Battle of Britain June 1940 Hitlers Attack on

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Battle of Britain June, 1940

Battle of Britain June, 1940

Hitler’s Attack on Britain n Hitler expected Britain to surrender after the fall of

Hitler’s Attack on Britain n Hitler expected Britain to surrender after the fall of France. n When Britain refused, Hitler planned to subdue Britain.

Operation Sea Lion Defeat of the Royal Navy in the invasion area required control

Operation Sea Lion Defeat of the Royal Navy in the invasion area required control of the air Hitler’s conditions for Sealion: The RAF is to be "beaten down in its morale and in fact, that it can no longer display any appreciable aggressive force in opposition to the German crossing".

Basic German Invasion Plan… Operation Sea Lion n Construct a Naval corridor n cordon

Basic German Invasion Plan… Operation Sea Lion n Construct a Naval corridor n cordon off the shortest straight line between France and Britain n line it with minefields and subs, and ferry the German army across… n Churchill claims that Britain could have torn this minefield up, destroyed the subs, and crushed this invasion n Doubtful it would have worked

The Odds n Churchill estimated that at the beginning of the Battle of Britain

The Odds n Churchill estimated that at the beginning of the Battle of Britain the German Air forces outnumbered the RAF 3 -1, but there was considerable home field advantage for the British n Partly this is because of fuel… The German air forces only had about 10 minutes of fighting time over England before having to head back to refuel. n Also, radar allowed Britain to track incoming German war planes which gave them time to become airborne and attack back or sound the alarm for citizens. n Churchill describes the need to defend a long coastline in Britain meant to set up forces on the perimeter that would stall the enemy and then the largest possible reserve for quick counterattack… (what he accused the French of not doing in the Battle of France… )

Battle of Britain Air Order of Battle RAF German Air Force n Single-seat fighters

Battle of Britain Air Order of Battle RAF German Air Force n Single-seat fighters 754 1, 107 n Twin-seat fighter 159 357 n Bombers 560 1, 300/428* n Maritime patrol 500 233 § *Dive Bombers

RAF Planes n Hurricane… first RAF plane with a top speed of over 300

RAF Planes n Hurricane… first RAF plane with a top speed of over 300 mph… n 8 machine guns in the wings… (gets rid of synchronizing gear) n It is estimated that its pilots were credited with four-fifths of all enemy aircraft destroyed in the period July-October 1940.

Hurricane…

Hurricane…

Hurricane…

Hurricane…

Spitfire n “The Spitfire has always attracted more attention than the Hurricane, and is

Spitfire n “The Spitfire has always attracted more attention than the Hurricane, and is undoubtedly one of the most famous aircraft ever built. Its graceful lines combined with outstanding handling qualities to produce a "dream plane" extremely fast, and in comparison to contemporary types was second to none. ” n 8 machine guns in wings

Spitfire

Spitfire

German Air Force n Messerchmitt 109 n 2 machine guns in the nose and

German Air Force n Messerchmitt 109 n 2 machine guns in the nose and two in the wings n The various strengths and shortcomings of the Messerschmitt, the Hurricane, and the Spitfire largely cancelled out in combat.

ME-109

ME-109

Stuka Dive Bomber n Won great success in battles of Poland France, but in

Stuka Dive Bomber n Won great success in battles of Poland France, but in the Battle of Britain proved to be almost helpless without fighter cover

Stuka

Stuka

German Bombers Heinkle He 111 Junkers Ju 88

German Bombers Heinkle He 111 Junkers Ju 88

Battle of Britain: Phase I • Attacks on Channel Ports and Shipping • 12

Battle of Britain: Phase I • Attacks on Channel Ports and Shipping • 12 July – 10 Aug.

Battle of Britain: Phase II Attack on Fighter bases and Radar • 12 Aug

Battle of Britain: Phase II Attack on Fighter bases and Radar • 12 Aug to 6 Sept.

Churchill Luck? n Air battles (Phase I and Phase II) between the German Air

Churchill Luck? n Air battles (Phase I and Phase II) between the German Air Force and the RAF occurred through the late summer and fall (1940) n Operation Sea Lion would have to be launched by late September or it would have to wait through the winter…would the RAF hold out n RAF started to crack because of damage to its fighter command…. then, n n n Germany mistakenly bombs London RAF retaliates Hitler infuriated, changes focus to civilian bombing n Significance: Gives RAF breather

Battle of Britain: Phase III Daylight Attacks on Cities & Industrial Areas 7 Sept

Battle of Britain: Phase III Daylight Attacks on Cities & Industrial Areas 7 Sept – 5 Oct.

The London Blitz n The bombing of Berlin caused a change in tactics The

The London Blitz n The bombing of Berlin caused a change in tactics The Germans altered their focus from an attack on British air power to an attack on England’s civilian population n tried to bomb the Brits into submission through terror bombing of London. . n n London was bombed after this for 57 consecutive nights… n Many children moved to countryside (Narnia)

Battle of Britain

Battle of Britain

Turning Point Sept 15, 1940 Massive daylight raid on London • Largest to date

Turning Point Sept 15, 1940 Massive daylight raid on London • Largest to date 56 German aircraft lost versus 28 RAF fighters RAF used every fighter in 11 Group (didn’t hold back) Germans switch to night raids on cities Considered the turning point of the battle

Battle of Britain n The Battle of Britain had two Main phases n The

Battle of Britain n The Battle of Britain had two Main phases n The attack on the RAF (was working/putting extreme pressure on British RAF) n n And The attack on London, known as the London Blitz (actually turned the tide in favor of RAF)

The Bombing of London were a ‘Relief’ to Churchill n “London can take it.

The Bombing of London were a ‘Relief’ to Churchill n “London can take it. ” n RAF is being reconstituted n By October, Hitler gave up on the bombing of Britain Too late to launch Sea Lion n Instead, Hitler decided to deal with England via the War in the Atlantic n Starve the British out using U-boats n n Hitler will now turn his attention East! Will violate the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact.

Battle of Britain 1940 Losses RAF Single-seat fighters } German Air Force 1, 023

Battle of Britain 1940 Losses RAF Single-seat fighters } German Air Force 1, 023 1, 107 Bombers 376 357 Maritime patrol 148 1, 014 Pilots Lost 520 2, 600+ Twin-seat fighter

Battle of Britain Factors British use of radar (command & control) German underestimation of

Battle of Britain Factors British use of radar (command & control) German underestimation of RAF strength British “home field” advantage German loss of focus (Change of Objective)