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                 Advanced Air Striking Force - British Expeditionary Force


France  - Gloster Gladiators

Two squadrons of Gladiators were sent to France in November 1939 (607 and 615 with 30 aircraft between them). Based in the north of France, they saw little of the Germans during the phoney war period, but between 10 May when the Germans invaded the Low Countries and 20 May (by which time most of the Gladiators had been destroyed) that changed. Unfortunately the squadron records were destroyed in the retreat from France, so we can not be sure how well the obsolescent biplane performed. 607 squadron pilots claimed to have shot down 72 German aircraft. Even assuming the normal over-claiming of at least two to one, the two Gladiator squadrons may have shot down two German aircraft for every Gladiator. Most of these would have been the more vulnerable German bombers. All thirty Gladiators were lost, most destroyed by German bombers while on the ground or destroyed before the retreat.