A Necessary Victory? The Context and Consequences of the Battle of Britain

A Conference to be held at the Royal Air Force Museum in conjunction with the University of Exeter and the British Commission for Military History

Saturday 26 September

Twenty-fifteen marks the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain. Through iconic images such as Guy Hamilton’s 1969 film The Battle of Britain, the Battle maintains a specific place in British collective memory. Furthermore, the Battle of Britain is one of the most celebrated events in the history of the Royal Air Force due to the role of Fighter Command in defending the nation against the threat of invasion in 1940. Recently, however, historians have begun to question some of the myths that surround this important event in British history.

This conference aims to reassess these myths and the Battle of Britain’s contribution to victory in the Second World War. Areas to be considered include: new approaches to understanding the history of the Battle of Britain; how historians’ understandings of the Battle of Britain have changed; the role of the other services in preparing for invasion; how Germany viewed the Battle of Britain and the importance of Operation Seelowe; the legacy and consequence of the Battle of Britain.

The conference consists of an exciting line-up of speakers covering a wide-range of areas, such as the role of Bomber Command and the Royal Navy during the Battle as well as considering the views of the German and Italian militaries. The conference will also consider some of the consequences of the Battle. The conference will also feature two-keynote lectures. The first, delivered by Dr Helen Doe, will cover the challenges and opportunities for biographers of Battle of Britain personnel. The second keynote, delivered by Dr Garry Campion, will consider the valorisation of the Battle of Britain.

Registration costs is £50 for a full delegate and £25 for students. A copy of the provisional programme and booking form can be found here.

Any questions then please email ross.mahoney@rafmuseum.org

Conference Organisers

Dr Ross Mahoney (Royal Air Force Museum)

Professor Richard Overy (University of Exeter)


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