The ‘Battle of Britain’ defined

One of the diagrams in the Air Ministry pamphlet that sought to explain how the RAF had fought off the Luftwaffe.

In the spring of 1941 the Air Ministry produced the ‘information’ pamphlet “The Battle of Britain”. In doing so it helped give shape to the ‘Great Days from 8th August -31st October 1940’ and defined it as being Fighter Command’s battle, completely omitting the contribution of Bomber Command. It took as its starting point Churchill’s speech of 20th August 1940 but managed to redefine his characterisation of “the few”.

It was a necessarily a one sided account of a great victory, published at a time when Britain was devastated by the Blitz. It concluded that “Future historians may compare it with Marathon, Trafalgar and the Marne”. The pamphlet itself was hugely influential in shaping views of the period over the summer of 1940, hundreds of thousands were sold around the Empire and in the United States.

The description of how the battle was fought omitted one vital feature that still remained secret - the use of radar. Propaganda at the time gave prominence to the efficiency of the 'Observer Corps' in spotting hostile aircraft.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

michael fong April 19, 2013 at 4:22 am

Dear Comrades of Battle of britain,the war has ended,but The Victorious, Bravery

still in your hands.

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