It is the 70th anniversary of Britain’s entry into war against Germany, and the battle of Britain took place. In honor of the brave young pilots who fought so valiantly and brilliantly, a Hurricane and a Spitfire landed at one of the airports used as an airfield back then. It isn’t too far from us; in fact, my son Matthew lands there when he flies his boss over here.
If we had known in advance, we would have gone to see that landing, as it is by now legendary, thanks in part to Winston Churchill’s memorable words: “Never in the field of human conflict have so many owed so much to so few”.
It wasn’t a long battle, as it turned out. It ended when the Germans turned their attention to bombing London and other industrial sites, instead of fighting an air fight which was costing them dearly. The RAF planes were outnumered 4 to 1 when the Luftwaffe began bombing the radar and airfields on August 12th, 1940. The battle ended on August 30/31, 1940,by which time the RAF had lost 792 planes and the Luftwaffe, 1,389.
I recommend Googling the Battle of Britain for a fascinating read of the full statistics, as well as checking out the 1961 film, The Battle of Britain. BBC showed it last week, and it is a classic, with Laurence Olivier, Trevor Howard, MIchael Caine (as a young, and I mean young, pilot), and a German actor who nobody under the age of 70 will remember, Curt Jurgens.
I wondered why the RAF couldn’t fight off the bombers when they attacked London, but the Germans bombed at night, when the planes at that time were helpless.
Here is a suggested site: www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk.
- Tempus Fugit – or, is it breakfast time again?
- The Frost is on the Pumpkin —