Flightglobal Archive

The Flightglobal Archive invites you to explore 100 years of aviation history as it appeared in the original pages of Flight Magazine from 1909-2005

War & Defence

See our War & Defence category page chronicling historical events in aviation including World Wars I & II, plus the aircraft involved

70th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain

Flightglobal collates the news, from its archive, as the Battle of Britain unfolded 70 years ago on 10 July.

Read from our rich historical aviation source about the battle for Britain's skies, with in-depth analysis on the fighting aircraft used by allies and the enemy.

Keep up to date with news, images, video interviews about the proposed new Battle of Britain Beacon, to be built in north London at the RAF Museum on the site of the former Hendon Aerodrome

The Battle of Britain lasted only a few months, beginning on 10 July 1940 and ending on 31 October.

Flight acknowledged the start of the battle in its regular War in the Air column. 15 July, Flight wrote: “…Fighting was in progress pretty well all that day. A large force of German bombers, escorted by a strong force of 50 Me fighters, tried to bomb a shipping convoy in the Channel. Hurricanes attacked the bombers, and the escort put up a heavy barrage of fire.

On 11 July Flight published an article headlined: Air Strategy: Advice to the Americans.

A week before the end of the battle, Capt. Harold Balfour, MP and Under Secretary for Air spoke at the Overseas Club on 23 October, about confidence in a British victory.

He said that in the past two months “we had achieved” what he believed was “one of the greatest victories of the war, in taking such heavy toll of the enemy's mass formations of raiders… Much material damage was being done to [British] buildings and property, but Germany could not win the war by this means. Whereas our offensive raids into Germany aimed at hitting the enemy in their vital military, naval and industrial spots, so as to cripple their war effort, the German aim was to break the moral of our civil population.”

Read more reasons for his confidence



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