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Encyclopedia > Battle of Britain
Battle of Britain
Part of the Second World War

An aerial observer scans the skies of London.
Date 10 July 1940 - 31 October 1940
Location United Kingdom airspace
Result Decisive British victory
Belligerents
Flag of the United Kingdom British Empire
Flag of Germany Germany
Flag of Italy Italy
Commanders
Hugh Dowding
Keith Park
Trafford Leigh-Mallory
C. J. Quintin Brand
Richard Saul
Hermann Göring
Albert Kesselring
Hugo Sperrle
Hans-Jürgen Stumpff
Rino Corso Fougier[1]
Strength
754 single-seat fighters
149 two-seated fighters
560 bombers
500 coastal
1,963 total[a]
1,107 single-seat fighters
357 two-seat fighters
1,380 bombers
428 dive-bombers
569 reconnaissance
233 coastal
4,074 total[2][b]
Casualties and losses
Fighter Command: 1,023 fighters

Bomber Command: 376 bombers
Coastal Command: 148 aircraft 1,547 total.[3]
27,450 civilians dead,
32,138 wounded Battle of Britain may refer to: Battle of Britain, attempt of German Luftwaffe to gain air superiority over the Royal Air Force during the Second World War Battle of Britain (film), a 1969 film directed by Guy Hamilton The Battle of Britain, fourth of Frank Capras Why We Fight... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 592 pixelsFull resolution (1440 × 1065 pixel, file size: 219 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Aircraft spotter on the roof of a building in London. ... is the 191st day of the year (192nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 304th day of the year (305th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom. ... For a comprehensive list of the territories that formed the British Empire, see Evolution of the British Empire. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany_1933. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Italy_(1861-1946)_crowned. ... Image File history File links RAF-Roundel. ... Hugh Caswell Tremenheere Dowding, 1st Baron Dowding G.C.B., G.C.V.O., C.M.G. (24 April 1882 - 15 February 1970) was a British officer in the Royal Air Force. ... Image File history File links RAF-Roundel. ... Air Chief Marshal Sir Keith Rodney Park GCB, KBE, MC, DFC, DCL (June 15, 1892 - February 6, 1975) was a senior commander in the Royal Air Force in World War II. // Early Life and Army Career Park was born near Auckland, New Zealand. ... Image File history File links RAF-Roundel. ... Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory KCB, DSO and Bar (11 July 1892 - 14 November 1944) was a senior commander in the Royal Air Force in World War II and the highest-ranking British officer to die in the war. ... Image File history File links RAF-Roundel. ... Air Vice-Marshal Sir (Christopher Joseph) Quintin Brand, KBE, DSO, MC, DFC, (May 25, 1893, Beaconsfield, Northern Cape, South Africa - March 7, 1968, Umtali, Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe) was a British pilot. ... Image File history File links RAF-Roundel. ... Air Vice-Marshal Richard Ernest Saul CB DFC RAF (16 April 1891 – 30 November 1965) was a pilot during World War I and a senior Royal Air Force commander during World War II. Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation - AVM R E Saul Categories: | | | | | | ... Image File history File links Balkenkreuz. ...   (January 12, 1893 – October 15, 1946) was a German politician and military leader, a leading member of the Nazi Party, second in command of the Third Reich, designated successor to Adolf Hitler, and commander of the Luftwaffe (German Air Force). ... Image File history File links Balkenkreuz. ... ==Biography== Albrecht von Kesselring (August 8, 1881 - July 16, 1960) was a Generalfeldmarschall during World War II. One of the most respected and skillful generals of Nazi Germany, he was nicknamed Smiling Albert or Smiling Kesselring. At least one source claims that Kesselring was born on August 8, 1881 [2... Image File history File links Balkenkreuz. ... Hugo Sperrle Hugo Sperrle (February 7, 1885 - April 2, 1953), was a German Field Marshal of the Luftwaffe during World War II. He joined the German Army in 1903 and transferred to the Luftstreitkräfte (German Army Air Service) at the start of World War I, serving as an observer... Image File history File links Balkenkreuz. ... Hans-Jürgen Stumpff (June 15, 1889 - March 9, 1968), was a German general of the Luftwaffe during the Second World War. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...

873 fighters

1,014 bombers
1,887 total.[3]

The Battle of Britain is the name given to the sustained strategic effort by the German Luftwaffe during the summer and autumn of 1940 to gain air superiority over the RAF's Fighter Command. The name derives from an 18 June 1940 speech in the House of Commons by Prime Minister Winston Churchill, "The Battle of France is over. I expect the Battle of Britain is about to begin..."[4] Combatants  United Kingdom  United States Poland  France Canada Free France  Netherlands  Belgium Germany Italy Commanders Winston Churchill, Trafford Leigh-Mallory, Harold Alexander, Bertram Ramsay, Bernard Montgomery, Lord Gort, Trafford Leigh-Mallory, Franklin Roosevelt,, George Marshall, Dwight Eisenhower, Omar Bradley, Jacob Devers, WÅ‚adysÅ‚aw Anders, WÅ‚adysÅ‚aw Sikorski, Stanis... Combatants Kingdom of the Netherlands Germany Commanders Henry G. Winkelman, Jan Joseph Godfried baron van Voorst tot Voorst Fedor von Bock (Army Group B) Strength 9 divisions, 676 guns, 1 tank (inoperational), 124 aircraft Total: 350,000 men 22 divisions, 1,378 guns, 759 tanks, 1150 aircraft Total: 750,000... This article is about a Second World War battle in 1940, for the 1658 battle of the same name see Battle of the Dunes (1658) Combatants United Kingdom France Belgium Germany Commanders Lord Gort General Weygand Gerd von Rundstedt (Army Group A) Ewald von Kleist (Panzergruppe von Kleist) Strength approx. ... Combatants  Canada  United Kingdom  United States  Germany Commanders Louis Mountbatten J. H. Roberts Gerd von Rundstedt Strength 6,086 1,500 Casualties Canada: 950 dead, 2,340 captured or wounded; United Kingdom: 600; United States:4+; 311 dead, 280 wounded The Dieppe Raid, also known as The Battle of Dieppe... This article is about the first few weeks of the Invasion of Normandy (D-Day). ... Combatants United States1 United Kingdom2 Free France3 Germany Commanders Lt. ... American soldiers cross the Siegfried Line The drive to the Siegfried Line was one of the final Allied phases in World War II of the Western European Campaign. ... Belligerents Poland United Kingdom United States Germany Commanders Field Marshal Montgomery Lieutenant-General Dempsey Lieutenant-General Horrocks Major-General Urquhart Major General Taylor Brigadier General Gavin Walter Model Wilhelm Bittrich Kurt Student Strength 35,000 (airborne only) 20,000 Casualties and losses Poland: 1st Polish Brigade: 378 Casualties[1] United... The Battle of Overloon (Code named Operation Aintree) took place between September 30th and October 18th 1944. ... Combatants Canada United Kingdom Poland Belgium Norway Germany Commanders Guy Simonds (acting) (First Canadian Army) Gustav-Adolf von Zangen (German 15th Army) Strength  ?  ? Casualties 12,873 total; including 6,367 Canadian  ? The Battle of the Scheldt was a series of military operations which took place in northern Belgium and south... Combatants United States Germany Commanders Courtney Hodges Walter Model Strength 120,000 80,000 Casualties 33,000 casualties 12,000—16,000 deaths[1] (est. ... Combatants United States Germany Commanders William Simpson Gerhard Wilck Strength 100,000 soldiers 12,000 soldiers Casualties 2,000 dead, 3,000 wounded 5,000 dead or wounded, 5,600 captured The Battle of Aachen was a battle in Aachen, Germany, that took place in October 1944 in World War... For the 1965 film, see Battle of the Bulge (film). ... Located near Alsace in Eastern France, the Colmar Pocket was the site of a ten-day battle during the Second World War that saw four divisions of the French Army and an entire Corps from the U.S. Army overwhelm German resistance. ... Operation Nordwind (North Wind) was an attack conducted by the German Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS during January 1945 in Alsace and Lorraine. ... wtrwretqwt ... During the Battle for Berlin, the Red Flag was raised over the Reichstag, May 1945. ...   (German IPA: ) is a generic German term for an air force. ... For other uses, see Summer (disambiguation). ... This article is about the temperate season. ... Air superiority is the dominance in the air power of one side air forces of another side during a military campaign. ... RAF is an three letter acronym for: Royal Air Force -- the Air Force of the United Kingdom (see also Air Ministry) Red Army Faction (Rote Armee Fraktion) -- a German terror organisation Rigas Autobusu Fabrika -- a factory making buses in Riga, Latvia Rapid Action Force in India Računarski Fakultet RAF... Fighter Command was one of three functional commands that dominated the public perception of the RAF for much of the mid-20th century. ... is the 169th day of the year (170th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... In the United Kingdom, the Prime Minister is the head of government, exercising many of the executive functions nominally vested in the Sovereign, who is head of state. ... Churchill redirects here. ...


Had it been successful, the planned amphibious and airborne landings in Britain of Operation Sealion would have followed. The Battle of Britain was the first major campaign to be fought entirely by air forces. It was the largest and most sustained bombing campaign attempted up until that date. The failure of Nazi Germany to destroy Britain's air defence or to break British morale is considered its first major defeat.[5] Amphibious Assault began when 17-year-old, former Kittie guitarist, Fallon Bowman was on a plane from Ontario to New Jersey, skimming through a Tom Clancy novel when she came upon the term amphibious assault. ... Airborne Military parachuting form of insertion. ... Operation Sealion (Unternehmen (Undertaking) Seelöwe in German) was a World War II German plan to invade the United Kingdom. ... For a particular Air Force, see List of air forces. ... Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ... American troops man an anti-aircraft gun near the Algerian coastline in 1943 Anti-aircraft warfare, or air defense, is any method of engaging military aircraft in combat from the ground. ...


Neither Hitler nor the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW) believed it possible to carry out a successful amphibious assault on Britain until the RAF had been neutralised. Secondary objectives were to destroy aircraft production and ground infrastructure, to attack areas of political significance, and to terrorise the British people into seeking an armistice or surrender. Some historians, such as Derek Robinson, have argued an invasion could not have succeeded; the massive superiority of the Royal Navy over the Kriegsmarine would have made Sealion a disaster and the Luftwaffe would have been unable to prevent decisive intervention by British cruisers and destroyers, even with air superiority.[6][7] Hitler redirects here. ... The command flag for the Chief of the High Command of the German Armed Forces (1938 - 1941) The command flag for a Generalfeldmarschall as the Chief of the High Command of the German Armed Forces (1941 - 1945) The Oberkommando der Wehrmacht or OKW (Wehrmacht High Command, Armed Forces High Command... It has been suggested that Landing operation be merged into this article or section. ... Flying machine redirects here. ... A white flag is traditionally used to represent a truce. ... This article is about the navy of the United Kingdom. ... The Kriegsmarine (or War Navy) was the name of the German Navy between 1935 and 1945, during the Nazi regime, superseding the Reichsmarine. ...


British historians date the battle from 10 July to 31 October 1940, which represented the most intense period of daylight bombing. German historians usually place the beginning of the battle in mid-August 1940 and end it in May 1941, on the withdrawal of the bomber units in preparation for the attack on the USSR. is the 191st day of the year (192nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 304th day of the year (305th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Strategic bombing is a military strategem used in a total war style campaign that attempts to destroy the economic ability of a nation-state to wage war. ... For other uses, see Bomber (disambiguation). ... Belligerents Germany Romania Finland Italy Hungary Slovakia Croatia Soviet Union Commanders Adolf Hitler Franz Halder Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb Fedor von Bock Gerd von Rundstedt Ernst Busch Erich Hoepner Alfred Keller Georg von Küchler Günther von Kluge Heinz Guderian Hermann Hoth Albrecht Kesselring Adolf Strauss Carl-Heinrich von...

Contents

Background

Luftwaffe attacks on Britain began with raids on naval targets, with bombers being shot down over the Firth of Forth on 16 October 1939 and over Scapa Flow on the following day, but there were no major attacks during the Phoney War period, a lull in fighting that Hitler ended on 10 May 1940 with his invasion of the Low Countries.[8] The Firth of Forth from Calton Hill The Forth Bridges cross the Firth Satellite photo of the Firth and the surrounding area Map of the Firth Firth of Forth (Scottish Gaelic: Linne Foirthe) is the estuary or firth of Scotlands River Forth, where it flows into the North Sea... is the 289th day of the year (290th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... It has been suggested that Gutter Sound be merged into this article or section. ... British Ministry of Home Security Poster of a type that was common during the Phony War The Phony War or the Bore War, also called Sitzkrieg, was a phase in early World War II from September 1939 until May 1940 marked by few military operations in Continental Europe, in the... is the 130th day of the year (131st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Belligerents France United Kingdom Canada Czechoslovakia Poland Belgium Netherlands Luxembourg Germany Italy Commanders Maurice Gamelin, Maxime Weygand Lord Gort (British Expeditionary Force) Leopold III H.G. Winkelman Władysław Sikorski Gerd von Rundstedt (Army Group A) Fedor von Bock (Army Group B) Wilhelm von Leeb (Army Group C) H...


Following the evacuation of the British from Dunkirk (Operation DYNAMO), and the French surrender on 22 June 1940, Hitler believed the war was practically over and the British, defeated on the continent and without European allies, would quickly come to terms with Germany.[9] Although there was an element of British public and political sentiment favouring negotiated peace with a clearly ascendant Germany, among them the Foreign Secretary, Lord Halifax, the recently-installed Churchill nonetheless refused to consider an armistice with Hitler's Germany.[10] Churchill's skilful use of rhetoric hardened public opinion against a peaceful resolution and prepared the British for a long war. This article is about a Second World War battle in 1940, for the 1658 battle of the same name see Battle of the Dunes (1658) Combatants United Kingdom France Belgium Germany Commanders Lord Gort General Weygand Gerd von Rundstedt (Army Group A) Ewald von Kleist (Panzergruppe von Kleist) Strength approx. ... French troops rescued by a British merchant ship at Dunkirk British evacuation on Dunkirk beach The Dunkirk evacuation, also known as the Miracle of Dunkirk and codenamed Operation Dynamo by the British, was the large evacuation of Allied soldiers from May 26 to June 4, 1940, during the Battle of... Belligerents France United Kingdom Canada Czechoslovakia Poland Belgium Netherlands Luxembourg Germany Italy Commanders Maurice Gamelin, Maxime Weygand Lord Gort (British Expeditionary Force) Leopold III H.G. Winkelman Władysław Sikorski Gerd von Rundstedt (Army Group A) Fedor von Bock (Army Group B) Wilhelm von Leeb (Army Group C) H... is the 173rd day of the year (174th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The title of Foreign Secretary has been traditionally used to refer to the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. ... Edward Frederick Lindley Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax, KG, OM, GCSI, GCMG, GCIE, PC (16 April 1881–23 December 1959), known as The Lord Irwin from 1925 until 1934 and as The Viscount Halifax from 1934 until 1944, was a British Conservative politician. ... Rhetoric (from Greek , rhêtôr, orator, teacher) is generally understood to be the art or technique of persuasion through the use of oral, visual, or written language; however, this definition of rhetoric has expanded greatly since rhetoric emerged as a field of study in universities. ... Public Opinion is a book on media and democracy by Walter Lippmann. ...


On 16 July, in an effort to finish the war in the west, Hitler ordered the rapid preparation of a plan to invade Britain. Hitler hoped to frighten Britain into peace using the preparations as a means to apply pressure. Prior to this, on 11 July, Admiral Raeder had told Hitler invasion could only be contemplated as a last resort, and only then with full air superiority. The Kriegsmarine had been nearly crippled during the Norwegian Campaign, with many of its ships having been sunk or damaged, while the Royal Navy had over 50 destroyers, 21 cruisers and eight battleships in the British Home Fleet.[11][12] There was little the weakened Kriegsmarine could do to stop the Royal Navy intervening against the invasion. The only alternative was to use the Luftwaffe's dive bombers, which required air superiority in order to operate effectively. Although Hitler agreed with Raeder, he nevertheless ordered all services to make preparations for an amphibious assault once air superiority had been achieved.[13] is the 197th day of the year (198th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 192nd day of the year (193rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Erich Raeder. ... German battle cruisers in a Norwegian port in June 1940 The Norwegian Campaign, lasting from 9 April to 10 June 1940, led to the first direct land confrontation between the military forces of the Allies — United Kingdom and France — against Nazi Germany in World War II. The primary reason for... The Home Fleet is the traditional name of the fleet of the Royal Navy that protects the United Kingdoms territorial waters. ... A dive bomber is a bomber aircraft that dives directly at its targets in order to provide greater accuracy. ...


The plan was prepared by OKW. The operation, code-named Seelöwe ("Sealion"), was scheduled for mid-September 1940 and called for landings on the south coast of Great Britain, backed by an airborne assault. All preparations were to be made by mid August. Airborne Military parachuting form of insertion. ...


Political Leaders 1940

Winston Churchill. His leadership helped galvanise and solidify British resolve to continue fighting in 1940.
Winston Churchill. His leadership helped galvanise and solidify British resolve to continue fighting in 1940.
Adolf Hitler. Throughout the battle, Hitler continued to believe that Britain could be forced to surrender without being invaded.
Benito Mussolini in 1925. The Italian contribution to the battle was a contingent of the Regia Aeronautica called the Corpo Aereo Italiano.
Benito Mussolini in 1925. The Italian contribution to the battle was a contingent of the Regia Aeronautica called the Corpo Aereo Italiano.

Year 1925 (MCMXXV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Insignia applied with a decal on the tail of the Règia Aeronautica aircraft (reconstruction). ... The Corpo Aereo Italiano (C.A.I.) was an Italian expeditionary force participating in the Battle of Britain during the final months of 1940. ...

Opposing forces

For more details on this topic, see RAF Fighter Command Order of Battle 1940.
For more details on this topic, see Luftwaffe Order of Battle August 1940.

The Luftwaffe was facing a more capable opponent than it had met before: a sizeable, highly-coordinated, well-supplied air force, fielding aircraft able to match the German Messerschmitt Bf 109E and Bf 110C. The majority of the RAF's fighting would rest upon the workhorse Hurricane Mk I. The performance of the Spitfire Mk I, over Dunkirk came as a surprise to the Jagdwaffe, although there was a strong belief that in the 109 they had a superior fighter[14] The RAF Fighter Command order of battle at 15 September 1940, during the Battle of Britain, was as follows. ... For its Battle of Britain campaign against Great Britain during World War II, the German Luftwaffe had the following Order of Battle in the West. ... German Airfield, France, 1941 propaganda photo of the Luftwaffe, Bf 109 fighters on the tarmac The Messerschmitt Bf 109 was a German World War II fighter aircraft designed by Willy Messerschmitt in the early 1930s. ... The Messerschmitt Bf 110 (called an M.E. One-Ten by American pilots) was a twin-engine heavy fighter (Zerstörer - German for Destroyer) in the service of the Luftwaffe during World War II. Later in the war it was changed to fighter-bomber (JagdBomber-Jabo) and night fighter operations... The Hawker Hurricane was a British single-seat fighter aircraft designed and predominantly built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd. ... The British Supermarine Spitfire was one of the finest fighter aircraft of its time. ... For other uses of Dunkirk or Dunkerque, see Dunkirk (disambiguation). ...


Aircraft

The Bf 109E was superior to the Hurricane; it had a better climb rate and was up to 30 to 40 mph faster. The Hurricane could, however, turn more tightly than either the 109 or the Spitfire.[15] The Bf 109E and the Spitfire, in certain key areas, had advantages over each other. At some altitudes, the 109 could out-climb the British fighter. The Spitfire was slightly faster at medium heights, was more manoeuvrable, and possessed a stronger airframe, as well as heavier armour and twice the firepower of the Bf 109E-1. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


However, the fuel injected Daimler-Benz DB 601 engine gave the 109 an advantage over the carburettor-equipped Merlin engine; neither RAF fighter could simply "bunt" and dive away from an opponent as the 109 could. This ability to perform negative-gee manoeuvres without the engine cutting out gave a 109 pilot the option to disengage at will. The direct fuel injection also meant that the DB 601 engine was more fuel efficient than the Merlin.[16] // Fuel injection is a system of fuel delivery for mixture with air in an internal combustion engine. ... The Daimler-Benz DB 601 was a German aircraft engine built during World War II. It was a liquid-cooled inverted V12, and powered the Messerschmitt Bf 109, among others. ... Bendix-Technico (Stromberg) 1-barrel downdraft carburetor model BXUV-3, with nomenclature A carburetor (North American spelling) or carburettor (Commonwealth spelling), is a device that blends air and fuel for an internal combustion engine. ... The Rolls-Royce Merlin engines were a series of 12 cylinder, 60° V, 27 litre, liquid cooled piston aircraft engines built during World War II by Rolls-Royce, at Ford in Manchester[1] and under licence in the United States by Packard. ... The term g force or gee force refers to the symbol g, the force of acceleration due to gravity at the earths surface. ...


The Spitfire, initially, had a better protected cockpit, with a bulletproof windscreen and armoured plates behind the pilot's seat and head. The Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-3 received extra armour behind the pilot's head, and seat armour. The revised armament of the E-3 and E-4 included two 20 mm MG FF (E-3) or MG FF/M cannon. This gave it a greater punch than the eight .303 (7.7 mm) machine guns of the British fighters, but the low muzzle velocity of the cannon, where the shells dropped quite quickly after firing, meant the Messerschmitt pilots had to open fire from close range. There were also problems with the fusing of the shells, which often detonated on contact with the skin of the airframe rather than penetrating, then exploding.[17] It has been suggested that bulletproof (reliability) be merged into this article or section. ... The MG FF was a drum-fed 20 mm aircraft cannon developed in 1936 by Oerlikon and license-produced in Germany. ...


The canopy of the E-4 was modified for better visibility and the new design was often retrofitted to earlier 109s.[18] The Bf 109 was also equipped with self-sealing fuel tanks, although this could not prevent possibly fatal damage being inflicted by the "de Wilde" tracer round which was being used by the RAF. Self-sealing fuel tanks are an aviation technology developed during World War II, when it quickly became apparent that fighter aircraft lacked adequate protection. ... Tracers from M16 rifles on U.S. Army firing range Tracer ammunition (tracers) use special bullets that are modified to accept a small pyrotechnic charge in their base. ...

Three-view drawing of the Bf 109E-3 with the early style canopy.
Three-view drawing of the Bf 109E-3 with the early style canopy.

A standard evasive manoeuvre adopted by RAF fighters was a steep, climbing spiral at about at 120 mph (193 km/h). The 109 trying to follow this often stalled, then had to dive to regain control. Should a Spitfire perform a half-roll, then dive, the superiority of the Spitfire's rate of roll would ensure the German fighter would gain too much speed, often overshooting its opponent. At high speeds, the 109's flight controls became too heavy for the pilot to use and he could not respond to any evasive manoeuvres.[19][16] Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 551 pixelsFull resolution (6416 × 4416 pixel, file size: 3. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 551 pixelsFull resolution (6416 × 4416 pixel, file size: 3. ... In aerodynamics, a stall is a condition in which an excessive angle of attack causes loss of lift due to disruption of airflow. ...


On 22 November 1939, a Bf 109E-3 (Wk-Nr 1304 of JG 76) landed intact in France. Evaluated at RAE Farnborough, the Bf 109 was used in mock combats with Spitfire Mk Is. The RAF test pilots found: is the 326th day of the year (327th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) at Farnborough Airfield was a UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) research establishment. ...

The Bf 109 is inferior as a fighter to the Hurricane or Spitfire. Its manoeuvrability at high speeds is seriously curtailed by the heaviness of the controls, while its high wing loading causes it to stall readily under high normal accelerations and results in a poor turning circle.[20]

Speed trials carried out by the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) at Farnborough said:

The Spitfire proved to be considerably the faster of the two, both in acceleration and straight and level flight, without having to make use of the emergency +12 boost.[21]

It should be pointed out that the 109 was an older airframe which had suffered from considerable damage, as had the engine. It is doubtful that it could have performed as well as a newer, undamaged airframe.[22] Also, during some of the tests, the 109 lacked some components of its oxygen gear, meaning that these comparisons were performed at a maximum altitude of 15,000 feet (4,572 m), so again the 109 was unable to demonstrate its full performance potential.


The Luftwaffe pilots who flew captured Spitfires reached completely different conclusions; for example, Werner Mölders flew a captured Hurricane and a Spitfire Mk I in June 1940 (one of three examples obtained in flyable condition by the Luftwaffe). Mölders reported that: Werner Mölders (March 18, 1913 - November 22, 1941) was a German Luftwaffe World War II fighter ace. ...

It was very interesting to carry out the flight trials at Rechlin with the Spitfire and the Hurricane. Both types are very simple to fly compared to our aircraft, and childishly easy to take-off and land. The Hurricane is good-natured and turns well, but its performance is decidedly inferior to that of the Me 109. It has strong stick forces and is "lazy" on the ailerons.


[...]


The Spitfire is one class better [than the Hurricane], being very nice to the touch, light, excellent in the turn and almost equal to the Bf 109E in performance, but it is a rotten dogfighter, as any sudden dive and the engine cuts out for seconds at a time, and because the propeller's only two pitch (takeoff and cruise), it means that in any vertical dogfight at constantly changing heights, it's either continually over-revving or never develops full power at all.[23][c]

By July 1940, the more efficient de Havilland and Rotol constant-speed propellers had replaced the two-pitch propellers on the majority of frontline RAF fighters. The new units allowed the Merlin to perform more smoothly at all altitudes and reduced the takeoff and landing runs. It should also be noted that German aviation fuels had a lower octane rating than the American-supplied 100 octane fuel then in regular use by RAF fighters. The power of the Merlin engine could be "boosted" to 1,350 hp for short periods, substantially improving the rate of climb, especially at low to medium altitudes.[16] For other uses, see De Havilland (disambiguation). ... Rotol was a British company set up jointly by Rolls-Royce and the Bristol Aeroplane Company during World War Two for the manufacture of aircraft propellers. ... A gas station pump offering five different octane ratings. ...


The Bf 109 was also used as a fighter-bomber. Bf 109 E-7s had the ability to carry a 250kg bomb underneath the fuselage. The E-7/U2 model had extra armour installed to protect the Jabos. The Bf 109, unlike the Stuka, could then, after releasing its ordnance, fight on equal terms with RAF fighters. Ordnance is a general term for a quantity of military equipment, usually specifying the ammunition for artillery, bombs, or other large weapons. ...

X4382, a late production Spitfire Mk I of 602 Squadron flown by P/O Osgood Hanbury, Westhampnett, September 1940.
X4382, a late production Spitfire Mk I of 602 Squadron flown by P/O Osgood Hanbury, Westhampnett, September 1940.

The Junkers Ju 87 Stuka was slow and possessed inadequate defences. Furthermore, it could not be effectively protected by fighters, because of its low speed and the very low altitudes at which it ended its dive bomb attacks.[24] The Stuka depended on air superiority, the very thing being contested over Britain. It was therefore withdrawn from attacks on Britain in August after prohibitive losses, leaving the Luftwaffe short of precision ground-attack aircraft. A Pilot Officers sleeve/shoulder insignia Pilot Officer (Plt Off in the RAF; PLTOFF in the RAAF and RNZAF, P/O in the former RCAF) is the lowest substantive commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many other Commonwealth countries, ranking only above Acting... St. ... Stuka redirects here. ...


At the start of the battle, the twin-engine Messerschmitt Bf 110 long range "Destroyer" (Zerstörer) was also expected to engage in air-to-air combat while escorting the Luftwaffe bomber fleet. It was soon realised that the Bf 110 stood little chance against determined pilots flying the Hurricane or Spitfire. Although reasonably fast (Bf 110C about 340 mph [547 km/h]) and possessing a respectable combat radius as well as carrying a heavy armament of two 20 mm MG FF/M cannon and four 7.92 mm MG 17s concentrated in the forward fuselage, along with a single 7.92 mm MG 15 mounted for rear defence in the rear cockpit, the 110 was only slightly more manoeuvrable than the bombers it was meant to escort. It also suffered from poor acceleration. The casualty rates of the Bf 110 fighter units were extremely high throughout the battle and they fulfilled none of the high aspirations of Hermann Goering, who had referred to them as his Eisenseiten or "Ironsides".[25] The Messerschmitt Bf 110 (called an M.E. One-Ten by American pilots) was a twin-engine heavy fighter (Zerstörer - German for Destroyer) in the service of the Luftwaffe during World War II. Later in the war it was changed to fighter-bomber (JagdBomber-Jabo) and night fighter operations... The MG FF was a drum-fed 20 mm aircraft cannon developed in 1936 by Oerlikon and license-produced in Germany. ... The MG 17 was a 7. ... The MG 15 was a 7. ...


The most successful role of the 110 during the Battle was as a schnellbomber (fast bomber). One unit, Erprobungsgruppe 210, proved it could carry a greater bomb load over a greater range than a Ju 87 and deliver it with similar accuracy, while its much higher maximum speed, especially at lower altitudes, meant it was far more capable of evading RAF fighters.[26][25]


For the British, the most disappointing fighter was the Boulton-Paul Defiant. This aircraft was intended to be used as a "bomber destroyer" because it was thought, The Boulton Paul Defiant was a British fighter aircraft and bomber interceptor used early in the Second World War. ...

The speed of modern bombers is so great that it is only worthwhile to attack them under conditions which allow no relative motion between the fighter and its target. The fixed-gun fighter with guns firing ahead can only realise these conditions by attacking the bomber from dead astern...[27]

By 1940, it was clear to both the RAF and the Luftwaffe that the deadliest opponents of bombers were single-engine, single-seat fighters with fixed, forward firing armament. Apart from the extra weight and drag imposed by the four gun turret and second crew member, the Defiant lacked any forward-firing armament. Should the gunner need to escape from the turret in an emergency, the only way he could do this was to traverse the turret to one side and bail out through the escape hatch; should the aircraft's electric system, which operated the turret, be disabled, there was no escape. After the strong intervention of Dowding, who realised the Defiant was designed to an unworkable concept, there were only two units equipped with this aircraft, 141 and 264 squadrons. After suffering heavy losses to 109s in July and August, the Defiants were reassigned as "cat's eye" night-fighters, where they had little more success.[28][29] A night fighter is a fighter aircraft adapted for use at night, or in other times of bad visibility. ...


There has been some criticism of the decision to keep these aircraft (along with the Fairey Battle in Bomber Command) operational instead of retiring and scrapping them, allowing their Merlin engines to be turned over to fighters and their pilots (about three thousand in all) to be retrained on Hurricanes, thereby freeing large numbers of high-time, combat-experienced Hurricane pilots for Spitfires.[30] Fairey Battle The Fairey Battle was a light bomber of the Royal Air Force built by Fairey Aviation in the late 1930s. ... Bomber Command is an organizational military unit, generally subordinate to the air force of a country. ... The Rolls-Royce Merlin engines were a series of 12 cylinder, 60° V, 27 litre, liquid cooled piston aircraft engines built during World War II by Rolls-Royce, at Ford in Manchester[1] and under licence in the United States by Packard. ...


Pilots

Prior to the war, the RAF's processes for selecting potential candidates were more concerned with social standing than actual aptitude.[31] By summer 1940, there were about 9,000 pilots in the RAF for approximately 5,000 aircraft, the majority of which were bombers. However, the problem of pilot shortage was self-inflicted, due to inefficiencies in training and assignment. With aircraft production running at 300 each week, only 200 pilots were being trained in the same period. In addition, more pilots were allocated to squadrons than there were aircraft. Another problem was that only about 30% of the 9,000 pilots were assigned to operational squadrons; 20% of the pilots were involved in conducting pilot training, and a further 20% were undergoing further instruction, like those offered in Canada to the Commonwealth trainees, although already qualified. The rest were assigned to staff positions since, RAF policy dictated that only pilots could make many staff and operational command decisions, even in engineering matters. At the height of fighting, and despite Churchill's insistence, only 30 pilots were released to the front line from administrative duties.[32] For these reasons, the RAF had fewer experienced pilots at the start of the battle, and it was the lack of trained pilots in the fighting squadrons, rather than the lack of aircraft, that became the greatest concern for Dowding. Drawing from regular RAF forces as well as the Auxiliary Air Force and the Volunteer Reserve, the British could muster a total of some 1,103 fighter pilots on 1 July. Replacement pilots, with little actual flight training and often no gunnery training whatsoever, suffered high casualty rates.[33] RAF forces were bolstered by foreign nationals, including: This article contains a List of Facilities of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP), a major program for training Allied air crews during World War II, operated schools and facilities in all nine Canadian provinces (Newfoundland and Labrador was not yet part of Canada). ... The Minister of Aircraft Production was the British government position in charge of the Ministry of Aircraft Production, one of the specialised supply ministries set up by the British Government during World War II. As the name suggests, it was responsible for aircraft production for the British forces; primarily the... The Royal Auxiliary Air Force (RAuxAF) is the volunteer reserve part of the Royal Air Force. ... The Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR) provides a pool of officers for management of the Air Cadet Organisation and University Air Squadrons. ... is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The British Royal Air Force (RAF) and Fleet Air Arm (FAA) recruited non-British personnel from the beginning of World War II. The RAF roll of honour for the Battle of Britain recognises 510 pilots from countries other than the United Kingdom, as flying at least one authorised operational sortie...

The Luftwaffe could muster more fighter pilots, 1,450, mostly due to more efficient training, [32] who were more experienced overall. Drawing from a cadre of Spanish Civil War veterans, they had comprehensive courses in aerial gunnery, as well as instructions in tactics suited for fighter versus fighter combat.[34] Luftwaffe training manuals also discouraged heroism, stressing the utmost importance of attacking only when the odds were in the pilot's favour. The Free French Forces (Forces Françaises Libres in French) were French fighters who decided to go on fighting against Germany after the Fall of France and German occupation and to fight against Vichy France in World War II. General Charles de Gaulle was a member of the French Cabinet in... Flag The approximate borders of the British Mandate circa 1922. ... Flag Anthem God Save the Queen Capital Salisbury Language(s) English Government Constitutional monarchy Monarch  - 1923-1936 George V  - 1936 Edward VIII  - 1936-1952 George VI  - 1952-1980¹ Elizabeth II Governor  - 1923-1928 Sir John Robert Chancellor  - 1959-1969² Sir Humphrey Gibbs  - 1979-1980 Lord Soames Premier, then Prime Minister... Not to be confused with the Spanish Civil War of 1820-1823. ...


Air combat tactics

In the late 1930s, Fighter Command weren't expecting to be facing single-engine fighters over Britain, only bombers. With this in mind, a series of "Fighting Area Tactics" were formulated and rigidly adhered to, involving a series of manoeuvres designed to concentrate a squadron's firepower to bring down bombers: with no apparent prospect of escorting fighters to worry about, RAF fighter pilots flew in tight, vee-shaped sections ("vics") of three. These restricted squadrons to tight 12 aircraft formations composed of four sections in another tight "V". With this formation, only the squadron leader at the front was free to actually watch for the enemy; the other pilots had to concentrate on keeping station.[35] RAF fighter training also emphasised by-the-book attacks by sections breaking away in sequence. Fighter Command recognised the weaknesses of this rigid structure early in the battle, but it was felt too risky to change tactics in the midst of the battle, because replacement pilots, often with only minimal actual flying time, could not be readily retrained,[36] and inexperienced RAF pilots needed firm leadership in the air only rigid formations could provide.[37] German pilots dubbed the RAF formations Idiotenreihen ("rows of idiots") because they left squadrons vulnerable to attack.[33][38] Front line RAF pilots were acutely aware of the inherent deficiencies of their own tactics. A compromise was adopted whereby squadron formations used much looser formations with a one or two "weavers" flying independently above and behind to provide increased observation and rear protection; these tended to be the least experienced men and were often the first to be shot down without the other pilots even noticing that they were under attack.[33][39] During the battle, 74 Squadron under Squadron Leader Adolph Malan adopted a variation of the German formation called the "fours in line astern", which was a vast improvement on the old three aircraft 'vic'. In 1941, Squadron Leader Douglas Bader, then commanding 242 Squadron but often leading the Duxford Wing, devised the "finger four", which was essentially the same as that used by the Luftwaffe.[40] Malan's formation was later generally used by Fighter Command.[41] A Squadron Leaders sleeve/shoulder insignia Squadron Leader (Sqn Ldr in the RAF, SQNLDR in the RNZAF and RAAF and S/L in the former RCAF) is a commissioned rank in some air forces. ... No. ... Adolph Gysbert Malan (March 24, 1910 – September 17, 1963), better known as Sailor Malan, was a famed World War II RAF fighter pilot who led No. ... For other uses, see 1941 (disambiguation). ... Group Captain Sir Douglas Robert Steuart Bader, CBE, DSO and Bar, DFC and Bar, FRAeS, DL, RAF (21 February 1910–5 September 1982); surname pronounced IPA: ) was a successful fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. ... No. ...


The Luftwaffe employed a loose section of two, based on a leader (Rottenführer) followed at a distance of about 183 meters (200 yards)[d] by his wingman (nicknamed the Rottenhund or Katschmareks), who also flew slightly higher and was trained to stay with his leader at all times. While the leader was free to search for enemy aircraft, and could cover his wingman's blind-spots, his wingman was able to concentrate on searching the airspace in the leader's blind-spots, behind and below. Any attacking aircraft could be sandwiched between the two 109s.[42]


In the Luftwaffe formations, the pair allowed the Rottenführer to concentrate on getting kills. This latter aspect, however, caused some grievances in the lower ranks because it was felt that the high scores of some Rottenführer came at the expense of the Katschmareks. During the Battle of Britain, a pilot who shot down 20 aircraft was automatically awarded the Ritterkreuz (Knight's Cross), to which was added the Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds for each additional 20 aircraft. Those pilots who appeared to have a chronic desire for these awards were said to be suffering from Halsweh (a sore throat). Few wingmen in Luftwaffe fighter formations were able to shoot down opposing aircraft, while their formation leaders were scoring heavily.[43]


Two of these sections were usually teamed up into a Schwarm, where all of the pilots could watch what was happening around them. Each Schwarm in a Staffel flew at staggered heights and with 183 meters (200 yards) of room between them, making the formation difficult to spot at longer ranges and allowing for a great deal of flexibility. [34] By utilising a tight "cross-over" turn a Schwarm could quickly change direction.[42] This formation was developed based on principles dating to Oswald Boelcke in 1916. The Finnish Air Force, from 1934 on, adopted similar formations, called partio (patrol; two aircraft) and parvi (two patrols; four aircraft), [44] for comparable reasons, though Luftwaffe pilots (led by Günther Lützow and Werner Mölders among others, during the Spanish Civil War) are generally given credit. Oswald Boelcke (IPA: ; 19 May 1891–28 October 1916) was a German flying ace of the First World War and one of the most influential patrol leaders and tacticians of the early years of air combat. ... The Finnish Air Force (FAF) (Finnish: Ilmavoimat) is one of the branches of the Finnish Defence Forces. ... Günther Lützow (4 September 1912 - 24 April 1945) was a German Luftwaffe fighter ace and a leader in the Fighter Pilots Revolt. Lützow was credited with 110 victories achieved in over 300 combat missions. ... Werner Mölders (March 18, 1913 - November 22, 1941) was a German Luftwaffe World War II fighter ace. ...


The biggest disadvantage faced by Bf 109 pilots was that without the benefit of long-range drop tanks (which were introduced in very limited numbers in the late stages of the battle), the 109s had an endurance of just over an hour. Once over Britain, a 109 pilot had to keep an eye on a red "low fuel" light on the instrument panel: once this was illuminated, he was forced to turn back and head for France. With the prospect of two long over-water flights, and knowing their range was substantially reduced when escorting bombers or in the event of combat, the Jagdflieger coined the term Kanalkrankheit or "Channel sickness".[45] Drop tanks on a F-16 Fighting Falcon. ...

A "Schwarm" of Bf 110 C-1s from an unidentified ZG (Zerstörergeschwader), May 1940.

Although the 110 was faster than the Hurricane and almost as fast as a Spitfire, its lack of manoeuvrability and acceleration meant that it failed in its role as a long-range escort fighter. The 110 fighter units adopted the same "finger-four" formation as the 109 units, but were seldom able to use this to the same advantage. When faced with attack, Zerstörergruppen increasingly resorted to forming large "defensive circles", in which each 110 guarded the tail of the aircraft ahead of it. These conspicuous formations were often successful in attracting RAF fighters, which were themselves sometimes "bounced" by high-flying 109s. This led to the often repeated myth that the 110s were being escorted by 109s. The 110's most successful method of attack was the "bounce" from above. As a Schnellbomber, the 110 usually used a shallow dive to bomb the target and was able to escape at high speed.[25] [26] Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...


Luftwaffe strategy

Further information: Luftwaffe Order of Battle August 1940

The Luftwaffe was devised as a tactical weapon to support the Army on the battlefield. During the blitzkrieg offensives against Poland, Denmark and Norway and France and the Low Countries, the Luftwaffe had co-operated fully with the Wehrmacht. For the Battle of Britain however, the Luftwaffe had to operate in a strategic role, something for which it was unsuited. Its main task was to ensure air supremacy over southeast England, to pave the way for an invasion fleet. For its Battle of Britain campaign against Great Britain during World War II, the German Luftwaffe had the following Order of Battle in the West. ... This article is about the military term. ... Combatants Poland Germany Soviet Union Slovakia Commanders Edward Rydz-Śmigły Fedor von Bock (Army Group North) Gerd von Rundstedt (Army Group South) Ferdinand Čatloš (Field Army Bernolak) Strength 39 divisions 16 brigades 4,300 guns 880 tanks 400 aircraft Total: 1,000,000[1] 56 German divisions, 33+ Soviet... Combatants Germany Denmark Norway Operation Weserübung was the German codename for Nazi Germanys assault on Denmark and Norway during World War II and the opening operation of the Norwegian Campaign. ... For information about the confusion between the Low Countries and the Netherlands, see Netherlands (terminology). ...


The Luftwaffe regrouped after the Battle of France into three Luftflotten (Air Fleets) on the Britain's southern and northern flanks. Luftflotte 2, commanded by Generalfeldmarschall Albrecht Kesselring, was responsible for the bombing of southeast England and the London area. Luftflotte 3, under Generalfeldmarschall Hugo Sperrle, targeted the West Country, Midlands, and northwest England. Luftflotte 5, led by Generaloberst Hans-Jürgen Stumpff from his headquarters in Norway, targeted the north of England and Scotland. As the battle progressed, command responsibility shifted, with Luftflotte 3 taking more responsibility for the night-time Blitz attacks while the main daylight operations fell upon Luftflotte 2's shoulders. Replica of the marshals baton of Generalfeldmarschall von Richthofen (Third Reich) Generalfeldmarschall ( ) (general field marshal, usually translated simply as field marshal, and sometimes written only as Feldmarschall) was a rank in the armies of several German states, the Holy Roman Empire, and the Austrian Empire. ... ==Biography== Albrecht von Kesselring (August 8, 1881 - July 16, 1960) was a Generalfeldmarschall during World War II. One of the most respected and skillful generals of Nazi Germany, he was nicknamed Smiling Albert or Smiling Kesselring. At least one source claims that Kesselring was born on August 8, 1881 [2... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... Hugo Sperrle Hugo Sperrle (February 7, 1885 - April 2, 1953), was a German Field Marshal of the Luftwaffe during World War II. He joined the German Army in 1903 and transferred to the Luftstreitkräfte (German Army Air Service) at the start of World War I, serving as an observer... The West Country is an informal term for the area of south-western England roughly corresponding to the modern South West England government region. ... Colonel General is a senior military rank which is used in some of the world’s militaries. ... Hans-Jürgen Stumpff (June 15, 1889 - March 9, 1968), was a German general of the Luftwaffe during the Second World War. ... This article is about the country. ... ‹ The template below (Citations missing) is being considered for deletion. ...

Hermann Göring in 1932.
Hermann Göring in 1932.
Albrecht Kesselring.
Hugo Sperrle.
Hugo Sperrle.

Initial Luftwaffe estimates were that it would take four days to defeat Fighter Command in southern England. This would be followed by a four week offensive during which the bombers and long-range fighters would destroy all military installations throughout the country and wreck the British aircraft industry. The campaign was planned to begin with attacks on airfields near the coast, gradually moving inland to attack the ring of sector airfields defending London. Later reassessments gave the Luftwaffe five weeks, from 8 August to 15 September, to establish temporary air superiority over England.[46] To achieve this goal Fighter Command had to be destroyed, either on the ground or in the air, yet the Luftwaffe had to be able to preserve its own strength in order to be able support the invasion; this meant that the Luftwaffe had to maintain a high "kill ratio" over the RAF fighters. The only alternative to the goal of air superiority was to be a terror bombing campaign aimed at the civilian population, but this was considered to be a last resort and it was expressly forbidden by Hitler.[46] Year 1932 (MCMXXXII) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1932 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Hugo Sperrle. ... Hugo Sperrle. ... Fighter Command was one of three functional commands that dominated the public perception of the RAF for much of the mid-20th century. ... is the 220th day of the year (221st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 258th day of the year (259th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Terror bombing is a strategy of deliberately bombing and/or strafing civilian targets in order to break the morale of the enemy, make its civilian population panic, bend the enemys political leadership to the attackers will, or to punish an enemy. ...


The Luftwaffe kept broadly to this scheme, but its commanders had differences of opinion on strategy. Sperrle wanted to eradicate the air defence infrastructure by bombing it. His counterpart, Kesselring, championed attacking London directly—either to bombard the British government into submission or to draw RAF fighters into a decisive battle. Göring did nothing to resolve this disagreement between his commanders, and only vague directives were set down during the initial stages of the battle, with Göring seemingly unable to decide upon which strategy to pursue.[47] He seemed at times obsessed with maintaining his own power base in the Luftwaffe and indulging his outdated beliefs on air fighting, which were later to lead to tactical and strategic errors. This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ...


Tactics

The Luftwaffe consistently varied its tactics in its attempts to break through the RAF defences. It launched many free-roving fighter sweeps, known as Freie Jagd ("Free Hunts"), to draw up RAF fighters. RAF fighter controllers, however, were often able to detect these and position squadrons to avoid them, keeping to Dowding's plan to preserve fighter strength for the bomber formations. The Luftwaffe also tried using small formations of bombers as bait, covering them with large numbers of escorts. This was more successful, but escort duty tied the fighters to the bombers' slow speed and made them more vulnerable. Casualties were greatest among the escort units. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (800x614, 99 KB) Description : A Bf 109E in Deutsches Museum Munich Photographer : de:Benutzer:Softeis File links The following pages link to this file: Messerschmitt Bf 109 Opposing forces in the Polish September Campaign Metadata This file contains additional information, probably... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (800x614, 99 KB) Description : A Bf 109E in Deutsches Museum Munich Photographer : de:Benutzer:Softeis File links The following pages link to this file: Messerschmitt Bf 109 Opposing forces in the Polish September Campaign Metadata This file contains additional information, probably... German Airfield, France, 1941 propaganda photo of the Luftwaffe, Bf 109 fighters on the tarmac The Messerschmitt Bf 109 was a German World War II fighter aircraft designed by Willy Messerschmitt in the early 1930s. ...


Standard tactics for raids soon became an amalgam of techniques. A free hunt would precede a raid to try to sweep any defenders out of the raid's path. The bombers would then fly in at altitudes between 10,000 and 16,000 feet (4,900 m), sometimes closely escorted by fighters. A "detached" escort or "top cover" would fly above the bombers and maintain a distant watch.


Luftwaffe tactics were influenced by their fighters, which were divided into single-engined Bf 109s and twin-engine Bf 110s. The Bf 110 Zerstörer ("destroyer") proved too vulnerable to the nimble single-engined RAF fighters. This meant the bulk of fighter duties fell on the Bf 109. Fighter tactics were then complicated by bomber crews who demanded closer protection. Due to a similar concerns over losses in the hard-fought battles of 15 August and 18 August, Göring ordered an increase in close escort duties. This decision shackled many of the Bf 109s to the bombers and, although they were more successful at protecting the bomber forces, casualties amongst the fighters mounted primarily because they were forced to fly and maneouvre at reduced speeds. German Airfield, France, 1941 propaganda photo of the Luftwaffe, Bf 109 fighters on the tarmac The Messerschmitt Bf 109 was a German World War II fighter aircraft designed by Willy Messerschmitt in the early 1930s. ... The Messerschmitt Bf 110 (called an M.E. One-Ten by American pilots) was a twin-engine heavy fighter (Zerstörer - German for Destroyer) in the service of the Luftwaffe during World War II. Later in the war it was changed to fighter-bomber (JagdBomber-Jabo) and night fighter operations... This article is about the day of the year. ... is the 230th day of the year (231st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Adolf Galland noted: Adolf Dolfo Joseph Ferdinand Galland[1] (19 March 1912-9 February 1996) was a World War II German fighter pilot and commander of Germanys fighter force (General der Jagdflieger) from 1941 to 1945. ...

Adolf Galland, the charismatic and successful leader of III./JG 26, became Geschwaderkommodore of JG 26 on 22 August.

We had the impression that, whatever we did, we were bound to be wrong. Fighter protection for bombers created many problems which had to be solved in action. Bomber pilots preferred close screening in which their formation was surrounded by pairs of fighters pursuing a zigzag course. Obviously, the visible presence of the protective fighters gave the bomber pilots a greater sense of security. However, this was a faulty conclusion, because a fighter can only carry out this purely defensive task by taking the initiative in the offensive. He must never wait until attacked because he then loses the chance of acting. Image File history File links Adolf_Galland_portrait. ... Image File history File links Adolf_Galland_portrait. ... Geschwaderkommodore is a Luftwaffe position(not rank) that is the equivalent of a Royal Air Force Group Commander or USAF Wing Commander. ... Jagdgeschwader 26 (JG 26) Schlächter was a Luftwaffe fighter-wing of World War II. It operated exclusively in Western Europe againt Great Britain, France and the United States. ... is the 234th day of the year (235th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


We fighter pilots certainly preferred the free chase during the approach and over the target area. This, in fact, gives the greatest relief and the best protection for the bomber force.[48]

The limited, 600 km (360 mi) total range of the Bf 109E single engined fighters was one of the most serious limitations on the Luftwaffe's tactics in the battle.


Intelligence

The Luftwaffe was ill-served by its lack of intelligence about the British defences. The German intelligence services were fractured and plagued by rivalries; their overall performance was amateurish. By 1940, there were few if any German agents operating in the UK and a handful of bungled attempts to insert spies into the country were foiled. This meant the Luftwaffe had almost no recent knowledge of the workings of the RAF's air defences, in particular of the crucial command and control system built before the war. Even when good information existed, such as a November 1939 Abwehr assessment of Fighter Command strengths and capabilities by Abteilung V, it was ignored if it did not match conventional preconceptions. Military intelligence (abbreviated MI, int. ...


Throughout the battle, the Luftwaffe had to launch numerous reconnaissance sorties to make up for the poor intelligence. Reconnaissance aircraft (at first mostly Dornier Do 17s, but increasingly Bf 110s) proved easy prey for British fighters, as it was seldom possible for them to be escorted by Bf 109s. Thus, the Luftwaffe operated "blind" for much of the battle, unsure of its enemy's true strengths, capabilities, and deployments. Many times the leadership believed Fighter Command's strength had collapsed, while raids against supposed fighter airfields fell instead on bomber or coastal defence stations. The results of bombing and air fighting were consistently exaggerated, due to over-enthusiastic claims and the difficulty of effective confirmation over enemy territory. In the euphoric atmosphere of perceived victory, Luftwaffe leadership became increasingly disconnected from reality. This lack of leadership and solid intelligence meant the Germans did not adopt any consistent strategy, even when the RAF had its back to the wall. Moreover, there was never a systematic focus on any one type of target (such as airbases, radar stations, or aircraft factories), so the already haphazard effort was further diluted.[49] The Dornier Do 17, sometimes referred to as the Bleistift (pencil) by its pilots, was a World War II light bomber produced by Dornier that was used for a short time by the Luftwaffe. ...


Navigational aids

While the British were using radar for air defence more effectively than the Germans realised, the Luftwaffe attempted to press its own offensive advantage with advanced radio navigation systems the British were initially not aware of. One of these was Knickebein ("crooked leg"); this system was used at night and for raids where precision was required. It was rarely used during the Battle of Britain. (See Dr. Reginald Jones and Battle of the Beams).[50] Radio navigation is the application of radio frequencies to determining a position on the earth. ... Knickebein (crooked leg in German, but also the name of a magic raven in a German fairy tale) was a radio navigation system used by the Luftwaffe early in World War II to aid bomber navigation. ... Professor R V Jones Reginald Victor Jones (29 September 1911 – 17 December 1997) was an English physicist and scientific military intelligence expert who played an invaluable role in the defence of Britain in World War II. // Biography Born in Dulwich, Jones was educated at Alleyns School, Dulwich and Wadham... The Battle of the Beams was a period in early World War II when Luftwaffe bombers started using radio navigation for night bombing. ...


RAF strategy

The Dowding system

Further information: RAF Fighter Command Order of Battle 1940
Further information: List of Officially Accredited Battle of Britain Squadrons

The keystone of the British defence was the complex infrastructure of detection, command, and control that ran the battle. This was the "Dowding System," after its chief architect, Air Chief Marshal Sir H.C.T. "Stuffy" Dowding, the leader of RAF Fighter Command. It should be noted that the original air defence system, which Dowding inherited, had been set up in 1917 by Major General E.B Ashmore. Dowding built upon and modernised many of the features which had had been pioneered by Ashmore.[51] During the course of the Battle several Coastal Command and Fleet Air Arm units came under Fighter Command control. The RAF Fighter Command order of battle at 15 September 1940, during the Battle of Britain, was as follows. ... Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Johns in RAF No 1 Dress uniform Air Chief Marshal (Air Chf Mshl or ACM) is a senior air officer rank in the Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom as well as in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and in the air forces... Hugh Caswell Tremenheere Dowding, 1st Baron Dowding G.C.B., G.C.V.O., C.M.G. (24 April 1882 - 15 February 1970) was a British officer in the Royal Air Force. ... Insignia of a United States Air Force Major General German Generalmajor Insignia Major General is a military rank used in many countries. ... Coastal Command was an organization within the Royal Air Force tasked with protecting the United Kingdom from naval threats. ... The Fleet Air Arm is the branch of the Royal Navy responsible for the operation of the aircraft on board their ships. ...


Groups

The UK's airspace was divided up into four Groups.

Sir Hugh Dowding
Keith Park in front of his Hurricane OK-2 on Malta in 1942
Keith Park in front of his Hurricane OK-2 on Malta in 1942
Trafford Leigh-Mallory
Trafford Leigh-Mallory

No. ... This article is about the country. ... The West Country is an informal term for the area of south-western England roughly corresponding to the modern South West England government region. ... An Air Vice Marshals sleeve/shoulder insignia Air Vice Marshal is the third most senior rank active in the Royal Air Force today, after the inactivation of Marshal of the Royal Air Force as a substantive rank in peacetime during defence cuts of the 1990s. ... Air Vice-Marshal Sir (Christopher Joseph) Quintin Brand, KBE, DSO, MC, DFC, (May 25, 1893, Beaconsfield, Northern Cape, South Africa - March 7, 1968, Umtali, Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe) was a British pilot. ... No. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... Air Chief Marshal Sir Keith Rodney Park GCB, KBE, MC, DFC, DCL (June 15, 1892 - February 6, 1975) was a senior commander in the Royal Air Force in World War II. // Early Life and Army Career Park was born near Auckland, New Zealand. ... No. ... Norfolk and Suffolk, the core area of East Anglia. ... Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory KCB, DSO and Bar (11 July 1892 - 14 November 1944) was a senior commander in the Royal Air Force in World War II and the highest-ranking British officer to die in the war. ... No. ... This article is about the country. ... Northern Ireland (Irish: , Ulster Scots: Norlin Airlann) is a constituent country of the United Kingdom lying in the northeast of the island of Ireland, covering 5,459 square miles (14,139 km², about a sixth of the islands total area). ... Air Vice-Marshal Richard Ernest Saul CB DFC RAF (16 April 1891 – 30 November 1965) was a pilot during World War I and a senior Royal Air Force commander during World War II. Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation - AVM R E Saul Categories: | | | | | | ... Image File history File links Hugh_Dowding. ... Image File history File links Hugh_Dowding. ... Year 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link will display the full 1942 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Control Systems

Usually the first indications of incoming air-raids were received by the Chain Home Radio Direction Finding (RDF, the original RAF name for Radar) facilities which were located around the coastlines of the UK. In most circumstances RDF could pick up formations of Luftwaffe aircraft as they organised themselves over their own airfields. Once the raiding aircraft moved inland over England the formations were also plotted by the Observer Corps. The information from RDF and the Observer Corps were sent through to the main operations room of Fighter Command Headquarters at Bentley Priory. The plots were assessed to determine whether they were "hostile" or "friendly". If the aircraft formations were hostile the information was sent to the main "operations room" which was in a large underground bunker. Marconi tower at sunset. ... For other uses, see Radar (disambiguation). ... The Royal Observer Corps (ROC) was, until stood down in 1991, a part of the UK Ministry of Defence. ... RAF Bentley Priory is a non-flying Royal Air Force station near Stanmore in the London Borough of Harrow. ...


Here the course information of each raid was plotted by WAAFs who received information via a telephone system. Additional intelligence was provided by the "Y" Service radio posts, which monitored enemy radio transmissions, and the "Ultra" decoding centre based at Bletchley Park. Colour coded counters representing each raid were placed on a large table, which had a map of the UK overlaid and squared off with a British Modified Grid. The colour coding (red, yellow and blue) of each counter was changed every five minutes, conforming to a colour coded 24 hour clock. As the plots of the raiding aircraft moved the counters were pushed across the map by magnetic "rakes". This system enabled the main "Fighter Controller" (usually of squadron leader rank) and Dowding to see very quickly where each formation was heading and allowing an estimate to be made of possible targets. Because of the simplicity of the system decisions could be made quickly and easily. Apart from the controller, most of the room and map information was operated by WAAFs. The U.S. Womens Auxiliary Air Force was created in June of 1939. ... During World War II, codebreakers at Bletchley Park decrypted and interpreted messages from a large number of Axis code and cipher systems, including the German Enigma machine. ... The British national grid reference system is a system of geographic grid references commonly used in Great Britain, different from using latitude or longitude. ...


This information was simultaneously sent to the HQ of each Group (for example, RAF Uxbridge for 11 Group),[52] where it was "filtered" through a filter room (that is, collated, cross-checked and simplified), before being sent through to another operations room, again housed in an underground bunker. Because Group controlled the tactical control of the battle, the operations room was different in layout to the one at Bentley Priory. The main map on the plotting table represented the Group command area and its associated airfields. Extensive radio and telephone equipment transmitted and received a constant flow of information from the various sector airfields as well as the Observer Corps, AA Command and the navy. The "Duty fighter controller" was (for example in 11 Group) Park's personal representative whose job was to control how and when each raid would be dealt with. He ordered the squadrons airborne and positioned them as he thought best. Timing was of the essence, because: RAF Uxbridge is a Royal Air Force station in Uxbridge in the London Borough of Hillingdon. ...

Each minute of unnecessary delay waiting to make absolutely sure that the raid was coming in meant about 2,000 feet of vital altitude our fighters would not have when they met the enemy

(Wing Commander Lord Willoughby de Broke, Senior Fighter Controller, Uxbridge.) A Wing Commanders sleeve/shoulder insignia A Wing Commanders command flag Wing Commander is a commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many other Commonwealth countries. ...


Each Group room had a "tote board" which showed each squadron available to that group. The tote board had a system of lights which enabled the controllers to see the squadron status: Released (not available); Available (airborne in 20 minutes); Readiness (airborne in five minute); Standby (pilots in cockpit, airborne in 2 minutes); Airborne and moving into position; Enemy sighted; Ordered to land; Landed and refueling/rearming. Next to the tote board, where it could be clearly seen, was a weather board which showed the state of the weather around each airfield. It was the responsibility of the WAAF plotters to continually update the tote and weather boards.[53][54]


A vital role was played by the telephone engineers of the GPO: For the specific history of the British postal system, see Royal Mail. ...

who worked all hours repairing communications, installing completely new facilities in the emergency centres, and keeping the nervous system of Fighter Command functioning

(Air Commodore Eric Roberts, Commander Middle Wallop Sector in 1940)


Despite appearances, the Groups were not mutually supporting; Park, for instance, could only request, not demand, assistance from Brand (from whom he often got it), nor from Leigh-Mallory (from whom he more often did not). This was because Dowding had never issued standing orders to assist, nor had he created a method to co-ordinate it.[49]


There was a further problem in that the aircraft were not assigned equitably between Groups. While the most effective RAF fighter was the Spitfire, 70% of the No. 11 Group were Hurricanes. "In total, less then a third of Britain's best fighters were operating in the key sector."[55]


Sectors

The Group areas were subdivided into Sectors; each commanding officer was assigned between two and four squadrons. Sector Stations, comprising an aerodrome with a "Sector operations room", were the heart of this organisation, and they were also responsible for operating satellite aerodromes to which squadrons could be dispersed. The operations rooms duplicated those at the Group HQs, although they were on a smaller scale and most were still housed in brick, single-storey, tile roofed structures above ground, where they were vulnerable to attack. By 1940 most were semi-protected by an earth bank or "blast wall" surrounding them which reached as high as the eaves. Fortunately for Fighter Command Luftwaffe Intelligence was unaware of the importance of these rooms and most were left alone. The control rooms at Biggin Hill were completely destroyed by a raid on 31 August, although this was a chance bomb hit. Their vulnerability in time of war was appreciated and new airfields built during the expansion programme of the 1930s had new, bomb proof Mk II, L-shaped structures. As a further precaution emergency control rooms were set up in different locations away from the airfields, with a small loss in efficiency; RAF Kenley, for example, could use an alternative room housed in a butcher's shop. The plotting table was laid out with a map of the sector and its airfields and the tote and weather boards reflected this more localised information.[54] Aerodrome can mean: An Austrian music festival: Aerodrome A series of aircraft constructed by Samuel Pierpont Langley. ... For other uses, see Brick (disambiguation). ... Mission, or barrel, roof tiles A tile is a manufactured piece of hard-wearing material such as ceramic, stone, porcelain, metal or even glass. ... An eave is the edge of a roof. ... is the 243rd day of the year (244th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... RAF Kenley (or Kenley Aerodrome) was a station of the Royal Flying Corps in World War I and the RAF in World War II. Its active phase commenced in 1917 and ceased in 1959 when Fighter Command left the aerodrome for good. ...


When ordered by their Group HQ, the sector stations would "scramble" their squadrons into the air. Once airborne, the squadrons would be directed by radio-telephone (R/T) from their sector station. Squadrons could be ordered to patrol airfields or vital targets or be "vectored" to intercept incoming raids. As well as directing the fighter squadrons, Sector stations also controlled the anti-aircraft batteries in their area; an army officer sat beside each fighter controller and directed the gun crews when to open fire and, if RAF aircraft flew into the gun-zones, ordered the guns to cease fire.[56] “Flak” redirects here. ...


Limitations

Though it was the most sophisticated air defence system in the world at that time, the Dowding System had many limitations, including, but not often stressed, its emphatic need for qualified ground maintenance personnel, many of whom had received their training under the Aircraft Apprentice scheme instituted by Hugh Trenchard. RDF (radar) was subject to significant errors and the Observer Corps had difficulties tracking raids at night and in bad weather. R/T communications with airborne fighters were restricted because of the RAF's use of High-Frequency (HF) radio sets. HF radio was limited in range and even with a network of relay stations, the squadrons could not roam more than one or two sectors from their airfields. Distortion and interference often made communication difficult. It was also restricted to a single frequency per squadron, making inter-squadron communication impossible. Finally, the system for tracking RAF fighters, known as HF/DF or "Huff-Duff", restricted sectors to a maximum of four squadrons in the air. The addition of IFF, "Pipsqueak", while a welcome help in identifying RAF aircraft, took up another radio channel. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Hugh Montague Trenchard, 1st Viscount Trenchard (February 3, 1873 - February 10, 1956) was the British Chief of the Air Staff during World War I, and was instrumental in establishing the Royal Air Force (RAF). ... High Frequency Direction Finder is usually known by its acronym HF/DF, pronounced Huff-Duff. ... In telecommunications, identification, friend or foe (IFF) is a crypto identification system designed for command and control. ...


This is, in part, a reflection of the novelty of the type of combat, as well as the control system. It was perfectly possible for Sector Control to have been assigned one frequency for all fighters to "listen out" on (or "guard", in modern parlance), with "roving" intercept guidance, rather than the close positive control used, which limited controllers' ability to handle large numbers of interceptors.[49]


Starting in late September 1940 VHF T/R Type 1133 radios started replacing the HF TR9 sets. These had first been fitted to Spitfires of 54 and 66 Squadrons in May 1940, but ensuing production delays meant the bulk of Spitfires and Hurricanes were not fitted for another five months. The pilots enjoyed a much clearer reception over a longer range and controllers and pilots had a wider range of communications channels to choose from.[57] Very high frequency (VHF) is the radio frequency range from 30 MHz (wavelength 10 m) to 300 MHz (wavelength 1 m). ... High frequency (HF) radio frequencies are between 3 and 30 MHz. ... No. ... Categories: | ...

Hawker Hurricane I (R4118), Battle of Britain veteran, still flying (as of 2007).
Hawker Hurricane I (R4118), Battle of Britain veteran, still flying (as of 2007).

Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2200x1598, 246 KB) Hurricane Mk1, RAF serial R4118, Squadron code UP-W, UK civil registration G-HUPW, at the PFA Flying for Fun Rally at Kemble Airfield, Gloucestershire, England. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2200x1598, 246 KB) Hurricane Mk1, RAF serial R4118, Squadron code UP-W, UK civil registration G-HUPW, at the PFA Flying for Fun Rally at Kemble Airfield, Gloucestershire, England. ...

Efficiency

In spite of this, Fighter Command at times achieved interception rates greater than 80%. The R/T problems were solved late in the battle with the adoption of Very High-Frequency (VHF) radio sets. For all of its faults, RAF's system of ground control directed its fighters to be where they were needed. The Luftwaffe, with no such system, was always at a disadvantage.


Effect of signals intelligence

It is unclear how much the British intercepts of the Enigma cipher, used for high-security German radio communications, affected the battle. Ultra, the information obtained from Enigma intercepts, gave the highest echelons of the UK's command a view of German intentions but it seems little of this material filtered down to Hugh Dowding's desk. (It would have had little tactical value in any case.) However, the radio listening service (known as Y Service), monitoring the patterns of Luftwaffe radio traffic, contributed considerably to the early warning of raids.[e] In the history of cryptography, the Enigma was a portable cipher machine used to encrypt and decrypt secret messages. ... Ultra (sometimes capitalized ULTRA) was the name used by the British for intelligence resulting from decryption of German communications in World War II. The term eventually became the standard designation in both Britain and the United States for all intelligence from high-level cryptanalytic sources. ... Y-stations were secret listening stations (such as the ones at Chicksands and Beaumanor Hall in Leicestershire, the World War II War Office Y Group HQ), they gathered raw signals (usually in morse code) for processing at the famous X-station at Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire. ...


Air-Sea rescue

One of the biggest oversights of the entire system was the lack of a proper air-sea rescue organisation; the RAF had started organising a system in 1940 with High Speed Launches (HSLs) being based around flying boat bases and at a number of overseas locations. But it was still believed that the amount of cross-Channel traffic meant that there was no need for a rescue service to cover these areas. Downed pilots and aircrew, it was hoped, would be picked up by any boats or ships which happened to be passing by. Otherwise the local life boat would be alerted, assuming someone had seen the pilot going into the water.[58]


RAF aircrew were issued with a life jacket, nicknamed the "Mae West" but in 1940 it still required manual inflation, which was almost impossible for someone who was injured or in shock. The waters of the English Channel and Dover Straits are cold, even in the middle of summer, and clothing issued to RAF aircrew did little to insulate them against these freezing conditions. A conference in 1939 had placed air-sea rescue under Coastal Command. Because a number of pilots had been lost at sea during the "Channel Battle", on 22 August control of RAF rescue launches was passed to the local naval authorities and twelve Lysanders were given to Fighter Command to help look for pilots at sea. In all some 200 pilots and aircrew were lost at sea during the battle. No proper air-sea rescue service was to be formed until 1941.[59] A personal flotation device (also named PFD, lifejacket, life preserver, Mae West, life vest, life saver, cork jacket, life belt) is a device designed to keep a wearer afloat and their head above water, often in swimming pools, rivers, lakes, and oceans. ... For the Thoroughbred racehorse of the same name, see English Channel (horse). ... Map showing the location of the Strait of Dover. ... Westland Lysander III (SD). ...


Tactics

X4474, a late production Mk I of 19 Squadron, September 1940. 19 Squadron was part of the Duxford Wing.

The weight of the battle fell upon 11 Group. Keith Park's tactics were to dispatch individual squadrons to intercept raids. The intention was to subject attackers to continual attacks by relatively small numbers of aircraft and try to break up the tight formations of bombers. Once formations had fallen apart, stragglers could be picked off one by one. Where multiple squadrons reached a raid the procedure was for the slower Hurricanes to tackle the bombers while the more agile Spitfires held up the fighter escort. This ideal was not always achieved, however, and sometimes the Spitfires and Hurricanes reversed roles. No. ...


During the battle, some commanders, notably Leigh-Mallory, proposed squadrons be formed into "Big Wings," consisting of at least three squadrons, to attack the enemy en masse, a method pioneered by Douglas Bader. This article or section includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Group Captain Sir Douglas Robert Steuart Bader, CBE, DSO and Bar, DFC and Bar, FRAeS, DL, RAF (21 February 1910–5 September 1982); surname pronounced IPA: ) was a successful fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. ...

The redoubtable Douglas Bader commanded 242 Squadron during the Battle. He also led the Duxford Wing.
The redoubtable Douglas Bader commanded 242 Squadron during the Battle. He also led the Duxford Wing.

Proponents of this tactic claimed interceptions in large numbers caused greater enemy losses while reducing their own casualties. Opponents pointed out the big wings would take too long to form up, and the strategy ran a greater risk of fighters being caught on the ground refuelling. The big wing idea also caused pilots to over-claim their kills, due to the confusion of a more intense battle zone. This led to the belief big wings were far more effective than they actually were. Douglas Bader Source: http://www. ... Douglas Bader Source: http://www. ... No. ...


The issue caused intense friction between Park and Leigh-Mallory, as 12 Group were tasked with protecting 11 Group's airfields whilst Park's squadrons intercepted incoming raids. However, the delay in forming up Big Wings meant this often did not arrive until after German bombers had hit 11 Group's airfields.[60] Dowding, in an effort to highlight the problem of the Big Wing's performance, submitted a report compiled by Park to the Air Ministry on 15 November. In the report he highlighted the fact that during the period of 11 September31 October the extensive use of the Big Wing had resulted in just 10 interceptions and one German aircraft destroyed, but his report was ignored.[61] Postwar analysis agrees Dowding's and Park's approach was best for 11 Group. Dowding's removal from his post in November 1940 has been blamed on this struggle between Park and Leigh-Mallory's daylight strategy. However the intensive raids and destruction wrought during the Blitz also damaged Dowding and Park in particular, for the failure to produce an effective night-fighter defence system, something for which the influential Leigh-Mallory had long criticised them.[62] is the 254th day of the year (255th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 304th day of the year (305th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Bomber and Coastal Command contributions

A Bristol Blenheim Mk IV of 21 Squadron. The Blenheim bomber units of Bomber and Coastal Commands bore heavy casualties while undertaking a number of tasks during the Battle.
A Bristol Blenheim Mk IV of 21 Squadron. The Blenheim bomber units of Bomber and Coastal Commands bore heavy casualties while undertaking a number of tasks during the Battle.

Bomber Command and Coastal Command aircraft flew offensive sorties against targets in Germany and France during the battle. After the initial disasters of the war, with Vickers Wellington bombers shot down in large numbers attacking Wilhelmshafen and the slaughter of the Fairey Battle squadrons sent to France, it became clear Bomber Command would have to operate mainly at night to achieve any results without very high losses.[63] From 15 May 1940 a night time bomber campaign was launched against German oil industry, communication and forests/crops, mainly in the Ruhr area. No. ... Bomber Command badge RAF Bomber Command was the organisation that controlled the RAFs bomber forces. ... Coastal Command was an organization within the Royal Air Force tasked with protecting the United Kingdom from naval threats. ... The Vickers Wellington was a twin-engine, medium bomber designed in the mid-1930s at Brooklands in Weybridge, Surrey, by Vickers-Armstrongs Chief Designer, R.K. Pierson. ... Wilhelmshaven is a town in Lower Saxony, Germany. ... Fairey Battle The Fairey Battle was a light bomber of the Royal Air Force built by Fairey Aviation in the late 1930s. ... is the 135th day of the year (136th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... For the conurbation see Ruhr Area. ...


As the threat mounted, Bomber Command changed targeting priority on 3 June 1940 to attack the German aircraft industry and to attack harbours and shipping able to support an invasion of Great Britain. From early August the assembling invasion fleet in French ports got a high priority target as well. The large barges intended by the Germans to transport troops across the Channel were targeted by bombers. In addition the Germans had few Freya radar stations set up in France, meaning air defence of the French harbours were not nearly as good as the air defences over Germany. In September 1940, Bomber Command was directing some 60% of its strength against the Channel ports. The Bristol Blenheim units also raided German occupied airfields throughout July to December 1940, both during daylight hours and at night. Although most of these raids were unproductive there were some successes; on 1 August five out of 12 Blenheims sent to attack Haamsted and Evere (Brussels) were able to bomb, destroying or heavily damaging three Bf 109s of II./JG 27 and apparently killing a Staffelkapitan identified as a Hauptmann Albrecht von Ankum-Frank. Two other 109s were claimed by Blenheim gunners.[64][f]Another successful raid on Haamstede was made by a single Blenheim on 7 August which destroyed one 109 of 4./JG 54, heavily damaged another and caused lighter damage to four more.[65] During these and other types of operations, some of which were directed against Germany itself, Blenheim casualties were very high, and it is a testament to the courage of the men in these units that they continued to operate throughout these months with little respite and with little of the publicity accorded to Fighter Command.-1... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... A 1941 RAF PRU photograph of the two Freyas at Auderville Freya radar was an early form of radar deployed by Germany during World War II, named after the Norse Goddess Freya. ... The Bristol Blenheim is also the name of the main model produced by Bristol Cars since 1994. ... is the 213th day of the year (214th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Evere within the Brussels-Capital Region Evere is one of the nineteen municipalities located in the Brussels-Capital Region of Belgium. ... This article is about the settlement itself. ... Hauptmann (German: ) is a German word usually translated as captain when it is used as an officers rank in the German Army. ... is the 219th day of the year (220th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


As well as the bombing operations Blenheim equipped units had been formed to carry out long-range strategic reconnaissance missions over Germany and German occupied territories. In this role the Blenheims once again proved to be too slow and vulnerable against Luftwaffe fighters and they took constant casualties. [66]


Coastal Command directed its attention towards the protection of British shipping, and the destruction of enemy shipping. As invasion became more likely, it participated in the strikes on French harbours and airfields, laying mines, and mounting numerous reconnaissance missions over the enemy held coastline. In all, some 9,180 sorties were flown by bombers from July to October 1940. Although this was small compared with the 80,000 sorties flown by fighters, bombers suffered about 50% of the number of casualties borne by their fighter colleagues. The bomber contribution was therefore much more dangerous on a loss-per-sortie comparison.[67] In his famous 20 August speech about "The Few", praising Fighter Command, Churchill also made a point to mention Bomber Command's contribution, adding bombers were even then striking back at Germany.[68] is the 232nd day of the year (233rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Phases of the Battle

The Battle can be roughly divided into four phases:

  • 10 July11 August: Kanalkampf, ("the Channel battles").
  • 12 August23 August: Adlerangriff ("Eagle Attack"), the early assault against the coastal airfields.
  • 24 August6 September: the Luftwaffe targets the airfields. The critical phase of the battle.
  • 7 September onwards: the day attacks switch to British towns and cities.

is the 191st day of the year (192nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 223rd day of the year (224th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 224th day of the year (225th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... {| style=float:right; |- | |- | |} is the 235th day of the year (236th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 236th day of the year (237th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 249th day of the year (250th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 250th day of the year (251st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Channel battles

A pair of 264 Squadron Defiants. (PS-V was shot down on 28 August 1940 over Kent by Bf 109s.)
A pair of 264 Squadron Defiants. (PS-V was shot down on 28 August 1940 over Kent by Bf 109s.)

The Kanalkampf comprised a series of running fights over convoys in the English Channel and occasional attacks on the convoys by Stuka dive-bombers. It was launched partly because Kesselring and Sperrle were not sure about what else to do, and partly because it gave German aircrews some training and a chance to probe the British defenders.[69] In general, these battles off the coast tended to favour the Germans, whose bomber escorts massively outnumbered the convoy patrols. The need for constant patrols over the convoys put a severe strain on RAF pilots and machines, wasting fuel, engine hours and exhausting the pilots, but eventually the number of ship sinkings became so great the British Admiralty cancelled all further convoys through the Channel. However, these early combat encounters provided both sides with experience. They also gave the first indications some of the aircraft, such as the Defiant and Bf 110, were not up to the intense dog-fighting that would characterise the battle. Boulton-Paul Defiant two-seater fighters of No. ... Boulton-Paul Defiant two-seater fighters of No. ... A pair of 264 Squadron Defiants. ... is the 240th day of the year (241st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see Kent (disambiguation). ... German Airfield, France, 1941 propaganda photo of the Luftwaffe, Bf 109 fighters on the tarmac The Messerschmitt Bf 109 was a German World War II fighter aircraft designed by Willy Messerschmitt in the early 1930s. ... Junkers Ju 87 Dive-Bombers The Junkers Ju 87 or Stuka was the most famous Sturzkampfflugzeug (German dive bomber) in World War II, instantly recognisable by its inverted gull-wings and fixed undercarriage. ... Junkers Ju-87 Stuka dive bombers A dive bomber is a bomber aircraft that dives directly at its targets in order to provide greater accuracy and limit the exposure to and effectiveness of anti-aircraft fire. ... Flag of the Lord High Admiral The Admiralty was formerly the authority in the United Kingdom responsible for the command of the Royal Navy. ...


Main assault

The main attack upon the RAF's defences was code-named Adlerangriff ("Eagle Attack").


Weather, which proved an important feature of the campaign, delayed Adlertag, ("Eagle Day") until 13 August 1940. On 12 August, the first attempt was made to blind the Dowding system when aircraft from the specialist fighter-bomber unit, Erprobungsgruppe 210 attacked four radar stations. Three were briefly taken off the air but were back working within six hours.[70] The raids appeared to show British radars were difficult to knock out for any length of time. The failure to mount follow-up attacks allowed the RAF to get the stations back on the air, and Luftwaffe neglected strikes on the supporting infrastructure, such as phone lines or power stations, which could have rendered the radars useless, even if the towers themselves (which were very difficult to destroy) remained intact.[49] is the 225th day of the year (226th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 224th day of the year (225th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Marconi tower at sunset. ...


Adlertag opened with a series of attacks, led by Epro 210,[70] on coastal airfields used as forward landing grounds for the RAF fighters, as well as 'satellite airfields'[g](including Manston and Hawkinge).[70] As the week drew on, the airfield attacks moved further inland, and repeated raids were made on the radar chain. 15 August was "The Greatest Day" when the Luftwaffe mounted the largest number of sorties of the campaign. Luftflotte 5 attacked the north of England. Believing Fighter Command strength to be concentrated in the south, raiding forces from Denmark and Norway ran into unexpectedly strong resistance. Inadequately escorted by Bf 110s, bombers were shot down in large numbers. As a result of the casualties, Luftflotte 5 did not appear in strength again in the campaign. RAF Manston was a Royal Air Force station, now known as Kent International Airport. ... This article is about the day of the year. ...

18 August, which had the greatest number of casualties to both sides, has been dubbed "The Hardest Day". Following the grinding battles of 18 August, exhaustion and the weather reduced operations for most of a week, allowing the Luftwaffe to review their performance. "The Hardest Day" had sounded the end for the Ju 87 in the campaign.[71] This veteran of blitzkrieg was too vulnerable to fighters to operate over Britain, and to preserve the Stuka force, Göring withdrew them from the fighting. This removed the main Luftwaffe precision-bombing weapon and shifted the burden of pinpoint attacks on the already-stretched Erpro 210. Also, the Bf 110 had proven too clumsy for dog-fighting with single-engined fighters, and its participation was scaled back. It would only be used when range required it or when sufficient single-engined escort could not be provided for the bombers. Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive-bombers. ... Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive-bombers. ... Stuka redirects here. ... is the 230th day of the year (231st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 230th day of the year (231st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Göring made yet another fateful decision: to order more bomber escorts at the expense of free-hunting sweeps. To achieve this, the weight of the attack now fell on Luftflotte 2, and the bulk of the Bf 109s in Luftflotte 3 were transferred to Kesselring's command, reinforcing the fighter bases in the Pas de Calais. Stripped of its fighters, Luftflotte 3 would concentrate on the night bombing campaign. Göring, expressing disappointment with the fighter performance thus far in the campaign, also made a large change in the command structure of the fighter units, replacing many Geschwaderkommodoren with younger, more aggressive pilots like Adolf Galland and Werner Mölders.[72] Geschwaderkommodore is a Luftwaffe position(not rank) that is the equivalent of a Royal Air Force Group Commander or USAF Wing Commander. ... Adolf Dolfo Joseph Ferdinand Galland[1] (19 March 1912-9 February 1996) was a World War II German fighter pilot and commander of Germanys fighter force (General der Jagdflieger) from 1941 to 1945. ... Werner Mölders (March 18, 1913 - November 22, 1941) was a German Luftwaffe World War II fighter ace. ...


Finally, Göring stopped the attacks on the radar chain. These were seen as unsuccessful, and neither the Reichsmarschall nor his subordinates realised how vital the Chain Home stations were to the defence. It was known radar provided some early warning of raids, but the belief among German fighter pilots was that anything bringing up the "Tommies" to fight was to be encouraged. Tommy Atkins (often just Tommy) is a term for a common soldier in the British Army that is particularly associated with World War I. German soldiers would call out to Tommy across no mans land if they wished to speak to a British soldier. ...


Luftwaffe targets RAF airfields

On 19 August 1940, Göring ordered attacks concentrating on aircraft production, then on 23 August 1940 his directive added a focus on RAF airfields, as well as day and night attacks aimed at weakening fighter forces across the United Kingdom. That evening saw the start of a sustained campaign of bombing, starting with a raid on tyre production at Birmingham. Raids on airfields continued through 24 August, and a major attack hit Portsmouth. That night, several areas of London were bombed, with the East End set ablaze and one release hitting central London. These have been attributed to a group of Heinkel He 111s, unable to find their target, releasing their bombs and returning home, unaware they were dropping them on the city, but this account has been contested.[73] In retaliation, the RAF bombed Berlin on the night of 25 August26 August, and continued bombing raids on Berlin. These hurt Göring's pride, because he had previously claimed the British would never be allowed to bomb the city, and enraged Hitler.[74] is the 231st day of the year (232nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... {| style=float:right; |- | |- | |} is the 235th day of the year (236th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the British city. ... is the 236th day of the year (237th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For other places with the same name, see Portsmouth (disambiguation). ... The East End of London, known locally as the East End, is an area, with no formal authority or boundaries, that spans a number of administative districts of London in England. ... The Heinkel He 111 was the primary Luftwaffe medium bomber during the early stages of World War II, and is perhaps the most famous symbol of the German side of the Battle of Britain. ... This article is about the capital of Germany. ... is the 237th day of the year (238th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 238th day of the year (239th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


From 24 August onwards, the battle was essentially a fight between Kesselring's Luftflotte 2 and Park's 11 Group. The Luftwaffe concentrated all their strength on knocking out Fighter Command and made repeated attacks on the airfields. Of the 33 heavy attacks in the following two weeks, 24 were against airfields. The key sector stations were hit repeatedly: Biggin Hill and Hornchurch four times each; Debden and North Weald twice each. Croydon, Gravesend, Rochford, Hawkinge and Manston were also attacked in strength. At least seven attempts were made against Eastchurch, which was not a Fighter Command aerodrome but was believed to be by the Germans. At times these raids knocked out the sector stations, threatening the integrity of the Dowding system. Emergency measures had to be taken to keep the sectors operating. is the 236th day of the year (237th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... London Biggin Hill Airport, formerly RAF Biggin Hill, is an airfield at Biggin Hill in London Borough of Bromley. ... Hornchurch Airfield was an important RAF base during World War 2. ... RAF Debden (also known as Station 356 during WWII) is located approximately 1 mile north of the village of Debden, in Essex, England. ... North Weald is a village near Ongar the Epping Forest district of Essex, United Kingdom. ... The control tower of Croydon Airport in 1939, with the BOAC de Havilland DH 91 Albatross Fortuna alongside Croydon Airport was an airport in South London which straddled the boundary of what are now the London Borough of Croydon and the London Borough of Sutton. ... See also: Rochford, Worcestershire Rochford is a small town in the Rochford district of Essex in the East of England. ... , Hawkinge, (IPA: or hawkindge), once a village and now a rapidly expanding commuter dormitory in southeast Kent. ... Kent International Airport (IATA airport code: MSE) is an airport, formerly a Royal Air Force airbase (RAF Manston), in Kent, England. ... Eastchurch is a village on the Isle of Sheppey, a mile east of Minster, England. ...


The RAF was taking many casualties in the air. Aircraft production could replace aircraft, but replacement pilots were barely keeping pace with losses, and novice fliers were being shot down at an alarming rate. To offset losses, some 58 Fleet Air Arm fighter pilot volunteers were seconded to RAF squadrons, and a similar number of former (single-engine) Fairey Battle pilots were used. Most replacements from Operational Training Units (OTUs) had as little as nine hours flying time and no gunnery or air-to-air combat training. At this point the multinational nature of Fighter Command came to the fore. Many squadrons and individual personnel from the air forces of the Dominions were already attached to the RAF — Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders, Rhodesians and South Africans — they were bolstered by the arrival of fresh Czechoslovak and Polish squadrons. These squadrons had been held back by Dowding, who mistakenly thought non-English speaking aircrew would have trouble working within his control system. In addition there were other nationals, including Free French, Belgian and even a Jewish pilot from the British mandate of Palestine. An Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) is a unit within an air force whose role is to support preparation for the operational missions of a specific aircraft type by providing trained personnel. ... // Apart from the 2543 British pilots the Royal Air Force also accepted foreign pilots from the beginning of the war. ... This article is about Dominions of the British Empire and of the Commonwealth of Nations. ... This article is about the former British colony of Southern Rhodesia, todays Zimbabwe. ... Motto Czech: Pravda vítÄ›zí (Truth prevails; 1918-1989) Latin: Veritas Vincit (Truth prevails; 1989-1992) Anthem Kde domov můj and Nad Tatrou sa blýska Capital Prague Language(s) Czech, Slovak, Rusyn, Polish Government Republic President  - 1918-1935 Tomáš G. Masaryk (first)  - 1989-1992 Václav Havel... The Free French Forces (Forces Françaises Libres in French) were French fighters who decided to go on fighting against Germany after the Fall of France and German occupation and to fight against Vichy France in World War II. General Charles de Gaulle was a member of the French Cabinet in... Flag The approximate borders of the British Mandate circa 1922. ...

303 squadron pilots, 1940. L-R: P/O Ferić, Flt Lt Kent, F/O Grzeszczak, P/O Radomski, P/O Zumbach, P/O Łukciewski, F/O Henneberg, Sgt. Rogowski, Sgt. Szaposznikow.
303 squadron pilots, 1940. L-R: P/O Ferić, Flt Lt Kent, F/O Grzeszczak, P/O Radomski, P/O Zumbach, P/O Łukciewski, F/O Henneberg, Sgt. Rogowski, Sgt. Szaposznikow.

Polish fliers proved especially effective — the pre-war Polish Air Force had lengthy and extensive training, and high standards; with Poland conquered and under German occupation, the Polish pilots of 303 Squadron were strongly motivated. Josef František, a Czech regular airman who had flown from the occupation of his own country and joined the Polish and then French air forces before arriving in Britain, proved effective but undisciplined and flew as a guest of 303 Squadron chasing Germans. He shot down 17, now accepted as the highest "RAF score".[75] 303 squadron pilots. ... 303 squadron pilots. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... MirosÅ‚aw Ferić MirosÅ‚aw Ferić or Ferič (June 17, 1915 - February 14, 1942), was a Polish fighter pilot, a flying ace of the World War II. He was born in Travnik in Bosnia, his father was Yugoslavian (died during the World War I), his mother was a Pole. ... Jan Zumbach. ... Polish Air Force (SiÅ‚y Powietrzne Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej, SiÅ‚y Powietrzne RP). ... No. ... Josef FrantiÅ¡ek Sergeant Josef FrantiÅ¡ek, (October 7, 1914 - October 8, 1940) was a Czech fighter pilot, a flying ace of the Polish Air Force of the World War II. Josef FrantiÅ¡ek joined the Czechoslovak airforce in 1936. ...


The RAF had the advantage of fighting over home territory. Pilots who bailed out of their downed aircraft could be back at their airfields within hours. For Luftwaffe aircrews, a bail out over England meant capture, while parachuting into the English Channel often meant drowning or death from exposure. Morale began to suffer, and Kanalkrankheit ("Channel sickness") — a form of combat fatigue — began to appear among the German pilots. Their replacement problem was even worse than the British. Though the Luftwaffe maintained its numerical superiority, the slow appearance of replacement aircraft and pilots put increasing strain on the resources of the remaining attackers.


Formerly, the conventional wisdom was, the Luftwaffe was winning even so. Recent research shows this isn't true. Throughout the battle, the Germans "greatly underestimated the size of the RAF and the scale of British aircraft production. Across the Channel, the Air Intelligence division of the Air Ministry consistently overestimated the size of the German air enemy and the productive capacity of the German aviation industry. As the battle was fought, both sides exaggerated the losses inflicted on the other by an equally large margin. However, the intelligence picture formed before the battle encouraged the German Air Force to believe that such losses pushed Fighter Command to the very edge of defeat, while the exaggerated picture of German air strength persuaded the RAF that the threat it faced was larger and more dangerous than was actually the case."[76] This led the British to the conclusion another fortnight of attacks on airfields might force Fighter Command to withdraw their squadrons from the south of England. The German misconception, on the other hand, "encouraged first complacency, then strategic misjudgement. The shift of targets from air bases to industry and communications was taken because it was assumed that Fighter Command was virtually eliminated."[77] Yet this analysis ignores the fact it was pilots, not aircraft, Fighter Command continued to be desperately short of, as it had been from the start of the Battle. Incompletely-trained recruits, and instructors cannibalised from the training program, did not augur well for the ability to sustain the defence.[49][78][79]


Due to the failure of the Luftwaffe to establish air supremacy, a conference assembled on 14 September at Hitler's headquarters. Hitler concluded that air superiority had not yet been established and "promised to review the situation on 17 September for possible landings on 27 September or 8 October. Three days later, when the evidence was clear that the German Air Force had greatly exaggerated the extent of their successes against the RAF, Hitler postponed Sealion indefinitely."[80] However, at the meeting on 14 September, the leadership of the Luftwaffe had persuaded him to give them a last chance to cow the RAF. "The air force chief of staff, General Hans Jeschonnek ... asked Hitler to allow him to attack residential areas to create 'mass panic'. Hitler refused, perhaps unaware of just how much damage had already been done to civilian targets. 'Mass panic' was to be used only as a last resort. Hitler reserved for himself the right to unleash the terror weapon. The political will was to be broken by the collapse of the material infrastructure, the weapons industry, and stocks of fuel and food. On 16 September Goering ordered the air fleets to begin the new phase of the battle. Like the campaign in Kosovo in the spring of 1999, air power was expected to deliver the political solution by undermining military capability and the conditions of daily existence."[81] is the 257th day of the year (258th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 260th day of the year (261st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 281st day of the year (282nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 257th day of the year (258th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 259th day of the year (260th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Raids on British cities

Main article: The Blitz
Calais, September 1940. Göring giving a speech to pilots about the change in tactics to bomb the towns instead of the airfields.

The Luftwaffe offensive against Britain had included numerous raids on cities since August, but Hitler had issued a directive London was not to be bombed save on his sole instruction. However, on the night of 23 August,[82] bombs were accidentally dropped on Harrow on the outskirts of London as well as raids on Aberdeen, Bristol and South Wales. The focus on attacking airfields had also been accompanied by a sustained bombing campaign which begun on 24 August with the largest raid so far killing 100 in Portsmouth, and that evening the first night raid on London as described above.[73] Continuing RAF raids on Berlin in retaliation led to Hitler withdrawing his directive, and on 3 September Göring planned to bomb London daily, with Kesselring's enthusiastic support, having received reports the RAF was down to under 100 fighters and their airfields in the area were out of action.[83] Hitler issued a directive on 5 September to attack cities including London.[84] ‹ The template below (Citations missing) is being considered for deletion. ... , Harrow is the second principal town in the London Borough of Harrow, West London. ... For other uses, see Aberdeen (disambiguation). ... This article is about the English city. ... Approximate extent of South East Wales. ... is the 236th day of the year (237th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For other places with the same name, see Portsmouth (disambiguation). ... This article is about the capital of Germany. ... is the 246th day of the year (247th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 248th day of the year (249th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Bombing of London.
Bombing of London.

On 7 September 1940 a massive series of raids involving nearly four hundred bombers and more than six hundred fighters targeted docks in the East End of London, day and night. Though suffering from shortages, the RAF anticipated attacks on airfields and 11 Group rose to meet them, in greater numbers than the Luftwaffe expected. The first official deployment of 12 Group's Big Wing took twenty minutes to gain formation, missing its intended target, but encountering another formation of bombers while still climbing. They returned, apologetic about their limited success, and blamed the delay on being requested too late.[74][85] Next morning, Keith Park flew his Hurricane over the city: "It was burning all down the river. It was a horrid sight. But I looked down and said 'Thank God for that', because I knew that the Nazis had switched their attack from the fighter stations thinking that they were knocked out. They weren't, but they were pretty groggy". Luftwaffe raids across Britain continued, with large attacks on London targeting the docks or bombing indiscriminately. Fighter Command had been at its lowest ebb, short of men and machines, and the break from airfield attacks allowed them to recover. 11 Group had considerable success in breaking up daytime raids. 12 Group repeatedly disobeyed orders and failed to meet requests to protect 11 Group airfields, but their experiments with increasingly large Big Wings had some successes. The Luftwaffe began to abandon their morning raids, with attacks on London starting late in the afternoon for 57 consecutive nights of attacks.[86] Image File history File links Bombing_of_London. ... Image File history File links Bombing_of_London. ... is the 250th day of the year (251st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Members of the London Auxiliary Firefighting Service.
Members of the London Auxiliary Firefighting Service.

The most damaging aspect to the Luftwaffe of the change in targets (to London) was the increase in range. The Bf 109 escorts had a limited fuel capacity, and by the time they arrived over the city, had only 10 minutes of flying time before they had to turn for home. This left many raids undefended by fighter escorts. On 11 September, Hitler postponed Operation Sealion until 24 September. RAF Bomber Command contributed to the problems facing the German naval forces by sinking eighty barges in the Port of Ostend alone.[82] Image File history File links Size of this preview: 778 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1411 × 1087 pixels, file size: 281 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Over 500 firemen and members of the London Auxiliary Fire Fighting Services, including many women, combined in a war exercise over the ground covered by Greenwich... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 778 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1411 × 1087 pixels, file size: 281 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Over 500 firemen and members of the London Auxiliary Fire Fighting Services, including many women, combined in a war exercise over the ground covered by Greenwich... is the 254th day of the year (255th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Operation Sealion (Unternehmen (Undertaking) Seelöwe in German) was a World War II German plan to invade the United Kingdom. ... is the 267th day of the year (268th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Bomber Command badge RAF Bomber Command was the organisation that controlled the RAFs bomber forces. ... The esplanade with the Thermae Palace, the former Royal Residence and the casino For other uses, see Ostend (disambiguation). ...


On 15 September, two massive waves of German attacks were decisively repulsed by the RAF, with every single aircraft of the 11 Group being used on that day. The total casualties on this critical day were 60 German aircraft shot down versus only 26 RAF. The German defeat caused Hitler to order, two days later, the postponement of preparations for the invasion of Britain. Henceforth, in the face of mounting losses in men, aircraft and the lack of adequate replacements, the Luftwaffe switched from daylight to night-time bombing. is the 258th day of the year (259th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


On 13 October, Hitler again postponed the invasion until the spring of 1941; however, the invasion never happened, and October is regarded as the month in which regular bombing of Britain ended.[82] It was not until Hitler's Directive 21 was ordered on 18 December 1940, that the threat of invasion finally dissipated.[82] is the 286th day of the year (287th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 352nd day of the year (353rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Aftermath

The Battle of Britain marked the first defeat of Hitler's military forces, with air superiority seen as the key to victory. Pre-war theories led to exaggerated fears of strategic bombing, and British public opinion was invigorated by having come through the ordeal. To Hitler it did not seem a serious setback, as Britain was still not in a position to cause real damage to his plans, and the last minute invasion plan had been an unimportant addition to German strategy. However, for the British, Fighter Command had achieved a great victory in successfully carrying out Sir Thomas Inskip's 1937 air policy of preventing the Germans from knocking Britain out of the war. (Fighter Command was so successful, the conclusion to Churchill's famous 'Battle of Britain' speech has come to refer solely to them: "...if the British Empire and its Commonwealth lasts for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour.'")[87] The city heart of Rotterdam after being terror bombed by Germany in 1940, the ruin of the (now restored) Laurens Kerk is the only building that reminds people of Rotterdams medieval architecture. ... Thomas Walker Hobart Inskip, 1st Viscount Caldecote was a British politician who served in many legal posts, culminating in serving as Lord Chancellor from 1939 until 1940. ...


The Battle also signalled a significant shift in U.S. opinion. During the battle, many people from the U.S. accepted the view promoted by Joseph Kennedy, the U.S. ambassador in London, and believed the UK could not survive. However, Roosevelt wanted a second opinion, and sent "Wild Bill" Donovan on a brief visit to Britain, who became convinced Britain would survive and should be supported in every possible way.[88][89] For other uses of terms redirecting here, see US (disambiguation), USA (disambiguation), and United States (disambiguation) Motto In God We Trust(since 1956) (From Many, One; Latin, traditional) Anthem The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington, D.C. Largest city New York City National language English (de facto)1 Demonym American... Joseph Joe Patrick Kennedy, Sr. ... For other uses, see Wild Bill and/or Bill Donovan. ...


Both sides in the battle made exaggerated claims of numbers of enemy aircraft shot down. In general, claims were two to three times the actual numbers, because of the confusion of fighting in dynamic three-dimensional air battles. Postwar analysis of records has shown between July and September, the RAF claimed over 2,698 kills for 1,023 fighter aircraft lost to all causes, where 147 Polish pilots claimed 201 out of that number, while the Luftwaffe fighters claimed 3,198 RAF aircraft downed for losses of 1,887, of which 873 were fighters. To the RAF figure should be added an additional 376 Bomber Command and 148 Coastal Command aircraft conducting bombing, mining, and reconnaissance operations in defence of the country.[90]


Three historians, Dr Christina Goulter, Prof Gary Sheffield and Dr Andrew Gordon, who teach at Joint Services Command and Staff College, have suggested the existence of the Royal Navy was enough of a deterrent to the Germans;[91] even had the Luftwaffe won, the Germans had limited means with which to combat the Royal Navy, which would have intervened to prevent a landing. Some veterans of the battle point out the Royal Navy would have been vulnerable to air attack by the Luftwaffe if Germany had achieved air superiority,[92] quoting the fate of Prince of Wales and Repulse which, in December 1941, were overwhelmed by air power alone.[92]. In the Mediterranean Theatre in 1941 and 1942 the Luftwaffe proved itself to still be a potent weapon, wreaking a great deal of damage on RN Destroyers and Cruisers. The case is hypothetical, because the Luftwaffe did not gain the requisite air-superiority. HMS Prince of Wales was a King George V-class battleship of the Royal Navy, built at the Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead, England. ... HMS Repulse was a Renown-class battlecruiser, the second to last battlecruiser built for the Royal Navy. ...


Though the claims about the Royal Navy's ability to repulse an invasion may be contested, there is a consensus among historians that the Luftwaffe simply could not crush the RAF, without which a successful invasion of Britain was impossible. Stephen Bungay illustrated in his book "The Most Dangerous Enemy (Arum, 2000)" that Dowding's and Park's strategy of choosing when to engage the enemy whilst maintaining a coherent force was vindicated. The RAF, not the Luftwaffe, proved to be a robust and capable organisation which was to use all of the modern resources available to it to the maximum advantage.[93] Richard Evans wrote: Stephen Bungay is a British management consultant, historian and author who has made a special study of the Battle of Britain. ...

Irrespective of whether Hitler was really set on this course, he simply lacked the resources to establish the air superiority that was the sine qua non of a successful crossing of the English Channel. A third of the initial strength of the German air force, the Luftwaffe, had been lost in the western campaign in the spring. The Germans lacked the trained pilots, the effective fighter planes, and the heavy bombers that would have been needed.[94]

The theories of strategic bombing, which hinged on the collapse of public morale, were undone by British defiance in the face of the day and night blitzes. The switch to terror bombing allowed the RAF to recuperate and to defend against the attacks. Even if the attacks on the 11 Group airfields had continued, the British could have withdrawn to the Midlands, out of the range of German fighters, and continued the battle from there. Postwar records show British aircraft were being replaced faster than those of the Germans; the RAF maintained its strength even as the Luftwaffe's declined. In losses of aircraft and experienced aircrew, the battle was a blow from which the Luftwaffe never fully recovered. It had significantly fewer bombers at the start of Operation Barbarossa, some 929 machines, because of losses sustained over Britain.[95] Belligerents Germany Romania Finland Italy Hungary Slovakia Croatia Soviet Union Commanders Adolf Hitler Franz Halder Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb Fedor von Bock Gerd von Rundstedt Ernst Busch Erich Hoepner Alfred Keller Georg von Küchler Günther von Kluge Heinz Guderian Hermann Hoth Albrecht Kesselring Adolf Strauss Carl-Heinrich von...


The Germans launched some spectacular attacks against important British industries, but they could not destroy the British industrial potential, and made little systematic effort to do so. Hindsight does not disguise the fact the threat to Fighter Command was very real and for the participants, it seemed as if there was a narrow margin between victory and defeat. The victory was as much psychological as physical.


The British triumph in the Battle of Britain was not without heavy cost. Total British civilian losses from July to December 1940 were 23,002 dead and 32,138 wounded, with one of the largest single raids occurring on 19 December 1940, in which almost 3,000 civilians died. is the 353rd day of the year (354th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Winston Churchill summed up the effect of the battle and the contribution of Fighter Command with the words, "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few".[96][68] However, the brilliant leadership of Dowding and Keith Park in successfully proving their theories of air defence had created enemies amongst RAF senior commanders, and in a shabby episode, both were sacked from their posts in the immediate aftermath of the battle.[97] Pilots who fought in the Battle have been known as The Few ever since. 15 September is celebrated in the United Kingdom as "Battle of Britain Day", marking the battle. On August 20, 1940 Winston Churchill made his famous Never was so much owed by so many to so few speech to the House of Commons of the British Parliament, at the height of the Battle of Britain, often viewed as the most critical turning point of World War II... The Few is a term used to describe the Allied airmen of the Royal Air Force (RAF) who won the Battle of Britain in the Second World War. ... is the 258th day of the year (259th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


The end of the battle allowed the UK to rebuild its military forces and establish itself as an Allied stronghold. Britain later served as a base from which the Liberation of Western Europe was launched. Combatants United States United Kingdom Canada Free France Poland Nazi Germany Commanders Dwight Eisenhower (Supreme Allied Commander) Bernard Montgomery (land) Bertram Ramsay (sea) Trafford Leigh-Mallory (air) Gerd von Rundstedt (OB WEST) Erwin Rommel (absent) (Heeresgruppe B) Friedrich Dollmann (7. ...


International participation

Main articles: Non-British personnel in the RAF during the Battle of Britain and Corpo Aereo Italiano

The RAF roll of honour for the Battle of Britain recognises 574 non-British pilots (out of almost 3,000 in total) as flying at least one authorised operational sortie with an eligible unit of the Royal Air Force or Fleet Air Arm between 10 July and 31 October 1940.[98] The British Royal Air Force (RAF) and Fleet Air Arm (FAA) recruited non-British personnel from the beginning of World War II. The RAF roll of honour for the Battle of Britain recognises 510 pilots from countries other than the United Kingdom, as flying at least one authorised operational sortie... The Corpo Aereo Italiano (C.A.I.) was an Italian expeditionary force participating in the Battle of Britain during the final months of 1940. ... is the 191st day of the year (192nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 304th day of the year (305th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...

126 German aircraft or "Adolfs" were claimed by pilots of 303 Squadron during the Battle.
126 German aircraft or "Adolfs" were claimed by pilots of 303 Squadron during the Battle.

This included pilots from Poland, New Zealand, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Belgium, Australia, South Africa, France, Ireland, United States of America, Jamaica, Palestine, and Southern Rhodesia. The highest-scoring unit during the Battle of Britain was the No. 303 Polish Fighter Squadron.[99] Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum London This work is copyrighted. ... Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum London This work is copyrighted. ... No. ...


Italian dictator Benito Mussolini insisted on providing an element of the Italian Royal Air Force (Regia Aeronautica) to assist his German ally during the Battle of Britain. This expeditionary force was called the Italian Air Corps (Corpo Aereo Italiano or CAI) and first saw action in late October 1940. It took part in the latter stages of the battle but achieved limited success and was redeployed in early 1941. Mussolini redirects here. ... Insignia applied with a decal on the tail of the Règia Aeronautica aircraft (reconstruction). ... The Corpo Aereo Italiano (C.A.I.) was an Italian expeditionary force participating in the Battle of Britain during the final months of 1940. ...


See also

Only men who flew operationally with a squadron of Fighter Command in the Battle of Britain are numbered among The Few and as such, awarded a Battle of Britain clasp to the 1939-45 Star. ... The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight is a Royal Air Force flight which provides an aerial display group comprising an Avro Lancaster, a Supermarine Spitfire and a Hawker Hurricane. ... The Battle of Britain Monument in London is a sculpture on the Victoria Embankment overlooking the River Thames in central London, England which pays tribute to those who took part in the Battle of Britain during World War II. It is due to be unveiled on 18 September 2005. ... The Bombing of Coventry was a massive raid launched by the Luftwaffe which saw Britains major armaments production centre decimated. ... The United Kingdom, along with France, declared war on Nazi Germany in 1939 as part of the United Kingdoms pledge to defend Poland to the invasion of Poland. ... Evacuations of civilians in Britain during World War II began prior to the Battle of Britain and the Blitz. ... The Kent Battle of Britain Museum is located on the former Royal Air Force airfield at Hawkinge, 4 miles inland from Folkestone. ... The Darkest Hour is a phrase coined by British prime minister Winston Churchill to describe the period of World War II between the fall of France in 1940 and the Nazi invasion of Russia in 1941, when the British Commonwealth stood alone. ... The Few is a term used to describe the Allied airmen of the Royal Air Force (RAF) who won the Battle of Britain in the Second World War. ... Battle of Britain is a 1969 film directed by Guy Hamilton, and produced by Harry Saltzman and S Benjamin Fisz. ... Laurence Olivier, as photographed in 1939 by Carl Van Vechten Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM (May 22, 1907 – July 11, 1989) was an English actor and director, esteemed by many as the greatest actor of the 20th century. ... Trevor Howard, CBE (29 September 1913 – 7 January 1988), born Trevor Wallace Howard-Smith, was an English movie, stage and television actor. ... This article is about the English actor. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Robert Shaw (August 9, 1927 – August 28, 1978) was an English stage and film actor and writer. ... The SR West Country and Battle of Britain Classes, also known as Bulleid Light Pacifics or Spam Cans, are classes of air-smoothed 4-6-2 steam locomotive designed for the Southern Railway by Oliver Bulleid. ...

References

Footnotes

  • a The RAF fighter strength given is for 0900 1 July 1940, while bomber strength is for 11 July 1940[2]
  • b The Luftwaffe aircraft strength given is from the Quartermaster General 6th Abteilung numbers for 29 June 1940
  • c Werner Mölders flew one of the first operational Bf 109F-1s over England from early October 1940; he may well have been credited with shooting down eight Hurricanes and four Spitfires while flying Werke Nummer 5628, Stammkennzeichen SG+GW between 11 October and 29 October 1940.[100][101]
  • d This was the turning radius of a 109, meaning that both aircraft, if necessary, could turn together at high speed[34]
  • e This same sort of warning was provided to North Vietnam by Soviet "spy trawlers" during the Vietnam War.
  • f This account comes from Warner, Graham. The Bristol Blenheim: A Complete History, 2nd edition. London: Crecy Publishing Ltd, 2005, p. 253. Ramsay, 1989, lists no aircrew casualties and only three 109s in total destroyed or damaged.
  • g "Satellite" airfields were mostly fully equipped but did not have the sector control room which allowed "Sector" airfields such as Biggin Hill to monitor and control RAF fighter formations. RAF units from Sector airfields often flew into a satellite airfield for operations during the day, returning to their home airfield in the evenings.

is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 192nd day of the year (193rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 180th day of the year (181st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... German Airfield, France, 1941 propaganda photo of the Luftwaffe, Bf 109 fighters on the tarmac The Messerschmitt Bf 109 was a German World War II fighter aircraft designed by Willy Messerschmitt in the early 1930s. ... is the 284th day of the year (285th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 302nd day of the year (303rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Combatants Republic of Vietnam United States Republic of Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand The Philippines National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam People’s Republic of China Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Strength US 1,000,000 South Korea 300,000 Australia 48,000...

Citations

  1. ^ Rino Corso Fougier
  2. ^ a b Bungay 2000, p. 107.
  3. ^ a b Bungay 2000, p. 368.
  4. ^ Battle of Britain 1940
  5. ^ Bungay 2000, p. 388.
  6. ^ Robinson 2005
  7. ^ Taylor and Mayer 1974, p. 72.
  8. ^ The Spitfire, an operational history - 2. Into action
     Junkers Ju88 4D+EK
  9. ^ Bungay 2000, p. 9.
  10. ^ Bungay 2000, p. 11.
  11. ^ RN Strength returns Retrieved: 12 April 2008.
  12. ^ Ellis 1990, p. 15.
  13. ^ Bungay 2000, p. 111.
  14. ^ German report 109 Vs RAF Fighters
  15. ^ Hurricane Vs 109 RAE Trials report (pdf file) Retrieved: 10 April 2008.
  16. ^ a b c Spitfire Vs 109. Retrieved: 10 April 2008.
  17. ^ Bungay 2000, p. 197.
  18. ^ Feist 1993, p. 27.
  19. ^ Holmes 2007, p. 56.
  20. ^ RAE Farnborough report September 1940 Retrieved: 9 April 2008.
  21. ^ Comparative trials of Spitfire Vs Captured 109, July 1940 Retrieved: 9 April 2008.
  22. ^ Bf 109 Myths; hard to fly? Retrieved: 24 April 2008.
  23. ^ Holmes 2007, p. 57.
  24. ^ Bungay 2000, p. 256.
  25. ^ a b c Weal 1999, pp. 42–51.
  26. ^ a b Bungay 2000, pp. 257–258.
  27. ^ Bungay 2000, p. 84.
  28. ^ Bungay 2000, pp. 84, 178, 269–273.
  29. ^ Ansell 2005, pp. 712–714.
  30. ^ Ansell 2005, pp. 712–714.
  31. ^ Bungay 2000, p. 86.
  32. ^ a b Ponting 1991, p. 130.
  33. ^ a b c Bungay 2000, p. 260.
  34. ^ a b c Bungay 2000, p. 259.
  35. ^ Bungay 2000, p. 249.
  36. ^ Price 1996
  37. ^ Bungay 2000, p. 250.
  38. ^ Holmes 2007, p. 61.
  39. ^ Price 1980, pp. 28–30.
  40. ^ Bungay 2000, p. 362.
  41. ^ Price, 1996, p. 55
  42. ^ a b Price 1980, pp. 12–13.
  43. ^ Bungay 2000, pp. 163–164.
  44. ^ Finnish Fighter TacticsRetrieved: 26 April 2008
  45. ^ Price 1980, pp. 13–15.
  46. ^ a b Bungay 2000, p. 119.
  47. ^ Bungay 2000, p. 122.
  48. ^ Holmes 2007, p. 69.
  49. ^ a b c d e Allen 1974
  50. ^ Bungay 2000, p. 342.
  51. ^ Bungay 2000, pp. 62, 447 Note 23.
  52. ^ Uxbridge, 2001Retrieved 28 May 2008.
  53. ^ Price, 1980, pp. 22-27.
  54. ^ a b Ramsay, 1989, pp 14-28
  55. ^ Ponting 1991, p. 131.
  56. ^ Price, 1980, p. 26
  57. ^ Pope 1995, pp. 63–65.
  58. ^ Air/sea Search and rescue, RAF history.Retrieved 24 May 2008
  59. ^ Bungay 2000, p. 68.
  60. ^ Bungay 2000, p. 356.
  61. ^ Bungay 2000, p. 359.
  62. ^ Bungay 2000, p. 354.
  63. ^ Bungay 2000, p. 90.
  64. ^ Ramsay, 1989 p 552.
  65. ^ Ramsay 1989, p. 555.
  66. ^ Warner, 2005.
  67. ^ Bungay 2000, p. 92.
  68. ^ a b Text of speech of 20 August 1940. Retrieved: 16 April 2008.
  69. ^ Bungay 2000, p. 122.
  70. ^ a b c Bungay, 2000, pp. 203 - 205
  71. ^ Price, 1980, p. 179.
  72. ^ Deighton 1996, p. 182.
  73. ^ a b August 19th - August 24th 1940 by Alan L. Putland, Battle of Britain Historical Society Retrieved: 7 October 2007.
  74. ^ a b Putland, Alan L. "September 7th 1940" Battle of Britain Historical Society. Retrieved: 7 October 2007.
  75. ^ Deighton 1996, pp. 188, 275.
  76. ^ Overy 2001, p. 125.
  77. ^ Overy 2001, p. 126.
  78. ^ Deighton, 1996
  79. ^ Macksey 1990
  80. ^ Overy 2001, p. 97.
  81. ^ Overy 2001, p. 98.
  82. ^ a b c d Taylor and Mayer 1974, p. 74.
  83. ^ September 2nd - September 3rd 1940 by Alan L. Putland, Battle of Britain Historical Society Retrieved: 7 October 2007.
  84. ^ Putland, Alan L. "September 4th 1940", Battle of Britain Historical Society. Retrieved: 7 October 2007.
  85. ^ Putland, Alan L. "September 7th 1940 - The Aftermath." Battle of Britain Historical Society. Retrieved: 7 October 2007.
  86. ^ Putland, Alan L. "September 8th - September 9th 1940." Battle of Britain Historical Society. Retrieved: 7 October 2007.
  87. ^ Battle of Britain 1940 This is sometimes erroneously believed to refer to the entire RAF.
  88. ^ Deighton 1996, introduction by A.J.P. Taylor, pp. 12–17.
  89. ^ Deighton 1996, pp. 172, 285.
  90. ^ Bungay 2000, p. 368.
  91. ^ Evans 2006
  92. ^ a b Battle of Britain was won at sea. by Thomas Harding
  93. ^ Bungay 2000, pp. 394–396.
  94. ^ Evans, Richard J. "Immoral Rearmament". The New York Review of Books, No 20, 20 December 2007.
  95. ^ Bergström 2007, p. 129.
  96. ^ Speech to the House of Commons on 20 August 1940.
  97. ^ Deighton 1996, pp. 266–268.
  98. ^ Battle of Britain Roll of Honour. RAF website, Ministry of Defence, 20 March 2006[1] Retrieved: 4 April 2007.
  99. ^ Olson and Cloud, 2003
  100. ^ "Mölders victory list." Retrieved: 20 April 2008.
  101. ^ Prien, Jochen and Rodeike,Peter.Messerschmitt Bf 109 F,G, and K: An Illustrated Study. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Publishing, 1995. ISBN 0-88740-424-3.

is the 102nd day of the year (103rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 100th day of the year (101st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 100th day of the year (101st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 99th day of the year (100th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 99th day of the year (100th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 114th day of the year (115th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 116th day of the year (117th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 148th day of the year (149th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 144th day of the year (145th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 232nd day of the year (233rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 106th day of the year (107th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 280th day of the year (281st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 280th day of the year (281st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 280th day of the year (281st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 280th day of the year (281st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 280th day of the year (281st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 280th day of the year (281st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... This article is about the literary magazine. ... is the 354th day of the year (355th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 232nd day of the year (233rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 79th day of the year (80th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 94th day of the year (95th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 110th day of the year (111th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ...

Bibliography

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  • Ansell, Mark. Boulton Paul Defiant: Technical Details and History of the Famous British Night Fighter. Redbourn, Herts, UK: Mushroom Model Publications, 2005. pp. 712-714. ISBN 8-389-45019-4.
  • Bergström, Christer. Barbarossa - The Air Battle: July-December 1941. London: Chervron/Ian Allen, 2007. ISBN 978-1-85780-270-2.
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  • Halpenny, Bruce Barrymore. Fighter Pilots in World War II: True Stories of Frontline Air Combat (paperback). Barnsley, UK: Pen and Sword Books Ltd, 2004. ISBN 1-84415-065-8.
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  • James, T.C.G. Growth of Fighter Command, 1936–1940 (Air Defence of Great Britain; vol. 1). London; New York: Frank Cass Publishers, 2000 (hardcover, ISBN 0-7146-5118-4).
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  • Macksey, Kenneth. Invasion: The German Invasion of England, July 1940. London: Greenhill Books, 1990. ISBN 0-85368-324-7.
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  • Olson, Lynne and Cloud, Stanley. A Question of Honor. The Kosciuszko Squadron: Forgotten Heroes of World War II. New York: Knopf, 2003. ISBN 0-37541-197-6.
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  • Parry, Simon W. Intruders over Britain: The Story of the Luftwaffe's Night Intruder Force, the Fernnachtjager. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Books, 1989. ISBN 0-904811-07-7.
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  • Pope, Stephan. "Across the Ether: Part One". Aeroplane Monthly, Vol 23, No. 5, Issue No. 265, May 1995.
  • Price, Alfred. The Hardest Day: 18 August 1940. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1980. ISBN 0-684-16503-1.
  • Price, Alfred. Spitfire Mark I/II Aces 1939–41 (Aircraft of the Aces 12). London: Osprey Books, 1996, ISBN 1-85532-627-2. Spitfire Mark I/II Aces 1939–41.
  • Ramsay, Winston (editor). The Battle of Britain Then and Now Mk V. London: Battle of Britain Prints International Ltd, 1989. ISBN 0-900913-46-0
  • Ray, John Philip. The Battle of Britain: Dowding and the First Victory 1940. London: Cassel & Co., 2001. ISBN 0-304-35677-8.
  • Ray, John Philip. The Battle of Britain: New Perspectives: Behind the Scenes of the Great Air War. London: Arms & Armour Press, 1994 (hardcover, ISBN 1-85409-229-4); London: Orion Publishing, 1996 (paperback, ISBN 1-85409-345-2).
  • Robinson, Derek. Invasion, 1940: Did the Battle of Britain Alone Stop Hitler? New York: Carroll & Graf, 2005. ISBN 0-7867-1618-5.
  • Scutts, Jerry. Messerschmitt Bf 109: The Operational Record. Sarasota, FL: Crestline Publishers, 1996. ISBN 978-076-030262-0.
  • Taylor, A.J.P. and Mayer, S.L., eds. A History Of World War Two. London: Octopus Books, 1974. ISBN 0-70640-399-1.
  • Townsend, Peter. Duel of Eagles (new edition). London: Phoenix, 2000. ISBN 1-84212-211-8.
  • Weal, John. Messerschmitt Bf 110 Zerstōrer Aces of World War 2. Botley, Oxford UK: Osprey Publishing, 1999. ISBN 1-85532-753-8 Bf 110 Zerstōrer Aces.
  • Wellum, Geoffrey. First Light: The Story of the Boy Who Became a Man in the War-Torn Skies Above Britain. New York: Viking Books, 2002 (hardcover, ISBN 0-670-91248-4); Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons, 2003 (hardcover, ISBN 0-471-42627-X); London: Penguin Books, 2003 (paperback, ISBN 0-14-100814-8).

Stephen Bungay is a British management consultant, historian and author who has made a special study of the Battle of Britain. ... Len Deighton (left) teaches Michael Caine how to break an egg on the set of The IPCRESS File. ... Fighter: The True Story of the Battle of Britain (ISBN 0712674233) is a Second World War military history book by English author Len Deighton. ... is the 236th day of the year (237th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 62nd day of the year (63rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... Bruce Barrymore Halpenny is a respected British military historian, specialising in airfields & aircraft. ... Bruce Barrymore Halpenny is a respected British military historian, specialising in airfields & aircraft. ... Bruce Barrymore Halpenny is a respected British military historian, specialising in airfields & aircraft. ... is the 237th day of the year (238th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 237th day of the year (238th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 236th day of the year (237th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 62nd day of the year (63rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 230th day of the year (231st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Group Captain Peter Wooldridge Townsend, CVO, DSO, DFC and Bar, RAF (November 22, 1914 – June 19, 1995) was Equerry to King George VI 1944–1952 and held the same position for Queen Elizabeth II 1952–1953. ...

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