From the outset of the war Britain had been expecting a great German air assault on its soil. It was this fear that drove mothers to evacuate their children from the big cities, the blackout enforced, gas masks and Anderson shelters distributed.
While the plans for Operation Sea Lion and the preliminary air battle were taking shape, the Luftwaffe was not of course idle. From its captured airfields it harassed Britain by night, and from the July 10th 1940 onwards it waged increasing war by day against British shipping in the Channel. Germany sent 120 German bombers and fighters to strike British convoys, while 70 more bombers attacked dockyard installations in South Wales on this day 1940.
Britain at this time of the War had fewer fighters than the German Luftwaffe, 600 to 1,300 but it had the advantage of an effective radar system and British planes like the Spitfire could turn tighter then the German ME 109’s.
The name ‘Battle of Britain’ is taken from a Winston Churchill speech in which he said that “…the Battle of France is over. The Battle of Britain is about to begin.”
Although exact figures are hard to come by, it is thought that about 1,000 RAF planes were shot down in the Battle of Britain and a loss of 544 pilots killed. The German Luftwaffe lost many more planes than this, perhaps as many as 1,800 and more than 2,500 aircrew killed.
The Blitz, which continued long after the end of the Battle of Britain, resulted in over 40,000 civilian deaths and over 50,000 injured.
Top Fighter Aces of the Battle of Britain:
Sgt Josef Frantisek (Czech): 17
Plt Off Eric Lock (UK): 16½
Sgt James Lacy (UK): 15½
Fg Off Brian Carbury (NZ): 15½
Plt Off Robert Doe (UK): 15
Fg Off Witold Urbanowicz (Poland): 15
Plt Off Paterson Hughes (Australia): 14 & 3x½
Plt Off Colin Gray (NZ): 14 & 2x½
Flt Lt Archie McKellar (UK): 14½
Flt Lt Carl Davis (UK): 11½
Commemorating the 76th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain – Win an Air Experience Flight with ‘Flying for Freedom’.
Forces Reunited chose to support Flying for Freedom as this amazing charity demonstrates what it is possible for severely disabled veterans to achieve. Wounded or injured service personnel from our Armed Forces are supported through Microlight flying training post-recovery, and past trainees have overwhelmingly reported that they have gained substantial benefits from the new-found freedom of flying. Learning a wide range of skills rebuilds the veterans’ confidence and provides an exciting post-rehabilitation activity.
To commemorate those who fought 76 years ago, we're offering 1 lucky new member a FREE FLIGHT in a microlite plane with the charity 'Flying For Freedom'
To be in with a chance of receiving your FREE FLIGHT....all you need to do is register with Forces War Records anytime from 10th - 12th July, 2016, and email: firstname.lastname@example.org quoting 'FREEFLIGHT'.
The air experience flight can to a degree be what YOU want it to be. If you simply want to get your feet off the ground and have the pleasure of seeing stunning Cotswold views that is fine but all flying takes the form of a lesson in which you participate. How much actual ‘hands on the controls’ experience you have is entirely a matter for you and the instructor.
Note that the flight will be from the Cotswold Airport, situated seven miles to the South West of the old Roman town of Cirencester.
Make a donation via Help for Heroes: www.bmycharity.com/flyingforfreedom