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

Did radar affect the outcome of the Battle of Britain?

Extracts from this document...


Did radar affect the outcome of the Battle of Britain? Give reasons for your answer. In June 1940, after the successful evacuation of Dunkirk, the British people were in cheerful mood. They did not consider the evacuation a retreat, and felt confident that they had a good chance of survival. (Although this optimism was probably inspired in part by propaganda and Churchill's speeches. They were also inspired by the memories of the First World War, which they had survived. Hitler felt that he had to do something, even though he did not consider Great Britain a very important target. Therefore he conceived Operation Sea Lion. Hitler was not personally interested in the operation, so he retreated to his mountain home and allowed his chiefs of staff to organise the invasion. This meant that communications between the three armed forces was appalling, as each assumed that they only had to perform a set role. The army prepared for mass invasions all along the south coast of Britain, assuming that the Navy would somehow get them there. Grand Admiral Raeder, the head of the Navy, had other plans. He did not believe that after the Navy's losses in Norway they would even be able to resist the British advanced force. He favoured a long-term plan, which involved domination of the Atlantic with U-boats, before attacking the British in the Mediterranean in 1943. ...read more.


Fortunately the Royal Air Force was still intact, and prepared to defend the country. On paper the Luftwaffe were far stronger than the RAF, although these figures were largely misleading. In fighter aircraft the two were reasonably equal, and it was only in bombers that the Germans had a huge advantage. As the British were not going to do any bombing anyway, this did not matter, especially as the German bombers needed fighter escorts. Britain actually increased her number of fighters during the Battle, and it was only the shortage of pilots that was a problem. Another problem for the Germans was that the fighters were operating at the very edge of their range, and could only stay above London for ten minutes. After that the bombers were left unguarded. Infact, it seems that the only advantage that the Luftwaffe possessed was that their pilots were far more experienced than the British. The Germans had already had experience over France, and earlier in the war over Scandinavia. The British had had no experience at all, and were mostly new, young recruits anyway. They had been enlisted in a hurry and did not always have the necessary training. This problem was compounded during the battle, when the British lost large numbers of pilots. ...read more.


Fortunately this was a false alarm, and the Germans suffered large losses at the hands of the RAF. They bombed again on September 9th, although with less affect, as only half of the German bombers reached their targets. On September 15th the Germans launched their final bombing raid. The RAF were prepared, and the Germans were shamed. They lost 60 aircraft, to the British losses of 26. The British morale was further boosted by the optimistic belief that they had destroyed 185. Even so, it was enough. Germany had failed to gain superiority of the air, and was forced, in November 1941, to abandon Operation Sea Lion. Although it was not realised at the time, the bombing of Berlin by the RAF, and then the much more serious bombing of London by the Luftwaffe, began the indiscriminate bombing of citizens and cities that continued throughout the war. The victory in the Battle of Britain completed what the Dunkirk evacuation had begun: it restored British spirits. It provided a base for the rest of the war, and denied Germany that early chance to gain a decisive victory. The reasons for this British success have been stated above, and obviously one of the most important of these was radar. However, radar on it's own did not win the war: it was the combination of radar, good equipment, German indecision, and British good luck that eventually secured victory, and it would seem foolish to attribute it to any one factor. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Britain 1905-1951 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 GCSE Britain 1905-1951 essays

  1. Defeat, Deliverance or Victory? Which of these best describes Dunkirk?

    burning town of Dunkirk obscuring the beaches from the Luftwaffe's view and calm seas allowing the smaller vessels to make the journey. Other sources which highlight the deliverance aspect of defeat are 1,4,5,7,8,12,14,15 and 16 Another important aspect of Dunkirk as a victory are its consequences, it allowed Britain to

  2. Free essay

    Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain

    However, this could be useful to show the propaganda and again highlights the Dunkirk Spirit being used. Source C can also be seen as a great act of defiance. Dunkirk can be regarded as one of the greatest historical events of all time.

  1. Women & the British Car Industry

    Something else the accounts for the differences is that Source 1 is only one page from one book in one factory, and so does not have much of a range. Source 2 however contains figures for the whole Rover Groups women workers. Source 1 is also affected by the war.

  2. Dunkirk and the battle of Britain.

    The evacuation of British troops from France in 1940 did not end with Dunkirk. British forces were still being rescued two weeks later when Britain's worst maritime disaster of World War II took place. On 17th June 1940 British troopship lancastria was sunk of the Brittany of port of Saint- Nazaire, more than 3000 people lost their lives.

  1. Was Dunkirk a defeat?

    of men on the beach lined up orderly and this source also links with sources 6 and 7, as both of these sources talks about men queuing in water. An eyewitness account of Sir Harold Franklin a Divisional Commander at Dunkirk, he says that reports of merciless bombing and the

  2. Why was britain able to win the battle of britain

    However the RAF did have its strengths and the Luftwaffe had many weaknesses. In contrast with the Luftwaffe the RAF had developed many advanced planes such as the Spitfire and Hurricane which were more than a match for the Luftwaffe planes.

  1. Why did the Germans become involved in the Battle of Stalingrad?

    Hitler's need for revenge due to the injustice he felt by the signing of the armistace and the terms of the Treaty of Versailles are long term causes because they led to the Battle o Stalingrad but took place along time before the event.

  2. Why was Britain able to win the Battle of Britain?

    In previous campaigns the Germans had managed to destroy enemy aircraft whilst on the ground so the development of the Radar Systems stopped the Luftwaffe from destroying stationary RAF planes. The Radar System sent radio waves into the sky and when the waves hit planes the radio waves (RW)

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