The Battle Of Britain Is Regarded As The Most Famous Military Engagement Of World War II

2007 Words9 Pages
The Battle of Britain is regarded as the most famous military engagement of World War II. The fall of France in June 1940 to Nazi Germany not only left Britain as the only European power working actively against the Germans but also left them vulnerable to bombing campaigns launched from Northern France, having only to travel twenty-five miles across the English Channel to reach targets in south-east England1. The quick surrender of France allowed German forces to direct their attention towards Britain. Although Hitler had publicly stated a desire to negotiate peace terms with Britain, preparations had been made for an amphibious invasion of the British Isles, codenamed Operation Sealion2. German High Command was aware of the fact that…show more content…
The Battle of Britain marked a major turning point in the war, akin to the Battle of Moscow in the east, as it was the first time the German advance had been stopped. Had Britain fallen to the Third Reich during the summer of 1940, the repercussions would have been enormous. Hitler would have completed his conquest of Europe; there would have been no possibility of an invasion on the beaches of Normandy, enabling Hitler to dedicate more resources for Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union. The invention of radar, known as Radio Direction Finding (RDF) at the time, by the Department of Scientific and Industrial research in 1934 initially allowed aircraft to be detected at a distance of thirty-eight miles. By 1937, improvements to RDF had enabled it to see aircraft at a range of one hundred miles, complete with the bearing of enemy aircraft4. The British recognized the potential of RDF to be used simultaneously with other electronic and communication aids to provide an early-detecting system. The development of an early-warning system was essential to the British war effort due to the length of the coastline being so close to enemy-occupied territory, with important commercial, industrial and military centres well within the range of enemy aircraft5. An early-warning system also had two distinct advantages over traditional aircraft patrolling of the British coastline. It
Open Document