Q&A with Battle of Britain veteran Group Captain Sir Hugh “Cocky” Dundas

In the second of the RAF Centre for Air Power Studies rarely-seen before historic ‘leadership’ themed videos, Battle of Britain legend Group Captain Sir Hugh ‘Cocky’ Dundas CBE DSO* DFC presents his thoughts on ‘Leadership in War’ followed by an informal question and answer session at an after-dinner speech given circa 1991 at the RAF Staff College, Bracknell.

Group Captain Sir Hugh Dundas joined the Royal Auxiliary Air Force as an acting-pilot officer in 1938 before being called up to active service upon the outbreak of the Second World War. Initially he served on 616 Squadron flying Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Is during the Battle of Britain fighting ‘hard and fiercely’ throughout. He went on to serve as a squadron commander and then subsequently as wing leader and had, by 1944, become one of the youngest Group Captains in the RAF at the age of just 24. In combat against the enemy he is credited with four aircraft destroyed while having shared in the destruction of another six as well as two probables.

He left the RAF in 1947 to pursue a successful career in the media. He has also published an autobiography, Flying Start: A Fighter Pilot’s War Years, describing his wartime experiences in great detail. In 1969 he was appointed Deputy Lieutenant for Surrey and in 1989 High Sheriff. Dundas married Enid Rosamond Lawrence in 1950 and together they had a son and two daughters.

Sir Hugh Dundas passed away on July 10th 1995.

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News Round-Up – September 27th 2017

british army combat

Here are some of the latest British military news stories making the headlines this past week.


General Defence News

US-led Exercise Formidable Shield begins offshore Scotland
(Naval Technology)

Trump’s new UK ambassador wrongly accuses Britain of spending ‘minimum’ on its military
(The Independent)

MoD sells off ships, planes and vehicles to meet £20billion hole in defence budget
(Daily Star)

Shocking rise in number of monkeys used for experiments at Ministry of Defence’s top secret warfare lab
(Mirror)

Brit military wants a small-drone-killer system for £20m
(The Register)

Prince Harry kicks off Invictus Games in Toronto
(insideTORONTO.com)

Ministry of Defence bracing for a no-deal Brexit to protect Armed Forces
(Mirror)

Two planes collide in mid air at Duxford Battle of Britain air show
(Essex Live)


British Army News

Former sergeant major who applied for 400 jobs still struggles to find work
(Telegraph)

The British Army is trying to give its tanks ‘shields’
(Scout)

Battle over plans for new £3bn contract for new Army vehicle
(Telegraph)

‘When will this nightmare end?’ War vet tells of shock at fourth inquiry into suspicious death of Iraqi civilian
(Telegraph)

Army grounds £1bn drone fleet after two crash
(Telegraph)


Royal Air Force News

What happened to Corrie McKeague? Bury St Edmunds RAF gunner is still missing one year later
(The Sun)

Shamed historian ordered to pay widow of RAF hero £12500 for stealing treasured Dambusters log book
(Scottish Daily Record)

Dozens of ex-RAF workers ‘suffering life threatening illness and terminal cancers after being exposed to deadly chemicals
(The Sun)

Lucky thirteen take to the skies! Dramatic sight over wartime fighter station as Spitfires and bombers
(Daily Mail)

British pilot of Maltese descent Graham Muscat brings T2 Hawk to Malta for the first time
(Malta Independent Online)


Royal Navy & Marines News

Ultra Electronics wins £37m contract with BAE Systems
(Digital Look)

HMS Ocean has arrived in the Caribbean in mammoth relief effort
(Plymouth Herald)

The Royal Navy and Freedom of Navigation Operations
(CIMSEC)

New Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship to support the Aircraft Carriers arrives in UK
(Royal Navy)

Watch Royal Navy bomb squad carry out explosion on busy Cornwall beach
(Cornwall Live)


Disclaimer: All news stories are the property of their respective publishers. Any opinions expressed in the articles are of the person making them. An effort is made to vary news sources as much as possible to avoid political bias.

September 23rd 1938 – British Anti-Aircraft Units Mobilise During Munich Crisis

On September 22nd 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain met with the leader of Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler to discuss the issue of the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia. After the political map of Europe was redrawn following World War I, many ethnic German speakers found themselves living in Czechoslovakia and Hitler had vowed to return them to the Fatherland. Chamberlain had agreed to allow Germany to annex the Sudetenland but Hitler made demands that he wanted to seize Czechoslovakia completely.

Naturally, Czechoslovakia was opposed to this as were most European powers and began to mobilise for war. As the situation deteriorated, Britain began making preparations for war and on September 23rd 1938 the anti-aircraft units of the Territorial Army were activated.

Among the units mobilised were;

  • 26th Anti-Aircraft Brigade protecting London with just 41 AA guns
  • 35th Anti-Aircraft Brigade protecting the important naval base at Portsmouth
  • 42nd Anti-Aircraft Brigade protecting Glasgow
  • 43rd Anti-Aircraft Brigade protecting Teeside
  • 54th Anti-Aircraft Brigade protecting towns and cities in the West Midlands

Many of these units found themselves armed with little more than World War I Lewis machine guns until heavier weapons could be distributed to them.

The crisis was eventually resolved as far as Britain was concerned with the Munich Agreement  and Czechoslovakia was informed by Britain and France that it could either resist Nazi Germany alone or submit to Hitler’s will. The Czechoslovak government could not hope to fight the Nazis alone and reluctantly agreed although they felt betrayed by Britain and France.

On September 30th 1938, Chamberlain returned to Britain and gave one of history’s most notorious speeches proclaiming “peace in our time” however the Territorial Army anti-aircraft units would remain mobilised right up until the following September when peace was finally shattered in dramatic fashion.

Type 45 Destroyer HMS Daring (D32) – Gallery

A collection of personal photos aboard the Type 45 destroyer HMS DaringDaring was the first of the Type 45s and was commissioned in 2009. With a crew of 190 she has had a very busy life since then including a circumnavigation of the globe from May 2013 to February 2014 during which the vessel helped relieve the stricken islands of the Philippines after typhoon Haiyan struck in late 2013.

The sailor who has donated these images (including one or two taken by family) had served aboard Daring before leaving the Royal Navy quite recently but wishes to remain anonymous.


Exterior

 


On Deck incl. Phalanx CIWS and Seagnat Decoy System

 


Sailor’s Bunks

 

For more images of British military equipment and museums please visit the Galleries section or follow Defence of the Realm on Instagram

If you have photographs or articles you wish to contribute to Defence of the Realm than you can email them to defencerealmyt@gmail.com. If successful you will of course be given full credit for your contribution and can even promote your own website/blog/social media account.

News Round-Up – September 11th 2017

Puma HC.2

Here are some of the latest British military news stories making the headlines this past week.


General News

Humans will always control killer drones, says ministry of defence
(The Guardian)

UK’s plans for zombie attack revealed
(The Independent)

Surveys begin of radium contaminated Fife beach ahead of MoD clean-up
(The Courier)


British Army News

Neo-Nazi soldier arrests: Two men released by police
(BBC News)

Hurricane Irma: British troops arrive in devastated Caribbean as looters storm apartments
(Express)

New military vehicle hailed as the answer to the British Army’s needs
(Telegraph)

Ex-British Army soldier, 75, has been quizzed 25 times and held for 84 hours by police probing shooting of an IRA suspect in 1974
(Daily Mail)

British Army officials confront homophobia in new Stonewall campaign
(PinkNews)

Yorkshire army regiment which fought from Waterloo to Afghanistan now fighting for memorial
(Huddersfield Examiner)


Royal Air Force News

RAF Puma helicopter in near miss with drone over Maulden
(BBC News)

Secret bunker: Volunteers dig deep to uncover Cold War history
(STV News)

Rangers gaffer Pedro Caixinha poses for pics with British troops as they descend on Ibrox
(The Scottish Sun)

Here’s what the RAF Chinooks were doing flying over Boston
(Lincolnshire Live)

At 96, Chile’s first female pilot recounts WWII perils with RAF
(Yahoo News)


Royal Navy & Marines News

Royal Navy’s second aircraft carrier officially named
(Newburgh Gazette)

Royal Navy’s aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales first seagoing captain named
(MercoPress)

Royal Navy arrives in British Virgin Islands bringing much-needed aid to the Hurricane Irma
(Telegraph)

British yards welcome new national shipbuilding strategy
(Maritime Journal)

This is what Royal Navy submarines could look like in the future
(Business Insider UK)


Disclaimer: All news stories are the property of their respective publishers. Any opinions expressed in the articles are of the person making them. An effort is made to vary news sources as much as possible to avoid political bias.

Video – First firings of Sea Ceptor missiles at sea

Video uploaded to the Ministry of Defence’s YouTube channel.

Today (04/09/17) the Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin announced the successful first firings of the Sea Ceptor air defence system.

In a visit to defence company MBDA’s site in Bristol, the Minister revealed the major milestone for the Royal Navy. HMS Argyll fired the Sea Ceptor missiles off the coast of Scotland earlier this Summer that will be used to protect the new aircraft carriers.

News Round-Up – September 2nd 2017

British army afghanistan

Here are some of the latest British military news stories making the headlines this past week.


General News

PM calls for closer defence ties with Japan following North Korea threat
(Forces Network)

Bahrain to get ex-RAF C-130Js
(IHS Jane’s 360)

Miami murders: Court orders release of MoD and PSNI security files
(BBC News)


British Army News

UK special forces to join Trump’s Afghanistan troop surge
(Press TV)

Dramatic footage shows moment British Army paratrooper jumps from dizzying heights
(Evening Standard)

British Army Gurkha ‘super-tracker’ hunting poachers in Gabon to save last remaining elephants
(Telegraph)

Army bomb team disposes of historic hand grenade in Dublin
(Newstalk 106-108fm)

Photograph capturing the spirit of the British Army nominated for National Award
(Forces Network)

Family members who had relatives killed by British Army during Troubles stage sit-in protest at Museum of Free Derry
(Derry Now)


Royal Air Force News

RAF’s close combat unit opens to women for the first time
(BBC News)

RAF Typhoons and Tornados take out ISIS jihadis travelling in a truck in Iraq
(Daily Mail)

RAF fighters reinforce NATO Baltic air policing in Estonia
(IHS Jane’s 360)

Wreckage of WWII RAF plane that helped drive the Nazis from Norway is found by cable-laying boat at the bottom of the North Sea 70 years after it vanished without trace
(Daily Mail)

The RAF Photographic Competition 2017, in pictures
(Telegraph)

New home to save RAF Museum of Firefighting in Lincolnshire
(Lincolnshire Live)


Royal Navy & Marines News

Ministry of Defence names head of Trident nuclear submarine programme
(NW Evening Mail)

Royal Navy sends just one (casualty) ship to showpiece sea and air event
(Telegraph)

“Lessons have been learned”: Royal Navy’s second aircraft carrier prepares for big day
(The Courier)

The Royal Navy’s next ‘frigate’ is not a frigate
(War Is Boring)

Ocean life inspires new Royal Navy submarine concepts
(The Engineer)


Disclaimer: All news stories are the property of their respective publishers. Any opinions expressed in the articles are of the person making them. An effort is made to vary news sources as much as possible to avoid political bias.