70th Anniversary of the Start of, The Battle of Britain.
“…….the Battle of France is over. The Battle of Britain is about to begin, upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization,
upon it depends our own British life and the long continuity of our
institution and our Empire.”
WINSTON CHURCHILL, JUNE 18 1940
FROM HIS “FINEST HOUR” SPEECH
The Battle of Britain is the name given to the air campaign waged by the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) against the United Kingdom during the summer and autumn of 1940. The objective of the campaign was to gain air superiority over the Royal Air Force (RAF), especially Fighter Command.
The Battle of Britain was the first major campaign to be fought entirely by air forces, and was also the largest and most sustained aerial bombing campaign to that date. From July 1940 coastal shipping convoys and shipping centres, such as Portsmouth were the main targets; one month later the Luftwaffe shifted its attacks to RAF airfields and infrastructure. As the battle progressed the Luftwaffe also targeted aircraft factories and ground infrastructure. Eventually the Luftwaffe resorted to attacking areas of political significance and using terror bombing tactics.
The failure of Germany to achieve its objectives of destroying Britain’s air defences, or forcing Britain to negotiate an armistice or an outright surrender is considered its first major defeat and one of the crucial turning points in the war. If Germany had gained air superiority, Adolf Hitler might have launched Operation Sea Lion, an amphibious and airborne invasion of Britain.
The story of the battle was documented in, amongst many others, the 1969 film Battle of Britain, which drew many respected British actors to act key figures of the battle, including Sir Laurence Olivier as Hugh Dowding and Trevor Howard as Keith Park. It also starred Michael Caine, Christopher Plummer and Robert Shaw as Squadron Leaders. Former participants of the battle served as technical advisors including Douglas Bader, James Lacey, Adolf Galland and Dowding himself
“Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few”
As more time goes past we are losing more and more people that lived though this time which makes it more improtant for us never to forget these times and the lives that was not lost just on the allied side but also on the other as well. We should also remeber the civllians that lost their life from conflict. We most also remember those that have come after and given their lives to protect our way of life. But most importanly we most remember the service Men and Woman that are currently serving at home and in threater over sea.
Check the offical Royal Air Force Site on the Battle of Britain. http://www.raf.mod.uk/Bob1940/bobhome.html