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Battle of Britain Day

The 15th September commemorates the end of the biggest daylight bombing raids of Britain by the German Luftwaffe, in 1940.

The First World War had to be fought mainly on the ground. World War Two was a different kind of war as it was both on the ground and from the air.

 

Operation Sealion

In July 1940, Hitler gave orders for the preparation of a seaborn invasion of Britain, called Operation Sealion. To make this easier, he sent the Luftwaffe (German air force) to destroy Britain's Royal Air Force first.

image: german plane
German Messerschmitts Bf 109

The Messerschmitt Bf 109 was a German World War II fighter aircraft designed by Willy Messerschmitt in the early 1930s.

Back to the topWhy did the German air force attack?

German leaders felt it was essential to destroy the British air force to stop it sinking the ships that would carry German soldiers across the Channel.

Spitfire
Royal Air Force plane - Spitfire

What is known as the 'Battle of Britain'?

Battle of Britain is the name commonly given to the effort by the Luftwaffe to gain air superiority over the Royal Air Force (RAF), before a planned sea and airborne invasion of Britain during the Second World War. The Luftwaffe tried to destroy the Royal Air Force.

image: British plane
Royal Air Force plane - Supermarine Spitfire Mk XVI

The Supermarine Spitfire is a British single-seat fighter aircraft used by the Royal Air Force and many other Allied countries through the Second World War.

On 10 July, 1940, the Luftwaffe made their first bomber attack on British ships in the Channel.

In August, 1940 the German air force began its mass bomber attacks on British airfields, harbours, aircraft factories and radar stations. During the next three months the Royal Air Force lost 792 planes and over 500 pilots were killed.

Lancaster
Royal Air Force Avro Lancaster B I PA474

The Avro Lancaster was a British four-engined Second World War night bomber.

When did the Battle of Britain end?

31 October 1940, is generally considered to be the end of the Battle of Britain, after the RAF caused considerable damage to the Luftwaffe.

1,547 allied aircraft were lost during the Battle of Britain.

What happened next?

They decided to concentrate on bombing London and other British cities 
( Read about The Blitz).

 

 

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