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Battle of Britain
Transcript of Battle of Britain
(Royal air force) The Royal Air Force is the air force that fights on the British side. There were two main types of aircraft which were used throughout WWII for the British, they were the Hurricane, and the Spitfire. The British also had a substantially fewer number of planes than the Germans at the beginning of the Battle of Britain. But the new Dowding System involving RADAR detection gave the British an advantage. Operation Sealion V-2 Rocket Luftwaffe Germany's plan of attacking Britain was named Operation Sealion. Operation Sealion involved the Nazi's sending troops across the channel on barges with support from the Luftwaffe and from their Navy. Sectors of the RAF For the operation to be a success the Germans needed to destroy the RAF in the air, and to prevent the Royal Navy from entering the channel. "As England, in spite of her hopeless military situation, still shows no signs of willingness to come to terms, I have decided to prepare, and if necessary to carry out, a landing operation against her."
-Adolf Hitler During the second World War, the RAF created four different groups to protect certain areas. They were classified as groups 10,11,12, and 13. Hurricane The Hurricane is a single seater plane, that could reach speeds of up to 506km/h. They could reach a max altitude of 10.5km, lower than most the German planes. Group 10-Southwestern Britain Group 11-Southeastern Britain Group 12- Central Britain including London Group 13-Northern Britain and Scotland The Luftwaffe was the name of the German air force. Their amount of planes greatly outnumbered the RAF's at the start of the Battle of Britain. They mainly used a fighter called the Bf 109. The Luftwaffe was commanded by Reichsmarschall Herman Goring. Spitfire Group 11 had over half of the RAF's total aircrafts, and dealt with most of the Germans attacks. During WWII, a spitfire cold reach speeds of up to 557km/h, and could reach an altitude of up to 11km. Herman Goring Rudolf Hess Winston Churchill Churchill was the Prime Minister of Britain during WWII. He was only Prime Minister for 5 years, from 1940-1945. He is highly regarded, and is thought of as one of the greatest wartime leaders. He became the Prime Minister when Neville Chamberlain stepped down. Radar Throughout the Battle of Britain the British used "The Dowding System" to intercept enemy aircrafts. The Dowding System involved the use of Radio Direction Finding (RDF) technology and a complex system of command and control. This gave the RAF a huge advantage over the Luftwaffe as they could find the location of incoming planes. RDF could even locate enemy planes as they were circling above their own airfields in good weather. RDF was later renamed as RADAR, for RAdio Detection And Ranging. Goring was a politician, military leader, and a leading and founding member in the Nazi Party. He was appointed commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe, the German airforce by Adolf Hitler in 1935. During the war he was promoted to the rank of Reischmarschall. Hess was the deputy to Hitler, and served in the Nazi party as a politician. He was interested in flying, and throughout 1940 trained on the Bf-110E, doing several cross country trips. He had many modifications done to the plane so he would be able to travel to Britain. Finally in May 1941, he left for Britain on an attempted peace mission. He was however arrested on his arrival and put in jail. Events The Aggregat-4, more commonly known as the V-2 rocket was the first long range missile in the world. This rocket is packed with explosives, and fueled off of alcohol and oxygen, relying on the large combustion of the materials to propel it up high "Channel Battles" enough so that it will be able to fall back down onto a specific location. This rocket requires 25 tons of thrust. In late WW2 the V-2 was used by the Nazi's over 3000 times to attack allied cities. The V-2 caused over 2500 deaths in London alone, and many more elsewhere. In July 1940, the Luftwaffe started targeting convoys traveling through the English Channel. Their fighters engaged with the RAF and bombers targeted the ships. These attacks were very successful and the Royal Navy soon decided to stop sending convoys through the channel. Eagle Day Near the beginning of the war when there were dogfights, Germany rescued fallen pilots with sea-rescue planes. Eventually Britain didn't allow this the and shot down planes that tried to rescue pilots. On August 12, the Luftwaffe attempted to take out the four British radar systems on the southeastern coast. All were operational again in less than six hours. August the 13th was declared Eagle Day and the Luftwaffe launched major attacks on British airfields. Enigma New Targets Enigma machines are used for both encrypting and decrypting messages. It was in 1939 that the Polish broke encrypted messages by the Germans. They gave this technology to the French and British intelligence, and it was later used to break many German codes in the Battle of Britain. These machines were a substantial aid to the allies because the Germans didn't know that the British could crack of their encryptions. On August 19th after a week of attacking RAF airfields Reichsmarschall Goring ordered attacks on British aircraft factories and other industrial factories. The Luftwaffe still targeted airfields but their main focus was now on industrial areas. Wernher Von Braun The RAF was strengthened by the inclusion of Czech and Polish squadrons. The RAF also had a distinct advantage because pilots who were shot down but bailed in time were able to be back at their airfields in hours while Germans who ejected were immediately captured. Von Braun was a German scientist, and leading figure in rocket technology. He build the first long range missile, the V2. After the war, Von Braun went to the United States, where he worked in coordination with NASA. The Luftwaffe's change in focus gave the RAF a much needed chance to regroup. With less direct attacks on their bases, they had more time to spend on defeating the Luftwaffe in the air. It became apparent that the Luftwaffe offensive wasn't successful enough for them to gain complete air supremacy. Even with the RAF's disadvantage in size the Luftwaffe suffered more losses in almost all of the battles. Coventry Coventry was a city in Britain and during WWII, it had a population of over 250,000 people, and produced many things including munitions. In October and November in 1940 Coventry was bombed multiple times. The most devastating attack was on November 14th which completely destroyed the city center and greatly damaged the rest of the city. Even though there was huge damage, less than 600 people died. The Blitz On the night of August the 23rd, a group of lost German bombers mistakenly bombed Harrow on the outskirts of London. RAF bombers tried to attack industrial targets in Berlin on the night of the 25th but clouds caused inaccurate identification of targets and many residential areas were hit. Hurricane The Hurricane can reach a max speed of 541km/h, and a maximum altitude of 10.8km. In WWII, the Hurricane accounted for about 60% of the British kills in the air. On September 4th, Hitler made a strong speech promising to "Obliterate British cities." The Luftwaffe bombed London and many other Cities. Starting on the 7th of September, London was bombed for 57 consecutive nights. Over 1 million homes were destroyed and 40,000 were killed. The new bombing targets brought many new troubles to the Luftwaffe. Their fighters were barely in range, and only had 10 minutes of time to spare in London before they had to head back to France. Despite the destruction of the city, industrial production wasn't greatly affected by the bombing. Most factories had already moved outside the city to "shadow factories" and the factories that were damaged were quickly relocated. Victory The RAF successfully held off the German attacks, and prevented the Luftwaffe from gaining air superiority. On September the 16th, Hitler officially postponed Operation Sealion. The Battle of Britain was the closest the Nazi's came to invading Britain. Hurricane Spitfire RAF vs. Luftwaffe The Battle of Britain was mainly an air battle between the RAF and the Luftwaffe. At the start of the battle the Luftwaffe greatly outnumbered the RAF. But the RAF had many advantages because they were fighting over their own country. The Luftwaffe was fighting away from their bases and the had to save fuel for the return flight, which left them with less time in the air. RAF pilots who managed to bail from their planes before crashing were able to be back at their base, and back flying in only a few hours. Luftwaffe pilots who ejected were captured as prisoners of war and were unable to return to combat. Bf 109 The Bf 109 was a fighter that could reach a max altitude of 10km, and could reach a max speed of up to 540km/h. In 1945, when he heard Hitlers intention to commit suicide, he asked Hitler if he could gain control of the Reich. Hitler instead expelled Goring from the party, and ordered his arrest. When the war ended Goring was sentenced to death in the Nuremberg trials, but he ingested cyanide before he could get hung. The spitfire was the RAF's strongest fighter and mainly attacked enemy fighters. The hurricane was mainly used to attack enemy bombers. The Luftwaffe used the Bf 109 mainly as a bomber escort. Luftwaffe Bombers Hitler eventually called off Operation Sealion in December of 1940. After the war, information leaked out that Churchill had decrypted a German message about the bombing on Coventry. It was said that he let Coventry be bombed so the Germans wouldn't know that they could crack their enigma code. The RAF had a limited amount of pilots to begin with, and as the battle went on, pilots were overworked and under-rested. New pilots with little training were sent into battle because there was no one else to send. The RAF was feeling the affect of the German offensive, and was slowly falling apart. Started July 1940 "Auldertag" The attacks continued throughout the week and they started targeting airfields farther inland. Bombers were ordered to take out RAF bases on the ground, as fighters attacked RAF planes in the sky. During the Battle of Britain, Germany used four main types of bombers. They were the Heinkel He 111, Dornier Do 17, Junkers Ju 88, and the Junkers Ju 87. The Junkers Ju 87 also known as the stuke is used for diving attacks, which are the worst at escaping the RAF because of their slow speed and vulnerability. The other three bombers were used mainly for straight on approaches, and suffered the least loses because they were more efficient at escaping the RAF. VS