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Notes 5 – Britain Stands Alone WWII – Ms. Hamer November 17, 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Notes 5 – Britain Stands Alone WWII – Ms. Hamer November 17, 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Notes 5 – Britain Stands Alone WWII – Ms. Hamer November 17, 2010

2 Britain Alone Fall of France was a huge shock to England England was alone without another ally Needed material support to continue

3 Britain Alone PART 2 Victory required: – Strategic bombing offensive against Germany – Naval blockade of Germany – Support of resistance movements in Occupied Europe (leading to insurrection)

4 Strategic Bombing against Germany Strategic bombing would be aimed towards German industries, transportation, and energy sources – Seen as only real offensive option at the time

5 SOE: Special Operations Executive Covert operation to send agents into all of occupied Europe and Germany Would send arms to resistance forces Not intelligence gathering, was specifically for sabotageagainst Germany

6 Naval Blockade British Navy was still strong, Germany’s was weak, but what if the Germans commandeered the French and Italian navies? – July 1940 England requested that any of the French fleet be sent to England or North Africa to stay out of German hands Effects of naval blockade would be negligible as long as Germany and Soviet Union kept up economic relations In 1940 the Royal Navy also had to expend significant effort to preventing German U-Boats from blockading Britain

7 England Prepares for Invasion July 1940 Germany seemed poised to invade The British Army was small: – 300,000 British troops had escaped from Dunkirk, but all the heavy equipment had been left behind Local volunteers were organized, but were ill equipped

8 England Prepares for Invasion PART 2 Plans were made to allow the war effort to continue from Canada Lots of work done along the coast – Beaches mined – Tank traps – Civil defense arrangements British cabinet secretly approved plans for the use of poison gas to stop the invasion

9 Germany Plans to Invade

10 Operation Sea Lion Improvisation because no plan for it before June 1940 Finally decided to plan invasion on July 16, 1940 after realization of no peace with England Hitler said the plan needed to be ready by August 15, 1940

11 Operation Sea Lion PART 2 Army was told to plan – Didn’t consult with Luftwaffe or Navy Called for 500,000 German troops to land along a 200 mile coastal front in Southern and Southeastern England – Showed army lacked faith in Luftwaffe (after Dunkirk)


13 Operation Sea Lion PART 3 Army and Navy argued over plans… All agreed that the key to success was the Luftwaffe under Goering – Would have to establish air superiority over the channel Would drive the Royal Navy off the scene Would destroy the RAF Would break the initial wave of British land forces once Germany invaded – Goering believed that the Luftwaffe would be able to subdue the RAF in 5 weeks

14 Operation Sea Lion PART 4 Luftwaffe would encounter problems – Luftwaffe was built for tactical, short-range, ground support Fighters, dive-bombers, and medium bombers (2-engine) – Not designed for long-range or strategic bombing – Messerschmitt Bf 109 – top German fighter only had a range of 125 miles

15 July – October 1940: Battle of Britain

16 Fighter Command - RAF Led by Air Marshal Hugh Dowding Dowding had helped to develop 2 excellent fighters – Spitfire (clip doesn’t work) and Hurricane Spitfire – Flew in excess of 300 mph L: Spitfire R: Hurricane

17 Ministry for Aircraft Production Lord Beaverbrook led rapid aircraft production - Began May 14, 1940 – British produced fighters at a ration of 4:1 to Germany during the Battle of Britain

18 During Battle of Britain RAF could put up 600 fighters a day to Germany’s 800 England possessed radar – Used for air defense – would locate incoming waves of German fighters Ultra machine allowed England to read coded German messages

19 Battle of Britain Radar Range

20 First Phase of Battle of Britain - July 1940 Bombers appeared July 10, 1940 attacking port cities: Plymouth, Portsmouth, Dover, etc. – For 3 weeks German planes attacked coastal defenses and shipping Sunk over 40,000 tons Did not dent Royal Navy strength

21 First Phase of Battle of Britain PART 2 Attacks on RAF airfields began August 8, 1940 – Little contact between Luftwaffe and RAF during this first phase

22 Operation Eagle - August 13, 1940 Objective of breaking RAF in the “shortest possible time” Targets: – Airfields – Flying units – Supply – Aircraft industry – Never targeted radar stations – duh

23 Operation Eagle PART 2 Huge casualties – Over 100 British planes shot down – BUT British pilots shot down over home country, Germans shot down over enemy territory…

24 Operation Eagle PART 3 August 24, 1940 – Luftwaffe shifted objective to focus on RAF airfields – Crucial phase – Last week of August RAF lost so many planes and pilots that replacements could not keep up – Fighter command was in a desperate position – August 24 – September 6: Fighter Command lost almost 300 aircraft

25 Operation Eagle PART 4 September 7, 1940 – Luftwaffe shifted objectives again to focus on London Germans wanted to lure RAF into the sky and concentrate Brit fighters in one area to shoot them down Also thought it would damage British morale – London was defended with anti- aircraft guns

26 Operation Sea Lion Postponed Mid September 1940 – Germans had failed to destroy RAF – British morale had not cracked – Luftwaffe had not secured air superiority – Hitler ordered postponement of Operation Sea Lion on November 17, 1940

27 Results of the Battle of Britain Germany lost 1882 aircraft; RAF lost 1265 aircraft Up until this point, all of the operations had taken place in the daytime because bombing techniques were crude and required visual bombing Both sides drew the conclusion that major strategic air operations could not be effectively conducted in the daytime Obvious that RAF was successful

28 Results of the Battle of Britain PART 2 Churchill gives all of his great speeches during this time: – “Never in the field of conflict was so much owed by so many to so few”

29 September 1940 – May 1941: The Blitz

30 The Blitz September 1940 – Germans switched to night time attacks on London Not strategic bombing anymore – terror attacks on cities November – expanded to other cities – Attack on Coventry destroyed the 14 th century cathedral British saw this as Germans being barbarians

31 The Blitz PART 2 Life in London during the Blitz – Children evacuated to countryside – Tubes and basements used as shelters – Attacks on London for 57 consecutive nights from the beginning of September – Lull in the winter, but resumed in March and April of 1941


33 The Blitz PART 3 Late April – May 1941 – Attacks began to subside and then stopped – Where were the planes? Gathering in Poland to attack the Soviet Union

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