10 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN

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4 It was the first ever battle which was fought exclusively by air forces

The Battle of Britain was the first major military campaign fought almost exclusively by air forces. It pitted the famed Royal Air Force (RAF) of the United Kingdom against the Luftwaffe, the aerial warfare branch of the German armed forces which at the time was one of the most sophisticated, technologically advanced and battle-experienced air forces in the world. German fighter planes were the Messerschmitt Bf 109 and Bf 110. The British used the Hawker Hurricane and theSupermarine Spitfire with the Hurricanes outnumbering Spitfires by around 2:1. Germany’s primary dive bombers wereHeinkel He 111, Dornier Do 17, Junkers Ju 88 and Junkers Ju 87. British dive bombers were Armstrong Whitworth Whitley, Handley-Page Hampden, Vickers Wellington, Bristol Blenheim and Fairey Battle.

5 August 15, 1940 is called “The Greatest Day” of the battle

The Battle of Britain began with small scale raids by the Germans in June 1940 and it intensified over the following month. On August 15, all three of the Luftwaffe’s air fleets carried out a coordinated onslaught for the first time. It saw theheaviest fighting of the battle and attacks ranged from Kent to Suffolk to east Yorkshire as well as all along the south coast. Luftwaffe launched the largest number of aircraft of the campaign on this day but was unable to achieve the desired result. In contrast, Luftflotte 5, one of the primary divisions of Luftwaffe, suffered so severely that it did not appear in strength again in the campaign. August 15 is referred to as the “The Greatest Day” of the battle.

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