The British Myth:The Myth of British Air Supremecy in WWII.

Essay by KyzarUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, October 2005

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The dominance of British aircraft during World War II played a major part in the survival and eventual victory of the allied forces. Predominantly two designs of aircraft were the most popular, powerful and principal aircraft in the Royal Air Force (RAF). These were the Avro Lancaster, a heavy bomber responsible for many night-time raids into Germany, and the Supermarine Spitfire, which is said to be one of the most powerful fighters of its time. These two airplanes became the embodiment of British determination and vigour during their time in the air in World War II. They became the identity of the British people, reinforcing the idea of British ingenuity, willpower, and endurance through these terrible times. To become these heroic symbols of British determination these two aircraft undertook two different but both very influential missions all in the name of mother Britain. These were the bombing of the Ruhr dams more aptly known as 'the Dambusters' by the specially selected 617 Lancaster Squadron; and the last defence of the British mainland by the RAF typically exemplified by the Supermarine Spitfire.

While these individual missions had varying physical impacts to the German armies and air force (Luftwaffe) the psychological influence that was bestowed upon the British people gave them new hope and reiterated one of Churchill's first speeches which stated that:

...we [the British people] shall fight on the seas and oceans, we [the British people] shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we [the British people] shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we [the British people] shall fight on the beaches, we [the British people] shall fight on the landing grounds, we [the British people] shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we [the British people] shall fight...