"Since England, in spite of her hopeless military situation, shows no signs of being ready to come to a compromise, I have decided to prepare a landing operation against England, and, if necessary, to carry it out" - Adolph Hitler in July 1940
The Battle of Britain is the name given to the sustained strategic efforts of the German Luftwaffe during the summer and autumn of 1940 to gain air superiority over the Royal Air Force (RAF), especially Fighter Command. The name derives from a speech made on 18 June 1940 in the House of Commons by Prime Minister Winston Churchill, "The Battle of France is over. I expect the Battle of Britain is about to begin..."
Had it been successful, the planned amphibious and airborne forces landings in Britain of Operation Sealion would have followed. The Battle of Britain was the first major campaign to be fought entirely by air forces. It was the largest and most sustained bombing campaign attempted up until that date. The failure of Nazi Germany to destroy Britain's air defence or to break British morale is considered both its first major defeat and a crucial turning point in the war.
There are countless references to the Battle and opinions vary as to precise dates with specific action dedicated to this Battle in conjunction with other actions of the War. Within the Commonwealth, Battle of Britain Day is usually observed on the third Sunday in September and in Britain it is 15 September.
"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few." - Winston Churchill; 20 August 1940