Dalton, Tanner, Brian: Battle of Britain
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RAF vs. Luftwaffe and Reggia Aeronautica
British Royal Air Force vs. German Air Force and the Italian Air Force
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After France surrendered, Hitler collected his troops on the northern coast of France. Hitlers next
target was Great Britain. Great Britain was only twenty miles away from Northern France, just across
the English Channel. Winston Churchill, Great Britain's new prime minister, said that, no matter what
happens, Great Britain will always defend its borders.

"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 never surrender."
-Winston Churchill
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Hitler knew his navy could not destroy Great Britain's navy, so he
used the Luftwaffe to help destroy the RAF so he could bomb the cities
without being attacked and then eventually invade Great Britain. In August 1940, Hitler
launched the air assault on Great Britain. Each day, 1,000 planes dropped bombs on Great Britain. In 1923, Hague Draft Rules of Air Warfare prohibited attacks on civilians. At the beginning of the battle, Germans targeted air fields, British supports, and radar installations. Later, the Germans attacked aircraft factories and oil storage tanks. In late August, a group of German bombers went off course and dropped bombs in London. Two nights later, British planes bombed the German capital of Berlin. In early September, Hitler ordered massive bombing raids on London and other cities to try to break the British peoples will to resist. These attacks included fire bombs, which carried a mix of chemicals that burned at a temperature high enough to set buildings on fire. The Blitz (the bombing of London) would continue until May, 1941.

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Although greatly outnumbered, the RAF defended Great Britain. In a regular German bombing raid, the slow German bombers, surrounded by quick fighter planes, would fly across the English Channel. RAF Spitfires and Hurricanes tried to shoot down the German bombers while dodging the fighters. The RAF damaged the attackers heavily. Many days the RAF pilots would fly up to six missions. Even though hundreds of RAF pilots died defending Great Britain, German losses were much higher.

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German bombing in December 1940, started over 1500 fires in the center of historic London. Suffering major losses, the British citizens kept their will to fight. By the end of 1941, over 2000 citizens of London had been killed and over 70,000 injured by the time the German air raids ended.

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."
-Winston Churchill

One of Britain's major advantages was the German radio code. In February, 1940, British scientist deciphered the German radio code that Hitler used for top-secret communication. By cracking these coded messages, the British could get an idea for battle plans of Germany. This told them that Hitler could not invade Great Britain until the Luftwaffe had destroyed the RAF and controlled the air-----this never happened.
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London after a German bombing

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