Oryon Collection ORY3018 WWII Historic Battles 4-Figure Set: "Battle of Britain", England, July - September 1940 (1:35 Scale)
"In war there is no second prize for the runner-up."
- General Omar Bradley
The Battle of Britain is the name commonly given to the attempt by the German Luftwaffe to gain air superiority over the Royal Air Force (RAF), before a planned sea and airborne invasion of Britain, codenamed Unternehmen Seelowe, during World War II. Neither Hitler nor the Wehrmacht believed it possible to carry out a successful amphibious assault on the British Isles until the RAF had been neutralized. Secondary objectives were to destroy aircraft production and ground infrastructure, to attack areas of political significance, and to terrorise the British people with the intent of intimidating them into seeking an armistice or surrender.
British historians date the battle from July 9th to October 31st, 1940, which represented the most intense period of daylight bombing. German historians usually place the beginning of the battle in mid-August 1940 and end it in May 1941, on the withdrawal of the bomber units in preparation for the attack on the USSR. The failure of Nazi Germany to destroy Britain's air force, or to break the spirit of the British government or people is considered the Third Reich's first major defeat.
Some historians have argued no invasion could have succeeded; given the massive superiority of the Royal Navy over the Kriegsmarine, Seelowe would have been a disaster. They argue the Luftwaffe would have been unable to prevent decisive intervention by RN cruisers and destroyers, even with air superiority.
The Battle of Britain was the first major battle to be fought entirely by air forces. It was the largest and most sustained bombing campaign yet attempted, and the first real test of the strategic bombing theories developed since the previous World War.
This 4-piece figure set consists of two German Luftwaffe pilots and two RAF pilots.
Height: 2 inches
Release Date: June 2007
Historical Account: "Kammeraden" - Unternehmen Seelowe (Operation Sealion) was a World War II Nazi German plan to invade the United Kingdom, beginning in 1940. The operation was abandoned in September, 1940. Following swift victory in the Battle of France, Germany believed the war in the west was won. However, the United Kingdom refused peace talks. As a result, more direct measures to break British resistance were considered.
Grossadmiral Erich Raeder of the Kriegsmarine oversaw numerous studies for a German naval assault across the English Channel. The earliest of these, made around November 1939, identified the conditions for invasion:
- The Royal Navy must be eliminated.
- Royal Air Force air strength must be eliminated.
- Coastal defences must be destroyed.
- British submarine action against landing forces must be prevented.
The Oberkommando des Heeres (OKH) originally planned an invasion on a vast scale, extending along most of the English Channel, from Dorset to Kent. Final plans were more modest, calling for nine divisions to land by sea with around 67,000 men in the first echelon and an airborne division to support them. The chosen invasion sites ran from Rottingdean in the west to Hythe in the east.
The battle plan called for German forces to be launched from Cherbourg to Lyme Regis, Le Havre to Ventnor and Brighton, Boulogne to Eastbourne, Calais to Folkestone, and Dunkirk and Ostend to Ramsgate. German paratroopers would land near Brighton and Dover. Once the coastline was secured, they would push north, taking Gloucester and encircling London. German forces would secure England up to the 52nd parallel, anticipating that the rest of the United Kingdom would then surrender. But before all this could be accomplished, air supremacy over the English Channel and England proper had to be achieved.