Battle of Britain: Modern Tributes

Figure 1.--Here is a statue sculptured by Tom Murphy about the Blitz in Liverpool and its effect on children. The statue was titled, 'War Monument - Little Boy' and dedication to the children of Liverpool killed in the Blitz. The boy is playing with a toy aircraft. It is a Luftwaffe Heinkel-111 bomber. (Which seems rather a strange choice for the statue.) Surely any British by ast the time would have wanted a Spitfire. It is on display at the Imperial War Museum in Liverpool. Of course the RAF pilots were heros to the British people and especially the boys. The could watch the battle unfolding in the skies over them. The boys took to collecting scrapnell. Models of the planes were great treasures to the boys. Here it is difficult to forget the scene from the film, 'The Battle of Britain'. Click on the image to see the scene.

Churchill after the fall of France called the Battle of Britain and the decession to fight the NAZIs alone was Britain's 'finest hour'. Those of us who admire the British can not but agree. Many at the time, including many on both sides of the Atlantic, were doubtful of Britain's chance of prevailing against the vaunted NAZI Luftwaffe. Although the NAZIs remained in control of Europe, Britain's victory was critical for two reasons. First the NAZI's with limited resources could prevail only if the War was a short stryggle. The British victory had the impact of prolonging the War. Second, NAZI victories were premised on superior technology and tactical doctrine. The British victory showed that other countries were capable of building modern aircraft and implementing effective tactics. Although not apparent at the time, the battle was a major turning point in the War. It was also the only major battle that Britain won largely on her own against the Germans. Today the Battle has become an important part of the British national story. Churchill said after the battle that 'Never have so much been owed by so many to so few.' That was true, but without the determination of the British people to see the War through, even the bravery of the RAF would not have been enough. The bravery of the RAF flyers and British civilians, including the evacuated children has been the subject of countless books and films as well as other tributes that can be found throughout Britain. The best known is the chapel dedicated to the RAF in St. Paul's Cathedral in London. The image of St. Pauls during the Blitz is one of the icomic image of the War.


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Created: 10:38 PM 6/8/2005
Last updated: 12:03 AM 6/10/2005