“Battle of Britain”


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Social Studies/L.A.


Grade 8-206


April 2, 2004


The Battle of Britain was the most important battle in World War II. The battle not only held the only existing allied front left in Europe, but it also showed the power of Britain’s newest inventions, such as SONAR and RADAR.


The battle began on July 10, 1940, shortly after the conquering of France. Hitler tried waiting out Britain but Britain proved they were ready to defend themselves. Hitler outnumbered the RAF (Royal Air Force) 2,800 to the RAF’s 700 fighters. The only thing helping the British was the RADAR system they recently put into use. Axis General Goring was put in charge of the air assault. Goring tried to attack the capital London on Sep. 7. Goring barely hit the city losing 56 bombers while barely shaking the RAF. On Sep. 17 Hitler privately ordered the postponement of all bombings in the country, when one month later the battle ended with RAF losing 790 planes and Goring losing 1,389 planes.


This proved to be the most important battle for a couple reasons. One, it significantly lowered the morale of the German military. Two, if the British had surrendered or lost this vital battle the war might have virtually ended right there with Hitler as the victor, leaving no allied countries left in the continent of Europe. And Three, it gave Britain the approval of the United States to begin trafficking war goods.


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Britain brought many new inventions to the military front during this battle proving the debated accurateness and reliability of these newly discovered sources. In an article about RADAR Louis March had this to say “When World War II is called "the physicists\' war," the image evoked is of the mushroom cloud over Hiroshima. But nuclear weapons merely administered a horrific coup de grace to an already-defeated enemy. Radar, on the other hand, played a pivotal role in key battles that turned the tide of war in favor of the Allies, and for that; too, physicists can claim a fair share of the credit.”(March 1). RADAR was, as March said, the thing that kept the battle in favor of the allies.


RADAR is the idea of using radio waves for echolocation. When enemy planes over one hundred miles away were coming in to bomb the city, Britain could prepare themselves by getting AA resistance ready on the ground and putting their infamous fighters in the air to intercept the bombers. Britain had thought through the tactical use of radar in a real battle situation it could be used best. This was a product of the vision of Air Vice-Marshal Hugh Dowding, who conceived a system based on the "Chain Home" (CH) radar network, linked to filter centers that evaluated the picture and relayed it to the fighter squadrons within minutes. Although many factors played a role in the 1940 battle of Britain, I think that in this closely-fought battle the British edge in radar proved to be the deciding factor.


By saving the country and the military in it, it preserved the invention RADAR and its sister invention SONAR which was used throughout the war in the Allies


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favor. As we see while the war goes on RADAR proves to be important in defending islands in Midway not only from the air but from ships as well.


Another significant reason the battle was so important was the perseverance of the British tactical and political leader, Winston Churchill. In the eyes of millions around the world, this man is a military genius not only for his strategic military actions, but also for his ability to keep the morale of his troops as high as it can be at all times. He was once quoted as saying "....the Battle of France is over, I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire." (BBHS 1). This man knew when and where to put his limited war funds such as his ongoing interest in the development radar preceding mentioned. Allied leaders on all fronts respected Churchill’s advice. He is known for his great respect for