Appendix 5: First-line Aircraft—British, German and Italian Air Forces
|30th September 1938||1,982||3,307|
|3rd September 1939||1,911†||4,131|
|1st August 1940||2,913‡||4,549||1,529** (June)|
* These figures are based on the official ‘establishment’ for the initial equipment (I.E.) of squadrons, home and overseas. In addition, there was an immediate reserve (I.R.) varying from 4 to 5 aircraft per squadron. After June 1944 this initial equipment and immediate reserve were grouped together in what became known as unit equipment (U.E.).
† The decline in first-line aircraft in September 1939 as compared with September 1938 was due ( a) to the withdrawal of obsolescent aircraft, and ( b) to the relegation of certain ‘non-mobilizable’ bomber squadrons to form a reserve and operational training organization at the outbreak of war.
‡ Include aircraft of Dominion and Allied air forces under RAF contl.
§ The German figures, which are extracted from Luftwaffe records, are for actual strength. They include in each case a powerful force of transport aircraft—308 in September 1938, 552 in September 1939, 375 in August 1940.
** This figure is an official Italian total to the nearest available date.