Battle of Britain: 75th Anniversary

Pilots scramble for their Hawker Hurricane fighters at an airfield in England to tackle the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain. (photo via RCAF)
Pilots scramble for their Hawker Hurricane fighters at an airfield in England to tackle the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain. (photo via RCAF)
Pilots scramble for their Hawker Hurricane fighters at an airfield in England to tackle the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain. (photo via RCAF)

On July 10th, 1940, the greatest air battle in human history began, as aircraft of the German Luftwaffe streamed over the United Kingdom with the intent of bombing the nation into quick submission, as they had done with all those they had previously faced. All that stood in the Luftwaffe’s way were the brave boys of the Royal Air Force’s Fighter Command as they screamed up from airfields in the south of England to intercept them. Now, 75 years later, the RAF once again took to the skies over London, but this time to commemorate the start of the Battle, the first such clash of nations to be fought entirely in the air.

Today, the Battle of Britain is considered a huge turning point in the progression of World War II. Hitler’s forces failed in their nearly four-month-long campaign to establish air superiority over the United Kingdom, and their expenditure of time, resources and personnel forever weakened them and lead eventually to their unconditional surrender nearly five years later.

The 29(R) Squadron Typhoon II painted to represent James Nicolson’s Hawker Hurricane from his Victoria Cross-winning combat during the Battle of Britain. (photo by Gary Parsons via Global Aviation Resource)
The 29(R) Squadron Typhoon II painted to represent James Nicolson’s Hawker Hurricane from his Victoria Cross-winning combat during the Battle of Britain. (photo by Gary Parsons via Global Aviation Resource)

Today over London, the United Kingdom’s current frontline fighter, the Eurofighter Typhoon, joined two of the most prominent fighter aircraft from the Battle: the iconic Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane. The Royal Family observed the flyover from the balcony at Buckingham Palace; Queen Elizabeth II having borne witness to the original fight seventy-five years previously when just a princess. Six surviving participants from the Battle of Britain also took part in the flybys.

You can check out the Spitfires, Hurricanes, and Typhoons in action in the video below.

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