The Battle of Britain. Essay

Submitted By flaning895
Words: 437
Pages: 2

On 18 June 1940, Winston Churchill gave a speech, which seemed exhilarating at the time, to the British people, declaring that: "... the Battle of France is over. " Four days later, 22 June 1940, France surrendered to Germany and Hitler turned his attention to Britain. Hitler wanted to invade Britain but he was unable to because the RAF would be capable of completely stopping it so therefore Hitler had to gain air superiority in the south of England before he could even think about invading Britain so Hermann Goering, the head of the Luftwaffe, was instructed by Hitler that the RAF must be "beaten down to such an extent that it can no longer muster any power of attack worth mentioning against the German crossing". The Battle of Britain was about to begin.
The battle began in mid-July and, initially, the Luftwaffe concentrated on attacking shipping in the English Channel and attacking coastal towns and defences. From 12 August, Goering shifted his focus to the destruction of the RAF, attacking airfields and radar bases. Convinced that Fighter Command was now close to defeat, he also tried to force air battles between fighter planes to definitively break British strength. However, Goering grew frustrated by the large number of British planes that were still fighting off his attacks. On 4 September, the Luftwaffe switched tactics again and, on Hitler's orders, set about destroying London and other major cities. Eleven days later, 15 September 1940,on what became known as 'Battle of Britain Day', the RAF destroyed the huge incoming Luftwaffe formations in the skies above London and the south coast.
It was now clear to Hitler that his air force had failed to gain air superiority so, on 17