Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding: The Battle of Britain Essay

Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding: The Battle of Britain Essay

Length: 2734 words (7.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Research Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

Few tales from history have held as much fascination as that of the Battle of Britain. The notion of the RAF fighting against the might and power of the Luftwaffe, and winning, has captured the imagination of generations. Yet few people know who the man responsible for the victory really was. Most of the time, Prime Minister Winston Churchill is portrayed as the man who saved Britain. To some extent, this is true. If Churchill had not kept up the spirits of the British people, and had not refused to give in to Germany, then the Battle would have been lost. But the man who actually kept the Germans from taking control of Britain was Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding. He not only won the Battle, but quite possibly saved the free world. Dowding won the Battle by his backing and use of radar, his insistence of a strong fighter force instead of a bomber force, and his brilliant, revolutionary defensive tactics.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding was born in Scotland, in 1882. He was a taciturn old widower, formal, stubborn, and opinionated. "He was impatient not only with fools, but also with people who did not agree with him, whatever the rank" (Korda, 33). These traits, along with his unvarying formality, earned him the nickname "Stuffy" Dowding. Even though he seemed gruff and unsentimental, he truly cared about the welfare of his fighter pilots, often referring to them as "my chicks." (Korda 17). In 1936, Dowding was appointed to the newly created office of Air Chief Marshal, in control of what would eventually become Fighter Command. Dowding's appointment to this office came at a time when Fighter Command consisted mainly of fabric-covered, two gun biplanes, not very different from the fighters used during World ...

... middle of paper ...

...ften forgotten in light of Winston Churchill's famous speeches and writings about the Battle, Dowding was the man who actually won the Battle of Britain. With his use of radar as a mechanism of defense, his use of fighter planes as a defense, and his unconventionally brilliant tactics, he successfully stayed the German Luftwaffe and protected Britain in a time of great turmoil and desperation.

Works Cited

Churchill, Winston. Their Finest Hour. Boston: Published in Association with the Cooperation Pub. Houghton Mifflin, 1949. Print
Churchill, Winston, and Randolph S. Churchill. Blood, Sweat, and Tears. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1941. Print.
Deighton, Len. Fighter: The True Story of the Battle of Britain. New York: Ballantine, 1982. Print.
Korda, Michael. With Wings like Eagles: A History of the Battle of Britain. New York: Harper, 2009. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Air Campaign Waged by Germany in The Battle of Britain Essay

- ... Dowding decided to take a conservative and preventative approach to the conflict. Dowding also acknowledged that he was fighting a defensive war which made it easier for his men to return to the front line opposed to a German soldier who would captured and imprisoned. Fighting on friendly territory made the entire battle much easier for the RAF. Dowding was consistently trying to improve his command and create a powerful Air Force which he eventually did by creating what became known as the Dowding System....   [tags: hitler, defense, battle]

Research Papers
2582 words (7.4 pages)

Europe : Revenge, Humiliation And Preparation Essay example

- 1940 Europe: Revenge, Humiliation and Preparation “By the summer of 1940, it may truly be said: The Germans gloried in their revenge, the French wept in their humiliation, and the British gathered their courage…” Battle of France Although the French had spent a fortune to build-up their defenses, the French leadership made many errors that ultimately led to their humiliating defeat. The French were quite negligent, starting with their timid reaction to Germany 's attack on Poland. In the end, French committed many blunders which contributed to their quick defeat....   [tags: World War II, World War I, Battle of France]

Research Papers
863 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on Despair and Fear during the Battle of Britain

- Was high and strong British morale during the Battle of Britain an historical reality. This investigation determines how the British people were affected by the Luftwaffe’s attacks on their cities and the British Royal Air Force. In order to disprove or prove the idea that the British morale was high and strong, the investigation will evaluate their reactions, individual’s quotes, songs, and a newspaper article. One source, “World War II Blackout Regulations”, is a newspaper article outlining the rules in the case of a Blackout and the description of the Blackout by a citizen who experienced it....   [tags: History of Britain]

Research Papers
1503 words (4.3 pages)

John Marshal 's Role As Chief Justice Essay

- John Marshal’s role as chief justice of the Supreme Court had a profound impact on our government. He is considered to be one of the most influential leaders of our nations. His legacy is carried on through the decisions made by various court cases presented to the Supreme Court. Marshall’s rulings in the cases strengthened our nation. These decisions defined the role of the American government, recognized the Indian Natives as a nation, and promoted economic growth. John Marshall established supremacy of the Supreme Court over Congress and the judicial courts....   [tags: United States, Supreme Court of the United States]

Research Papers
719 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on Battle of Britain

- (Battle of Britain Historical Society) As Winston Churchill stated, the Battle of Britain would become a major influence to the outcome of World War II. Whether or not Germany conquered Great Britain was going to determine if Germany could become a world power. The Battle of Britain did not just save one country from Hitler’s rule, but ultimately kept the world from Germany’s reign. As soon as they gained control of France, German generals began to plan how to defeat Great Britain. One of these generals was Hermann Goering, who had been a pilot during World War I and was now in charge of Germany’s air force, the Luftwaffe....   [tags: British History ]

Research Papers
1752 words (5 pages)

The Battle of Britain Essay

- The Battle of Britain By June 1940, France had surrendered to Germany and Britain had rescued approximately 330,000 men from the beaches of Dunkirk. Britain now stood alone with its empire against Germany. Hitler believed that Britain had to be defeated before he could turn his attention to the USSR and so in the invasion of Britain codenamed Operation Sealion, two German armies (totalling 100,000 men) would be transported across the English Channel. However this crossing could be blocked by the Royal Navy, which was protected by the RAF....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
1809 words (5.2 pages)

Essay on Reasons for British Victory in the Battle of Britain

- Reasons for British Victory in the Battle of Britain After the BEF's retreat from Dunkirk, of all the countries opposed to Nazi Germany, Great Britain was the only one still in resistance. Hitler's plan was to quickly invade Britain and to concentrate fighting on other fronts, with almost the whole of Europe under Nazi Germany. The Blitzkrieg tactics used to invade other countries so far could not be used effectively as the British channel blocked infantry advance. Britain at this time still had a superior navy compared to the Germans, hence plans to eliminate the RAF, allowing easier destruction of Britain's ports; and so its navy....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
468 words (1.3 pages)

The Battle of Britain Essay

- The Battle of Britain As the cold hand of death swept over the remnants of France, British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, orated on the imminent battle that would rage over his homeland and the foreboding struggle for survival that was now facing Britain: The Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin… The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad sunlit uplands....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
5812 words (16.6 pages)

The Battle of Britain Essay

- The Battle of Britain One French General suggested that Britain was waiting 'to have its neck rung like a chicken'. That was the way it was because Britain was in desperate trouble with its army in disarray and its commercial shipping and navy taking heavy losses from the German U-boats. Although Britain was preparing for a massive German invasion Hitler did not think there was a reason to attack Britain and would have preferred to make peace with her and to leave the British Empire untouched....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
2313 words (6.6 pages)

Battle of Britain Essay

- Battle of Britain This film is about the Battle of Britain during World War II. It happened in 1940. This movie was made 29 years later in 1969. The Nazis tried to invade Britain. The Royal Air Force of Britain fought a grave battle against the Nazis to prevent the invasion. Most of the fighting was in the air. There were lots of fighting scenes between the German planes and the RAF and their allies. This film is pretty realistic. I thought that the air battles were pretty realistic. For a film that was made in 1969, the special effects of the planes and the fight scenes were pretty fast-paced and accurate....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
4214 words (12 pages)