Battle of Britain

The Battle of Britain was recognized almost immediately as a significant event. Waged from July to October 1940, it pitted a small group of fighter pilots from around the world against a far larger Luftwaffe. Their victory gave hope to the people of Great Britain and to other freedom-loving nations. History

Battle of Britain London Monument

Battle of Britain London Monument

80th Anniversary

Virtual ceremony
Sunday, September 20, 2020
10:30 A.M. EDT

Fly-past of Second World War aircraft, weather permitting.

info icon Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the RCAF invites you to watch this year’s wreath laying and small ceremony, hosted at the Beechwood National Military Cemetery, on the RCAF Facebook page.

Battle of Britain: Did you know?

On September 15, the Germans launched a massive attack but, although the fighting was fierce, the Royal Air Force (RAF), using new tactics, was victorious.

Two days later, Hitler postponed the invasion; he never again considered it seriously. By the end of September, the Battle of Britain came to an end without fanfare. It was the first military confrontation won by air power and Germany’s first defeat in the war.

Battle of Britain Webpage

News and articles

Six men wearing military uniforms with belted tunics, stand in a row.

The Battle of Britain: The RCAF gains new leadership

Many Canadian fighter pilots who fought in the Battle of Britain put their knowledge and experience, gained during the crucial battle, to excellent use as they provided foundational leadership for new squadrons over the following years of the war.
September 13, 2019

A group of pilots of No. 303 Polish Fighter Squadron walk towards the camera from a Hawker Hurricane after returning from a fighter sortie on October 24, 1940.

Battle of Britain profile of courage: John Alexander Kent and the RAF’s Polish fighter pilots

In 1940, John Alexander Kent, a Canadian, was posted to RAF Northolt as a flight commander with the Royal Air Force’s newly-formed No. 303 Polish Squadron.
September 12, 2019

A head and shoulders photo of a man wearing a military tunic with tie. Near his left lapel are wings and several military medal ribbons.

Last Canadian Battle of Britain pilot “slips the surly bonds of earth”

John Stewart Hart, the last surviving Canadian Battle of Britain pilot, died in June 2019 at the age of 102.
September 9, 2019

During the Battle of Britain parade held on Parliament Hill on September 16, 1956, the colour party marches past the saluting base in front of the Peace Tower.

The origins of the Battle of Britain ceremony

Each year, on the third Sunday of September, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) celebrates Battle of Britain Sunday. But what was the original purpose behind the ceremony, and when did it start?
September 8, 2019

a downed enemy aircraft in southern England

Unrealistic expectations: The Luftwaffe’s doomed mission during the Battle of Britain - Part 2

Unrealistic expectations: The Luftwaffe’s doomed mission during the Battle of Britain.
September 8, 2019

Hurricanes and Spitfires

Unrealistic expectations: The Luftwaffe’s doomed mission during the Battle of Britain - Part I

Unrealistic expectations: The Luftwaffe’s doomed mission during the Battle of Britain.
September 8, 2019

In a black and white photograph, six uniformed men stand in a line and face the camera.

Check Six! The Battle of Britain in hindsight

More than 100 Canadians are deemed to have participated in the Battle of Britain, and 23 lost their lives. A Royal Canadian Air Force squadron fought during the Battle; No. 1 (RCAF) Squadron, whose pilots were from both a regular force unit and an auxiliary unit, became operational on August 17, 1940.
September 6, 2019

Three men.

Battle of Britain veteran marks 100th birthday

Flying Officer (retired) Ralph Wild was an instrument repair technician during the Battle of Britain. On September 27, 2018, he turned 100 and among those who sent him birthday wishes was the commander of the RCAF.
October 3, 2018

A man stands behind a podium.

Battle of Britain heroes honoured in National Capital Region

The RCAF’s national ceremony honouring those who participated in the Battle of Britain 77 years ago was held at Vintage Wings of Canada in Gatineau, Quebec, on September 17, 2017.
October 13, 2017

A woman wearing a medium-blue uniform stands at attention at the right front corner of a tall memorial topped with a statue and backed by trees.

RCAF marks 77th anniversary of the Battle of Britain throughout Canada

RCAF personnel mark the 77th anniversary of the Battle of Britain throughout Canada
October 12, 2017

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