Explain the Importance of the Battle of Britain as a Turning Point of the Second War

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As a result of France's swift defeat in World War Two, Britain was alone in the war from the 22nd June 1940 until June 1941, when Germany invaded Russia at the start of Operation Barbarossa. Whilst alone, the months from July to September 1940 were seen as the climax of British military resistance; the Battle of Britain. Had the Royal Air Force not been able to stave off the Luftwaffe's attacks, the consequences could have been severe, not just because of the likely Nazi invasion with Operation Sealion, but for the Allies as a whole. It must be understood that the Battle of Britain was by no means the only event that brought about a change and encouraged and end to World War Two. It's importance will be evaluated in relation to that of other potential turning points: Stalingrad, D-Day, The Battle of the Atlantic and Pearl Harbour. As well as this, the Battle of Britain's importance must be evaluated in terms of its impact on various countries.
The Battle of Britain was important in its drain on the German economy. This drain was the cost to Germany of maintaining bombing raids over Britain. 1733 German aircraft were destroyed from July to October 1940 and approximately 35,000 tonnes of bombs were dropped by the Luftwaffe. The fact that Germany failed to destroy the RAF and then abandoned any attempt to conquer Britain proves that the Luftwaffe had failed, thus rendering the resources spent on maintaining the raids wasted. The waste of German resources also had a benefit in the East, in that it deprived the German troops in Russia of appropriate air cover during Operation Barbarossa.

The crippling of the Luftwaffe led to Stalin receiving enough time to mobilise the vast Russian army to better combat Nazi Germany, however, Hitler's demanding nature still led to the Luftwaffe being under prepared. This is illustrated by Goering's promise to Hitler in Winter 1942 that supplies would reach German troops in Stalingrad by air. In reality, Goering did not have enough planes to make the necessary drops. Although the Battle of Britain had an indirect effect upon the Battle of Stalingrad, it can be argued that Stalingrad was a more crucial turning point in World War Two. It prevented the loss of the Russian industrial heartland and marked the end of Germany's success in Operation Barbarossa and the rest of the war. It had a higher cost, with 91,000 German soldiers being taken prisoner. Hitler himself stated that this was the greatest turning point of the war, saying,

"The God of war has gone over to the other side"

The Battle of Britain did however have other indirect benefits to Russia as a whole.
The real benefit of the Battle of Britain as a turning point in World War Two was in its long-term results; both what did happen as a result of Britain's survival and what would have happened had Britain lost. As the Luftwaffe had intended, upon the RAF's destruction, a chain reaction of events would occur leading to the amphibious invasion of Britain- Operation Sea-Lion. The loss of Britain would not have been nearly as devastating as the implications of it no longer being a safe Allied country in Western Europe. Britain was the last country in the West at war with the Nazis so its loss would result in the entire defeat of the Western Front. This would have three particularly dire consequences for the Nazi opposition throughout the war: overstretch would be limited, there would be no stopping point for US supply ships going to Russia and there would be nowhere from which US troops could stage an attack against Germany in the West. In reality, US troops were able to stage an attack with the British at D-Day on the 6th of June,1944. This attack, combined with the force of the Russian advance in the East, led to the swift demise of Nazi Germany. Although Germany's defeat would probably have been inevitable even without D-Day, it was a catalyst which saved lives in the war by helping it come to an end...
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