpower than to a competent command structure capable of fighting a modern and joined up campaign

British Tactical airpower would have accomplished little, because there was no mechanism for the British Army to either command them, or to rapidly request them, it was still a case of British Army units making requests, those requests going to headquarters, and hq, possibly, asking the RAF to meet them daily staff briefings.
If the RAF deigned to intervene, they would build it in to their operational taskings.

GrandLogistics said...

Hello The Raging Tory,

it is good to see you are still around.
Your blog appears inactive but this blog gets regular traffic from it,is that you?

The most surprising thing about the Butt report is that it was largely ignored.
There is a reason for that.
The lack of tactical air power and the British Army's (and Royal Navy's) lack of control over air power were both due to the same cause.
It was the result of the government's policy of strategic bombing.

If you believe that the war is going to be won by a strategic bombing campaign then it does not make sense to divert resources in to tactical air power or to put air power assets under the control of the army or navy.
Thus the blame for the frequent British defeats may be attributed the man responsible for the government's strategic bombing policy.
His name was Winston Spencer Churchill.

Grand Logistics.