This article was also run in the London Times.
The Royal Navy’s main contribution to the ‘Battle of Britain’ was a few months earlier during the Norway campaign. Although this is seen as a British failure it was in fact a proportionate victory for the Royal Navy in which they destroyed or disabled a large number of German ships, some by heroic suicidal actions. Germany was left without an effective fleet during the latter half of 1940 whilst Britain could afford to take their losses.
One of the reasons why it is claimed that the RAF won the Battle of Britain (ignoring the definition) was the subsequent importance of air actions at sea, such as the sinking of the Bismarck and Force Z for example. This implied that ships could not operate effectively without air cover. This assumption is somewhat doubtful however, when smaller ships such as destroyers and motor torpedo boats are concerned which would have been in the forefront of action. The Luftwaffe were wary of coming too close to warships with anti aircraft fire notwithstanding the inadequate fire control system used at that time. Although many British merchant ships were sunk in the Mediterranean and Arctic were the Luftwaffe generally held control of the air, they were unable to stop these convoys. The later American anti-aircraft systems were more than a match for any aircraft the axis forces could deploy against them and this questions the validity of the need for aerial dominance altogether.
I'm all in favour of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with typewriters. Frank Lloyd Wright
Last edited by perseus; August 25th, 2006 at 08:44..