The Focke-Wulf 190 was introduced in 1941, and soon proved itself superior in most respects to the existing Spitfire models. The RAF remained at a serious disadvantage until the development of the Spitfire Mk. IX in the autumn 1942.
Designed by Germany's illustrious Professor Kurt Tank, the Focke-Wulf 190 would prove invaluable to British fighter designers when a Luftwaffe pilot defected with one of the planes.
Hitler ordered the invasion of Britain in July 1940 under the name Operation Sealion. For the invasion to succeed, German air superiority was necessary, and so wave after wave of Luftwaffe bombers and fighters were dispatched to break Fighter Command in the skies over Southern England. An estimated 4,074 Luftwaffe aircraft flew against less than half as many RAF and Allied planes.
Winston Churchill coined the name given to the world's first exclusively aerial campaign. On 18 June 1940, he used the phrase in a famous speech in the House of Commons:
But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new dark age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour'.
At the height of the Battle, on 20 August 1940, Winston Churchill honoured the contribution and sacrifice of Fighter Command with the words:
Pilots who fought in the Battle have been known as The Few ever since.
The Battle of Britain lasted from July until October 1940. In July most battles were fought over the English Channel, but in August the Luftwaffe targeted British airfields. By September they had changed tactics again and started bombing British cities. The Blitz had begun.
As a result of the Luftwaffe's failure to defeat the RAF in 1940, Hitler abandoned his invasion plans and turned his attention - most unwisely - to Russia.
Battle of Britain Day in the UK is on 15 September.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission builds and maintains war graves to commemorate those who have fallen in battle in the commonwealth.
Britain lost close to a million soldiers in World War I. France, Austria, Germany and Russia each suffered even greater losses. Turkey lost over 700,000. Italy, fighting with Britain and France, lost 650,000.
Many of the graves pictured belong to unidentified soldiers.
Terence would not have been able to instruct there much longer. In September 1942, the college was bombed, and officer training was then conducted at Eaton Hall in Cheshire until 1946.
Clothing rationing was introduced in Britain in Spring 1941. Much of the available cloth was needed for uniforms, tents and parachutes. The Make-do and Mend pamphlet encouraged people to repair existing clothes and to look after them more carefully.
Fashion-conscious women adapted existing clothing to meet the latest trends.
The pamphlet was released in 1943, a year after this episode - a small research slip, perhaps?
After the Fall of France in June 1940, the country was divided into the Occupied Zone controlled by the German Army, and the Free Zone governed by the Vichy regime of Marshal Philippe Pétain. A small Italian Occupation Zone was established in the southeast.
See the Setting page for more information.