Bf 109 crash lands near Lyminge

Fw Fritz Schewser, white 6 (5327) of 7/JG 54 crash lands his Bf 109E-4 on the south outskirts of Lyminge parish ("Meridan Farm") having had the oil radiator pierced by F/O Eric Thomas of 222 Sqn. He skids across the grass banging his head off the cockpit and armour plate.

As farm workers and troops enter the field he opens a fuel cock and soaks his his maps and papers before lighting a match in cupped hands and throwing the burning papers into the cockpit. He then moves a safe distance from the aircraft and waves a white handkerchief over his head. Thomas, circling overhead, witnesses the entire proceedings.

Reverand Williams later writes in the parish magazine:

Last month I watched a British airman force down a German fighter plane on the outskirts of the parish. The Englishman was merciful, as it seemed to me. He could have blown to pices the German pilot, but he withheld his fire when the Nazi was obviously beaten and was coming down. He afterwards circled round for some time to make sure of his 'bad', and then did something which fairly took my breath away - he quickly rolled his plane over in the air, as you might spin a tennis racket in your hand! It is, I believe, what the RAF call 'The Victory Roll'.

Well, it struck me as typical of the national spirit which is overcoming all kinds of dangers and difficulties with courage and endurance in the full ardour of youth, until its efforts are crowned in Victory.

Hitler rules out any invasion of Britain before the end of the year

The Armed Forces High Command
WFSt/Abt. L (I) Nr. 33 318/40 g.K.Chefs.
Führer Headquarters
12 Oct. 1940
Fourteen Copies
Top secret

  1. The Führer has decided that preparations for the landing in Britain are to be kept up from now until spring, merely as a means of exerting political and military pressure.
    Should a landing in Britain be decided on again in the spring or summer of 1941, the required degree of readiness will be ordered at the proper time. Until then the military dispositions for a later landing are to be further improved.
  2. All measures connected with relaxing readiness for combat are to be ordered by the High Commands according to the following principles:
    1. The British are to be left under the impression that we are still preparing a landing on a wide front.
    2. At the same time the strain on the German economy is to be eased.
  3. This, in detail, means that:
    • Army:
      The units earmarked for operation "Seelöwe" will be available for proposed new formations or other assignment. However, we must avoid allowing it to become noticeable that the coastal areas are less heavily garrisoned.
    • Navy:
      The preparations in personnel and material are to be eased n such a manner that both personnel and tonnage, especially tugboats and fishing steamers, will be returned, insofar as is necessary, to the tasks of naval warfare and the public economy. All movements of shipping connected with the relaxation of of combat readiness are to be carried out inconspicuously, and extended over a considerable period of time. They are to be utilized as far as possible for the transportation of goods or captured material.
  4. The High Commands are requested to report by 20 Oct. to the Armed Forces High Command all measures taken in connection with relaxing the preparations for operation "Seelöwe", as well as the length of time which will be required to restore ten-day readiness.

The Chief of Staff, Armed Forces High Command

signed: Keitel

Damaged Bf 109 lands at Manston

OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK of (Unit or Formation) R.A.F. Station MANSTON

Place Date Time Summary of Events References to Appendices
MANSTON. 17.10.40 1545. An enemy M.E.109 landed on the aerodrome after disablement in combat. The pilot was unhurt and was taken into custody.

Hitler meets with Franco

Franco declares himself ready to join the war against Britain under the following conditions: Spain is rewarded with Gibraltar, French Morocco and Western Algeria; and military and economic aid is made available - particularly petroleum and wheat.

Hitler agreed but was concerned about committing French colonial interests to Spain as he hoped to promise parts of British West Africa to the Vichy government.

Spain continued to drag its heels and never served as a base against Gibraltar but did contribute forces to the German Eastern Front.