*** World War II air campaign -- Battle of Britain location

Battle of Britain location
Figure 1.--Luftwaffe wreckage was scattered ll over Bruitain as a result of the Battkle of Britain, but some planes weecrecovered in relatively good condition. As a result, here was very little the RAF did not know about German aircraft. One of the findingings was Knickebein, the German electronic nvigation system which could help bomber find targets at night. The Gernans attempted to hide it, but the British found it. The German system would launch the Battle of the Beams and provide British bombers the navigational aids thatv would turn the Reich's industrial cities into mounds of bricks and dust.

World War II Air Campaign: Battle of Britain--Location

he Battle of Britain was primarily fought in the skies over Britain. There were engagements over the Channel and North Sea and Bomber Command hit Luftwaffe bases in France, but the great bulk of the fighting took place over southeastern England. There were as a result a range of consequences. The major consequence was that the battle enabled the Luftwaffe to hit RAF Fighter Command and hit it hard. It could have been a war winning advantage had the British not developed the Chain Home early warning system. This was largely the result of German bombing raids during World War I. The Luftwaffe demonstrated what it could do without an early warning system in Poland, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, and France. The Chain Home System prevented disaster, but Fighter Command was tested to the core. Not only could the Luftwaffe attack Fighter Command bases, but it could target important facilities like ports and factories. Such attacks required precision and were only possible in daytime attacks. Here the Luftwaffe was limited to targets in the south. Beyond London, Luftwaffe Bombers lost their fighter escorts making daylight raids impossible. The German bombers could reach targets throughout Britain, but their fighter escorts could not accompany them beyond London. There were also a range of advantages to the British. The primary advantage was that all German air crews shot down were lost to the war effort. This included many men who were not injured or only slightly injured. In contrast, British pilots who were were shot down, were in many cases back in the air within a day or so. The Germans got their pilots shot down during the Battle of France back after France fell, not so the pilots shot down during the Battle of Britain. This might seem a minor matter, but training pilots and air crews was a complicated, lengthy, and costly process. The availability in pilots was Fighter Command's main problem in the Battle of Britain and eventually became the Luftwaffe's primary weakness as the War continued. In addition, the British were able to learn every detail of German aircraft construction and technology from the wreckage spread across Britain. And not all of the aircraft shot down were total wrecks. There were aircraft recovered in relatively good condition. The greatest discovery of all was Knickebein (crooked leg). Incredibly RAF Bomber Command at the onset of the War, relied on celestial navigation to bomb Germany. This proved basically useless. The Germans in sharp contrast, thanks to Lufthansa commercial work, had the Knickebein electronic system in place for finding targets at night with relative accuracy. This was the beginning of the Battle of the Beams.


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Created: 5:51 AM 11/14/2023
Last updated: 5:51 AM 11/14/2023