20 SEPTEMBER 1940, Page 1

The War in the Air

The week that has passed has been one of air warfare such as the world has never before experienced. It has been marked on the ierman side by ruthless indiscriminate bombing of London, and by daylight raids in which the enemy suffered a crushing defeat ; and on the British side by persistent attacks on military objectives in Germany and in German-occupied territory, and ceaseless bombing of the Channel ports and the vessels accumu- lated there for the projected invasion. The big daylight raid on oluday was the most disastrous that the Germans have yet exPYrienced. The number known to be destroyed was a record LI, of which 178 were shot down by fighters. This amaz- ing -esult was obtained for the loss of only 25 British machines, the pilots of 12 being saved. In the week ended September 15th the German machines lost were 471, the British 96, of whose pilots 41 were safe. These engagements have given the measure of the real fighting quality of the two forces in legitimate warfare. In illegitimate warfare, barbarously exhibited in the night-bombing of London and the blind destruction of civilian lives and property, the defence under conditions of darkness is at a disadvantage ; but the anti- aircraft guns, with their new methods of prediction, are now able to put up a barrage which disorders if it does not stop the enemy's night raiders. The British night-bombers, with their long experience over Germany, have been incessantly raiding real military objectives in Germany—staying their hand on one night when weather made accurate aiming impossible. At all the points on the Channel coasts where enemy vessels are con- centrated for invasion they have wrought havoc, and on Tuesday and Wednesday, when gales worked on our side, and forced the enemy to seek cover for his barges, their new dispoSitions were observed and fresh attacks made.