Douglas Bader

Discussion in 'Biographies' started by Keith, Dec 23, 2008.

  1. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    Being focussed, and being a good pilot is excellent for wartime, but I think most people who hold negative views about him do so more because of certain personality traits - single-mindedness can lead to the detriment of relations with ones collegues. He was also rather difficult with his subordinates. And whilst a POW his own determination to escape made life very difficult for others.

    Post-war he did great work for disabled people, but in his own particular way.
  2. Keith

    Keith New Member

    Hi Kyt,
    Please tell me what is wrong with being focussed and a good pilot and as you forgot, a good leader.
    Single-mindedness to get the job done can only add to his attributes in this case.
    Where he was and where we were at this time was the middle of a conflict against all odds.
    He did not suffer the excuses of covenience and lack of urgency from as you put it , his subordinates nor may I add by his superiors if they were not up to the task in hand.
    He wasn't worried about gaining brownie points or sucking up to high command, only in winning a war.
    It is the duty of all P.O.W's to try and escape, which upset the few who were willing to sit the war out.
    Even where there is little hope of complete escape, enemy personel had to be diverted from their duties to find escapees.
    We must try not to be influenced by reports from some who did not share his complete dedication to duty, rather to the others who like him were devoted to winning the war.
    Try and remember also his complete refusal to accept, as many would, his physical handicap that he overcame and in no way allowed it to influence his usefulness.

    There I go again,
    PS It's a pity there isn't a soap-box freebie!
  3. Heidi

    Heidi New Member

    Hi liverpool annie. I have printed some information out about him and it states his an ace and a legend in his life time,also he lost an leg and he still flew planes during ww2. I was just curious why some members think a bad way about him. I can't find anything bad about him yet. Is it because he Bader always constantly rule breaking all the time?making people hate him?
    Maybe i should look at some books,it might give me more information.

    (I HATE BADER) that actually was said by another member on another forum,no member on this forum here as said that comment.
  4. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    I think hate is not a word that should be related to Bader. Yes, he was a fine flyer and he is a legend and a hero to many but he, like many driven people, had a certain way of going about things and, as a result, he got some people offside and rubbed others up the wrong way.

    Of course, none of us lived and worked with him so we can only rely on research etc. Generalist "ace" websites will only detail his heroics but, fortunately, there was so much more to Bader than this. To achieve what he did after losing his legs (at least) he would have had to have been not afraid to get his own way.

    Heidi, read all you can no matter what it is. It'll give you a well-rounded picture of the man.
  5. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    Hi Keith

    I never said that there was anything wrong with the 'attributes' we mentioned. However, as an officer he was a leader of men, both in the air and on the ground. If his personality was such that his superiors and subordinates found him difficult to deal with then that does not make him a good officer and leader. He could have been the most outstanding pilot in the RAF but that was only part of his job. Whether he did the rest of his work well or badly is reflected in the comments made by the men around him.

    I quite agree that POWs did see their duty as to escape, and make life difficult for the enemy. The is evidenced by the very make-up of the Colditz contingent - all hardened escapers. But, as with being in a squadron, certain people seemed to see it as their right to be put forward for any and every escape attempt, sometimes at the detriment of the others. This is not just Bader, but a number of other POWs whose force of personality subsumed all other considerations.
  6. Heidi

    Heidi New Member

    I agree with hate should not be related to bader,other members directed at me about there feelings and i was confussed. I still don't really know why people think that,there were other millitary prosonals that were not 100% right all the time so i don't know why he said the hate word.
  7. David Layne

    David Layne Active Member

    From what I have been told Bader's arrogant persona was abrasive to those around him.
  8. Keith

    Keith New Member

    Hi Kyt,

    May I clarify the use of subordinates, these were the people from whom he depended on for supplies and help, I add his own men for whom he cared for deeply regarding their welfare and anything he could do to ensure they were properly supplied of tantamount importance, a thing apparently lacking today, thought very highly of him.

    He had tactical foresight and knowledge that was not always received with the the aclaim it deserved from top brass outside his personal area of command, his own commanders agreed with most of his recomendations.
    Even the enemy copied his tactics and thought very highly of him.
    Obvious from the treatment he received as a POW, despite his aggravating insistance of stirring things up.
    He lived very near to me in West Kensington, regretfully I never met him and only ever remember seeing him once walking towards the block of flats where he lived.
    At this time I was only 16.
    May I recommend to Heidi, that if she has a chance to see " Reach for the Sky" to take it. It is in my opinion one of the better docu-dramas recorded.
    She will then find out he had lost both legs which did not stop him from persevering and proving to those in command that he was fit to fly.
    Kenneth More did a fantastic job of portraying the attitude and leadership for which Bader was well known. He spent a lot of time with Bader before filming to thoroughly emulate his character.
    Also to read the no holds barred, warts and all, John Frayn Turners, biography of him.
  9. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

  10. Heidi

    Heidi New Member

    Thanks Andy.I check up on that.

    Too me now he was a legend at the time and an ace and it was only his personality that peed people off or people were just jealous that he was fame and they were not.
  11. Keith

    Keith New Member


    Hi Heidi,
    I'm so glad we have made an impression on you and changed your feelings towards Douglas Bader.
    The reason you have arrived at in the latter part of your reply is the truth behind his supposed being hated.
    It happens to all great personalities at some time.

    Hope you manage to find Frayns book.

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