Posts Tagged ‘commemorates’

Battle of Britain flypast commemorates 75 years since the ‘Hardest Day’

August 18th, 2015

The ‘Hardest Day’ recalls when, on 18 August 1940, Biggin Hill in Bromley came under attack from the Luftwaffe, and post-war studies have shown this was the hardest-fought day in the history of the air war over Britain.

On this day, both sides recorded their greatest losses in battle. Germany flew 850 sorties involving 2200 aircrew, and the RAF sent out 927 sorties in return.

The RAF lost altogether 68 aircraft – 31 in air combat. 69 German planes were destroyed.

Wartime reinactors attend the Commemoration of The Hardest Day at London Biggin Hill Airport Picture: Alamy

At Biggin Hill, World War Two re-enactors and veterans of the Battle of Britain assembled with many who came to watch the skies.

• Battle of Britain: the spitfire, envy of the enemy
The 20 greatest battles in British history

Veteran Tony Pickering said that he would like to fly again, saying “I’d be up there with them”.

He was one of 3,000 people – known as The Few – to fly in the Battle of Britain to keep control of the skies against the Germans.

Battle of Britain veteran, Squadron Leader Tony Pickering from Rugby, who fought alongside fellow WWII RAF airmen known as The Few Picture: PA

Air raid sirens went off as the 24 aircraft took off to make their three routes, which follow the journeys made by three pilots 75 years ago to Portsmouth, Dover and RAF Kenley.

World War II Spitfires take to the skies over Biggin Hill Picture: PA

This flight was named after Wing Commander Douglas Grice, who was awarded a medal for destroying so many German planes and was shot down three times during the six weeks’ fighting.

• Battle of Britain pilot: ‘You were always outnumbered’
‘I enjoyed the Battle of Britain’ – The Few gather for 75th anniversary

An Airbus A380 passes overhead as World War II Spitfires and Hurricanes take to the skies over Kent Picture: PA


World War Two

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Europe commemorates anniversary of outbreak of Second World War

September 4th, 2014

Hitler used the raid as a pretext to launch his invasion of Poland on the next day, and two days later Great Britain and France, abiding to pledge to support Poland, declared war on Germany.

The outbreak of war in Europe provided British journalist Clare Hollingworth with the “scoop of a lifetime”.

Writing for The Daily Telegraph and staying not far from Gliwice she witnessed German tanks crossing the southern Polish frontier in the early hours of September 1, even holding her telephone out of the window to convince sceptical diplomats at the British embassy in Warsaw that the invasion had actually started.


The Telegraph report on the massing tanks

War came formally to Great Britain at 11 o’clock in the morning of September 3 when a dejected Neville Chamberlain informed the public that London had told Berlin that unless it delivered a pledge to withdraw its forces from Poland a state of war would exist.

“I have to tell you now no such undertaking has been received so consequently this country is at with Germany,” stated the prime minister.

In an editorial from The Telegraph the following day the paper stated Britain had entered the war “in the single belief that the Nazi creed and the existence of freedom for the weaker peoples of the earth cannot exist together; that the one must be stamped out if the other is to survive.”

World War 2 anniversary: The Scoop

World War 2: pictures from the day war broke out

World War 2: ‘We all had a piece of Hitler’s desk’

World War 2 anniversary: the first shot

World War 2: Britain takes up the Nazi challenge to save liberty itself


World War Two

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