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Battle of Britain

-End Results-
-The London Blitz-
-Tactics on Both Sides-
-Key Ingredients to Battle-
-The Dowding System-
-The Battle of the Beams-
-Phases of Battle-
-Canada Contributes-
-End Results-

The Battle of Britain was finally over.

Pilot in his cockpit

Overall, the Battle of Britain was a failure for both the Germans and the British, but it seriously raised the confidence of the Allied forces. The Battle of Britain marked the first time that the Nazis were stopped. Air control became key to the war. Though the battle was considered small in the number of combatants and casualties, if the Germans had won the war would have taken a very different path. The British victory marked the first failure of Hitler's “war machine”. The Battle of Britain also changed the US’s opinion that the UK could not survive.

Both sides in the battle made exaggerated claims of numbers of enemy aircraft shot down. Generaly, claims were two to three times the actual numbers, due to confusion in the whirling air battles.

Today historians believe that the it was not possible for the Lufftwaffe to win. Their numbers were not enough to accomplish beating the British. Dowding and Park’s strategy had paid off in the end.

The switch to a terror bombing strategy allowed the RAF to rebuild and defend against the attacks. Post-war records show that British forces were being replaced faster than those of the Germans; the RAF maintained its strength even as the Luftwaffe's declined. The Luftwaffe never really recovered from the losses or aricraft and experiences pilots.

The narrow victory between victory or defeat was very possible for the RAF. But the terror strategy itself couldn’t destroy Britain’s potential.The victory changed the pattern of losing over and over.

The British triumph was not without cost of lives. Total British civilian losses from July to December 1940 were 23,002 dead and 32,138 wounded, with one of the largest single raids occurring on December 29, 1940, in which almost 3,000 civilians died.

Winston Churchill summed up the effect of the battle and the contribution of the RAF in the immortal words: "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few" (speech to the House of Commons on August 20 1940). Pilots who fought in the battle have been known as The Few ever since.

September 15 is celebrated in the United Kingdom as "Battle of Britain Day", marking the compelling battles above London in daylight.

Kids outside torn apart home at the end of the battle

Fighter plane on gound

Maggie Smith (June 2006)
History Summative