The Battle of Britain was fought between the United Kingdom and Germany during the Second World War. It was an offensive by the German air force Luftwaffe, aimed to establish air superiority over the Royal Air Force of Britain to lay the ground for Adolf Hitler’s planned invasion of U.K. The German objective couldn’t be realized and their plan of an invasion was shelved. Hence the Battle of Britain is considered the first major defeat of Germany in the war. It allowed Britain, which was the last remaining major power in Europe, to stay in the conflict and is considered by some as a turning point in World War II. Battle of Britain got its name before it began and it was the first ever battle which was almost fought exclusively by air forces. Know about the causes, events, outcome, casualties and significance of one of the most famous battles of WWII through these 10 interesting facts.
1. Adolf Hitler wanted to negotiate a peace treaty with Britain
World War II began in 1939 and from 10th May to 15th June in 1940, Germany defeated the Allied forces in a series of military operations to conquer France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, thus leaving Great Britain as the last standing major Allied power in Europe. From the time he rose to power, German Chancellor Adolf Hitler expressed admiration for Britain and sought for a peace treaty between Germany and Britain. A contingent of British politicians was in favour of securing British independence through diplomacy and without war. However, British Prime MinisterWinston Churchill brushed off talks of surrender and rejected Germany’s proposal for a peace treaty.
2. Battle of Britain got its name before it had begun
Battle of Britain got its name before it was fought during the famous This was their finest hour speech delivered by Winston Churchill to the House of Commons on 18th June 1940, in which he stated, “the Battle of France is over … the Battle of Britain is about to begin”. There is no consensus about the exact dates of the Battle of Britain. It began with small scale raids at night in late June with the first daylight raids occurring on July 1. The battle intensified in July and the main assault took place from mid-August to mid-September. The British officially recognise the duration of the battle from July 10 to October 31, 1940 while the Germans regard it as a campaign lasting from July 1940 to June 1941.