Aviation Archive - Aircraft of the Battle of Britain

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Introduction

Boulton Paul Defiant
Built as a bomber-destroyer, the turret-equipped Defiant was badly mauled by Bf109s in the handful of missions flown by the aeroplane during the early stages of the Battle of Britain

Bristol Blenheim
Although the Blenheim was built as a light bomber, Coastal Command used the MkIVF heavy fighter to intercept enemy formations over the Channel in the summer of 1940

Dornier Do17
The least numerous of the Luftwaffe bombers involved in the Battle of Britain, the Do17 was possibly the most effective thanks to the low-level tactics employed by its units

Hawker Hurricane
The workhorse fighter of the Battle of Britain, the Hurricane equipped twice as many squadrons in Fighter Command than the Spitfire in the summer of 1940

Junkers Ju87
The ‘flying artillery’ of the Blitzkrieg in Europe in 1939-40, the Ju87 initially performed well during the campaigns leading up to the start of the Battle of Britain

Junkers Ju88
Built as a dedicated fast day bomber, the Ju88A was the most modern aircraft of its type in Luftwaffe service in the summer of 1940

Heinkel He111
The best-known German bomber of the Battle of Britain, the He111 carried the heaviest load of any Luftwaffe aircraft involved in the ill-fated campaign

Messerschmitt Bf109
The Luftwaffe’s only single-seat fighter in 1940, the Bf109 bore the brunt of the Luftwaffe’s aerial campaign against RAF Fighter Command. It proved to be a deadly opponent

Messerschmitt Bf110
The supposedly ‘invincible’ Zerstörer (Destroyer) proved to be anything but this in the summer of 1940, with losses of Bf110s being so high that the type had to be withdrawn

Supermarine Spitfire
The RAF’s best fighter in 1940, the graceful Spitfire proved to be a deadly adversary for German fighters and bombers alike during the Battle of Britain

Roll Call
Other aircraft that participated in the Battle of Britain

The Blitz
Images from the bombing campaign carried out by the Luftwaffe on British cities in 1940