LRX2 715X195 Remembrance

Battle of Britain

In 1940, from 10 July until 31 October, the Royal Air Force Fighter Command defeated the Luftwaffe's attempt to gain air supremacy over southern England and averted a possible German invasion, downing 1,733 German aircraft and losing 915 of their own.

RAF aircrewAn estimated 544 of the 2,927 aircrew of the RAF were killed and their numerical disadvantage prompted Prime Minister Winston Churchill to describe them as the 'few' in his speech to Parliament on 20 August 1940.

The Messerschmitt Bf109E (Me-109) was the principal German fighter but with a range of 700km it had only 15 minutes' fuel over Kent and was at the limit of its range over London.

The RAF had the better equipped Hurricane and the faster more manoeuvrable Spitfire. Many of the RAF pilots were from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and central European countries overrun by the Germans. The 'Blitz' continued after the Battle of Britain had finished, until May 1941.

Battle of Britain Day is celebrated on 15 September.

Schools and learning

Assemblies to commemorate the Battle of Britain during the week including Battle of Britain Day on 15 September can be found on the RAF Benevolent Fund site at

For other free learning resources including assemblies on Remembrance in general and other associated topics, visit our Schools and Learning section.

70th Anniversary events

On 15 September 2010, to honour each man who was vital to winning the Battle of Britain, The Royal British Legion displayed 2,927 balloons at the Battle of Britain National Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne in Kent and the thousands of tribute messages sent in by our supporters. A commemorative service was held at the Memorial at 11am.

Battle of Britain balloon message

For a location map and for further details of the Capel-le-Ferne memorial please visit

Special edition of Poppy Press

Poppy Press Summer 2010Read about Hitler's Operation Sealion, Hugh Beresford who disappeared into thin air, Spitfire Girls and much more in our special Battle of Britiain 70th Anniversary Issue of Poppy Press from Summer 2010.

Poppy Press Summer 2010

Poppy Press comes out 3 times a year and is designed to update our supporters on our ongoing work with the serving and ex-Service community. If you'd like to receive a copy, click here

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