HERITAGE STONES DEDICATION CEREMONY MARKS THE END OF AN 11 YEAR PROJECT

The final Heritage Stones Dedication Ceremony took place on Sunday, September 17th, Battle of Britain Sunday. After eleven years, the last heritagel stones were installed and then dedicated.  Well over 75 guests attend the ceremony and then came to the Museum Library for coffee and cake.         All of our heritage stones can be seen when visiting the Heritage Air Park....

AT THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN….

Though Battle of Britain Sunday is behind us, we thought you might enjoy the following article, “At the Going Down of the Sun” in Vintage Wings of Canada.  In it, you’ll find photos of the Spitfire that began its return to life here at our...
77th ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN ~ WHAT WAS IT?

77th ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN ~ WHAT WAS IT?

This year marks the 77th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. What exactly was it? The name of the battle was actually coined by Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of Great Britain at the time. After Germany had overrun France, Churchill said, “The Battle of France is over. The Battle of Britain is about to begin.” The Battle of Britain, an important battle in World War II, was a struggle between the German Luftwaffe (commanded by Hermann Goering ) and the British Air Force (headed by Hugh Dowding’s Fighter Command). After Germany and Hitler had conquered most of Europe, including France, the only major country left to fight them was Great Britain. Germany wanted to invade Great Britain, but first they needed to destroy Britain’s Royal Air Force. July 10, 1940, is the day fixed as the beginning of the Battle of Britain. Although there was fierce fighting leading up to that date, “the engagements on that day were of such scope and scale that this was the date chosen for historical purposes. The day was marked by an attack on a British shipping convoy as it entered the Channel near Dover. The attacking force, a large force of Dornier 17 bombers escorted by several fighter squadrons, was opposed by British fighters. As each side was reinforced, a huge dogfight of over 100 airplanes – the largest engagement between two nations up until that time – was joined.” ( Battle of Britain Illustrated )     The battle continued over the next few months. German air strikes did substantial damage to radar sites, but in August, the Luftwaffe abandoned...

THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN ~ THE CONFLICT

The Battle of Britain conflict took place between July and October of 1940.  It was the first major military campaign in history to be fought entirely in the air.     On July 10th, 120 German bombers and fighters struck a British shipping convoy in the English Channel, while 70 more bombers attacked dockyards in South Wales.  Although Britain had fewer fighters than the Germans, it did have an effective radar system, which made the prospects of a sneak attack unlikely.       But in the opening days of the Battle, Britain needed determination and aluminum.  The government asked for all available aluminum. “We will turn your pots and pans into Spitfires and Hurricanes,” the Ministry of Aircraft Production said. The Battle of Britain is often described as having four phases, the dates of which seem to vary: Phase One - July 10 - August 12, 1940 - Attacks on Channel Shipping:  On July 16, Hitler issued Directive No. 16, which called for preparations to be made for Operation Sealion - the invasion of Britain.  He demanded that “the British Air Force… be eliminated to such an extent that it will be incapable of putting up any sustained opposition to the invading troops.”  So the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) attacked shipping convoys in the English Channel, Channel ports, and coastal radar stations on the south coast.  By sinking merchant ships, Germany would prevent the British people from receiving the commodities required for their existence.  At the same time, it was hoped that it would draw out the British fighters from their bases so as to analyze the strength of the Royal...

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