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

'It was the strength and efficiency of the RAF which frustrated the German attempts to defeat Britain in 1940'. How far do you agree with the statement?

Extracts from this document...


Sarah Lister 13KW 'It was the strength and efficiency of the RAF which frustrated the German attempts to defeat Britain in 1940'. How far do you agree with the statement? The question suggests that the RAF was strong and efficient and this is the reason why the Germans were defeated in the Battle of Britain. However, it is clear to see that the RAF and the British military were actually very close to defeat at some stages throughout the Battle of Britain. The victory of the island in the Battle of Britain cannot be reduced to one common factor but involves emphasis on other ideas such as the role of the Navy in comparison with the Kriegsmarine, the events of Dunkirk and the role of certain personalities throughout 1940. Germany had many options in the Summer of 1940 and it is questionable as to whether a 'Strategic Air War' was the route that should have been taken. Similarly, it is debatable as to whether the success of Britain was due to the faults of the enemy or the strength of the RAF. However, overall it is important to realise that one of the reasons why the German attempts to defeat Britain were 'frustrated' was because Germany made several mistakes during 1940. ...read more.


This strategic mistake may have cause hostility between the Kriegsmarine and Hitler and delayed decisive strategic planning for Operation Sealion. Arguments between the Navy and the Army continued for months and could have been a potential reason as to why contemplating their attack had taken so long. It is also questionable as to why Hitler chose a strategic air war to attack Britain. By the summer of 1940, Germany had several options yet a route was taken to attack the RAF: the force which had kept the Luftwaffe away from the soldiers at Dunkirk. Goering was over-confident, with an arrogant belief that Britain could be brought 'down on its knees' by any simulacrum of a 'hard blow' that he directed against it, and the Luftwaffe had never been designed for strategic, sustained and especially not independent aerial warfare. The previous successes of the Luftwaffe had been of the Blitzkrieg type only and the bombers had not been designed to 'Carpet b**b' large areas. Therefore, the impact that the Bombers could have on Britain was limited, particularly when fuel supplies only allowed brief combat. An important mistake that Goering made was to underestimate the importance of radar. ...read more.


Yet, they did not. Instead they chose to attack from the skies, where the RAF, at this stage 'ruled the skies'. They took too long to decide their attack, giving their enemy time to rearm. Instead of attacking when they were weak this lull in attack allowed Britain to strengthen their troops. When Germany did decide to attack, they withdrew from offensive when their enemy was at it's weakest and underestimated what was possibly Britain's most valuable tool: radar. It may be possible to say that the RAF played a major contributing in the eventual defeat of Germany in 1945, but the n**i's could have had victory overall and at a much earlier stage in 1940. However, Germany's mistakes, underestimations and delays prevented this and hindered the efforts of many millions of German servicemen. The strategic decision of an attack via air may not have been the initially mistake as by the beginning of September, the Germans were winning. The downfall in n**i strategic planning fell in the actions and tactics during the battle and therefore, whilst the RAF fought courageously and kept with technological advances, this did not serve to save Britain. Indeed, the factor, which saved Britain and consequently frustrated German attempts to defeat her, was in fact their own strategic mistakes. ...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. "To what extent was French defeat at the battle of Waterloo due to Napoleons ...

    Gregor Dallas comments on Napoleons health saying, "he was very ill on the morning of the battle, this effected his capacity to command, and therefore his actions cannot be reliably examined"12 I find this view hard to suppose. The general consensus was that napoleon had haemorrhoids from riding, only him,

  2. Hitlers Germany

    One must beat it into pieces.... The past was difficult and the future is dark and gloomy; all prospects and hopes have completely disappeared." The NSDAP had many problems. In addition to the psychological tests of apathy and depression, the party was faced with seemingly insurmountable debts.

  1. To what extent was the defeat of the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain ...

    Before this time, many US people shared the view of the US ambassador in London, Joseph Kennedy, that British defeat was inevitable. In an attempt to gauge British resilience and ability to withstand Germany, President Roosevelt sent reporter William Donovan to investigate the British war effort.

  2. Why did the Franco-Prussian war happen and why were the Prussians able to defeat ...

    to gain territory in exchange for French neutrality, showing that he wanted to make France larger and therefore stronger. This ambition causes the Franco-Prussian war to happen because France had longed for more territory, territory that Prussia had refused to give (refusing to withdraw the garrison from Luxembourg)

  1. I believe there where 3 reasons why Britain was the only country left fighting ...

    In 1904, Christian Hulsmeyer patented an early warning system for shipping. Therefore, Watson- Watt did have prior research to inspire him. In 1935, Watson-Watt was asked to the Air Ministry to investigate the possibility of creating a 'death-ray' weapon using radio waves.

  2. Albert Speers Role as German Armaments Minister during the War

    in March 1933, when Speer arrived back in Berlin he discovered Goebbels had had the building redecorated. Speer?s next challenge was set to him by Hanke (now Goebbels? secretary). After seeing the plans for the first May night rally, Speer remarked that ?those look like decorations for a rifle club

  1. How far do you agree that Germany lost World War Two because the Nazis ...

    the 300,000 British soldiers that were there and hence allowed them to escape. Soon, he fought the Brits again in the Battle of Britain and the German Luftwaffe was getting close to breaking the smaller British air force. However, Hitler changed his initial plans and decided to b**b London.

  2. British dominance was unrivalled during the period of 1850-1929. How far do you agree ...

    and fought back at a stronger rate to maintain that status across the world. The Royal Navy radiated such mightiness and distinctiveness throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth century that their dominance in this field was unquestionable, let alone was there any form of rivalry to even be considered.

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