History Final Exam Study Guide

History Final Exam Study Guide - Battle of Britain Who won...

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Battle of Britain Who won the Battle of Britain? The British Royal Air Force (RAF) achieved a decisive victory over the German Luftwaffe (German Air Force). In the beginning of the battle, the commander of the German Luftwaffe, Herman Goring, assured Hitler that Britain could be defeated by air power alone. He had some 2,000 aircraft at his disposal divided into three Luftflotten (air fleets). The RAF had approximately 700 fighter planes divided into four fighter Groups. The RAF had roughly the same amount of fighters but the significant advantage of an extensive radar and control system to warn them of German planes. The Battle of Britain was divided into four stages: (1) July 10 to August 12, 1940 - Luftwaffe concentrated on reconnaissance missions for larger attacks in the future. They also launched attacks on south coast ports, radar stations and shipping in the English Channel. After heavy shipping and aircraft losses the British were forced to stop all Channel convoys. (2) August 13 to September 6, 1940 - Luftwaffe wanted to destroy the RAF planes both in the air and on the ground. The airfields of Group 11 were heavily targeted in this phase. (3) September 7 to October 5, 1940 - "The London Blitz". Large scale bombing attacks against London and other major cities began. Airplane factories and other strategic targets were bombed as well. Hitler hoped to break the English morale and their will to fight. On September 7, the Luftwaffe launched its first major daylight raid of London beginning the "London Blitz". The Germans switched to night bombing after suffering heavy casualties. (4) October 6 to October 31, 1940 - Heavy raids against London and other major cities continued. The raids became less frequent as winter weather made flying conditions more difficult. Reasons German advance stopped in Russia (1940) 1) The weather 2) The very bad Russian road network 3) Partisans attacking the supply lines and blowing up the railroads
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