Wednesday, September 2, 2009

War in pictures (4) - Battle of Britain

This week marks the 70th Anniversary of the start of the Second World War when the Germans marched into Poland on September 1, 1939. Britain and France declare war on Germany.

With France defeated by the Germans, Hitler decided to attack Britain. However, the German navy lacked the strength to protect an invasion fleet against the Royal Navy so Hitler decided to launch air raids on Britain on 12 August 1940.

The Battle of Britain (German: Luftschlacht um England) is the name given to the air campaign waged by the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) against the United Kingdom during the summer and autumn of 1940. The objective of the campaign was to gain air superiority over the Royal Air Force (RAF), especially Fighter Command. The name derives from a famous speech delivered by Prime Minister Winston Churchill in the House of Commons: "The Battle of France is over. I expect the Battle of Britain is about to begin..." [from wiki]

This Chain Home radar station was part of the first line of Britain's air defence. The Chain Home stations were designed to detect high-altitude aircraft formations. the information provided by the radar was used by Fighter Command to decide where to direct defending squadrons on intercept courses. The Germans initially targeted the stations, but their steel girder structure made them difficult to knock down, and eventually they gave up the attempt.

Barrage balloons float over a target in Britain. These were cheap and effective methods of rendering bombing ineffective, as aircraft had to fly above the height of the balloons to avoid the cables tethering the balloon to the earth. The Germans relied heavily on dive bombing for precision, and barrage balloons prevented such attacks.

My entry of April 20, 2008 titled "GOD save the Queen!" HERE has pictures of 1/6 French and British soldiers, along with the brave RAF pilots who fought the good fight for Queen and country!

The Battle of Britain was the first major campaign to be fought entirely by air forces, and was the largest and most sustained aerial bombing campaign up until that date.

Action Man 1/6 Royal Air Force Working Dress comprising RAF garrison cap, RAF blue-grey sweater and trousers, tri-service colours belt, RAF woollen greatcoat and boots.

Action Man 1/6 Royal Air Force Fighter Pilot wearing black flying helmet, goggles and oxygen mask, and dressed in RAF blue-grey cotton service jacket and trousers, belt, pilot's scarf, life vest and Pattern 1940 flying boots

BBI Elite Force 1/6 Royal Air Force Fighter Pilot "Keith Gordon" with RAF peaked cap, sunglasses, Type C Pattern 42 Flight helmet, Mk IVB flight goggles with painted metal frames and two hinged lenses, oxygen mask fitted with microphone and oxygen tube, silk scarf, RAF battledress, whistle, web belt with British Enfield .38 pistol in holster, flare pistol, flare rounds in metal container, pouch, jack knife in trouser pocket, map,1932 pattern ‘Mae West’ life jacket, gloves, watch, 1936 pattern 40 flying boots with sheepskin lining.

Due to the heavy losses suffered by the Germans in both bombers and fighters, the German air force gave up any hope of seizing control of the air and on 19 September the German invasion was postponed indefinitely.


Unknown said...

Hello there!
I loved your text on battle of Britain and especially admire the Joes.
I would like to invite you to publish it also on my site,
Would you be up to that?


alex teo said...

Thanks Barbora, for the invitation although I'm not too sure how I can go about publishing it on your site :)
How do I go about doing that?