Why did Britain win the Battle of Britain
Why did Britain win the Battle of Britain?
During the summer of 1094, Hitler wanted to launch operation ‘Sealion’, the invasion of Britain, but to do so he would have to first defeat the British RAF. Eventually, he failed to overcome the RAF, there were many reasons for Hitler’s failure.
One reason why Hitler failed to defeat the British RAF was because of the difference in technology between the two sides. Britain had invested a lot of money in technology such as radars, bulletproof windscreens for fighter planes, and command and communication systems. Germany on the other hand did not, resulting in what would be a crucial error.
One piece of technology that was vital in the battle, was the use of radar. These radars could accurately estimate the size and speed of an approaching enemy aircraft. This meant that the British could prepare themselves, and not be caught on the ground where they were defenceless. Other pieces of technology included the command and communication systems, so that the troops were able to easily communicate and be organised. And bulletproof screens on fighter planes to reduce the damage inflicted by enemy weapons.
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Weapons also played a part in why Hitler failed to defeat the RAF. There was a significant difference between the weaponry/planes of the German and British. Although the Germans had a lot of aircraft, it was the wrong type of aircraft. For example, their Stuka Dive Bomber was not able to gain them the needed air superiority over the British. Also, the Luftwaffe bombers were too small, and were not able to inflict as much damage as they needed to. The British however, had very effective and superior fighter planes. These included the Spitfire and the Hurricane, two planes that were more than a match for most of the German Luftwaffe. Only one fighter plane; the Messerschmitt 109, could even compare to them. Even though the Luftwaffe had an impressive fighting range, they only had thirty minutes of flying time once they had reached Britain. This meant that many Germans had to bale out over Britain, resulting in them becoming prisoners of war.
The Tactics used by Britain and Germany were quite different. The British RAF was very organised, they were put into different regions so that they were able to meet attacks quickly, even if they came from different directions. The Germans tactics were not as good as the British, this was partly due to their poor intelligence. They did not realise how important such things as radar or communication systems were. And without these, they were unable to organise themselves or use any highly effective tactics. The Germans were also let down by the leader of the Luftwaffe; Herman Goering. Goering was not good at tactics, as he did not really understand how modern air warfare worked. This led to mistakes and confusion among the Luftwaffe. The British however, were led by good tacticians, such as Air Chief Marshall Sir Hugh Dowding. Dowding was a very good and experienced tactician who introduced new technology and tactics to the British RAF.
The mistakes made by the Germans also had a big say in how the battle turned out. The British made few mistakes, whereas the Germans made several during the course of the battle. These mistakes included; not investing in new highly effective technology (such as radar), the cancellation of plans to make bigger more powerful planes before the battle, and the change in tactics in the last minute by Hitler (switching from RAF bases, factory’s etc, to civilian targets), all these mistakes cost Hitler the battle.
Overall, there were many reasons why Hitler failed to overcome the RAF, and why Britain won the Battle of Britain. Many factors favoured Britain during the war, such as the technology, leadership and the mistakes made by the opposition. Britain’s technology was far more advanced than the Germans at the time and helped the British greatly during the course of the battle. Their weapons and planes were also more effective, as such British planes as the Spitfire and Hurricane were more than a match for the Luftwaffe. Britain’s tactics were also very good, but this largely due to their good and experienced leaders such as Sir Hugh Dowding. And finally, the mistakes that Hitler and Germany made during, and before the battle, helped Britain greatly.