On this day 18th August 1940, 75 years ago the hardest day of the Battle of britain was fought.
'On this day the Luftwaffe tried its utmost to destroy our fighter airfields flying 850 sorties involving 2200 aircrew. The RAF resisted with equal vigour flying 927 sorties involving 600 aircrew.'
More here RAF museum: The Hardest Day
The few consisted of 2,353 British pilots and various other nations as below (In order of number of pilots) More here: Non-British personnel in the RAF during the Battle of Britain
|New Zealand||127 or 135|
|Czechoslovakia||84 or 88|
|Belgium||28 or 30|
|Australia||26 or 32|
|South Africa||22 or 25|
|France||13 or 14|
|United States||9 or 11|
|Southern Rhodesia||3 or 4|
Part of Churchill's speech on 20 August 1940 - More Here
'The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the World War by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. All hearts go out to the fighter pilots, whose brilliant actions we see with our own eyes day after day, but we must never forget that all the time, night after night, month after month, our bomber squadrons travel far into Germany, find their targets in the darkness by the highest navigational skill, aim their attacks, often under the heaviest fire, often with serious loss, with deliberate, careful discrimination, and inflict shattering blows upon the whole of the technical and war-making structure of the Nazi power. On no part of the Royal Air Force does the weight of the war fall more heavily than on the daylight bombers who will play an invaluable part in the case of invasion and whose unflinching zeal it has been necessary in the meanwhile on numerous occasions to restrain…'
— Winston Churchill