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Battle of Britain 1 | 2 || The Nazi Assault on London 1 | 2 | 3 || Types of Aeroplane |

The Great Battle of Britain
Part 2

The destruction of Britain’s Air Force would ensure complete mastery of the air for the bombers on whose support the success of the operation would depend.

This was to last for three months – 8th August to 31st October.

German tactics started by first attacking British convoys in the Channel and the North Sea,' using mainly their feared and highly effective Stukas with a smaller number of other types of aircraft, which were escorted closely by their fighters.

On 8th August, the first day, there were formations of up to 130 aircraft used, and these succeeded in sinking two vessels. This continued for a week with attacks against ships and coastal targets, but the RAF fighters found the Nazis dive-bombers a slow easy prey and hit them hard, very soon the German had heavy losses with about 200 of their aircraft being lost in the first 2 weeks.

On 15th August the Nazis, licking their wounds, changed their tactics and started to attack the British fighter airfields in South East England, but still at the same time continuing their attacks on the British convoys in the Channel and the North Sea.

This new Nazi strategy stretched the British and the damage done was considerable, but the British were able to keep their fighters in the air at full strength, and the German losses grew ever higher. It is interesting to note that on the 15th August alone 76 German aircraft failed to return, and the figure totaled 403 by 23rd August.

By then the pace had grown too hot for the Luftwaffe, and between August 18 and August 23 they confined themselves to reconnaissance flights by single aircraft. But British losses were not I am afraid, light; 153 fighters had been brought down, but thankfully 60 of the pilots were saved.

Click here to read the third part of the Battle of Britain.

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