Prime Minister of England.
THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN
“THE AUTUMN OF 1940 HAS COME TO SYMBOLIZE THE SPIRIT THAT BROUGHT OUR COUNTRY THROUGH THE DARKEST DAYS OF THE WAR.”
Typewritten Statement Signed in full, one page, quarto, September 1961. On imprinted stationery, Chartwell, Westerham, Kent.
“It is most fitting that we should each year remember the Battle of Britain. The autumn of 1940 has come to symbolise the spirit that brought our country through the darkest days of the war. It was not the turning point of our struggle, but it was our first decisive victory. We should honour those who fought: we should remember the dependants of those who fell.”
The Battle of Britain is the name given to the sustained strategic effort by the Luftwaffe during the summer and fall of 1940 to gain air superiority over the Fighter Command of the Royal Air Force. The name derives from Winston Churchill’s speech in the House of Commons on June 18, 1940, when he said, “What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin….” Intended as a prelude to the invasion of England, the German air attacks were initially focused on British coastal defenses, radar stations, and shipping. On August 24 the attack was shifted inland to RAF installations and aircraft factories in an effort to gain control of the air over South England.
The Battle of Britain turned dramatically when a German bomber, lost over cloud covered London, dropped its bomb load before heading home. Up to that point, cities had not been bombed but Churchill, believing this meant an expansion of the bombing war, sent British bombers to Berlin in a very sumbolic attack. This in turn infuriated Hitler who then ordered the deliberate bombing of London [for 57 consecutive nights] and other cities. While causing great loss of life and property, this new German focus spared the RAF airfields and enabled the British to regroup and defeat the Luftwaffe.
Matted in blue and cream, with a waist-length photograph of Winston Churchill seated. Framed in silver gilt, dimensions measure 20 1/2 inches wide by 16 3/4 inches high.
This item is associated with these categories in our inventory:
- World Leaders
- World War II