The Battle of Britain episode 1

Hello and welcome to another instalment. This time I thought I would talk about the Battle of Britain as the anniversary of the battle started a few days ago so I thought I would share my thoughts and try to broaden public opinion on the subject.

So here goes. From the off the Battle of Britain has been relegated a bit due to events later in the war, especially outside of the United Kingdom, which I think is wholly wrong as I honestly believe from the research I did at university that the Battle of Britain’s eleven weeks struggle, in the air above Britain is one of the most pivotal moments in human history. Why do I believe this? Well, I shall explain now. If you just want the basics, it was an eleven week air campaign where the Nazis deployed their air power to try and pummel Britain into submission. It seemed that they had complete air superiority as they had shown with their lightning campaign through Europe to set up Operation Sea Lion, which was the land invasion of United Kingdom. It pitched the 2000 strong Royal Air force against the 2600 or more Luftwaffe with the  being the prospect of either Nazi domination over Europe or the freedom we currently enjoy. So that’s a rough overview of the Battle of Britain, if there is enough interest I will do a more in-depth of what happened day by day but in this segment I am going to explore why such a historic and monumental event has not really been highlighted in comparison to other great battles.

At the end of the Second World War Britain’s massive debt, in the hands of America, was the death knell of the British Empire.The breakup of the empire and loss of a lot of Britain’s prestige resulted in Britain’s gradual decline up to the modern day. The way the second world war was represented by Hollywood put forward the mythical view of an all-conquering America rushing to the aid of its tired father.  As a result Americans held the belief that they won the war, saved us and freed Europe, which is a fallacy but if you speak with Americans nowadays they honestly believe this myth – clearly they played a vital role but they would not have been able to do so had the Battle of Britain not been won first.  This is overlooked partly due to the British depression after the war and the shift in focus to America so that the Battle of Britain was almost entirely forgotten from the world stage.  I’ve talked to some American friends, some Indian friends and even some Australians who don’t know anything about it, what the Battle of Britain was and what happened and that’s the real issue here, this hugely momentous event is not firmly in the consciousness of people, even in those with an interest in history.  To make the point and I think the only way to fully understand how important it was is to view what would have happened if we had lost the Battle of Britain – and I will continue with tomorrow.

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