Battle of Britain

This essay has a total of 2692 words and 11 pages.


Battle of Britain




Thesis: Where the British better, or did the Germans blunder?



War, the terrible reality that is a seething manifestation of human darkness, often ends
with terrible repercussions. War, was and is the three-letter word that in most
situations, is not enough to illustrate the wretchedness of the turmoils of man. Indeed
many a times, the timeline depiction of human existence had been marred by war and
conflict throughout history. It seemed man was not complacent enough to forgive, but
rather, egoistically, wished to seek revenge on those that had rose to defile him. WWI had
gone by, with countless sufferings that had placed a botch mark on history. It had been a
harsh reminder, the red-hot iron of despair imprinted on the minds of the many war torn
individuals that had survived. The screams of pain, the sights of mutilations,
dismemberments, the moans, the cry for mothers were all an agonizing tablet that had
summed up the First World War. Unfortunately, man learns lessons, and forgets them in an
instant, and that very man, Adolf Hitler, with his maniacal ideas sparked the fuse for
WWII. It was an exact mirror replication of the previous one, except that this time, the
stakes were higher, with many more lives at stake. It seemed the devil himself had chosen
to be imbued within Hitler, his fiery red eyes that had instilled pain and fear amongst
all of Europe. The only souls left that could extinguish his visions were the Britons, and
they waged war on Germany. That war was to be known as the Battle of Britain, and the
eventual outcome saw Britain as the victor. Germany had lost this war, adding a sour note
to its commendable collection of previous victories. Was it Britain’s collective might
that had toppled its opposition, or had it been the result of miscalculations, and other
blunders on the German side? On a comparative analysis, it did eventually seem clear that
the errors on Germany’s side ultimately lead to the demise of their air force in this war.
There was little organization in their plans to attack targets, and to that, there were
no specific targets whatsoever that the pilots could refer to so that target bombing be
carried out. The bombers were escorted heavily; a waste of resources, and the timings were
off their attacks, ceasing to strike when the iron was hot, and vice versa. Ultimately,
the war was to grant the wreath of victory to the valiant Britons. A closer examination of
these errors will ensue.


The previous battle, The Battle of France, had been crucial, but was a crushing blow to
the British, for the plan to stop the Germans from making any advance into France had been
a failure. The only outstanding success that had been noted would have been the immediate
evacuation of thousands of troops from Dunkirk, France. After the incident, British troops
were extremely exhausted. Germans had the upper hand in this situation, and the iron was
hot. That had been the ideal moment to strike, at the Achilles hilt of Britain, when they
were at their weakest. Unfortunately, the Germans, shortsighted as they were, decided to
let victory again slip from their grasp. With the British Army still trying to gather
themselves from the defeat at Dunkirk, and the remnants of the RAF making a hasty retreat
from France, this would have been the ideal time to commence on the invasion of England.
They had struck the first blow, but didn't follow it through. It appeared that Germany was
their own worst enemy. While the Germans held back, it gave Britain time to re-group. More
fighter planes arrived at the airfields adding further strength to Fighter Command. More
pilots were being assigned to squadrons all over England and new combat tactics were being
taught to pilots old and new. A lot of lessons were learnt in France and in fact it has
been quoted, that '...what we experienced in France, was only a taste of what was to
follow in the defense of England'. If only Germany had used its wits to realize, that like
Blitzkrieg, it should have attacked the flank of Britain when their guard was at its
lowest. Unfortunately, it was not to be so.


Britain had the equivalent of a secret weapon in their arsenal for aiding them in their
battle against Germany. They had an early form of radar, known as Radio Direction Finding.
The southern and eastern coasts of Britain were lined with Radar stations that detected
the presence of incoming aircraft and intercepted them. Germany also had a highly
sophisticated system to direct anti-aircraft guns, but the method of coupling the radar
plots to an interception system and thereafter directing the fighters was unique.
Unfortunately for the Germans, they failed to realize the importance of radar in assisting
the air force in their continued struggles to rein supremacy. The Germans foolishly
undermined the abilities of the Britons to quickly gather information about incoming
planes and then rely them to Group and Sector Operations Rooms for action. The Nazi wave
of terror bypassed the radar stations, and unknowingly they determined the fate of this
war. Some German observation aircraft had picked up sightings of radio masts on Britain’s
shores. Unfortunately, the Germans were under the impression that the masts were used in
the detection of shipping, and paid no further attention to them until they really know
what they were. Had the Germans not overseen this fact, and targeted the radar stations as
potential threats, the outcome of this war might have been extremely different.


The Luftwaffe, due to their disorganization was put to a task that would demand expertise
beyond any that Germany had. This task was codenamed Operation Sealion, and it called for
the Luftwaffe to cross the English Channel, take out the RAF bases, and gain supremacy
over the Channel. The Luftwaffe was totally unprepared for this task, giving the RAF a
chance in which to succeed in holding the Germans off. The Channel was the only body of
water that lay between Germany and victory. However, crossing the relatively large body of
water with only airplanes proved risky, for precious fuel was lost in the process, fuel
which would later be required in battle. The large body of water was not only guarded
well by the RAF, it was also far from Germany’s air bases compared to Britain’s. When a
German plane was shot down while over the Channel, it was extremely hard, if not
impossible to recover, and repair it, but if the same were to occur upon a British plane,
it could more easily be recovered and repaired due to the Channel being more easily
accessible to Britain. The RAF posed another problem for the Luftwaffe. The Luftwaffe
leaders greatly underestimated the strength of the RAF and were thus attacked with
unexpected force, diminishing the strength of the attacks. The Channel was possibly one
of the most challenging problems Germany faced, and most likely contributed greatly to the
blunder of the German army.


Hitler realized how incredibly powerful his Luftwaffe was and how deadly and unstoppable
it had the potential to be. This organization of air fleets composing of deadly bombers
and other supporting aircraft made Britain look exceedingly weak in comparison. It was,
as stated before, under the command of Hermann Goering, and Hitler. The Luftwaffe could
have had a very real chance to defeat Britain, but this is where one of the biggest
mistakes was made. Hitler and his personnel unwisely abused the real power they had
created in the form of their Luftwaffe. Pilots in the Luftwaffe were not given sufficient
training and thus lacked the experience to bring the Luftwaffe success. To compound this
problem, these fresh, and inexperienced pilots were given confusing instructions as to
specifically how, when and where they were to attack. Pilots sometimes received vague
instructions and were forced to take the situation upon them themselves. There was no
specifically stated objectives or priorities for the whole mission. The Luftwaffe was
also made ineffective due to the spontaneous change of targets made by Hitler and his
Continues for 6 more pages >>




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