From July to October 1940, ‘The Few’ of the RAF defended the skies against ‘The Many’ of the German Luftwaffe. 82 years later, the legacy of the Battle of Britain lives on.
To mark the anniversary of the Battle of Britain, we’re taking a look back at this momentous event, which saw just 2,945 RAF aircrew overcome the blitzkrieg of Nazi Germany. We’ll share interesting facts and information about the battle, and fill you in on how we’re marking the occasion with a special promotional campaign.
A brief history of the Battle of Britain
By June 1940, much of Europe had fallen to Nazi Germany. Having swept through France, Hitler’s focus turned to Britain – and the threat of a Nazi invasion became all too real.
To achieve this, Hitler understood that Germany would need air and sea superiority. But that meant overcoming the combined forces of the Royal Navy and the RAF – no mean feat for any invading power.
In July 1940, Hitler instructed the Luftwaffe to rain hellfire on British soil. Known as ‘the Blitz’, this period saw near-hourly bombing raids inflicted on strategic targets across the country, with the aim being to knock Britain out of the war.
Responding, the RAF scrambled to intercept the Luftwaffe, with squadrons of Spitfires and Hawker Hurricanes matched against the superior force of Germany’s Messerschmitt Bf109s and Junckers Ju 88s.
Though outnumbered, the RAF offered staunch resistance, repelling wave after wave of attacks from across the Channel. Their success is credited with a pioneering use of radar, superior tactics, and a dedicated ground crew that risked everything to keep aircrews in the sky.
By August, Germany was reportedly losing up to 200 aircraft a day. Recognising the early signs of defeat, Hitler scaled back the assault, focusing instead on nightly bombing raids.
Though these raids continued until the end of the war, the RAF had achieved what many thought was impossible. Outnumbered and outgunned, its brave aircrews held off the Nazi war machine for four long months, defending a nation and marking a key turning point in the war.
The Battle of Britain in numbers
To put the RAF’s victory and exploits into perspective, here are some of the most telling facts and stats to emerge from the Battle of Britain…
Commemorating the Battle of Britain
The Battle of Britain is remembered as a turning point in World War II, paving the way for the Allied victory that would follow five years later. It showed British resolve to the world, with the strength and sacrifice of a nation offering a glimmer of hope to millions around the globe.
To commemorate the 82nd anniversary of the Battle of Britain, we’re launching a special promotional menu across all our stores. Our Battle of Britain promotion will run from 8th-13th September, giving personnel the opportunity to enjoy a meal and reflect on the legacy of this landmark event.
To find out what’s on offer as part of our Battle of Britain event, head to the Eatery or explore the menu in your SideBySide app.