What was the Duxford Big Wing?
The RAF were regularly outnumbered by the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain, earning them the name of the Few. One solution to this was the Big Wing. The Big Wing strategy involved up to five squadrons of fighter aircraft flying together in one large formation, allowing them to meet the oncoming enemy in strength. This tactic has strong support from 12 Group, based at Duxford, including Air Vice-Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory and Squadron Leader Douglas Bader, as well as from Air Ministry and the government. But the Big Wing was a controversial tactic. Among its critics was Head of Fighter Command Hugh Dowding and Air Officer Commander Keith Park – and this opinion that would eventually lead to their downfall.
So was the Big Wing a good idea or not? We’re going to find out.
Get tickets to the Duxford Battle of Britain Air Show, 18 & 19 September 2021.