15th September 1940 marks the day we celebrated the Battle of Britain. Even though the battle was between July and October 1940 - 15th September was the chosen date as that was when the RAF claimed we had a decisive victory over the German Luftwaffe.

What was the Battle of Britain?

After the fall of France and their formal surrender on Saturday 22nd June the German forces would be soon set their sights on Britain, as they planned to invade Britain by air. A few days before, in hopes to prepare the people of Britain, Winston Churchill gave his famous speech: 

Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us.

Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this Island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward in to broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.

Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour'.

9th July began the first fighting over the English Channel, the Commander-in-Chief of Fighter Command - Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding had been working hard to create a system of defence for Britain that he had been refining more and more since 22nd June (the fall of France). All factors apart of this system was vital for Britain to overcome the German Luftwaffe that, at the time, had superiority in numbers.

Moving into the August the Battle of Britain became more fierce, even the 18th August being named 'The Hardest Day' as both sides suffered a large amount of casualties, the most of the entire conflict. The attack on the RAF (dubbed the Eagle attack) actually began on 13th August and began some intense fighting over southeast Britain. Despite the Luftwaffe's attempts to destroy our airfields and radars, it was ultimately a failure.

Later on in the month on the 25th August, British Bombers flew over and started to attack Berlin. In response, during September, the German forces decided to raid Britain with a force of 100 aircrafts to target London Docks, through all this the RAF was successful and won a huge victory against the German war machine, proving to the rest of the world that the Germans were not invincible and could be defeated.  

This served as a huge morale boost to not only the British forces but also the rest of the world that opposed Hitler's forces.

Image above of a Light British Bomber

How can you celebrate the Battle of Britain?

There are many ways you can celebrate the Battle of Britain and with it being the 80th Anniversary it will be an extra special occasion. In taking part in these celebrations, you will be supporting the RAF and the remaining veterans that fought for our country and our freedom.

One thing you can do is host a '8Tea Party' with those in your support bubble or can be done virtually. You can make it a grand ol'day with food, cakes and drinks. Just have fun with it (please make sure to follow the Covid-19 guidelines like socially distancing and wearing a mask etc.) and for even more support sign up on the RAF website.

From 25th- 27th September there will be a Battle of Britain Air Show at Headcorn Aerodrome. They will have many planes already confirmed at the show including; Bi-planes, Spitfires, Hurricanes, BF109 and a Lancaster bomber!

If you are interested in learning more click - HERE

Sources used:

History on the Battle: https://www.rafbf.org/battle-of-britain/about-the-battle-of-britain

Air show information:https://www.headcornevents.co.uk/Events/Battle%20of%20Britain%20Air%20Show/