75 years since the Battle of Britain
Battle of Britain
In 1940 Hitler sent 2,600 Luftwaffe fighters and bombers to destroy the Royal Air Force. At the start of the battle the RAF only had 640 fighters – Hurricanes and Spitfires – and German commander Herman Goering confidently predicted victory would only take a few days.
Britain stepped up the production of fighter planes, building them faster than Germany. The Hurricanes, with their sturdy frames, took on the bombers. The Mark I Spitfires, with their superior speed and agility, were sent up to shoot down German fighters. By the end of the battle the better organised RAF had defeated the Luftwaffe and downed 1,887 German planes. The RAF lost 1,023 planes. The tide of the war started to turn. Britain was now a launch pad for future attacks on Germany.