RAFairman's Blog

An RAF Airman's Blog

Ten Rules…

SAILOR MALAN’S TEN RULES FOR AIR FIGHTING

  1. Wait until you see the whites of his eyes. Fire short bursts of one to two seconds only when your sights are definitely “ON”.
  2. Whilst shooting think of nothing else, brace the whole of your body:
    have both hands on the stick: concentrate on your ring sight.
  3. Always keep a sharp lookout. “Keep your finger out”.
  4. Height gives you the initiative.
  5. Always turn and face the attack.
  6. Make your decisions promptly. It is better to act quickly even though your tactics are not the best.
  7. Never fly straight and level for more than 30 seconds in the combat area.
  8. When diving to attack always leave a proportion of your formation above to act as a top guard.
  9. INITIATIVE, AGGRESSION, AIR DISCIPLINE, and TEAM WORK are words that MEAN something in Air Fighting.
  10. Go in quickly – Punch hard – Get out!

I have these on a copy of the original 1940’s poster over my desk and they were written and published by Sqn Ldr Adolph “Sailor” Milan shortly after the Battle of Britain.

Whilst they were – are – quite specific to war in the air, I think they can be transferred to any workplace – in principle anyway…although maybe the one about “flying straight and level in a combat area” may take a bit of imagination.

They certainly might help in an workplace plagued by office politics…

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5 thoughts on “Ten Rules…

  1. ha ha, going to try and drill some of these principles into the lads at our place next week… TEAM WORK and INITIATIVE > good advice!

  2. John Douglas on said:

    “Sailor”‘s surname should be MALAN, not Milan…Sailor Malan (Adolph Gysbert Malan) was born on the 3rd of October 1910 in Wellington, South Africa.

  3. Stephan Pretorius on said:

    Hi RAFairman, I’m a South African WW2 fanatic, especially RAF/BoB related things, recently discovered just how well known Sailor Malan is over there. His deeds was mostly swept under the carpet due to his anti-apartheid stance, by previous regime government. Crying shame, hence most South Africans have never heard of him, very sad. I’ve made it my mission to do something about it, he’s got such a great story. Anyway, any possibility of getting some info on where I can get a copy of the original of his 10 rules ?? Desperately looking for a copy, or even an image file or similar?
    Kind regards, Stephan Pretorius

    • Hi Stephan,

      I wouldn’t know where to start with suggestions for you, my poster is just one I have had kicking around the office for a while. Maybe the IWM or the RAF Museum might be a good place to start. I think one of them does a poster of the rules.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Alex

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