Thursday, 30 July 2015

#BattleofBritain75 #WW2 Lord Beaverbrook Minister Of Aircraft Production

Lord Beaverbrook

On May 14th 1940 Lord  Beaverbrook was appointed Minister Of Aircraft Production by Churchill. Beaverbrook recognised the need for increased fighter production which went against popular thinking of the time at the Air Ministry, but was in agreement with Hugh Dowding.
At Castle Bromwich an aircraft factory had been established by Lord Nuffield at a cost of £4000,000 in 1939, but by 1940 no aircraft had been completed. Beaverbrook telephoned Supermarine, told them to take over the factory and produce only fighters, he also told them to ignore orders to tool up for bomber production. Although it would take some time to resolve the problems, in June 1940, 10 Mk IIs were built; 23 rolled out in July, 37 in August, and 56 in September.

Spitfires at Castle Bromwich

Beaverbrook clearly, when asked to do a job, he did it and got the results. Castle Bromwich produced an estimated 11,780 Spifires by the time the war ended in 1945

Len Deighton writes in Fighter,  that Beaverbrook would every evening during the Battle Of Britain ring his son, who was flying Spitfires to check he was okay. Next he would ring Air Vice Marshall Park, to ask him how many Spitfires & Hurricanes he required the next day - and where he would like them delivered. The next day, Park would receive his aircraft without fail. If only we could slice through the red tape like that now.