Talk:Battle of Britain

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 Definition Those German offensive air strikes, and British defense, with which the Germans had intended to establish air supremacy for their proposed invasion of Britain [d] [e]
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second paragraph

The second paragraph comes from out of the blue, doesn't relate to the first paragraph at all, and, unless, the reader already knows a lot about the Battle of Britain, is essentially meaningless. For instance: "the fighters" -- what fighters? what were they doing? why? "the radars" -- what radars? etc. etc. I hesitate to simply delete the whole paragraph, but it should either be greatly expanded, greatly rewritten, or moved somewhere else. Hayford Peirce 00:16, 17 June 2008 (CDT)

any pictures?

any pictures that could go in this article? Tom Kelly 12:31, 20 September 2008 (CDT)

Any suggestions for U.K. copyright-free/PD photos? IIRC, the RAF doesn't just release them as does the USAF. I have seen some good maps and diagrams, but, again, it's a rights problem. Anybody in the UK near a museum and could take some pictures? There are probably some U.S. military photos of the German aircraft, but it's a good question if the aircraft alone, rather than showing how they were used, adds that much to an article.
I'd probably have to redraw the radars, and a drawing is definitely preferable to a photo; thin lattices do not photograph well. I haven't illustrated radar; I just wasn't sure how much people would be interested in antennas, or displays that are fairly incomprehensible without training (drawings often explain better). Howard C. Berkowitz 12:38, 20 September 2008 (CDT)


I think that this article is written from an American perspective. From the British perspective, this Battle was a pivotal moment in World War II; its importance was that Britain remained in the war, and this was key to America's ultimate involvement.

After the fall of France, the British army was evacuated back to Britain but had lost much of its equipment; it was in no position to resist the German army should they land, and an invasion was generally expected. Churchill's response was decisive; he committed Britain to war to the end, and Britain to resistance by every means - in his first speech as Prime Miniister in June 1940 he said "We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old."

In the expectation of invasion, he formed the "Home Guard," as an expression of his determination to resist.

The Battle was a close call, but key to it was the success of aircraft production - Britain had more fighters at the end of the Battle than at the beginning. The danger was in the loss of pilots, airfields and early warning systems. However British pilots shot down often survived to fly again - the loss of German pilots was more serious. It's worth noting that in the Battle for France about 1,000 German airmen were shot down and captured; the British wanted these transferred to British PoW camps - the French refused, and with the fall of France these returned to service in the Luftwaffe.

The victory was a huge morale boost for Britain, and stemmed the tide of defeatism. It also marked the success of centralised control over production.

The figures for aircraft and airmen lost over the course of the Battle are well known and agreed, and I think these could be added.

In Britain at least, victory in the Battle of Britain is regarded as the key episode in the war; quite simply, it seemed to mean that Britain could not be defeated by Germany, provided the Navy retained control of the Atlantic shipping routes. With Churchill's determination never to make peace, this meant that, while Churchill had popular support and while the Americans continued to supply Britain, the war would never be lost, even though it could not be won without new allies.Gareth Leng 11:32, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

I wouldn't say it was from an American standpoint, but from more of a military technical and operational standpoint than the overall British-German standpoint. A little background: Jensen had had a brief note about the BoB in a much larger European article, and I was a bit appalled that things such as radar and IADS were being ignored. IADS, in turn, relates to the doctrinal article on integrated air defense system, which then can drop down to the slightly latter Kammhuber Line in Germany.
The things you mention, Gareth, belong in that higher-level article. The "Home Guard", for example, had little to do with the BoB itself. Losses are relevant and should be added. Howard C. Berkowitz 11:47, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
I think my point is that Churchill, and Britain, expected to be invaded, and were preparing for invasion, and that those preparations included preparations for resistance by guerrilla warfare. The Battle of Britain was won in the skies; had it not been, the Home Guard were part of the next line of battle. The Battle and its importance from a British perspective has to be seen in that acute context of imminent invasion and defeat, and the importance of it must be seen in the context of its ensuring that Britain remained in the war. It was also of course an essential bulwark to Churchill's political authority, that meant that his vision of resistance to the end was dominant. The victory's impact was as much political as military.Gareth Leng 12:11, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

From a British perspective, the key phase was the direct engagement of the airforces - and this is lost in the article. From the BBC History site "From 12 August, Goering shifted his focus to the destruction of the RAF, attacking airfields and radar bases. Convinced that Fighter Command was now close to defeat, he also tried to force air battles between fighter planes to definitively break British strength." It's these engegements that led Churchill to his The Few speech, and these that are thought to be decisive - in that they denied Germany the air supremacy it needed.Gareth Leng 12:48, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps we should improve Related Articles here, to be sure ever one of your points is addressed in a Parent Topic, or sometimes a Related (Result). I don't disagree that the political aspects you mention are extremely important. Nevertheless, I think they belong in a parent topic -- I will have to find what Jensen called it -- that also, for example, discusses Sealion, the role of the Royal Navy against it, and, of course, the great leadership. From a proper, top-down standpoint, that should have been written first, and arguably he tried. I was focusing on the operational, technical and tactical aspects.
Note also there is a roughly peer article, less developed, on the Battle of the Beams. World War II, air war mentions the also-linked, at the operational level, air warfare in the Battle of France, particularly the obvious and less obvious protection at Dunkirk. Howard C. Berkowitz 17:17, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
There is World War II, air war, and subordinates, but the points you raise aren't especially air.
Let me go back and see if I can make the direct confrontation of the air forces more clear, as that indeed should be in here. I'm open to renaming the article to make the focus of this article more clear. Do you think you might look at Related Articles and make sure your points are in there, even as redlinks?Howard C. Berkowitz 17:17, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
I wanted to retain a section you cut, as it may well belong in a higher-level article. You are quite right there is a British strategic perspective, but in this case, it's not so much an American perspective is there but that a German perspective needs to be established.
===Hitler's priorities===

The success of Hitler's strategy, until the battle of Britain, was complete, and even the setback over Britain was considered of minor importance. The attack on Russia was next on the calendar -- the decision to make this attack was taken in the autumn of 1940 -- and this, was to be a brief four months' adventure. There would be time later to deal with Britain. By September 1941, Hitler was so confident that he had succeeded in Russia that he ordered large scale cut-backs in war production. [1]

Perhaps the undetermined article for this will also discuss German intentions for the Sealion invasion, and possibly the opposition of the German Navy. Howard C. Berkowitz 17:22, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
  1. United States Strategic Bombing Survey (30 September 1945), Summary Report: European War