Artefact of the Month Archive

SIGNATURES OF THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN FEW

July, 2010

By July 1940 (seventy years ago this month) France had been over-run and the British Expeditionary Force had been evacuated from Dunkirk. Germany now held most of NW Europe.
The German High Command was preparing to invade Britain (Operation Seelöwe [Sealion]). They knew that to successfully invade would require elimination of the RAF. On 10 July Reich Marshall Herman Goering ordered a series of attacks which are now known as the Battle of Britain.

The Battle of Britain lasted from 10 July until 31 October, 114 days. In essence the battle can be split into five distinct phases:
• Phase 1 –10 July to 7 August (attacks on coastal shipping plus limited attacks on radar installations and airfields in Southern England);
• Phase 2 – 8 to 23 August (intensive attacks on radar installations and airfields in Southern England);
• Phase 3 – 24 August to 6 September (continuing attacks on airfields and aircraft factories);
• Phase 4 – 7 to 30 September (the Luftwaffe switch attacks to London); and
• Phase 5 – 1 to 31 October (daylight attacks discontinued in favour of massive night attacks. Daylight nuisance raids by Bf 109 fighters).

Over the whole campaign, Fighter Command lost 537 aircrew killed and as many again badly injured out some 3,000 aircrew who took part in the battle. The Luftwaffe lost almost five times as many men (2,662) and more than 6,000 wounded or captured. The British lost ten fighters for every nineteen German aircraft destroyed. The eight squadrons based at Tangmere and its satellite airfield, Westhampnett (seven equipped with Hurricanes) claimed over 300 enemy aircraft destroyed during the battle.

The Museum’s Battle of Britain Hall has many artefacts and memorabilia connected to this famous and important time in Britain’s history including a display of many of the signatures of the ‘Few’.

THE SIGNATURES OF THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN FEW CAN BE SEEN IN A DISPLAY IN THE MUSEUM’S BATTLE OF BRITAIN HALL.

Talks by Tangmere

The Museum is able to offer speakers to interested groups or societies on a range of subjects connected with the history of operations at RAF Tangmere and other military aviation subjects.

Further details of the full range of presentations and the availability of speakers can be obtained by calling the museum on 01243 790090, by emailing your interest to director@tangmere-museum.org.uk or by letter marked for the attention of the Director.

Museum Development

The Museum car park has been enlarged and re-laid and audio guides provided with the assistance of LEADER – the European Agricultural Fund for Redevelopment.

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