Battle of Great Britain

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Battle of Great Britain

  • “Battle of Great Britain” was the name given to the air campaign launched by the German Air Force against the United Kingdom during the summer and autumn of 1940. The Battle of Britain was the first major campaign by the Air Force and was also the largest and most continuous aerial bombing campaign on that date.
  • The objective was to achieve air superiority over the strong range of the Royal Air, especially in its combat command.
  • The German Air Force targeted factories operating in the production of warplanes and infrastructure.
  • Eventually, Luftwaffe resorted to attack areas of political importance and use a strategy of terrorism
  • By preventing Germany from gaining air superiority, the British forced Adolf Hitler to postpone and cancel his scheme of Operation “Sea Lion”, however, Germany continued bombing operations in Britain, known as the raid.
  • Germany’s failure to achieve its goal of destroying British air defenses to force Britain to negotiate a truce (or even immediate surrender) is considered by historians to be its first major defeat in World War II and a crucial turning point in the conflict.

Information about the Battle of Britain

  • In the summer and autumn of 1940, the German and British air forces clashed in the skies of the United Kingdom, the largest bombing campaign ever going on.
  • It was an important turning point in World War II, which ended with Germany’s failure to gain air superiority over the Royal Air Force, despite the targeting of British air bases, military installations, and its civilian population.
  • After the defeat of France, Britain stood alone against German military forces, which had occupied most Western European countries in less than two months, but Prime Minister Winston Churchill defeated politicians who wanted to negotiate with Adolf Hitler.
  • The success of Britain was in the continuation of the war, which relied heavily on the ability of the British Royal Air Force (RAF), which frustrated the efforts (Luftwaffe) to gain air superiority.
  • The situation in Britain was better than most of the recognized countries of that time.
  • Britain had an effective air defense system, from first-class fighter jets and the chief military commander of the Air Force Marshal Hugh Dowding.
  • On the other hand, the Germans had major problems: they did not have naval support, as the naval forces left after the occupation of Norway, and their army was not prepared for any form of amphibious operations, and the heavy losses for (Luftwaffe) in the West.

The Events

  • The Battle of Britain took place between August and September 1940.
  • The aim of the Germans was to control the English Canal, by launching its invasion of Britain.
  • At the beginning of the war, Germany had about 4000 aircraft. Over time, France was defeated. The German Air Force had about 3000 aircraft in its northwest Europe, consisting of 1400 bombers, 800 single-engine fighter aircraft, and 240 twin-engine bombers.
  • At the beginning of the battle, Luftwaffe had 2,500 aircraft, while the Royal Air Force had about 1,200 planes.
  • Britain had a number of advantages over Luftwaffe, by having early warning of German planes approaching.
  • By the spring of 1940, a fifty-one radar base had been built around the coasts of southern Britain, and it also had the Royal Observation Controller (ROC).
  • By 1940, more than 1,000 ROCs intervention, by making British fighters spending more time in the air above Kent and Sussex, besides they landed easily to get fuel.
  • The German bombers had the ability to fly longer distances than fighter jets.
  • The battle began on July 10, 1940, when the Fuehrer attempted to control the Dover Strait. The aim was to distract the RAF from the large-scale battle.
  • By the end of July, the Royal Air Force had lost 150 aircraft while the Luftwaffe had lost 268.
  • In August, the German Air Force began attacking the command of combat airports, operations rooms, and radar stations, as the Royal Air Force could be destroyed on the ground.
  • On September 15, the last major clash of the battle took place. Luftwaffe lost about 60 aircraft and RAF lost 28 aircraft.
  • On 17 September, the invasion was postponed indefinitely despite the continued night raids.

When the Battle of Britain took place?

  • The Battle of Britain began on 10 July 1940.
  • It lasted several months as the Germans continued to bomb Britain.
  • The Battle of Britain was an important battle in World War II, as Germany invaded most of Europe, including France, and wanted to invade Great Britain, but it needed to destroy the Royal Air Force.

Interesting Facts

  • The nickname of Hitler’s invasion plans was “Sea Lion” operation.
  • It is estimated that about 1,000 British aircraft were shot down during the battle, while more than 1800 German aircraft were destroyed.
  • The most important types of aircraft fighters used in the Battle of Messerschmitt were the (Bf109) and (Bf110) by the German Air Force.
  • The Commander of the German air force was “Hermann Goering”. The Royal Air Force commander was Sir “Hu Dawooding”.
  • Germany continued to bomb London evening, until May 1941.
  • Hitler finally stopped bombing London because he needed his assailants to invade Russia. 

The Summary

  • Technically, Britain’s battle was a series of battles and skirmishes, seen through air combat in the United Kingdom.
  • Germany wanted to defeat England by bowing or gaining air superiority early in the German invasion.
  • To this end, Germany sent more than 2,500 aircraft to the besieged island, the first major air battle in history, to be fought particularly by aircraft and anti-aircraft forces.
  • England had fewer than 2,000 aircraft, capable of attacking, while British pilots remained on alert for three and a half months.
  • Because of these events most of the combat forces were affected, and on October 31, 1940, Britain had lost nearly 80% of the available aircraft.
  • The Germans were unable to take advantage of this unprecedented destruction. The remaining number of aircraft was insufficient to protect the invasion.

 

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