Battle of Britain
In the summer and autumn of 1940, during the infamous Battle of Britain, both the Royal Air Force and Fleet Air Arm defended the nation from large-scale attacks by the Luftwaffe. Fought over the skies of southern England, Germany’s primary objective was to overwhelm and eradicate the RAF’s Fighter Command before launching an invasion. Considered to be one of the first campaigns fought entirely by aircraft, the brutal, unforgiving battle continued for more than three months. Germany, however, had underestimated the strength of Fighter Command, and were eventually forced to abandon their plans. While Britain’s success had been achieved at a heavy cost, with civilian casualties from July to December totaling more than 55,000, it proved to be a considerable morale boost for the country and demonstrated that the Luftwaffe was not invincible.