Battle of Britain: in men and machines

Spitfires flying in formation Spitfires flying in formation

The defence of Britain by RAF Fighter Command against extensive air raids by the German Luftwaffe in 1940 ensured Britain's survival and blocked the possibility of invasion. Roll over the graphic to see the daily toll inflicted on men and machine in the Battle of Britain and read James Holland's commentary on why Germany lost.

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Note: The data in this graphic has come from a number of sources. The aircrew and aircraft losses have come from the comprehensive account in After the Battle Then and Now. RAF numbers are for Fighter Command. Luftwaffe numbers cover both fighters, bombers and other aircraft.

The short text for each day and night of the battle is drawn from the daily Air Staff Operational summaries collated here. The photographs are a selection taken during the war. They are not intended to illustrate specific dates in the calendar.

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