"Hitler knows that he will have to beat us in this island or lose the war. If we manage to resist him, all Europe may be free and life in the world can progress to larger and sunny situations. But if we fail, the whole world, including the United States, including all that we know and that is important, sink into the abyss of a new era of darkness, turned into something more sinister and perhaps more desperate, the lights of a perverted science. For this reason, we accept our duties and prepare us for mo that if the British Empire and itsCommonwealth get there for another thousand years, men continue saying: 'This was his moment of glory.' "- Winston Churchill (06/18/1940)
With these words, uttered in the House of Commons on June 18, 1940, which strengthened the Winston Churchill British citizens for the great ordeal: the Battle of Britain. What were Adolf Hitler's plans to invade England? The basic plan was Operation Sea Lion. He intended to pave the way for a seaborne invasion by destroying Fighter Command. When the number of casualties has increased considerably, the Germans have forgotten your aim and began to unleash attacks on London and other UK cities, usually in an operation known as Blitz.
The Germans set aside an army of about twenty divisions for this operation. One may question if the fleet was organized by them suitable to transport the army, to the extent that the German navy had suffered serious casualties during the campaign in Norway and was not able to escort the troops even along the sea route shorter than it is now known to have been chosen. Obviously, the safe disembarkation of the soldiers of the Luftwaffe depended more than the small German navy. Once ashore, they would face about 25 divisions, all in good condition, but with a serious lack of modern weapons, transportation and tanks. Despite their morale is very high, this army was not so experienced and so well trained as the German. Moreover, the army was scattered from Kent to Cromarty, unable to know the place of landing of the enemy. For a long time, the east coast seemed to be the most likely location. However, it was possible that there were several landings simultaneously. The possibility of landings by air should be taken into account, although there are no conditions for the paratroopers and the impact they could cause confusion that had spread to the Netherlands.
The Corps of Local Defense (which shortly after came to be called the Home Guard) was created one evening in the month of May, and although at first armed with rifles and even old spears, was not of great value to the defense of vulnerable points. Its ranks were filled with resolute veterans of the war of 1914-18, which, undoubtedly, had made a brave and courageous behavior. The UK and its empire were now virtually alone. Moreover, the country could not employ all its scarce resources in the defense of the British Isles, because there was a need to maintain its position abroad, mainly in the Mediterranean.
But it lacked allies in the UK, this continued to be friends with the U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. There was at that time no desire by Americans to proclaim: England is defeated.However, President Roosevelt had an important role in providing the following weapons:
- 500,000 rifles;
- 80,000 machine guns;
- 130 million sets of ammunition;
- 900 guns 75 mm and
- 100,000,000 grenade;
Besides all this, the UK still had about two hundred tanks operational.
The British Army struggled the most in their preparations against a possible invasion by the Germans. Many officers of proven ability, Generals Sir John Dill and Sir Alan Brooke, held the key positions of Chief of Imperial General Staff and commander in chief of metropolitan forces. Although he spent a long time before the army could move to the offensive, but as a guarantee of better times come, the commands were formed in order to deliver attacks anywhere between Narvik and Bayonne. No one need doubt that, with the mood prevailing in 1940, the British would have faced a German invasion with an obstinate fury. Still, it was great that the English army did not have to face the Wehrmacht in the fields of Kent. Keitel and other high officers of the armed forces of the German High Command were convinced, after the French armistice, that Britain was willing to negotiate terms of peace. It was a sign of how badly they knew the temper of the British people.