It was a sunny day in Britain on Friday, August 16, 1940, 75 years ago during the Battle of Britain. The Luftwaffe continued to attack the Royal Air Force. The Germans lost 45 aircraft and the British 22. During the battle, each side overclaimed, so that the daily reports of enemy losses would have been much higher.
During the battle, the reality was the reverse of stereotypes. The Germans were unsystematic while the British were extremely well organized. They had a chain of radar stations, plotting stations and a system that didn’t rise to the bait of peripheral raids by fighter planes. The Luftwaffe shifted from attacking Channel shipping, radar, factories, the RAF and British cities. They had no plan because bombing usually led to the surrender of their victims.
When the Germans broke off the battle, in the spring of 1941, they didn’t acknowledge losing the battle by being silent on the matter.
“We live in a free world today because in 1945 the forces of imperfect goodness defeated the forces of near-perfect evil.” Michael DiPaulo French Consulate staff member addressing U.S. veterans in 2001. Quoted in the book, the Liberator, Alex Kershaw.
This quote says it all. The world was saved. Not many of The Few remain, but the debt has not diminished in 75 years. Here’s to them all.