Aircraft Of The Battle Of Britain
The Battle of Britain (German: Luftschlacht um England) was an effort by the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) during the summer and autumn of 1940 to gain air superiority over the Royal Air Force (RAF) of the United Kingdom in preparation for the planned amphibious and airborne forces invasion of Britain by Operation Sea Lion. Neither the German leader Adolf Hitler nor his High Command of the Armed Forces (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, or OKW) believed it was possible to carry out a successful amphibious assault on Britain until the RAF had been neutralised. Secondary objectives were to destroy aircraft production and ground infrastructure, to attack areas of political significance, and to terrorise the British people into seeking an armistice or surrender.
The British date the battle from 10 July to 31 October 1940, which represented the most intense period of daylight bombing. German historians usually place the beginning of the battle in mid-August 1940 and end it in May 1941, on the withdrawal of the German bomber units in preparation for Operation Barbarossa, the campaign against the Soviet Union.
The Battle of Britain was the first major campaign to be fought entirely by air forces; the British in the defensive were mainly using fighter aircraft, the Germans used a mixture of bombers with fighter protection. It was the largest and most sustained bombing campaign attempted up until that date. The failure of Nazi Germany to destroy Britain's air defence or to break British morale is considered its first major setback.