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All images used with the kind permission of The Battle of Britain Historical Society …that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand.

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Presentation on theme: "All images used with the kind permission of The Battle of Britain Historical Society …that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand."— Presentation transcript:

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2 All images used with the kind permission of The Battle of Britain Historical Society …that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, “This was their finest hour.” Prime Minister Winston Churchill, June 18 th, 1940 Press ‘ESC’ at any time to stop the presentation

3 …that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, “This was their finest hour.” Prime Minister Winston Churchill, June 18 th, 1940 Who do you think these words from Churchill’s famous speech of 1940 were aimed at and why? Think: France had fallen to the Germans and over 338,000 Allied troops had been evacuated from Dunkirk. The British Empire and Commonwealth now stood alone against Germany. The German army and air force was much larger and much better equipped than the British army and air force. Photo courtesy of M. Williams - ‘German troops advance across France’.

4 "....the Battle of France is over, I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire.“ WINSTON CHURCHILL June 18, 1940 According to Prime Minister Winston Churchill, how important was The Battle of Britain going to be for: The people of Britain People opposed to Hitler and the Nazis around the world See more of this speech

5 "What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. upon it depends our own British life and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us now. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war.” Highlight the words that Churchill used to emphasise the danger that is posed by Hitler and the Nazis.

6 “If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age, made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.” Highlight, using a different colour, the words that Churchill used to give the people of Britain and Europe hope in the face of Nazi aggression. Again, highlight the words that Churchill used to emphasise the danger that is posed by Hitler and the Nazis.

7 Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will say, "This was their finest hour." What words and phrases does Churchill use here to try and boost the morale of the British People and the people of the Commonwealth? Think of the situation that Britain, Europe and the World faced in June What makes this speech so effective?

8 “Since England, in spite of her hopeless military situation, shows no signs of being ready to come to an understanding, I have decided to prepare a landing operation against England and, if necessary, to carry it out.” ADOLF HITLER, July 1940 After reading this statement by Adolf Hitler, do you think that Winston Churchill had cause to feel worried in the Summer of 1940? Discuss: Why do you think that Hitler believed Britain’s military situation to be hopeless?

9 With France defeated it seems logical that Hitler and the Nazis would want to move on to an invasion of Britain who was now fighting Germany on its own. Hitler codenamed the planned invasion ‘Operation Sealion’. The British Navy was extremely powerful however, and any German invasion force would have to cross The English Channel from France. Think about what the Germans would have needed to carry out an invasion of Britain. How best could they protect their ships and barges as they approached Britain?

10 Reasons for Hitler launching Operation Sealion How many reasons can you think of for Hitler launching Operation Sealion? Reason

11 Reasons for Hitler launching Operation Sealion Victory over Britain would weaken the resolve of other countries to stand up to the Nazis Next Reason

12 Reasons for Hitler launching Operation Sealion Victory over Britain would weaken the resolve of other countries to stand up to the Nazis Next Reason Hitler believed that Britain’s defences were disorganised and in poor shape

13 Reasons for Hitler launching Operation Sealion Britain stood alone fighting Germany by June 1940 Hitler believed that Britain’s defences were disorganised and in poor shape Victory over Britain would weaken the resolve of other countries to stand up to the Nazis Next Reason

14 Reasons for Hitler launching Operation Sealion Britain stood alone fighting Germany by June 1940 The Luftwaffe told Hitler that they could defeat the R.A.F. in weeks Victory over Britain would weaken the resolve of other countries to stand up to the Nazis Next Reason Hitler believed that Britain’s defences were disorganised and in poor shape

15 Reasons for Hitler launching Operation Sealion Britain stood alone fighting Germany by June 1940 The Luftwaffe told Hitler that they could defeat the R.A.F. in weeks German troop morale was high after defeating Poland, Belgium, Holland and France Victory over Britain would weaken the resolve of other countries to stand up to the Nazis Next Reason Hitler believed that Britain’s defences were disorganised and in poor shape

16 Reasons for Hitler launching Operation Sealion Britain stood alone fighting Germany by June 1940 The Luftwaffe told Hitler that they could defeat the R.A.F. in weeks German troop morale was high after defeating Poland, Belgium, Holland and France Victory over Britain would weaken the resolve of other countries to stand up to the Nazis With Britain defeated Hitler could turn all of his attention to Russia. Only having to fight a war on one front should ensure a swift victory. Hitler believed that Britain’s defences were disorganised and in poor shape

17 Reasons for Hitler cancelling Operation Sealion How many reasons can you think of for Hitler cancelling Operation Sealion? Reason

18 Reasons for Hitler cancelling Operation Sealion Next Reason Short time scale in which to complete it: sometime between June-October

19 Reasons for Hitler cancelling Operation Sealion Next Reason Short time scale in which to complete it: sometime between June-October Perhaps Britain could be persuaded to become an ally of Germany’s without further conflict

20 Reasons for Hitler cancelling Operation Sealion Next Reason Short time scale in which to complete it: sometime between June-October Perhaps Britain could be persuaded to become an ally of Germany’s without further conflict Resources need to be conserved in preparation for the invasion of The Soviet Union

21 Reasons for Hitler cancelling Operation Sealion Next Reason Short time scale in which to complete it: sometime between June-October The German fighting forces had been fighting over a long period of time and needed to rest before tackling an enemy like Great Britain Perhaps Britain could be persuaded to become an ally of Germany’s without further conflict Resources need to be conserved in preparation for the invasion of The Soviet Union

22 Reasons for Hitler cancelling Operation Sealion Short time scale in which to complete it: sometime between June-October The R.A.F. had proved itself to be a much stronger opponent than the Luftwaffe maintained during the Battle for France The German fighting forces had been fighting over a long period of time and needed to rest before tackling an enemy like Great Britain Perhaps Britain could be persuaded to become an ally of Germany’s without further conflict Resources need to be conserved in preparation for the invasion of The Soviet Union

23 What do you think Hitler should do? Prepare a report for Hitler to consider. Outline the reasons for and against an invasion of Great Britain in You could jot down some key points here

24 Hitler knew that the Luftwaffe would have to play a central role if any invasion attempt were made. German aeroplanes would have to gain air superiority over The United Kingdom. By doing this the Luftwaffe could help to keep the Royal Navy away from any invasion fleet and stop any Royal Air Force (R.A.F.) planes attacking the fleet. Discuss how the Luftwaffe could gain air superiority over Britain.

25 The Luftwaffe had however underestimated the strength of the R.A.F. The Germans believed there to be only about 300 fighter planes available to Fighter Command for the defence of the United Kingdom. The R.A.F. in fact had many more planes than this. The R.A.F. also had the help of Radar and the Observer Corps to plot the course and height bomber formations.

26 The Royal Air Force, 1 st July 1940 Aircraft in Fighter Command Squadrons Single-engined fighters: Spitfires 286 Hurricanes 463 Defiants 37 Twin-engined fighters 114 (Blenheims) TOTAL: The Luftwaffe, 20 th July 1940 Aircraft in Air Fleets 2, 3 and 5 Fighters: Single-engined (Me 109’s) 844 Twin Engined (Me 110’s) 250 Bombers: Single Engined (Ju 87’s Stukas) 280 Twin-engined 1,330 (Do 17s, Ju 88s, He 111s) Long-Range Reconnaissance 80 TOTAL: Add up the number of planes available to Fighter Command and those available to the Luftwaffe to attack Britain. Discuss who you would expect to win The Battle of Britain and why. Table based upon the figures given in ‘Battle of Britain’ by Alfred Price (Arms and Armour Press, 1990)

27 The Battle of Britain was one of the first major battles of World War Two and officially lasted from July 10th until October 31st Plans to invade Britain were abandoned by October Hitler now turned his attention to bombing towns and cities within Britain. He hoped that this would affect the morale of the British people so much that they would eventually surrender. Discuss what happened between July and October 1940 to make Hitler abandon the idea of invading Britain. END


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