The Ten Rules of Fighting were displayed for all Battle of Britain pilots to see. Inexperienced pilots were potentially easy prey to experienced Luftwaffe pilots and tips such as the ones below were designed to preserve life as a fighter pilot could only gain vital experience by fighting - when he was at his most vulnerable. The more hours a pilot clocked in the air in combat, the greater his chance of survival.
1. Wait until you see the whites of his eyes. Fire short bursts of 1 to 2 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 top guard.
9. Initiative, aggression, air discipline and teamwork are words that MEAN something in air fighting.
10. Go in quickly – punch hard – get out!
Issued to pilots by 81 Group Tactics