Battle of Britain London Monument
London, England
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September 15, 2010: Today is the day when annually we remember and give thanks for the Victory won by the RAF Fighter Command in the 1940 Battle of Britain. This year the embrace and reflection has gone on all year since it is the 70th Anniversary of that momentous conflict in the skies. Especially as the men who flew the spitfires and hurricanes are in their late 80's and 90's and time is taking toll of their numbers, in today's paper were the obits of yet three more.

But it wasn't just the pilots - the few - on whom the battle depended it involved the entire population both in uniform and civilians of all sorts. The national resilience gave the lie to Hitler's assertion that bombing would bring them to their knees and they would sue for peace. Through spring and early summer the overwhelming might of the Luftwaffe concentrated on the airfields, radar, dockyards and military installations. In late summer the onslaught changed to the cities and civilian populations ports, transport and terror. In mid September the Luftwaffe suffered it's greatest losses and soon Hitler abandoned his planned invasion of England.

The Battle of Britain London Monument consists of two massive granite walls and is located on the Victoria Embankment on the north side of the Thames, between the RAF memorial and Westminster bridge and Big Ben. It was designed and sculpted by Paul Day.

One of the most famous quotes by Prime Minister Sir Winston S. Churchill adorns the monument.

Bronze plaques record the names of RAF crewmen "The Few" and other nationals who flew with the RAF and the Squadrons involved.

More panels showing the names of "The Few" and the squadrons involved.

Close-up of the center of the monument, the shout "SCRAMBLE" brought the standby fighter pilots pell mell to their aircraft, the ground crews had the engines running and the planes warmed up which was critical to the RAF success in the battle.

Another view of the center of the Battle of Britain London Monument.
(All photos and text courtesy of Robert Edmonds)
© 2010 Robert Edmonds all rights reserved

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Page published Sept. 29, 2010