On this day in 1940, the Luftwaffe launched what Winston Churchill dubbed the ‘Battle of Britain’. The attacks initially focused on British shipping ports and airfields along the English Channel but gradually the battle moved inland.
The Luftwaffe had the clear advantage, with 750 long-range and 250 dive bombers, 600 single-engined and 150 twin-engined fighters (significantly more than RAF Fighter Command’s 600 planes). But they were hampered by an inconsistent plan of action whereas the British forces were well prepared. Radar technology – being used for the first time in battle – gave plenty of notice of the German raids.