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Battle Of Britain - The Popular Myth

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GCSE History Coursework 2005 - 2006 Battle Of Britain - The Popular Myth Even before the fall of France on the 17th June 1940, it was obvious that Britain was next. Britain was completely on it's own without any allies as both Belgium and France had surrendered to Germany and America had not yet joined the war. Germany were willing to come to a peaceful agreement but Britain threw this idea straight out of the window, not considering it for a second. Victory for either side would depend on who was to gain air superiority over the English Channel and the South coast of England; with air superiority secured Germany would be able to embark from France into Britain effectively ending the British war effort. The whole future of Britain lay in the hands of the royal air force, would they come out on top and make certain that Britain survived to fight another day. During the early period of the Second World War a popular myth surrounding the Battle of Britain became established, due to a strong campaign of propaganda from the government of Britain. The popular myth centred around the idea of " The Few " a small group of brave heroic men who were willing to shed there blood for the freedom of our great country, the men were outnumbered severely by the opposition but still were able to come out on top, due to the extraordinary skills of the men flying the aircrafts. The Battle of Britain was referred to by many people as our " Finest Hour, a time where the whole country got behind the men and did there part, working day and night to ensure Britain came out on top, a time of real nationalistic pride for the people of Britain. The popular myth was a great way of lifting the morale and encouraging pride in the British people during the early part of the war, after the catastrophic events of Dunkirk, people would of rather ...read more.


Sir Arthur Bryant was held in high regard and would not of said anything that might jeopardize this position, such as criticizing the government and the military forces. After the end of the Second World War, the popular myth surrounding the Battle of Britain began to disappear. Historians of the time were focusing far more on the poor decisions made by Adolf Hitler during the war and how they shaped the downfall of the empire he had tried to create and not so much on " The few " who kept our skies safe from the enemy. The relaxing of the Censorship Law allowed people to write far more freely, without the fear of coming under scrutiny from the government of Britain There was no need to be over patriotic in this period, Britain was no longer involved in war, so there was no need for nationalistic, inspirational words from politicians and historians to boost the morale of the people of the Britain. David Thompson's book Europe Since Napoleon was written over 10 years at the end of the Second World War in 1957. The book surveys the whole of European history since 1815. David Thompson was held in high regard, a graduate of Cambridge University, his books were very popular with the British public, especially with students. David Thompson tells us how Adolf Hitler never really had the desire to attack Britain; instead he would have preferred a peaceful end to the matter. Hitler was far too concerned with the seizure of Russia. Hitler dropped plans for a full-scale invasion of Britain and instead would bomb the British people into submission. How a number of brave and heroic were willing to sacrifice their blood for our freedom. How not all the man in the RAF were British but were made up of a number of different nationalities such as Czech and Polish. People were made to believe that every single man in the RAF was British due to a strong propaganda campaign intended to stir up patriotic thoughts and recruit more men to help the war effort. ...read more.


concerned with the Battle for Russia and had been planning the invasion of Russia several months prior to the Battle of Britain occurring. The idea of the Battle of Britain was designed to get the people of Britain behind the men and bring us all closer together in a time where Britain needed unity not separation. People were willing to listen to these pack of lies as it made them feel far better than telling them that Hitler couldn't care less what happened to Britain. The Battle of Britain gave the people of Britain purpose defend our country at all costs, work day and night and support the men and help the people around us. The popular myth of " The few " was designed simply as a way of glamorising the occupation of the pilot, encouraging young men to join the RAF and help the government win the war. The RAF were outnumbered but figures were over exaggerated. The men against all odds and come out on top against the victory and the British people could o the same to. The other popular myth was " The Finest Hour " designed to inspire pride inside the British people that against all odds, we had come out on top due to our perseverance, and we had put all our differences to one side and united as a nation and got behind the men who needed our support. We had shown the word the resilience and spirit of the people of people that when we are close to defeat we still mage to somehow come out on top. The Battle of Britain was a lie, but not a bad lie; it had united us as a nation and made us feel proud to be British. The people would need this during the tough wartime conditions of Britain. The government had installed in us a sense of indestructibility the people of Britain will never be defeated, we will always come out victorious, however precarious the situation. ...read more.

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