The Battle Of Britain Essay

1594 words - 6 pages

IntroductionThe Battle of Britain was a series of German Luftwaffe attacks to defeat the British Royal Air Force in preparation for the invasion of Britain by sea and air, which was called Operation Sealion. These attacks extended from July 9 to October 31 of 1940 and were a failure of the Luftwaffe to damage the RAF enough to ensure a successful Operation Sealion.Hitler believed that Britain would agree to a peace treaty because of the British evacuation from Dunkirk and also the invasion and surrender of France. A portion of the British public believed this but the newly elected Winston Churchill managed to convince the public against any peace negotiations with Germany. Churchill's speech to the House of Commons on June 18, 1940 stated his position and also coined the phrase "the Battle of Britain".After the invasion of France, Hitler could either blockade Britain to force it to surrender or invade. The two alternatives needed the defeat of the RAF. Hitler chose to implement an invasion of Britain in the future, which was to be carried out by the Army and Navy while the Luftwaffe's objective was to destroy RAF aircraft, costal airdomes, and communications. To achieve invasion, Hitler gave the condition that the Luftwaffe must first defeat the RAF so that it could not operate in Southern England. The Luftwaffe aimed to:•Destroy the enemy supply lines through the destruction of the RAF, its ground organization, and the airplane factories.Destroy all ships that supplied British ports. However, the destruction of any British airplanes still in the air held a higher priority.The Battle of Britain can be roughly divided into four phases, the Kanalkampf (Channel battles from July 10 to August 11), Adlerangriff (attacks on airfields on the British coast from August 12 to August 23), Luftwaffe attacks on airfields from August 24 to September 6, and the bombings of London starting September 7.AircraftThe German Luftwaffe employed five main bomber aeroplanes: the Ju 87, Ju 88, the Heinkel IIIk Mark V, the Dornier 215, and the Dornier 17. German fighter airplanes that protected the bombers on bombing runs were the Me. 109 and 110. The table below shows the specifications of the aircrafts.Table 1. The specifications of the main aircraft that the Luftwaffe used during the battle of Britain.AirplaneWeapon specificationsMaximum altitude (m)Maximum speed (km/h)Junkers Ju 883 machine guns (moveable)8,498510Heinkel IIIk MarkV3 machine guns (moveable)8,000442Dornier 172 machine guns (fixed)8,200427Messerschmitt Bf 1106 machine guns2 cannons8,000560The three main fighter planes that the British Royal Air force used were the Spitfire, the Hurricane, and the Defiant. The table below shows the specifications.Table 2. The specifications of the main fighter planes that the RAF used.AirplaneWeapon specificationsMaximum altitude (m)Maximum speed (km/h)Spitfire8 machine guns (fixed)11,277605Hurricane8 machine guns (fixed)10,973505Defiant4 machine guns...

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