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

To what extent was the defeat of the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain a blow from which Nazi Germany could not recover?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'The defeat of the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain was a blow from which Nazi Germany could not recover'. To what extent do you agree with this statement? Hitler's initial intentions for the Battle of Britain were to force the British into accepting peace terms; he was reluctant to invade Britain, who he saw as Germany's natural allies. The strategy for the invasion of Britain and the Battle of Britain, named 'Operation Sea Lion' was a confused, drawn-out process, which was to see Germany fail for the first time during their campaign. This had led many to argue that 'the defeat of the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain was a blow from which Nazi Germany could not recover.' However, this is a debated and controversial view. There is evidence to support the above claim; neither Hitler nor Germany had expected a defeat for their military forces. After three successful and quick campaigns in France, Poland and Czechoslovakia, Britain was not a major threat or invasion priority for Germany. They were determined to expand their empire east, so focused more attention on the invasion of Russia. However, this is not to say that Britain did not pose any threat to Germany. The British Empire was to be a key force in the war, and it is arguable that the victory of the RAF restored confidence in the allied operation. ...read more.

Middle

Furthermore, the change of tactics to the Blitz allowed the Commander of RAF Fighter Command, Dowding, to recoup and make good use of the excellent British production: therefore quickly rebuilding the RAF. In contrast, it was not until 1944 that production levels in German aircraft reached required output levels. This undoubtedly hampered the Luftwaffe strength subsequent to this stage in the war. Consequently, the failure of future German military campaigns can be attributed to the Luftwaffe defeat in the Battle of Britain, which had destroyed much of the essential air force. Not only had the success of the RAF proved that the Nazi's could be defeated, therefore damaging German morale, it also severely weakened the physical strength of the German air force. Losses of aircraft and experienced aircrew meant that campaigns such as the attempt to take over North Africa and the Suez Canal was not as successful as it may have been had the Luftwaffe at been at full force. However, it may be dangerous to over-emphasise the impact of the failure of the Battle of Britain on the overall Nazi strategy. Not only was Britain a small priority for Hitler, the Luftwaffe continued to launch attacks on Britain in 'The Blitz'. This can be seen as a particular success for Germany with an estimated 30,000 casualties and three and a half million British homes destroyed. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is evidence to suggest that the failure of Germans on the Russian Front had a much larger impact on the final outcome of the war. With 9 out of 10 German servicemen killed on the Eastern front, it can be argued that it was the Russians who succeeded in determining the outcome of the war. In conclusion, there is argument that other factors were more important in determining the ultimate outcome of the war. The eventual allies of the Russian and US armies were more significant than British forces in winning the war. However, at the time, Britain was the only opponent against the Germans and the RAF success was extremely significant in restoring confidence in the Allied nations, not only in other countries but also in the British people. With German aircraft outnumbering the British one to two and the strength of the vastly experienced Luftwaffe pilots, it is arguable that Germany should have defeated Britain. It is in this sense that it can be argued that the Battle of Britain was a loss from which the Luftwaffe never recovered; there had been the first defeat of Hitler's military forces, the 'few' had managed to overcome the might of the Luftwaffe. This was an embarrassing, damaging and unexpected loss which the Luftwaffe was not able to recover from or forget. Rebecca Titus-Cobb ...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 Modern European History, 1789-1945 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 Modern European History, 1789-1945 essays

  1. Hitler and the Nazi Regime - revision sheet.

    DOMESTIC POLICIES AND IMPACT A. Structure and organization of government and administration Structure and Organization of Government and Administration -The head of the Nazi Government was the Fuhrer, who held absolute power. Hitler claimed that only his will could exist in Germany.

  2. "Foreign success; domestic failure." How fair is this summary of Bismarck's governance of Germany

    Socialist organisations, including trade unions were banned, their meetings were broken up and their publications outlawed. Between 1878 and 1890 some 1,500 socialists were imprisoned and a great many emigrated. However, it was not over, this discrimination served to rally the faithful and fortify them in their beliefs.

  1. Describe the D-day landings and evaluate their importance in the allied victory in WW2.

    They will have had to land somewhere else where from where oil, men and munitions will have been difficult to supply or only bomb Germany which has been proved in wars such as Vietnam to be unsuccessful in achieving a complete victory.

  2. Life in Nazi Germany, 1933-1945

    The SOPADE reports and source C show elements of resistance, but the fact sources A and C show that most children didn't escape Hitler Youth groups shows not only more success, but that resistance was relatively small. Therefore I believe that although the policies didn't achieve their aims, they still helped the Nazis spread their propaganda enormously.

  1. Hitlers Germany

    'I had spent six years in St. Petersburg before the war in the best days of the old Russian ballet,' wrote Sir Nevile Henderson, 'but for grandiose beauty I have never seen a ballet to compare with it." To see the films of the Nuremberg rallies even today is to

  2. "To what extent was French defeat at the battle of Waterloo due to Napoleons ...

    Grouchy was ordered to stop the Prussian army-reaching waterloo. He had 33000 men, the Prussians amassed to only 15000. The men grouchy had, could've been used with great affect if he had used some initiative. However he did not, so they were not.

  1. The Battle of Britain

    trained in the art of warfare at private aerodromes under the name of the 'League for Air Sports'. Herman G�ring was by name the Minister for Civil Aviation but was the organizing force in getting aircraft manufacturers to design and build aircraft that were 'instruments of war'.

  2. To What Extent was the Defeat of Nazi Germany in the Second World War ...

    which meant that when winter did eventually arrive, men were dying, not just from the enemy, but also from pneumonia and hypothermia. On top of that, Hitler had not accounted for the stubborn mind of Winston Churchill, that rather than staying out of the war after the fall of France, fought on from the western front.

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