War papers reveal the invasion threat to Moray 75 years ago

RAF Lossiemouth at the outbreak of war - papers show that an invasion was expected to target the base
RAF Lossiemouth at the outbreak of war – papers show that an invasion was expected to target the base (pic: Forresweb)

UK DEFENCE CHIEFS feared that Scotland would be invaded from Norway in 1940 by the Nazis – and that Moray would have been a major target.

Previously classified documents that had remained unseen for 75 years have revealed that the war cabinet was convinced an invasion from the air would arrive in Scotland – with all airfields to the north of the Tay being the main targets.

The cabinet believed at the time that an invasion was imminent that would have put airfields in Moray on the frontline, with the fear that Germany was about to land over 20,000 paratroopers in the first three days “for the purpose of capturing and holding all of the aerodromes”.

Dating from August 1940, the documents were written just four months after RAF Lossiemouth had been handed over to Bomber Command.

Up to then the Moray base had been largely a flight training airfield – but with nearby RAF Milltown constructed as a satellite base the importance of the Moray bases had been firmly established.

Papers detailing the war cabinet fears have now been released that reveal the extent of fears at the time that, had Germany gained command of the air during the Battle of Britain, then little could be done to halt an initial invasion in Scotland.

According to the long-time secret papers, it was believed that after the initial invasion Germany would maintain and reinforce their grip by flying in around 900 men a day.

History shows that Hitler was forced to call off his invasion plans after an intense air war failed in his ambitions to destroy the Royal Air Force.

RAF Lossiemouth was attacked by the Luftwaffe for the first time in October 1940, three airmen were killed and three HE111s destroyed, along with two Blenheims – while two Miles Magisters, two Tiger Moths and a Hurricane were damaged.