Battle of Britain at 80: Forgotten Force

The Battle of Britain involved more than just RAF fighters against the Luftwaffe, whatever it might say on the official battle honour. Many aircrew members from non-fighter squadrons took part in the wider fight against the threat of invasion and the assault on Fighter Command from July-October 1940, and often in the thick of that fighting was No 16 Group, RAF Coastal Command

German aims for the Battle of Britain in July 1940 were to win air superiority over the English Channel and potential landing sites on the south coast, to create a credible threat of invasion in the hope of driving the UK to withdraw from the war. Coastal Command’s role in countering the threat was considerable, and it was No 16 Group that bore the brunt. Its area of operations included most of the English Channel and the southern part of the North Sea, including the coastline of northern France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark. Effectively it contained a large portion of the airspace in which the battle took place, and the ports where any invasion effort would assemble.

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