So, to continue the thought, what would have happened if the RAF had lost the Battle of Britain? Now, last episode we looked at how there was the great possibility that, had this happened, Germany would have been in a stronger position to take out Russia – and therefore who would be left to take up the challenge? An isolated Australia, America and Canada against a German superpower/ Italian power and an imperial power in Japan with free reign in Burma and Singapore, which would no doubt mean the lightning campaign that did happen would have been even faster as the Japanese Imperial Navy would have been able to fully concentrate on the annihilation of the American Pacific fleet and the quick dispatch of American and Australian forces in the region without worrying about the British/Indian forces in Singapore and Burma.
If the war continued then it would have been on America’s doorstep with German U-boats launched from Britain and Ireland even Iceland – intercepting American heavy ships, air-craft carriers and the like, whilst the German Air Force may even been able to develop sufficient bombers to reach out to New York and maybe even Washington via Greenland. So the reality is that if Britain had lost the Battle of Britain and the RAF had been smashed then Britain would have fallen and the rest would follow. Therefore, if it wasn’t for those few pilots the entire shape of the world would be completely different today. A huge German Empire would be in existence today alongside a huge Japanese Empire and a segregated United States or even a total victory for the axis powers.
And that’s the reality of how much these few pilots did for the world and is the reason why I honestly believe that the Battle of Britain is, quite possibly, one of the most important moments in human history. If those 2000 or so pilots hasn’t stopped the German Air force that summer then the World, as we know it, would be very different. Yet, for some reason, its’ significance is not viewed in the same way as events such as Pearl Harbour or D-day or the like. I don’t understand why this is so. As seventy years have passed and with the anniversary being commemorated perhaps we are starting to actually appreciate how significant this was, how much they gave, not just for us but for the world. I’m hoping that by writing this article people who don’t know about the Battle of Britain, and how crucial it was to the eventual outcome of WW2, will appreciate this insight and be inspired to read more about it because without those pilots I wouldn’t be here, writing freely as is my democratic right to do, this conversation definitely wouldn’t be happening.
It was most appropriately put by Winston Churchill who said ‘as the Battle of France is over, the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilisation; upon it depends our own British life and the long continuity of our institutions and our empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad sunlit uplands – but if we fail then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for will sink into the abyss of a new dark age made more sinister.
So hopefully you see what I mean about this battle, above all others, was pivotal. I spent a lot of time at university, and school, researching this and remain convinced about its significance. Give a moment to the pilots who gave their lives for everything we have today. The final words must go to Churchill who said this after the Battle of Britain ‘Never in the field of human conflict have so many owed so much, to so few.’ Winston Churchill.