In May 1940, Germany invaded France. The French and British armies were overpowered by the
German blitzkrieg. Toward the end of May, in a daring rescue attempt, ships
from England picked up 300,000
British and French soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk. Britain stood alone against the might of the German war machine. Hitler was surprised that Britain did not surrender like France. He ordered his generals to invade Britain. Their invasion
plan was code named Operation Sealion. In order for the German blitzkrieg to work the Luftwaffe had to first destroy the RAF, to prevent it posing a threat to German troops as they landed in Britain. The battle of Britain was the first major battle
fought entirely in the air. Hermann Goring's air force began its assault on England in July 1940 with more than twice
the 600 aircraft available to the RAF.
Every day between June and October 1940 the RAF and
the Luftwaffe clashed over Britain. Both sides were equipped with the latest aircraft technology. However, the RAF had the
edge over the Luftwaffe with its new faster fighters the Spitfire and Hurricane. The Luftwaffe were equipped with Stuka dive
bombers, Messerschmitt ME109 fighter and the Heinkel bomber. The design and speed of the Spitfire and Hurricane meant that
they could out manoeuvre the German fighters. Another advantage that the RAF had over the Luftwaffe was radar technology
which enabled it to see when the German aircraft were about to cross the English Channel. The RAF used this information to
concentrate its fighters in the areas where they expected the Luftwaffe were about to attack. This clever piece of cutting
edge technology helped the RAF overcome the fact that it was outnumbered.
The Luftwaffe’s final effort to destroy the RAF
began on Eagle Day, August 13, 1940. Göring thought that his aircraft could sweep the Royal Air Force from the sky in
just four weeks, but poor weather and the skill of the RAF pilots hampered the Luftwaffe's raids. Eagle Day ended with
46 German aircraft destroyed, compared with only 14 RAF fighters. The Battle of Britain was one of the greatest moments in
British history: although short of planes and pilots, the RAF had held off the Luftwaffe and prevented a German invasion.
Churchill called it Britain's "finest hour". The skill and determination of the RAF’s pilots, backed up
by the latest in technology helped them win the battle of Britain. Germany had been defeated for the first time in the war.
The bravery of the British people and their pilots impressed many Americans who began to urge their leaders to help Britain.
The turning point of the war in Europe is clearly the
Battle of Britain since if Germany had defeated the Royal Air Force and conquered Britain, Germany could have taken over control
of Europe. In 1940, most of Europe was under the control of Germany. After France had fallen, victorious German soldiers paraded
down the Champs Elysees, the famous Paris Boulevard. France’s surrender in June 1940 left Britain alone in the fight
against Germany. Hitler had believed that Great Britain would seek peace with Germany after the fall of France but Britain
fought on with the war alone. The British expected Hitler to order an invasion of their nation. Hitler made preparations to
cross the English Channel and invade southern England. Before the Germans could invade, however, they had to defeat Britain’s
Royal Airforce. The Battle of Britain, which began in July of 1940, was the first battle ever fought to control the air.
In August 1940, the German air force, the Luftwaffe,
led by a German man named Goering, second in command next to Hitler, began to attack Britain’s Royal Airforce bases.
The German Air Force consisted of 3,000 long range bombing planes against only 600 planes made up of Americans, the British
and Free France. The advantage that Britain had was the speed of their small planes called Spitfires. The job of the German
Luftwaffe at the beginning of the Battle of Britain was to put the Royal Air Force out of action. Germany’s aircraft
outnumbered those of the Royal Air Force, but the British had a secret weapon of radar. Radar stations along England’s
coast provided warning of approaching planes and helped the Royal Air Force intercept them.
Each side greatly overestimated the number of enemy
planes it had shot down, but the British had an advantage over the German invaders. The Battle of Britain drained the Luftwaffe
of pilots because Germans that were shot down over Britain spent the rest of the war in prisoner of war camps. By September
1940, the Luftwaffe mistakenly believed it had destroyed the Royal Air Force. The Germans then halted their strikes against
Royal Air Force bases and began to bomb London and other civilian targets. They hoped to weaken civilian morale and force
Britain to surrender. The bombing of London caused much destruction to the area. Londoners sought safety in subway tunnels
during the nightly raids. Air raids known as the Blitz took place nearly every night through the fall and winter. German bombing
raids were restricted to nights after British fighter planes shot down many of the bombers in daylight. These raids only caused
the British response to be that of a greater determination to fight. Most importantly, the British sent bombers to Berlin
after German pilots bombed London, which hurt the morale of Germans. In May 1941, Germany finally gave up its attempts to
defeat Britain from the air.
Ten American pilots flew with units under
the command of RAF Fighter Command between 10 July and 31 October 1940, thereby qualifying for the Battle of Britain clasp
to the 1939-45 British campaign star. During this period the USA was officially neutral, but American pilots were drawn across
the Atlantic by the urgency of defending democracy in Europe and their sense of adventure. Through special arrangement with
the UK, they did not have to give up their US Citizenship to fly for the RAF.
The first American to give his life
in the Battle of Britain was Pilot Officer William M.L. Fiske of No. 601 Squadron. Fiske was a graduate of Cambridge University
and a leading personality in the American bob sleigh teams that won the Olympic championships in 1928 and 1932. he died in
hospital on 17 August 1940 after bringing back his damaged Hurricane to Tangmere. Also with No. 601 Squadron was Flying Officer
Carl R. Davis, one of a small number of Americans who had seen active service with he RAF before the Battle of Britain. He
had taken part in the attack on the German seaplane base at Borkum on 28 November 1939. A British Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane
on the airfield at Falaise France in 1994. A British Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane on the old German airfield
at Falaise France in 1994. American pilots in the thick of the action also included Pilot Officers Vernon C. Keough, Andrew
Mamedoff and Eugene Q. Tobin on No. 609 Squadron. This trio had travelled to Europe with the original intention of joining
the French Air Force. A notable American in Duxford's history is Pilot Officer Phillip H. Leckrone from Salem, Illinois.
He was a member of No. 616 Squadron and fought alongside the British, Commonwealth, Czech and Polish pilots of the Duxford
Wing in the late stages of the Battle of Britain.
The other Americans in the Battle of Britain were Pilot
Officers Arthur G. Donahue, John K. Haviland, (64 and 66 Sqds), De Peyster Brown. The last one mentioned flew with No.
1 Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force which arrived in Britain in June 1940. Some of the above individuals later became
members of the three Eagle Squadrons made up of exclusively of American pilots and formed between September 1940 and October
1941. These were No 71, 121 and 133 Squadrons.
The Eagle squadrons operated as part of the RAF Fighter Command
on convoy escort duties and fighter sweeps over France. All three were involved in the intense battle of Dieppe on 19 August
1942. In the late autumn of 1942 the USA had fully entered the war in Europe and the three RAF "Eagle" Squadrons
were transferred to the 8th US Air Force and became the 4th Fighter Group. The promise not to transfer any members away lasted
a month. Around 1/2 were transferred to other units, back to the states to train other pilots soon after becoming officers
in the 8th Air Force. Initially the 4th FG continued to fly Spitfires till they were re-equipped with P-47 Thunderbolts. Some
members refused to transfer into the US Forces and remained as part of the RAF throughout the war.
Of all the Americans
who flew in the Eagle Squadrons - 244 - over 50% ware WIA, KIA or POWs by the time the 4th FG was established in the US 8th
Unless the Germans won control of the air, the Royal
Navy would be free to sink the invasion craft of 'Operation Sealion'. The Battle began on 10 July 1940 and for
the first few weeks the German bomber planes attacked convoys of British ships in the English Channel, ports and naval targets.
In mid-August they spread the attacks more widely using nearly 2000 aircraft. Many German bombers - Junkers 88s, Dornier 17s
and Heinkel Ills (31) -were shot down by the British fighter planes, the Spitfires and Hurricanes. What made the British fighters
so effective was radar, a radio device which detected the approach of the German bombers.
of the Luftwaffe, ordered more German fighters to escort the bombers. This meant that German attacks had to be limited to
targets within about 150 km, the effective range of the Messerschmitt 109. The Germans hoped to destroy the British fighters
by drawing them into battle. This would then put Britain at the mercy of the German bombers. Air Marshal Dowding, who master-minded
the British defence, kept as many Spitfires and Hurricanes out of the battle as possible and ordered those in combat to go
for the German bombers but evade the fighters, thus frustrating the German plan.
Many German bombers, however, did get through to their
targets and so much damage was done to British aerodromes that by early September it seemed as if the RAF would be unable
to keep up the battle. But the British were given a breathing space when the Germans switched their efforts to raids on London,
in revenge for a British raid on Berlin. This was a bad mistake on the part of the Germans because it relieved pressure on
the British airfields at the critical moment. The Battle of Britain could have been said to be the first major turning point
of the war for the Germans were checked for the first time; they were not invincible. Britain was to remain in the struggle
thus facing Hitler with the fatal situation of war on two fronts.
The decisive battles were fought on Sunday 15th September
1940, the worst of the German raids on London. British fighters were drawn into the fighter-to-fighter battle the Germans
had been seeking. These battles between fighter pilots were called 'dog-fights'. The pilot's tactical plan in
an aerial dog-fight was to climb to a position above the enemy and, descending if possible out of the sun, to shoot him down
from the rear, watching that another enemy was not trying to do the same to himself. The victim would try to turn out of the
line of fire. At high speed the Messerschmitt 109 had to do this gradually in case its wings broke off but the Spitfire was
more strongly built.
Lord Dowding’s claim to fame was his judicious
handling of the Royal Air Force’s tightly stretched air defence forces during the Battle of France and the subsequent
Battle of Britain during 1940. Much of Fighter Command’s success is due to Dowding’s preparation for war in the
late 1930s and his support of the revolutionary radar technology to enable the effective use of scarce fighter resources. Hugh Dowding was born in 1882 and was one of the earliest members of the Royal Flying Corps. He rose to command an RFC Wing
during the Battle of the Somme but he fell foul of Trenchard, who had a very different temperament from Dowding, and spent
the last two years of the War running a training brigade in the UK. Although well respected by many of his contemporaries,
Dowding was never a popular man and was known for his reserve rather than strong leadership. However, he progressed through
the inter-war RAF and was Air Member for Research and Development by 1935. He was instrumental in the procurement of radar
and of modern fighters such as the Hurricane and Spitfire and became C-in-C of RAF Fighter Command in 1936. Following
grievous losses during the Battle of France Dowding wrote an historic memo to the War Cabinet warning of the dire consequences
should the drain of men and equipment be allowed to continue in France. That he was successful in marshalling his resources
to win the Battle of Britain and halt the threat of German invasion is now a matter of history. He also had to fight many
difficult battles in Whitehall where he failed to maintain the support of many of his Air Ministry colleagues, especially
with regard to the difficult relationship between two of his Group commanders, Park and Leigh-Mallory. Many historians consider
Dowding’s leaving of Fighter Command in somewhat ignominious circumstances after the Battle as distinctly unfair, although
probably inevitable. Following an unsuccessful tour of the United States where Dowding came into conflict with official British
policy, he retired completely, was created a baron in 1943, and spent much of the rest of his life in the study of religions
and spiritualism until his death on 15 February 1970.
Due to retire in June 1939, he was asked
to stay on until March 1940 due to the tense international situation. He was again grudgingly permitted to continue, first
until July and finally until October 1940. Thus, he fought the Battle of Britain under the shadow of retirement.
In 1940, Dowding, nicknamed "Stuffy" by his men, proved unwilling to sacrifice aircraft and pilots in the attempt
to aid Allied troops during the Battle of France. He, along with his immediate superior Sir Cyril Newall, then Chief of the
Air Staff, resisted repeated requests from Winston Churchill to weaken the home defence by sending precious squadrons to France.
When the Allied resistance in France collapsed, he worked closely with Air Vice-Marshal Keith Park, the commander of 11 Fighter
Group, in organising cover for the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force at Dunkirk.
Fighter Command was established on 14 July 1936 under
the leadership of Air Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding as part of a complete reorganisation and expansion of the Royal Air Force in
Britain Its headquarters was Bentley Priory at Stanmore, Middlesex. The Command was organised into a number of Groups, each
of which was responsible for the defence of a geographical area. At the beginning of the Battle of Britain, 11 Group covered
London and the south east of England and was commanded by Air Vice-Marshal Keith Park. 12 Group, led by Air Vice-Marshal Trafford
Leigh-Mallory, controlled the Midlands, East Anglia and northern England upto south Yorkshire and Lancashire. 13 Group defended
the rest of northern England, southern Scotland upto Glasgow and Edinburgh, Scapa Flow and Northern Ireland under the command
of Air Vice-Marshal Richard Saul. 10 Group, to cover the south west of England and Wales, became operational later in July,
commanded by Air Vice-Marshal Sir Quintin Brand.
Each Group was sub-divided into geographical sectors to facilitate tactical control. Each sector contained a main
fighter airfield equipped with an operations room to control all the fighters in its area, together with extensive maintenance
and repair facilities. The sector station would also command one or more forward satellite landing grounds which would be
used to re-fuel aircraft or provide advanced readiness capability. Fighter Command was the apex of a command and control network
which unified the different elements of fighter aircraft, radar and ground defences into a complex system of defence which
gave it a formidable striking power and effective operational flexibility. Bentley Priory was the heart of this system and
it received information on incoming hostile aircraft, relayed on secure landlines from the radar stations, to its Filter Room.
Once the direction of the plots was established, the relevant Group Operations Room was alerted, where the Group commander
would decide which of his sectors would intercept. The sector station commanders then activated or "scrambled" the
July 1940, the German war machine had overrun France
and was now poised at the English Channel. Britain anticipated that they would be the next to be invaded. The German army
and the Luftwaffe had made short work of Poland, before turning their attention north and then west. The British Norwegian
Campaign had ended ignominiously while the British Expeditionary Force had been whipped in France. The successful evacuation
of over 335,000 British and French soldiers from Dunkirk hid the apparent failure against the Blitzkrieg. The Germans appeared
With the Germans almost at their doorstep, all England
looked to the Royal Air Force. Both the English and the Germans realized that before the German armies could invade, the RAF
would have to be eliminated. With this in mind, the Luftwaffe first probed for weaknesses by attacking targets in southern
England and shipping. This was followed by attacks against RAF airfields and radar stations.
The RAF, already weakened
through having sent squadrons to France, was suffering heavily in the daily attacks on their airfields. Although fighting
valiantly, losses of men and machines mounted, nearing a critical level. Relief came from an unexpected source. A German bomber
accidentally bombed London prompting the RAF to attack Berlin. Hitler was incensed, ordering that the Luftwaffe now turn their
attention to leveling London.
With the Luftwaffe's attention now turned to London
and other British cities, the heat was still not off the RAF. The elimination of Britain's still developing war industry
could have dealt Britain a grave blow. Day after day the Luftwaffe came to bomb the docks, factories and infrastructure of
the last bastion in Europe. Daily the RAF met the challenge. By the end of October, the Luftwaffe had exhausted itself. With
it went the chance of an invasion of Britain during the remainder of that year.
Canadian airmen played their part
in the Battle of Britain. Over 100 Canadian pilots flew on fighter operations during the Battle of Britain. Another 200 fought
with the RAF's Bomber and Coastal Commands providing other support to operations to prevent the German invasion of England.
An untold number served as ground crew, keeping the fighters flying.
These Canadian pilots distinguished themselves, not
only in the Battle of Britain, but also in later battles. They were not alone however. Joining the British and Canadians,
were pilots from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, from Czechoslovakia, France and Poland, and from the United States.
It was an international effort to defend democracy. Few of them recognized the importance of their actions at the time.
The significance of the Battle of Britain is more than just a matter of Aircraft kills and medals. It was the first
time that air power saved a nation and was the first battle to be won purely by air power. For Canada, the leadership provided
by these experienced fliers was to be instrumental in the development of the Royal Canadian Air Force. The Battle of Britain
was also the first occasion in which Canadian airmen flew in a Canadian unit in a sustained battle.
Short Glossary of RAF slang ...... Balbo, A A large formation of aircraft. Bale out To take to one's parachute. Bind, A People who obstruct one. Black, A Something badly done, a
"bad show". Blitz, A solid lump
of Large formation of enemy aircraft. Blonde job, A Young woman with fair hair. Bogus Sham, spurious. Bomphleteers Airmen engaged on the early pamphlet raids. Brassed off Diminutive of "browned off". Brolly Parachute. Browned off, To be "Fed up". Bumps and Circuits Circuits and landings. Bus driver A bomber pilot. Buttoned up A job properly completed,
"mastered". Completely Cheesed
No hope at all. Cope
To accomplish, to deal with. Crabbing along
Flying near the ground or water. Deck,
Crack down on To "pancake" an aircraft. Dog fight Aerial scrap. Drill, The right Correct method of doing anything. Drink, In the To come down into the sea. Dud Applied to weather when unfit to fly. Duff gen. Dud information. Dust bin Rear gunner's lower position in aircraft. Erk, An A beginner in any job. Fan The propeller. Flak Anti-aircraft fire. Flap A disturbance, general excitement. Fox, To To do something clever or rather cunning. Gen. (pron. jen) General information of any kind whatever. George The automatic pilot. Get Cracking Get going. Gong, To collect a To get a medal. Greenhouse Cockpit cover. Hedge-hopping Flying so low that the aircraft appears to hop
over the hedges. Hurryback
A Hurricane fighter. Jink away
Sharp manoeuvre. Sudden evasive action of aircraft. Kipper Kite Coastal Command Aircraft which convoy fishing fleets in the North and Irish Seas. Kite An aeroplane. Laid on, To have To produce anything, such as
supplies. Mae West Life-saving
stole, or waistcoat, inflated if wearer falls into sea. Mickey Mouse Bomb-dropping mechanism. Muscle in To take advantage of a good thing. Office Cockpit of aircraft. Organize To "win" a wanted article. Pack up Cease to function. Peel off, To Break formation to engage enemy. Play pussy Hide in the clouds.
Pleep A squeak, rather like a high note klaxon. Plug away Continue to fire. Keep after target. Pukka gen. Accurate information. Pulpit
Cockpit of aircraft. Quick squirt Short sharp
burst of machine-gun fire. Quickie Short for
above. Rang the bell Got good results. Rings Rank designation on officer's cuffs. Ropey Uncomplimentary adjective. "A ropey landing",
"A ropey type", "A ropey evening", etc. Screamed
downhill Executed a power dive. Shooting a
line Exaggerated talk, generally about one's own prowess. Shot Down in Flames Crossed in love. Severe reprimand. Snake about Operational aerobatics. Spun
in A bad mistake. Analogy from an aircraftspinning out of control into the ground. Stationmaster Commanding Officer of Station. Stooge Deputy, i.e. second pilot or any assistant. Stooging about Delayed landing for various reasons. Flying slowly over an area. Patrolling. Synthetic Not the real thing. Also applied to ground
training. Tail End Charlie Rear gunner in large
bombing aircraft or rear aircraft of a formation. Tear off a
strip To reprimand, take down a peg. Tee up
To prepare a job, to get ready. Touch bottom
Crash. Toys A great deal of training equipment
is termed toys. Train, Driving the Leading
more than one squadron into battle. Type Classification
- usually referring to people. Good, Bad, Ropey, Poor type. View
R.A.F. personnel always take a "view" of things. Good view, Poor view, Dim view, Long distance view, Lean view,
Outside view, "Ropey" view. Wizard
Really first class, superlative, attractive, ingenious.
Both sides lost many aircraft, the Germans 1400, the
British 800. The RAF was well supplied with aircraft but nearly ran out of pilots. Some young men were sent into battle only
two weeks after qualifying as pilots. The inexperienced ones were quite often soon shot down. The strain of the long battle
exhausted and demoralised the airmen. One was found to have fallen fast asleep as soon as he landed his Spitfire. But these
brave men prevented the Luftwaffe from gaining control of the air space over Britain and Hitler realised he could not risk
an invasion. Britain had survived. As Churchill said of the RAF pilots: 'Never in the field of human conflict was so much
owed by so many to so few.'
A dogfight, or dog fight, is aerial combat between fighter
aircraft. Dogfighting first appeared during World War I, shortly after the invention of the airplane, and has since became
a component in every major war despite beliefs after World War II that increasingly greater speeds and longer range weapons
would make dogfighting obsolete. Modern terminology for air-to-air combat is air combat maneuvering (ACM), which refers
to tactical situations requiring the use of individual basic fighter maneuvers (BFM) to attack or evade one or more opponents.
This differs from aerial warfare, which deals with the strategy involved in planning and executing various missions. Dogfighting was very prominent in the skies over Europe.
The air force in France, while a major force during the first world war, was inadequate and poorly organized, and quickly
fell to the German onslaught. Hitler believed that the British government was on the verge of collapse, and offered them a
choice between peace and war, being quite astonished when Winston Churchill opted, without hesitation, for war.
Few men become legends in their lifetime. Douglas Bader
was one of these men. Fighter ace, international sportsman, constant rule-breaker and incorrigible escaper, he spread exasperation
and irritation wherever he went. Yet his courage and determination in the face of crippling injuries continue to inspire people
all over the world to this day.
Douglas Robert Steuart Bader was born on February 10, 1910, in London, England,
son of Frederick Roberts Bader and Jessie Bader. From the start, his life followed no placid pattern. When Douglas was a few
months old, his family returned to India, where his father worked as a civil engineer. Young Douglas was left behind because
his family thought him too young for India's harsh climate. He did not rejoin them until he was 2 years old, beginning
a long life as a loner. The Bader family returned to England in 1913. The following year, when World War I began, Frederick
Bader went with the British army into France. It was the last time Douglas saw his father, who died in France of complications
from a shrapnel wound in 1922 and was buried near the town of St. Omer. Twenty-one years later, his son would be held prisoner
in a hospital not far from where his father was buried. Jessie Bader later married a mild Yorkshire clergyman, Reverend William
Hobbs. Throughout his early years, Douglas showed a fierce spirit of independence and nonconformity. He excelled in sports
such as rugby football; when he was captain of the rugby team, his natural leadership abilities became apparent.
After graduating from Cranwell in 1930, Bader was commissioned a pilot officer and posted to No. 23 Squadron at Kenley Airfield,
flying tubby Gloster Gamecock biplane fighters. Soon afterward, 23 Squadron was reequipped with Bristol Bulldog fighters.
The Bulldogs were faster than the Gamecocks but heavier and liable to loose height rapidly in low-altitude maneuvers.
On Monday, December 14, 1931, Douglas Bader flew from Kenley to Woodley airfield along with two other pilots from
his squadron. In the Woodley clubhouse a young pilot was discussing acrobatics with Bader, the Hendon star, and suggested
that he give a demonstration of low flying. Bader refused, citing his inexperience flying acrobatics in a Bulldog. The matter
was dropped until Bader and the other pilots were leaving. Someone dared him to do it. In some agitation Bader took off, then
turned back toward the field. Flying low and fast across the field, Bader began a slow roll, but in his inexperience with
the Bulldog he flew too low. The Bulldog's left wing struck the ground, and the plane cartwheeled quickly into a tangle
of wreckage. Both of Bader's legs were crushed, his left leg under the seat, his right tom by the rudder pedal. Bader
was pulled from the Bulldog's wreckage by shocked onlookers and taken immediately to the Royal Berkshire Hospital, where
he was placed in the care of Dr. Leonard Joyce, one of England's best surgeons. Joyce immediately amputated Bader's
right leg above the smashed knee and, several days later, the left leg six inches below the knee. After his second amputation,
Bader's condition worsened. None of the doctors expected the 21-year-old pilot to survive. But Bader had great will to
Having lost its principal ally, Britain with its Dominions
stood alone and awaited a German invasion. Churchill, in eloquent speeches, rallied his people and expressed the determination
of Britain to meet "the whole fury and might of the enemy." It was a formidable enemy. From the north cape of Norway
to the Pyrenees stretched a vast arc of coastline from which enemy submarines, surface ships and aircraft threatened Britain's
maritime lifelines; in the air the German Air Force outnumbered the British three to one. However, Hitler hesitated and delayed
Operation Sea Lion - the invasion of Britain - to mid-September.
It was fortunate that an invasion did not come, for the forces in Britain were not yet prepared to meet such a powerful
foe. While the troops had been rescued from Dunkirk, they had been compelled to leave behind most of their equipment. Further,
many of them had not yet received adequate training. The 1st Canadian Division, which still possessed the bulk of its equipment,
therefore assumed a position of vital importance. In July the Canadians became part of the 7th British Army Corps. This new
formation, comprising British, Canadian and New Zealand troops, came under the command of General McNaughton. It engaged in
intense preparation for a role of counter-attack against the expected German assault.
However, before a Channel crossing could be attempted, the Royal Air Force would have to be knocked from the skies.
On August 12, 1940 the German Air Force, the Luftwaffe, struck at Britain attacking the radar stations, bombing the airfields,
and engaging British fighters in an attempt to gain air supremacy. Had the policy been continued the Luftwaffe might have
been victorious, but the Germans switched to mass daylight raids on London giving the Fighter Command the needed respite,
and they were able to inflict staggering losses on the Luftwaffe. Unable to control the air, Hitler indefinitely postponed
Operation Sea Lion. The Battle of Britain was over.
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