• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Battle of Britain as a turning point in the Second World War.In the summer of 1940, the Luftwaffe (German air force)

Extracts from this document...


The Battle of Britain as a turning point in the Second World War. In the summer of 1940, the Luftwaffe (German air force) tried to gain air superiority over southern Britain by destroying the RAF and the British aircraft industry. This attempt came to be known as the Battle of Britain. If Germany wanted to invade Britain then they needed to have complete control of the skies. The Germans had already taken over Belgium, the Netherlands and Northern France, using a tactic known as Blitzkrieg or 'Lightning War'. This was successful sue to well coordinated air and ground troops. However the Luftwaffe could not attack Britain as easily due to it being an island. The ME 109E only had a range of 700 km so it had only 15 minutes' fuel over Kent and was at the limit of its range over London. The Battle of Britain began on 30 June 1940. Reichsmarschall Hermann G´┐Żering, head of the Luftwaffe, ordered his force to draw the RAF into battle by attacking coastal convoys and bombing radar stations along the south coast, installations of the British aircraft industry, and RAF airfields. In two weeks of air fighting, one quarter of British pilots were killed or badly injured. For 53 nights they came every night. On 7th September 1940 the Luftwaffe started the blitz witch was the bombing of all the major towns and cities in Britain. Then on the 15th September 1940 the German planes started attacking during the day as well as at night. The whole point was to make way for "Operation Sea lion" witch was a sea invasion of the southern coast of Britain. Operation Sea lion was a plan to transport 300,00 German troops onto the South East shores of Briton. The Germans did not have proper landing crafts though so they had to use 1000 pleasure cruisers and 400 fishing boats that had been modified to carry the troops and heavy equipment. ...read more.


This won us the Battle of the Atlantic and gave us superiority of the seas. The reason that I believe this was a greater turning point than the Battle of Briton was because apart from us not being able to be placed under siege, the German's plans were considerably poorer than in other invasions. This is because even if Hitler had had managed to fulfil the first part of the invasion plan by destroying the RAF, the Germans would still have to of actually of got all of their troops across the channel. So as Britain had superiority of the sea the destroyers, along with the rest of Britons huge Navy would have had no problem destroying the German troop ships before they reached Britain. Here was one turning point in the war that is not a big battle and did not cost lives. It would not seem like a big deal now but then it was a revolution. It was when the industries started employing women due to the fact that men between the ages of 18 and 45 were called up for military service and so all the men that were doing the jobs that were important o the war effort were having to leave. However in 1941 there were large numbers of unemployed women in Briton. A lot of the industries did not waste a lot of time in employing the women to help in the war effort. Many went into the 'women's services', these were, the Auxiliary Territorial Service or A.T.S. Women's Auxiliary Air Force known as the W.A.A.F.s, and the Women's Royal Navy Service, or W.R.N.s. Other women went into the munitions factories or land army (Farming). The women that went into the munitions factories were then famously know and referred to as Canaries due to Sulphur turning their skin yellow. This is a turning point in the war because without the employment of women, Britain would not have managed to sustain it's war effort and would not have had the manpower necessary to mount a large counterattack to the German army. ...read more.


The Battle of Britain was indeed an important turning point in the Second World War two however I do not believe that it was the most important turning point in the war. The Battle of Britain meant that we had air superiority, which meant that at D-Day we could afford to send the 12,000 planes in support. With out this the invasion of the beaches at Normandy could have gone a lot differently. However the Battle of the Atlantic meant that we had superiority of the sea. This was crucial as even if we lost the Battle of Britain and lost control of the skies we could still have defended the channel against the invasion forces of Operation Sea Lion, as they were transported by cruisers and fishing ships. Again even if we lost the Battle of Britain then we would still have had help from the Americans after Pearl Harbour. The fact that Hitler never seriously intended to invade England meant that the chance of being invaded after we lost the RAF was small, because instead he wanted to fulfil his ideological war of annihilation and gain Lebensraum through a successful invasion of the USSR. The evacuation of 330,00 troops at Dunkirk was more important than the Battle of Britain in my opinion as it meant that we still had an army to defend Britain even if we did not have an air force. This meant that even in the improbable invasion of Briton we would still have had a significant force to try and repel the Germans especially after the 16 new division that were based on the south coast and as a last resort the 1 million plus Home Guard. The Biggest turning point in the war was Germany attacking the USSR which ended with 75% of Germany's total loses in the whole war being destroyed there and giving Britain the chance to re-arm and build itself up in case Germany came back again, which they did not. The defeat of Germany then of course led to the defeat of Japan afterwards and the end of the war. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. In what ways did the Second World War affect the lives of ordinary people ...

    The outlook was daunting and shaky for Britain and even the government couldn't hide the fact that the war had been brought to the heart of their civilisation but they had no intention of relenting. This was the first occasion where public casualties were present and the destruction of many ancient beautiful city centres was occurring.

  2. Why was the Six-day War of 1967 a Significant Turning Point in the History ...

    The war was over within six days. 700 Israelis were killed with 13000 Arabs killed. 2500 Israelis were wounded with 27000 Arabs wounded. On the Sunday the 11th of June 1967 the cease fire was officially called. Foreseen Consequences: But what did this war actually lead to?

  1. A Study of Air Supremacy in the Korean War.

    This gave them the reprieve they needed to make a successful escape. The most spectacular escape occurred on December 7th, when eight C-119s dropped parts of a M-2 treadway bridge from an altitude of 800 feet, which when put together, allowed an entire division to cross a 1,500 foot gorge.20 It was the first air-dropped bridge in history.

  2. How And Why Did Britain Survive The War From 1940-1943?

    That was the way it was because Britain was in desperate trouble with its army in disarray and its commercial shipping and navy taking heavy losses from the German U-boats. Although Britain was preparing for a massive German invasion Hitler did not think there was a reason to attack Britain

  1. Was the "Battle of Britain" a Major Turning Point In World War II.

    This was a major turning point in World War II because it showed that the Germans could in fact be beaten. After its central army's surrender, the Northern and Southern Forces were vulnerable at the rear. Eventually both forces were forced to pull back out if Russia under the advancing hoards of the Red Army.

  2. The Prelude to the 1975 War and the Cairo Agreement.

    The demand was refused. By late October, the fighting had spread to Sidon and Beirut. In an effort to relieve pressure on Rashidiyya, Palestinian forces in Sidon broke through Amal lines November 24 to seize the strategic hilltop village of Maghdusha, overlooking the coastal highway south of the city.

  1. 'Propaganda Was an Essential Weapon In the War Against Germany’ - To ...

    Eventually as the expectations of a short war diminished so did the amount of volunteers who were signing up to join in the war. This made the PRC obligated to produce a sustained campaign so that those who could not fight could still help in the war effort and propaganda started to be directed towards all people.

  2. How far do you think Bloody Sunday was a turning point in the course ...

    Also it is argued Bloody Sunday simply built up what already existed in Northern Ireland. The PIRA, Provisional Irish Republican Army, campaign against Northern Ireland being part of the United Kingdom had begun two years before the events of Bloody Sunday, but views of the day increased the status of and recruitment into the Republican Army.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work