The story of the Battle of Britain has been told many times from many different angles. It is in the very nature of such a historical event that there is, and will never be, a definitive account. The basis of any and all ongoing debates must be information collected from the most reliable sources on both sides of the conflict. This will lead to the closest approximation of what might be termed the ‘facts’. The wider perspective calls for an examination of the contribution of RAF Bomber Command and Coastal Command during this period as well as an analysis of whether Britain was ever seriously threatened with invasion. The conventional British historical approach is to define Battle of Britain's duration as the 10th of July to the 31st of October. From a Fighter Command perspective, of course, this was a continuation of the air battles against the Luftwaffe which had started on the 10th of May 1940. Many Luftwaffe commentators, however, saw Adlerangriff, in early August, as the real start of the air war. The Battle of Britain was a precursor to the Blitz offensive which continued into the spring of 1941.
Primary sources, especially Luftwaffe records, are incomplete with many having been destroyed during the war but research continues and new information is constantly being uncovered. We have records of more than 10,000 members of the Luftwaffe, RAF Fighter Command, Bomber Command and Coastal Command as well as members of the Fleet Air Arm , Royal Navy, Polish Air Force, Royal New Zealand Air Force, the Royal Canadian Air Force and many other nationalities who took part in the Battle. Details of all RAF Fighter Command, Bomber Command and Coastal Command squadrons and all Luftwaffe Geschwader are here. There are action timelines for each of the 114 days including political developments and details of invasion plans (Operation Seelöwe); also a day-by-day Order of Battle for both RAF and Luftwaffe.
The value of a data-based analysis is that there are no preconceptions and the facts emerge from mining the actual data so far as it is known.
After the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk in June 1940 there was a period of great uncertainty and apprehension in Britain over how they expected the German forces to exploit the situation. While political events unfolded, the RAF and Fighter Command, in particular, made strenuous efforts to be ready if and when the German High Command gave its full attention to a military offensive.
The Germans had failed to prevent the evacuation of Allied troops from Dunkirk but at that time the battle against France was still far from over. Britain was reeling from its military disaster in France and appeared to require only a moderate intensification of political pressure before coming to terms with the hopeless reality of its situation. Hitler’s first choice was to force surrender by a combination of belligerent threats and peace offerings but when it became clear that a negotiated peace was not forthcoming the Luftwaffe was given the task of crushing Fighter Command to force capitulation or prepare the ground for invasion.
A record of every encounter day-by-day giving details of personnel and units involved, claims, losses and daily stats and administrative changes. Details of Bomber Command and Coastal Command incidents included. Also a resume of political events impacting on the progress of the Battle.
Documents related to the conduct of the Battle, the organisation of the opposing forces, the planned invasion of the British mainland and various associated issues which affected the outcome.