The Battle of Britain: a Turning Point in WWII
A substantial turning point in World War II, the Battle of Britain encompassed a German aerial attack on England. An Allied victory, this battle marked the first successful attempt at European resistance against Nazi Germany. The German air force was defeated and with the United States entering the war, an allied victory became tangible. Through reviewing key aspects of the pre-battle era, the battle itself, and the aftermath of the battle, its role as a turning point in World War II becomes evident. Prior to the Battle of Britain, Germany had become a dominant European power. Having invaded and annexed much of Europe, the liberty of Great Britain was critical to an Allied victory. In July of 1940, Hitler presented a speech entitled ‘Last Appeal to Reason’ to the German Reichstag in which he offered peace to British forces. However, this proposition was rejected and Britain began battle preparation (psywar.org). On the topic of the battle, Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minister at the time, sated “Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization,” exemplifying the dependence of society on an Allied victory (Johndclare.net). One critical factor of the German air force’s eventual defeat was the invention of radar. Contrived by British inventor Robert Watson-Watt, the radar was able to detect incoming planes from up to two hundred miles away. Finally, after much preparation and anticipation, the German air force began its attack on Southern England on July 10, 1940.
Initially, Hitler strategized an attack on Britain’s Royal Air Force followed by a naval invasion of Great Britain which was dubbed “Operation Sea lion.” The beginning of the battle brought German attacks on shipping in the English Channel. However, this attempt to provoke the British into battle was initially unsuccessful. Through early August, the Royal Air Force commander, Hugh Dowding, managed to lose only ninety-six...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document