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

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‘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. Hitler had hoped that a small military campaign and much negotiation would tempt Britain into surrender and that they would then become allied nations. Britain and her Empire would have become a strong ally for Germany had Hitler’s hopes materialised, therefore the clear opposition shown during the Battle of Britain to the Nazi regime, can only have shaken his confidence.

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The victory and resilience of the British people during the battle marked a significant change in US opinion to the war. 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. Donovan was impressed by resilience of the British people and the efficiency of the war economy. This created a sense of confidence in British chances and consequently Donovan urged that they should be ...

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