Battle of Britain at 80: Pick Your Battle

The Battle of Britain that ended up being fought bore little relation to the one Winston Churchill, and his senior commanders, thought they would contest. In the ‘real’ version, the part played by RAF Fighter Command — and its pilots from many nations — was more crucial than expected. How well-prepared, then, was the RAF for the battle Britain would have fought had a German invasion come to pass?

A famous image of six Hurricane Is from No 73 Squadron, then stationed at Rouvres as part of the Advanced Air Striking Force, in formation during 1939 or early 1940.
KEY COLLECTION

'What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin.”

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