The Battle of Britain

Anagha Sanne, Shannon

Define:

The battle of britain was an attempt of the German air force to gain superiority over the RAFS from July to September 1940. Its ultimate failure was due to the turning points of WW2 and prevention of Germany from entering Britain.

Discuss

Cause

  • After defeating the French, the Germans wanted to control Britain. In order to do that, the had to destroy Royal Air Force ( RAF)
  • The Battle was started when Luftwaffe attempted to gain control over the Strait of Dover
  • The aim of Luftwaffe was to remove the RAFs from the full scale war

Charecteristics

  • September 15th is celebrated as Battle of Britain day
  • The was started on 10th September when Luftwaffe attacked convoy of ships off Dover.
  • The air war was started on 12 September.
  • Although, Germany had 4,000 aircraft compared to Britain's front-line strength of 1,660, Britain had radar, which enabled them to identify approaching planes
  • the battle was won by the Royal Air Force (RAF) Fighter Command, whose victory not only blocked the possibility of invasion but also created the conditions for Great Britain’s survival, for the extension of the war, and for the eventual defeat of Nazi Germany.
  • A key event took place on 15th September 1940. On this day, Germany launched a massive assault on London and filled the skies with a large number of bombers and fighter planes. The RAF responded, and British planes successfully scattered the bombers and defended London. Germany continued to bomb Britain after 15th September, but the RAF had clearly demonstrated that it wasn’t close to being defeated.
  • The code name for the German invasion of Britain was Operation Sea Lion
  • The keystone of the British defence was the detection, command, and control which ran the battle. This was the 'Dowding System'. The Downing System comprised of Radio direction finding which was later know as radar.

Significance

  • Overall, the Battle of Britain was a failure for both the Germans and the British. However, it seriously raised the confidence of the Allied forces.

  • The Battle of Britain marked the first time that the Nazis were stopped.

  • Air control became key to the war

  • The British victory marked the first failure of Hitler's “war machine”. The Battle of Britain also changed the US’s opinion that the UK could not survive.

  • Today historians believe that the it was not possible for the Lufftwaffe to win. Their numbers were not enough to accomplish beating the British.

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