Wars of WW2
Battle of Britain
On 18 June 1940, Churchill gave a rousing speech to the British people, announcing: "... the Battle of France is over. The Battle of Britain is about to begin." Four days later, France surrendered to Germany and Hitler turned his attention to Britain. German air superiority in the south of England was essential before Hitler could contemplate an invasion so Hermann Goering, the head of the Luftwaffe, was instructed that the RAF must be "beaten down to such an extent that it can no longer muster any power of attack worth mentioning against the German crossing".The battle began in mid-July and, initially, the Luftwaffe concentrated on attacking shipping in the English Channel and attacking coastal towns and defenses. From 12 August, Goering shifted his focus to the destruction of the RAF, attacking airfields and radar bases. Convinced that Fighter Command was now close to defeat, he also tried to force air battles between fighter planes to definitively break British strength. However, Goering grew frustrated by the large number of British planes that were still fighting off his attacks. On 4 September, the Luftwaffe switched tactics again and, on Hitler's orders, set about destroying London and other major cities. Eleven days later, on what became known as 'Battle of Britain Day', the RAF savaged the huge incoming Luftwaffe formations in the skies above London and the south coast.