Way back in the last millenium when Europa still enjoyed fighting among themselves right around WWII time - the naughty Jerries pulled a fast one and out flanked the French, Dutch, Belgium and British armies scattering the Allies, entrapping many and ended up hanging and partying in Paris.
So awesome was this 'sickelschnitt' plan that France freaked and screamed "God! Please! Stop!" and totally surrendered in like 6 weeks. This was unheard of - wars tended to last a lot longer and this panzer und stuka unbeatable combat plan was given the name 'Blitzkrieg' - Teutonic for 'lightning war'.
Hard on the heels of dissing the French in another war, das Deutsches Reich prepped for taking the blitz cross channel to hit Great Britain with a D Day style invasion called 'Operation Sealion"
First bit of Sealion was to drive the British Air Force out of the air, achieve and maintain air superiority then hit the beach and hang and party in London. Easy! Great Britain's army was really hurt - many were captured in France and those who were rescued off the beaches at Dunkirk had to leave all their heavy weaponry behind.
Great Britain's mighty fleet would suffer horribly in an Armada redux at the hands of the wicked Luftwaffe if she attempted (and everyone knew she would) to stop an invasion with no air cover.
It was awful scary looking. Sir Winnie himself pointed out the war was just starting and everything depended on it.
".......the Battle of France is over. The Battle of Britain is about to begin,
upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization, upon it depends
our own British life and the long continuity of our institution and our Empire."
In the summer of 1940, 2,936 pilots took part in an historic battle against the German Luftwaffe that was to become the only battle to be fought entirely in the air (Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in 2001 was a very close 2nd), this battle has become known as; the Battle of Britain.
These brave pilots came from all walks of life, many were trained and
experienced, but most had come from civilian duties to become fighter pilots
with RAF Fighter Command. During that battle which lasted almost four months,
544 of them would lose their lives, many of them killed in action, while others
were never to be heard of again, and officially listed as missing in action. The
Battle of Britain was a prelude to the German invasion of Great Britain which
after just four months had to be abandoned because of the dedication, courage
and tenacity of those 2,936 pilots, who, against a formidable and experienced
foe and against all odds, fought only for success.
The great victory that they fought for MUST NEVER BE FORGOTTEN
And it hasn't. Even today, the spiritual sons of the Few fly and fight in the dark scary places of the world and they carry the torch of Freedom and Liberty. From aerodromes in France nearly a century ago to Basra today, the RAF is the harbinger of hope, free will and the future.
"The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout
the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen
who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger,
are turning the tide of the world war by their prowess and by their devotion.
Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."
Happy 90th BDay Royal Air Force!
From your crazy cousins across the Pond.
(Love the Bikini!)