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What made the Battle of Britain so important?

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Quick Answer

The Battle of Britain, fought between July and October 1940, saw the first defeat of Hitler's forces in the Second World War. A battle between the British RAF and the German Luftwaffe, it was also the first major campaign fought entirely by air forces.

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Full Answer

The Battle of Britain was the largest sustained bombing campaign to that date. Taking place over the United Kingdom for a period of four months, the campaign was an attempt by Hitler's forces to destroy Britain's air force. The aim was to suppress the British air force, allowing Hitler's forces to invade Britain while facing less resistance.

The Luftwaffe first targeted shipping convoys and shipping centers, but later focused on destroying RAF infrastructure, including radar sites and airfields. In the later stages of the campaign, they targeted aircraft factories, towns and cities.

The battleended when the Luftwaffe could not gain air superiority. Britain's victory ensured that the country would not face a ground invasion, and it became a significant turning point in the war.

The Luftwaffe used Messerschmitt Bf 109E and Bf 110C aircraft against the RAF's Hurricane MKI and Spitfire MKI. Both sides suffered heavy losses, with the Germans losing over 1,600 aircraft andBritish losses exceeding 1,000 fighter planes.

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