Rubis Photo Gallery Photographs of the Free French Naval Forces submarine Rubis and her crew.
Rubis in Action (Google Map) The map shows the positions of all of Rubis's documented actions.
Rubis Today (Diving Videos) Rubis was scuttled in 1957 off St. Tropez, France, for sonar target practice.
Tribute to Submarines By Winston Spencer Churchill, Prime Minister.
RAF Douglas Wood was one of a series of Chain Home air defence RDF (as radar was then called) stations around the British coast that had opened by the time war broke out in September 1939.
Four 360 foot steel lattice towers held the transmitter aerial array and four 240 foot receiver towers were placed some distance away from the transmitter towers.
Chain Home gave early warning of incoming air raids up to 80 miles offshore. On 16th October 1939 Douglas Wood was one of two radar stations that detected the formation of German bombers heading for the Forth and the first air raid over Britain of the Second World War. Spitfires were scrambled from RAF Turnhouse (now Edinburgh Airport) and RAF Drem in East Lothian and two of the raiders were shot down.
Douglas Wood successfully vectored RAF Hurricanes and Spitfires onto small groups of attacking shipping off the east coast and later, in March, April and May 1941, the radar station tracked large formations of enemy aircraft heading for the heavy raids on Clydeside. Finally, on the evening of 10th May 1945, Douglas Wood tracked three German aircraft approaching from Norway. Bound for RAF Drem, they carried German officers whose mission was to arrange the surrender of all German forces in occupied Norway.
RAF Woodhaven opened in February 1942 as the base for 1477 Flight, Royal Norwegian Air Force, and their Catalina flying boats would become a familiar sight on the Tay for the next three years. The Norwegians, like their compatriots crewing submarines operating from Dundee, had all escaped from occupied Norway, many of them making hazardous passages across the North Sea in small boats so they could take the fight back to the enemy. Not for nothing did these highly motivated patriots adopt the squadron motto For Konge, Fedreland og flaggets heder (For King, country and the honour of the flag).
1477 Flight was absorbed into a new, much larger unit, 333 Squadron in May 1943 with one flight continuing to operate the Catalinas out of Woodhaven and another, operating from Leuchars, equipped with Mosquito fighter-bombers. The squadron was tasked with hunting down U-boats operating from bases in occupied Norway against the Atlantic convoy routes and attacking enemy shipping convoys off the Norwegian coast.
Two U-boats were heavily damaged in a single action by Leuchars-based 333 Squadron Mosquitos on 16th June 1944 and the Squadron's first U-boat kill came the following day when Lieutenant Karl Crafft in Catalina D/333 depth-charged and sank U-423. Another U-boat was heavily damaged by a Woodhaven Catalina a month later. The Catalinas also undertook highly dangerous flights carrying secret agents and saboteurs into occupied Norway. On other occasions, particularly at Christmas, they would fly up the Norwegian coast dropping much-needed food and medical supplies. RAF Woodhaven closed in 1945 but 333 Squadron remains one of the elite units of the Royal Norwegian Air Force.
“Chain Home” was the codename for the ring of coastal radar stations built by the British before and during World War II. The system comprised two types of radar.
The Chain Home stations, or AMES Type 1 (Air Ministry Experimental Station), provided long-range detection. The Chain Home Low stations, or AMES Type 2, were shorter-ranged but could detect aircraft flying at lower levels. The Chain Home system was fairly primitive, since in order to be battle-ready it had been rushed into production by Sir Robert Watson-Watt’s Air Ministry research station near Bawdsey. Watson-Watt, a pragmatic engineer, believed that “third-best” would do if “second-best” would not be available in time and “best” never available at all. Chain Home certainly suffered from glitches and errors in reporting.
The Hawker Hurricane is a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was designed and predominantly built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd. Some production of the Hurricane was carried out in Canada by the Canada Car and Foundry Co Ltd.
The 1930s design evolved through several versions and adaptations, resulting in a series of aircraft which acted as interceptor-fighters, fighter-bombers (also called “Hurribombers”), and ground support aircraft. Further versions known as the Sea Hurricane had modifications which enabled operation from ships. Some were converted as catapult-launched convoy escorts, known as “Hurricats”.
Together with the Spitfire, the Hurricane was significant in enabling the Royal Air Force to win the Battle of Britain of 1940, accounting for the majority of the RAF’s air victories. About 14,000 Hurricanes were built by the end of 1944 (including about 1,200 converted to Sea Hurricanes and some 1,400 built in Canada), and served in all the major theatres of the Second World War.
The Supermarine Spitfire is a British single-seat fighter aircraft used by the Royal Air Force and many other Allied countries through the Second World War and on into the 1950s as a front line fighter and in secondary roles. It was produced in greater numbers than any other Allied fighter design and was the only Allied fighter in production throughout the war.
The Spitfire was designed by R. J. Mitchell, chief designer at Supermarine Aviation Works. He continued to refine the design until his death from cancer in 1937, whereupon his colleague Joseph Smith became chief designer. Its elliptical wing had a thin cross-section, allowing a higher top speed than the Hawker Hurricane and many other contemporary designs.
The distinctive silhouette imparted by the wing planform helped the Spitfire to achieve legendary status during the Battle of Britain. There was, and still is, a public perception that it was the RAF fighter of the battle, although the more numerous Hurricane actually shouldered a greater proportion of the burden against the Luftwaffe.
After the Battle of Britain, the Spitfire became the backbone of RAF Fighter Command and saw action in the European Theatre, Pacific Theatre and the South-East Asian theatre. Much loved by its pilots, the Spitfire saw service in several roles and was built in many different variants.
The De Havilland Mosquito was a British combat aircraft that excelled in a number of roles during the Second World War. Originally conceived as an unarmed fast bomber, uses of the Mosquito included: low to medium altitude daytime tactical bomber, high altitude night bomber, pathfinder, day or night fighter, fighter-bomber, intruder, maritime strike and photo reconnaissance aircraft.
It was also used as the basis for a single-seat heavy fighter, the de Havilland Hornet. The aircraft served with the Royal Air Force and many other air forces during the Second World War and postwar. The Mosquito was known affectionately as the “Mossie” to its crews and was also known as “The Wooden Wonder” or “The Timber Terror” as the bulk of the aircraft was made of laminated plywood.
The Mosquito is often described as having been faster than enemy fighters, although this is not completely true. On its introduction to service, the aircraft was about as fast as the front line German fighters that opposed it, the Bf 109F and Fw 190A. Nonetheless the fighters' speed advantage was slim enough that by the time those aircraft could reach interception altitude, the Mosquito would have completed its bombing run and would be racing for home. Advancements in German fighters eventually outpaced performance improvements in the Mosquito, but it was always an elusive target even in daylight.
The Consolidated PBY Catalina was an American flying boat of the 1930s and 1940s produced by Consolidated Aircraft. It could be equipped with depth charges, bombs, torpedoes, and .50 Browning machine guns and was one of the most widely used multi-role aircraft of World War II. PBYs served with every branch of the US military and in the air forces and navies of many other nations. In the United States Army Air Forces and later in the USAF their designation was the OA-10, while Canadian-built PBYs were known as Cansos.
In World War II, PBYs were used in anti-submarine warfare, patrol bombing, convoy escorts, search-and-rescue missions, and cargo transport. The PBY was the most successful aircraft of its kind; no other flying boat was produced in greater numbers. The last active military PBYs were not retired from service until the 1980s. Even today, over seventy years after its first flight, the aircraft continues to fly as an airtanker in aerial firefighting operations all over the world.
In the initialism PBY, “PB” stands for “Patrol Bomber” and “Y” is the code for “Consolidated Aircraft”, as designated in the U.S. Navy aircraft designation system of 1922.