Britain’s Air Defences 1939–45 by Alfred Price, Darko Pavlovic

By Alfred Price, Darko Pavlovic

В ходе второй мировой Великобритании пришлось столкнуться с совершенно новой опасностью - воздушными налётами. Так зародились английские ПВО

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Extra resources for Britain’s Air Defences 1939–45

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1 bombardment, before the second of the new German \veapons hit them. 2 ballistic missile exploded on Chis\vick to the west of London. The weapon killed three people and injured 17. 2 had been fired from The I Iaguc in Holland, about 195 miles away. During the n ext 5 Y.! months, 1,053 rockets fell on Eng-land (an average of about five per day). Of that total 516 (an average ofless Lhan three per day) hit London . Just over 2,iOO Londoners were killed in the attacks. 2 bombardment 'vas 55 successful, but the damage was spread ove1· such a large area that it failed to achieve any decisive result.

On the night of 10 ~fay 1941, the Luftwaffe flew 541 sorties against the capital, and caused extensive damage for the loss of 11 bombers. Never again ·would it operate in such strength over Britain. THE SPASMODIC WAR 42 Following the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, the Luftwaffe retained about 200 bombers in the \Vest to mount spasmodic attacks on targets in Great Britain. These raiding forces suffered heavy proportionate losses from the steadily improving British night defences.

The main phase of the Battle of Britain opened in August 1940, and Royal Air Force Fighter Command inflicted heavy losses on the raiding forces. Central to that success \vas the ccu-efully prepared and rigorously exercised system of fighter control from the ground, which Air Chief :rvfarshal Sir Hugh Dowding had created. Using radar to provide early warning of attacks, it allmved Group commanders to maintain an unprecedented degree of control over the course of each air battle. That ability proved decisive, and at the end of September 1940 the Luftwaffe abandoned its large-scale daylight bombing attacks.

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