Battle of Britains Hidden History To Be Revealed

Free Event 11th and 12th September

The Royal Air Force Museum London, the former site of RAF Hendon, is to examine the hidden history of the Battle of Britain, this September, as part of an open air living history festival dedicated to ‘The Few’.

As part of the weekend’s programme of events Sunday Times bestselling historian Patrick Bishop will explore the myths and realities of the Battle of Britain, examining the legends that have grown around ‘The Few’, the Spitfire and Winston Churchill; with members of the public welcome to join in the debate and question Patrick about mistaken common beliefs held by the public.

On the Saturday, he will be joined by Roger Moorhouse, the author of ‘Berlin at War’, to debate ‘The Battle of Britain – From Both Sides’. Here both historians will explore whether it was RAF determination and the ingenuity of British scientists that prevented invasion against a numerically superior enemy force or whether it was a lack of comprehension by Luftwaffe Commanders of the strategic importance RADAR and the RAF that enabled British Forces to claim victory in this campaign.

Further talks given by members of the Museum’s Department of Research and Information Services will explore the many challenges – including language – that had to be negotiated by the most successful Squadron of the campaign, 303 (Polish) Squadron in the talk ‘Repeat Please’. Whilst in ‘September 15th’ the museum explores this tumultuous day in 1940 and asks whether it was a pivotal to the outcome of the campaign as some historians believe.

Members of the public are invited, after each talk, to ask questions and to further debate each talk’s conclusions with each presenter. Additionally, the museum will be showing throughout the weekend, in the museum’s cinema, rare archive footage from the Battle of Britain – including ‘ White Eagle’ which examines the Polish contribution to the campaign and ‘Fighter Pilot’ which follows the day in the life of an actual Battle of Britain Squadron, during the campaign.

As part of the weekend activities, members of the public will be able to interact with re-enactors and question them on their roles and to witness a Scramble, as it would have been executed at RAF Hendon in 1940.

The Battle of Britain Weekend runs at the Royal Air Force Museum 11th and 12th of September from 11am to 5pm. The site itself is open from 10am to 6pm. Admission to the museum and to the Battle of Britain Weekend is free of charge. For further details, visit www.rafmuseum.org/whatson or call 020 8205 2266.

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