The Battle of Britain Essay

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The Battle of Britain

As the cold hand of death swept over the remnants of France, British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, orated on the imminent battle that would rage over his homeland and the foreboding struggle for survival that was now facing Britain:
The Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin… 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, the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss
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The United States of America, though sympathetic to Britain, was still neutral, and did not believe that the British nation could survive for long. At the headquarters of the British War Cabinet, Winston Churchill gazed at the map of Europe, and what he saw would have chilled the heart of a man with less courage and patriotism than he possessed. To the north and west of Britain was open sea. To the northeast, east and south, the whole of the European coastline - Norway, Denmark, Holland, Belgium and France – was in German hands. (Hough 11-12).

To Britain, the outlook of the imminent siege of its homeland appeared hopeless. With the enemy surrounding the last stronghold of the Allies, the odds against Britain were extremely in the favor of the opposition:

“Britain not only faced an enemy ten times as powerful as she was on land and more than twice as powerful in the air. Invasion appeared imminent and inevitable. On July 16, Adolf Hitler issued a directive ‘As England despite her hopeless military situation, still shows no sign of willingness to come to terms, I have decided to prepare, and if necessary carry, a landing operation against her. The aim of this operation is to eliminate the English motherland as a base from which war against Germany can be continued…’ (Hough 13).

Like the mouth of a leviathan opening to consume a lone minnow on the open sea, the German forces faced an enemy that was
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