Sunday, August 21, 2005

HITLER'S WAR: The Battle Of Britain

In June, 1940, England stood alone against brutal aggression. The Germans had yet to be stopped in their lightning thrust across Europe - their next target was Britain.

Hitler was frustrated by Britain's refusal to make a settlement with him. He had no great desire to wage war against Britain and her empire, but nor was he shy of smashing both if they stood in his way.

His plan was to use his air force, the threat of invasion, and an actual invasion if necessary and possible, to force Britain to capitulate. From early July the Luftwaffe (the German air force) was ordered to mount offensive operations against Britain.

Shipping convoys, airfields, military installations and ports were attacked, as the Luftwaffe maintained pressure on Britain, tested her air defences, and softened up potential landing zones for an invasion.

On August 24th, the attack was shifted inland to Royal Air Force installations and aircraft factories in an effort to gain control of the air over Southern England.

Failing to destroy the RAF, the Germans began the night bombing, or blitz, of London, Heavy night bombings of English cities continued from September into October, when the attack was shifted back to coastal installations.

The Germans gradually gave up hope of invading England, and the battle tapered off by the end of October.

The Battle of Britain was the first major failure of the Germans in World War II, and it thwarted Hitler's plan to force Britain to accept peace or face invasion.


Post a Comment

<< Home