Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day 5 – Battle of Britain

July 14, seventy years ago was a Sunday. Kanalkampf was in full swing, on a day when the weather was set fair for another bloody series of contests. And although one of the ostensible Luftwaffe targets was the shipping plying the Channel and the southern ports, the longer game was to entice RAF fighters into to battle, on terms which were marginally favourable to the Germans.

Fortunately, we had a tactician in the form of Air Vice-Marshal Keith Park, boss of 11 Group which covered the south-east. He refused to commit large numbers of aircraft to the battle, husbanding his forces for the main assaults which he knew were to come. The unfortunate result of that was that only modest numbers of Spitfires and Hurricanes were overhead at any one time, and could quickly be overwhelmed, sometimes with fatal results, as this website records - from which much of this narrative is taken.

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