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Today is the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain Day. After France fell on June 22, 1940 Hermann Gőring promised Hitler that all that he needed was four intensive days of bombing Britain to be able to support an invasion. Britain had been bombed since July, but the big day for the knockout blow was to be on September 15, 1940. Goering came to the cliffs of Cap Blanc-Nez near Calais to watch his bombers and fighters fly to Britain. In the morning Germany sent hundreds of its bombers and fighters and the RAF fought them off. That was only a prelude. In the afternoon, Germany sent even more of its bombers and fighter against southern England.
Winston Churchill was observing the dispatching RAF from Fighter Command operations center in Uxbridge. He asked, “What other reserves have we?” The understated response was “There are none.” The RAF had committed all of its planes to defend Britain. That day, the report was that Britain had shot down 186 German planes at a cost of only 26 planes. The bombings continued, but the RAF had broken the back of the German bombing of Britain as a prelude to invasion. Never again could the Germans throw so many planes at England; the RAF would match them plane for plane. The planned invasion of 1940 was put off until the next year, but after “Lend Lease” was passed by Congress and FDR was re-elected, in 1941 Germany instead attacked the Soviet Union, taking all of Hitler’s attention. The RAF had saved Britain from invasion.
Churchill said of the RAF, “Never have so many owed so much to so few.”
Today is the 80th Anniversary of that turning point in the war, which is celebrated in the UK as The Battle of Britain Day. God bless Winston Churchill and the RAF and their undaunted courage.Published in