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Thesis: RAF efforts ruled out the possibility of a cheap, quick end to the war in the west and kept alive an armed anti-Axis presence in Europe (p121) (pxii)

1) Germans were at a disadvantage attacking over enemy territory with very limited fighter range (p122)

a. RAF Fighter Command was able to draw on the resources of the other .9 of the British Isles outside the range of the Me-109 (p122)

b. Prior to invasion, the GAF could only contest air superiority across an arc stretched over Kent, Sussex, and Surrey (p51)

2) Germans became tied to the bomber stream limiting its radius and maneuverability (p122)

a. GAF had no way of tracking were the enemy was, and there was no way of controlling the whole fighter force from the ground once it was airborne (p54)

b. Object of the air campaign was to wipe out Fighter Command using the bombers as bait (p60)

3) RAF improvements in radar and signals intelligence



A Victory of Sorts

1) Two factors gave the edge to the RAF (p123)

a. Balance of forces between the two sides…not very different between the two sides (p128)

b. Production level of Brits over Germans

i. Colonel Udet, GAF, was poor at acquisition (p55)

2) Intelligence by RAF versus Germans (p125)

a. Brits overestimated; Germans underestimated (p125)

b. The British fought the air battle as if it were a last-ditch struggle against an overwhelming enemy; the German side fought against a force persistently misrepresented as technically and tactically inept, short of aircraft, pilots and bases. (p128) MENTAL FACTORS

c. Different sources of intelligence created a web of information that gave Fighter Command an essential counter to the element of surprise enjoyed by an enemy who could pick and choose when and where to attack (p46)

3) Battle of Britain stirred US public opinion but it did not bring the US any closer to war (p131)

4) 'Common myths debunked

a. In the end only a small portion of the war effort of Britain and the Commonwealth was exerted against the GAF in the autumn war in the air (p114)

b. GAF had poor planning/resources: small bomb-loads; small numbers of bombers; widely scattered targets (p115)

c. Hitler did not entirely exclude the possibility of invasion if Britain became sufficiently weakened or demoralized (p117)

i. Just one part of a campaign to find ways to bring sufficient pressure on Britain to get her to give up…Political pressure on Spain and Italy to fight Britain on other fronts (p118)

ii. Blockade strategy that was fairly effective (p118)

iii. Invasion was the last resort…only with air superiority & secure sea lanes (p21)

iv. Attack on USSR seen as way to further isolate Britain (p25)

d. Britain still had the Navy if the airwar went badly (p119)

i. GAF…we knew far too little of England…nothing about amphibious operations…if we lost it would be the end (p119) (Hitler really didn’t want to invade ENG, hoped for them to stay out of the war and give GE free rein in Europe).

ii. Hitler wanted invasion to be foolproof, “absolutely assured” (p120)

iii. German Navy had been preparing contingency plans since Nov 1939…doubted feasibility…but wanted a role for the navy after being shut out of France (p18)



The Setting

1) RAF spent millions on defensive shield and Bomber Command from 1937-39 (p4)

a. Avoid defeat and conquest (p7)

2) French support was tainted by unwillingness to expose England; poor Allied comm.; insistence on Army co-operation role that the RAF had not trained for (p7)

a. No home advantages of prepared bases and radar warning (p8) WARNINGS ABOUT COALITION WARFARE

3) “He won’t hurt us: it’s the bosses he’s after: we’ll probably be better off when he comes.” IMPORTANCE OF THE HOME FRONT (p14)



The Adversaries

1) If Fighter Command were the few; German fighter pilots were fewer (p41)

2) GAF Plan: four days Fighter Command would be destroyed over southern England…then systematically sector by sector, destroy military and economic targets until daylight attacks were possible over the whole isle (p62)



The Battle

1) The enemy’s power of resistance was stronger than the medium of attack (p67)

2) RAF attacks on German industry were impassible to achieve with existing technology (p71)

3) Early attacks in July 1940 (p73)

a. GAF started regular attrition

b. RAF got valuable training on radar and GAF tactics…loose pairs over the RAF three ship (p73)

4) GAF left radar alone because it was assumed that Fighter Command fought a decentralized battle, with squadrons tied to the radio range of their individual stations…also difficult to completely destroy (p79) SPECIAL FORCES???

5) Hitler’s decision to go after London

a. Thought Fighter Command was done (p87)

b. Initial aim to reduce military capability and the will to resist of England (p87)

c. Hope to push British towards peace (p87)

d. GAF and RAF operated under the same bombing policy (p88)

i. Impossibility of attacking a single military target with existing air technology without spreading destruction over a wide circle (p89)

e. Bombing of London came two weeks before the bombing of Berlin (p92)

6) “Big Wing” controversy…Park wanted the big wing….Mallory didn’t (p94) men were fighting different kind of battle

7) GAF: air power was expected to deliver the political solution by undermining military capability and the conditions of daily existence (p98)

Key to Victory


Balance of force, ENG out produced GE in A/C and pil (GE pil became POW)


Intelligence, GE underestimated ENG and ENG overestimated GE= ENG tried harder….

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