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Britain and World War II

BBC History : World War Two : Hitler's Invasion of Russia
To explain the reasons behind Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union, Laurence Rees examines Germany's failed plans to invade Britain in an extract from the first chapter of his book War of the Century. This BBC site goes on to give a more detailed explanation of Hitler's invasion of Russia and offers a vast array of links to other WWII-related topics.

"Thus Perished Operation Sea Lion"
On this Winston Churchill Web site, maintained by the Churchill Center and Societies, Sir Winston Churchill recounts in detail the day he calls "the crux of the Battle of Britain" in an excerpt from his collection of speeches, Their Finest Hour. Churchill describes the events immediately before September 15, 1940, and the action that occurred on that day, notably the air defense organized against the German attacks which ultimately led to Hitler's postponement and later discontinuation of his planned attack on Britain, Operation Sea Lion.

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British Royal Air Force

The Royal Air Force
The British Royal Air Force Internet site. The extensive section on RAF history includes a gallery of historical photographs from the service archives, a timeline that traces the history of aviation and the Royal Air Force, and a section devoted to the histories of the various branches of the RAF.

The Battle of Britain: Recollections
Extracted from the Imperial War Museum's substantial collection of WWII interviews, this page offers a selection of reminiscences of RAF pilots who fought in the Battle of Britain. Read the text or listen to the pilots themselves with RealPlayer.

The Battle of Britain
This Canadian National Defense site details the Battle of Britain and the role played by the British Royal Air Force in the battle, and also examines the involvement of Canadian airmen in the war.

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Evacuations

Remembering the Way It Was: Evacuations
This site from the Battle of Britain Historical Society is a rich source of information on the evacuations of mothers, children, and the elderly from London during the Blitz in 1940. It includes descriptions of the journeys undertaken, from the arrangements made to the baggage allowed; a chart showing the areas from and to where children were evacuated; and personal accounts from evacuees and information on overseas evacuations.

Evacuation in the Second World War, 1938-1940
A small but arresting online gallery of photos documenting the evacuations that took place in London during World War II. From the Corporation of London and the London Metropolitan Archives.

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Sir Oswald Mosley's Fascist Party in Britain

Sir Oswald Ernald Mosley
This reference offers a brief biography of British fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley. From the Columbia Encyclopedia.

Morally Handicapped by Brooke Allen
Journalist Brooke Allen summarizes the life and loves of Diana Mitford in a review of Jan Dalley's biography Diana Mosley. Attention is given to the roles Oswald Mosley, fascism, and Nazi relations played in her life. This article appeared in the April 2000 edition of The New Criterion, a monthly online "review of the arts and intellectual life."

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Radar as a Military Tool

The History of Radar
The BBC has put together a useful compilation of facts about the history of radar, including everything from bats to multicolored radars. There is a substantial section devoted to the use of radar in World War II, as well as clickable keywords throughout that link to pages offering more details on the various topics.

The Chain Home Radar System
The first-ever operational radar system, called the Chain Home radar, was pioneered in World War II. This article, from the GEC Journal of Research, describes the RAF Chain Home air-defense radar system, examining its construction and performance in a scientific but accessible format. This is an in-depth site with links to "all you ever wanted to know about British Air Defense Radar, from Chain Home to the present day."

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Bibliography

Bickers, Richard Townshend. Battle of Britain. London: Salamander Books, Ltd., 2000.

Churchill, Winston. Memoirs of the Second World War. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1991.

Lovell, Bernard. Echoes of War: The Story of H2S Radar. New York: American Institute of Physics, 1991.

Richey, Paul. Fighter Pilot. Cassell Military Paperbacks series. London: Cassell & Co., 2001.

Wellum, Geoffrey. First Light: The True Story of the Boy Who Became a Man in the War-Torn Skies Above Britain. London: Viking, 2002.



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