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How important were the Royal Air Force and

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Introduction

How important were the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy in the Second World War? The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the air force branch of the British Armed Forces. The RAF was formed on 1 April 1918. It had a huge role in World War II. At its height during the Second World War, 1,000,000 personnel were serving at any one time. The only founding member of the RAF still living is Henry Ellingham at age 111. The RAF at the time didn't have a great force but their high morale helped them through it. The Royal Navy of the United Kingdom is the oldest of the British armed services. In World War II, the Royal Navy operated almost 900 ships. The Navy was equally used as much as the RAF in the Second World War but it had a vital role supplying food, arms and raw materials. It was also very important in the battle of the Atlantic. The Battle of Britain commenced on the 10th July 1940 and ended on October 31st 1940. Immediately after the defeat of France, Adolf Hitler ordered his generals to organise the invasion of Britain. ...read more.

Middle

However, on the 12th August, 1940, the German airforce began its mass bomber attacks on British radar stations, aircraft factories and fighter airfields. This severely damaged the radar stations. This attack was followed by daily raids on Britain. The battle was mainly fought over southern England. Fighter command no. 11 under Keith Park and 12 led by Trafford Leigh-Mallory were protecting this area but they also received support from the squadrons based in the E n astern counties. From the result of no success, the Germans withdrew and prepared to invade the USSR. The British triumph in the Battle of Britain was not without heavy cost. During the conflict the Royal Air Force lost 792 planes and the Luftwaffe lost 1,389.Total British civilian losses from July to December 1940 were 23,002 dead and 32,138 wounded. Winston Churchill summed up the effect of the battle and the contribution of Fighter Command with the words, "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few". The 15th of September is celebrated in the United Kingdom as "Battle of Britain Day", marking the battle. ...read more.

Conclusion

> New ships were developed called corvettes which were very lightly armoured which made them much faster but very heavily armed with depth charges and also with Sonar which enabled all corvettes to hear submarines underwater. > Luckily bad weather helped the Navy as submarines could not shoot torpedoes when there was a heavy swell meaning the merchant ships were safer during storms. > New planes like the Short Sunderland helped as it gave the navy valuable air cover and a submarine has to be near the surface to use torpedoes so they were sitting targets for the planes. Another factor to Britain's success was the Enigma machine. During the middle of 1941, reading Enigma messages and radio direction finding enabled the British to plot the positions of the U-boat patrol lines, allowing the convoys to be routed to evade them. Unfortunately Between 75,000 and 85,000 Allied seamen were killed. 3,500 Allied ships were sunk. About 28,000 out of 41,000 U-boat crew were killed. 783 German U-boats destroyed. If the U-boats had been more successful, the western Allies could not have been successful in the war against Germany. In conclusion, The Germans failed to restrict the flow of supplies to Britain, and that failure resulted in the massive build-up of troops and supplies needed for the Normandy landings (D-Day). ...read more.

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