By finding Dulcinea Staff
13 August 2008
The Battle of Britain began when Germany launched Eagle Day,
its first major offensive against Britain
After Nazi Germany declared victory in France during World
War II, its attention shifted to Great Britain. Although the
waters of the English Channel protected the country from attacks
by land, German commander Adolf
was determined to conquer the powerful nation.
ordered the preparation of a plan to invade Great Britain.
He knew this would be possible only through air attacks, as
Britains Royal Navy was one of the worlds most
powerful. Germanys air force, the Luftwaffe, launched
air attacks primarily focused on crippling Britains
shipping capacity, but beginning in August, efforts were redirected
to targeting the Royal Air Force Fighter Command.
On August 2, the Luftwaffe issued the Eagle Day
directive, laying the groundwork for an attack in which a
few massive blows from the air were to destroy British air
power and so open the way for the amphibious invasion, termed
Operation Sea Lion, Encyclopaedia Britannica
The weather on Eagle Day, August 13, was overcast
with a low cloud looming over the channel and the coast. Just
after 5 a.m., the German bombers took off and soon began attacking
Royal Air Force commands on Britains southeast coast.
The RAF was ready for the attack, armed with technologically
advanced radar systems that could detect air movement.
The Eagle Day mission was subsequently described as a disaster
for the Luftwaffe. There were three occasions where communication
was compromised, leading to a lack of organization that left
the German attackers vulnerable. The Luftwaffe suffered a
high number of casualties.
Hugh Dowding, the commander of the RAF during the Battle of
Britain, called the days outcome a miracle.
Other: WWII News
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