Battle of Britain

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The Battle of Britain took place during World War II and was Germany’s attempt to dominate the skies of Great Britain. The Royal Air Force (RAF) was significantly outnumbered in one of the biggest air battles in history and managed to emerge victorious against the German air force, the Luftwaffe. German’s unexpected defeat was attributable to their underestimation of Britain’s strength, their inexperience in aerial warfare and their tactical and technological liabilities.

The fall of France was the catalysis for the start of the Battle of Britain as Great Britain became predominantly isolated despite the distant support of the commonwealth nations. Germany saw this as their opportunity to gain air superiority and further their influence and control around the world. The Battle of Britain was considered to be a small part of Germany’s bigger plan which was to overthrow Russia and rest of the Soviet Union. The attitudes and emotions of both countries at the time contrasted greatly as they were both in very different positions regarding power and confidence. As they were experiencing major success and progress during World War II, and having just claimed victory over France, Germany was triumphant and empowered with a victorious movement. The fighter pilots were extremely confident did not see Britain as a threat, “In 1940 the situation was still very positive for the German’s, we were certain of victory, spirits were high … the British rather were just getting started …” Hitler was at the height of his rule and because of this he underestimated Britain’s power. The commander in chief of the German Luftwaffe Hermann Goring was optimistic and guaranteed Hitler that the RAF could be destroyed in just four clear days, paving the way ...

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...r II Today, (2014). 18th June 1940 Churchill ‘The battle of Britain is about to begin …’. [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 May. 2014].

Hans Ekkehard Bob, Fighter Pilot, JG54, Luftwaffe
BBC, (2013). Battle of Britain: The Real Story (full documentary) HD
Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s speech to the House of Commons, August 20th 1940
Dr Peter Caddick-Adams, Military Historian from the Defence Academy at Shrivenham
Propaganda poster of RAF fighter pilots, 1940, with quote Churchill, op.cit. See appendix 1.
Churchill, op.cit
Tom Neal, Fighter Pilot, RAF, (2014). BBC - History - The Battle of Britain
Dennett, B. and Dixon, S. (2008). Key features of modern history. 1st ed. South Melbourne, Vic.: Oxford University Press. Pg. 467
BBC, op.cit ibid Churchill, op.cit

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