Mr. Joshua Frear
9 November 2016
The Battle of Britain
Adolf Hitler of the Axis powers found himself at a crossroads after the Fall of France in the summer of 1940; to invade Britain or the Soviet Union. It is believed that Britain’s concrete decision to ignore Hitler’s peace offer, fueled the attack on Britain. Bombs fell from the skies of London in broad daylight, lives were lost and aerial battles were fought. Standing today as one of the turning points that set a chain reaction to World War II, the Battle of Britain initiated Roosevelt’s movement toward aiding the Allies and prevented the Axis from conquering the whole world.
On June 18 1940, in a letter addressed to the House of Commons, Winston Churchill, the new Prime Minister of Britain said, “the Battle of France is over. I expect the Battle of Britain is about to begin” (The New York Times, 110 ). This statement has brought controversy as to whether the Battle of Britain was indeed inevitable or whether England brought the Battle of Britain upon itself. It is believed that Hitler’s intention was to invade the Soviet Union after the Fall of France and offer Britain common ground, but since the British disregarded his offer, he then decided to invade Britain (Cannon). On the other hand, and contrary to popular belief, Richard Overy stated that although Hitler considered invading the Soviet Union, had already pre-planned a “possible invasion of southern England” dubbed the Operation Sea Lion at the same time he offered Britain peace (118).
Even before the Battle of Britain, Germany and Britain had already been at war. On the 29th of May 1940, prior to the Fall of France, the Nazis won the Battle of the Channels against the British and the French, and they seized the Channel Ports just 26 miles from England.This opened the miniscule possibility for Germany to invade Britain (The New York Times, 102) . The British were already cautioned by Winston Churchill that the Battle of Britain was imminent, and Hitler then decided to offer Britain the continuity of its imperial role on 19 July in his Reichstag speech (Overy, 118).
According to Richard Overy, if Britain had complied to Hitler’s terms, it would have caused Germany to focus on defeating the Soviet Union and later, conquer all of Europe. However, Hitler’s peace attempt was futile and the possible invasion of southern England became a reality. Hitler then charged toward Britain with hopes that it would eventually relent and come to terms (Overy, 119-120).
Winston Churchill was not only a beacon of hope to his people, but also a “propagandist” (Bishop, 188). According to the New York Times, Churchill’s letter to the House of Commons that revolved around the idea of protecting Christian Civilization, turned the United States’ opinion in Britain’s favor, and caused over forty million British people to stand behind Churchill; regardless of class and political views (116). He also created the legend of “The...