1940- “The Hardest Day,” one of the largest air battles of all time

August 18, 2022

The Hardest Day is one of the bloodiest days in history, with the German Luftwaffe invading Great Britain's Airspace. Soon after the fall of France, Germany wanted the British to seek a peace settlement and give up without a fight, but Great Britain was determined to fight on.

Hitler explored military options, leading to a sustained air assault on Great Britain; the goal was to bring the war to a quick end. And the means was to secure control of the skies over Southern England by removing any threats posed by the Royal Air Force.

Britain's victory demonstrated the military's resilience and helped the country to remain free from Nazi occupation.

Quick Facts:

  • During The Hardest Day, the RAF aircraft had massive support thanks to a vast network of the ground crew. And ultimately, they defeated the Luftwaffe, forcing Hitler to abandon his invasion plans prematurely.

  • The Battle of Britain took place on the British Airspace, lasting three months and three weeks from July 10 to October 31.

  • The Royal Air Force destroyed at least 1700 German Luftwaffe planes in the fight. And 1250 RAF aircraft, including 1017 fighters, were lost too.
  • About 2,662 German casualties suffered injuries; these included many experienced aircrews, and the Germans never fully recovered from the loss.

  • September 15 of each year is celebrated officially as the climax of the Battle of Britain. On this date, London had become the German Luftwaffe's primary target.

1 Comment

  1. Frank Barr

    Winston Churchill… Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

    Reply

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