“Sea Lion” plan failure: how armed Germany did not conquer the Islands

Dear diligent English learners, today’s topic is a historical one and will help you learn new vocabulary and terminology. Moreover, it will familiarize you with the events that have shaped our country into what it is today.

When WWII started, Adolf Hitler had a plan to quickly conquer Europe. He set his sights on the UK and, together with his strategists, created an air attack plan codenamed “Sea Lion.” The aim was to destroy the British fleet and weaken their air forces and defenses. After France fell in no time, this seemed entirely possible. From July 10 to October 31, 1940, German bombers attacked sea and land targets, weakening the Islands’ defenses. Allied forces from around the world came to help, and the UK’s response was an incredible sacrifice to stop Germany’s military advance. The air forces played a crucial defense role. Thousands of pilots flew jet fighters, and many battles took place in the sky. Every bomber that entered British territory resulted in civilian casualties and breaches that pilots were all too familiar with.

In one of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s popular speeches, he said – a phrase that remains etched in people’s minds – that throughout historical wartime conflicts, “never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” He was referring to the British fighter pilots, who hailed from various nations including Britain, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Poland, America, South Africa, and France. 3000 pilots joined the Royal Air Force (RAF), supported by a substantial land force, including many civilian military volunteers. The aircraft they flew are legendary, including the Hurricane and Spitfire fighters. An advanced-for-its-time radar system was used for defense against attacks, along with communication specialists who predicted the locations of future attacks. German bombers were tracked often from the beginning of their flights to prevent significant military and civilian damage to the British Isles.

After months of trying, Hitler abandoned his plan to clear a path to Britain for his infantry and Luftwaffe (German air forces). Following numerous lost battles, he shifted focus to bombing London until 1941. The Battle of Great Britain was successful but at a high cost; it claimed the lives of many experienced pilots who became heroes. 544 brave fighter pilots died, and 700 more would perish before the end of the war. Aces like Douglas Bader, “Sailor” Malan, and Erick Lock, along with many others, are enshrined in the Pantheon of Heroes from WWII.

To learn more about these fearful and heroic times, history enthusiasts can search ‘Battle of Britain’ online.


Author: Iveta Radeva

Training Centre Raya London is a new and fastly developing English Language School specialized in teaching English as a second language. Founded in 2015 we are small enough to provide a personal service, but large enough to have very good facilities and resources for the students to learn English in UK.