The Battle of Britain: And the American Factor, July-October 1940

The Battle of Britain: And the American Factor, July-October 1940

The Battle of Britain: And the American Factor, July-October 1940

The Battle of Britain: And the American Factor, July-October 1940

Synopsis

This is a fresh account of the outstanding and crucial clash between the RAF and the Luftwaffe, drawing on new sources and including much new material on the opposing forces.

Excerpt

"...he mobilized the English language and sent it into battle."
President John F. Kennedy, proclaiming Winston Churchill an honorary citizen
of the United States. 9 April, 1963.

Mention the Battle of Britain to most Americans, and likely response will be something like: "Oh, I know. Winston Churchill. "Their Finest Hour." Spitfires and Messerschmitts. The Luftwaffe against the Royal Air Force." If anyone mentioned the fact that the Battle is as much a part of American history as it is Britain's "Finest Hour," our average American would probably be very surprised. But in fact, the battle, its outcome, the way in which it was fought, and especially the way in which it was reported to Americans, had as much of an effect upon America's future as it had upon Britain's.

The Battle of Britain pushed Americans out of their isolationist cocoon, kicking and screaming, into what has become known as "the international arena." Before the battle, America had been stridently neutral; by the time it ended, the U.S. had been led into participation in the war, and had begun its role as a world power.

In July 1940, when the battle was just starting, the United States was still bound by two of the three Neutrality Acts that had passed through Congress in the 1930s. These acts had been designed to keep the country from involvement in any "entangling alliances," to use Thomas Jefferson's phrase, and were . . .

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