Section 2 of Unit 3B: Britain at War

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What was the Battle of Britain?

Battle between RAF and Luftwaffe for control of the air over Britain + it was fought over months.
4 Stages:

-        10 July -7 Aug: Luftwaffe attacks on British coast, especially RAF radar stations


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8 Aug -6 Sept: Luftwaffe attacks on RAF airfields


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7-15 Sept: Luftwaffe, thinking RAF beaten attack London


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15 Sept: Luftwaffe defeated. Now Battle of Britain Day, because it convince Luftwaffe  that RAF was still a fighting force. 17 Sept –Hitler called of operation Sealion.

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Why did Britain win?

-        RAF had radar (system invented 1935) installed south + east coasts of Britain at start of war (uses radiowaves to detect moving objects that the waves bounce off of – could detect Luftwaffe + inform RAF of how many planes were coming + where they were heading.


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While Germans had more bomber planes, RAF had more fighter planes (spitfire planes = most efficient design)

-        British factories worked around the clock to replace/build new planes

-        ‘Dunkirk spirit’ kept RAF pilots flying

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What factors other than deception were key to the

Pluto fuel pipeline, rapid ferrying of troops/supplies once invasion began, air + sea backup + parachute troops captured inland areas on first day. 

Helped resistance blow up bridges + disrupt German communications. 

USA provided huge no. troops + great deal of equipment so allies could keep going and keep up the pressure despite heavy losses. 

German army under pressure in the east + in the Mediterranean + wasn’t able to easily regroup + organise to fight back.

Churchill wrote a history of war – and said control of the air (won in the Battle of Britain & held by Brit + US planes after USA joined war) was vital to D-day’s success

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