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Battle of Britain Timeline

10 July 1940
Phase one begins
Erich Raeder Commander-in-Chief of the Kriegsmarine (German Navy), told Hitler that an invasion could only be contemplated as a last resort, and only then with full air superiority.
The Luftwaffe concentrate an offensive reconnaissance during this period, attacking convoy ships in the English Channel, RDF stations and coastal towns in the planned invasion areas
Attacks on ships in the English Channel and on ports harbours and coastal areas
Luftwaffe begins to attack ships on the English Channel. Navy units, convoy units and shipping units are attacked.

11 July 1940 
Luftwaffe begins to attack ports, harbours and coastal areas. Areas attacked include Portland, Dover, Lands End, Poole, Dorset,

13 July 1940  
Luftwaffe begins to lay mines throughout Britain.

17 July 1940 
Shipping convoys attacked off Isle of Wight and Aberdeen

18 July1940
Shipping convoys attacked off Portland and Dover

19 July 1940
Shipping convoys attacked off Norfolk coast and in the English Channel

20 July 1940
Shipping convoys attacked off Dover and Swanage
Raids on Bristol, Isle Of Wight, Kent and Suffolk

21 July 1940
Heavy minelaying takes place in the South West

22 July 1940
Shipping convoys attacked off the South and East coast

23 July 1940
Attacks on Dover leading to the near destruction of the entire Defiant squadron

30 July 1940
Shipping convoys attacked off Orfordness, Clacton and Harwich

7 August 1940
Widespread night-time raids from Thames Estuary to Aberdeen and from Poole, Dorset, to Land's End and Liverpool.

8 August 1940
Phase two begins

Having tested the defences, Phase 2 of the plan was to destroy the aircraft of fighter command. The airfields of 11 Group in particular came in for heavy attacks.

9 August 1940
Shipping convoys attacked in the Straits

11 August 1940
Heavy attack on Portland, feints by fighter formations over Dover. Convoy attacks in Thames Estuary and off East Anglia

13 August 1940
Attacks on coastal airfields and radar installations
Luftwaffe begins heavy raids on Eastchurch, Portland and Southampton.
Airfields are attacked in Kent and Hampshire.

14 August 1940
Airfields and communications facilities are targeted in the South East of England, airfields and communications facilities along with airfields in the west.

17 August 1940
Airfields are attacked in Kent, Hampshire and West Sussex.
Radar station in Ventnor temporarily put out of action.
Other targets attacked in Oxfordshire, Essex and Suffolk

18 August 1940
Massed German formations return attacking airfields in the South and South East.

19 August 1940
Attacks made on aircraft factories

20 August 1940
Winston Churchill's makes his famous speech to parliament "'Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few."

24 August 1940
RAF Manston evacuated
Heavy raids on Portsmouth

28 August 1940
Major night-time attack on Liverpool
Heavy raids on London, Midlands and North East Coast

29 August 1940
Heavy raids on targets in the Midlands
Heavy night-time raids on Liverpool

30 August 1940
Heavy raids on South East Coast
Heavy raids on Luton
Heavy night-time raids on Liverpool

31 August 1940
Fighter command suffers its heaviest losses to date
Heavy raids on airfields on South and South East Coast
Heavy night-time raids on Liverpool

1 September 1940
Heavy damage to fighter command following four major attacks
Heavy night-time raids on Liverpool

3 September 1940
Heavy damage inflicted on numerous airfields all over Britain
Heavy night-time raids on Liverpool

7 September 1940
Phase three begins
Massed attacks begin on against London and other major cities as well as aircraft factories and other strategic targets. As large numbers of fighters met the day raids, the Luftwaffe switched to night bombing.
Day bombing switched to London with a series of major attacks
Heavy night-time raids on London and in particular the East End and the Docks

9 September 1940
Unsuccessful attacks on London, Thames Estuary and numerous aircraft factories
Heavy night-time raids on London and in particular the City Centre and West End

11 September 1940
Three large raids in the south-east, including London. Portsmouth and Southampton attacked. German invasion postponed until the 14 September
Heavy night-time raids on London and Merseyside

15 September 1940
Heavy attacks on London, broken up by Fighter Command
Highest German losses since 18 August [185 claimed by the RAF] forces a serious rethink by the German High Command.
This day marks a point from which the Luftwaffe gradually are forced to scale down their attacks

17 September 1940
German land invasion postponed until further notice

18 September 1940
During day-time London and Merseyside bombed
During night-time heavy damage inflicted upon London

24 September 1940
Day-time attacks on Tilbury and Southampton
Night-time attacks on London

26 September 1940
Supermarine Spitfire factory at Southampton attacked and detroyed

30 September 1940
Night time attacks continue throughout London

6 October 1940
Phase four begins
Heavy bomber raids continued against cities at night. During the day fighter-bombers flew nuisance raids against coastal towns, airfields and other military targets. The raids petered out as the weather worsened

7 October 1940
The RAF's first electronic warfare unit is formed

10 October 1940
Day-time raids over Kent, London suburbs and Weymouth
Night-time raids throughout London and Manchester and fifteen airfields attacked

19 October 1940
Night-time raids on London, Liverpool, the Midlands and Bristol

21 October 1940
Sporadic day-time raids on London, Liverpool and the West Country
Night-time bombing of London, Wolverhampton, Coventry, Birmingham and Liverpool

22 October 1940
Night-time attacks on London, Coventry and Liverpool attacked

23 October 1940
Attacks on London and Glasgow. Minelaying off the Yorkshire coast

26 October 1940
Fighter bomber raids on London and Kent
Raids on London, the Midlands, Manchester and Liverpool

31 October 1940
Battle of Britain gradually comes to an end although the bombing of Britain would continue for years to come

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