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'Never in the field of human conflict
was so much owed by so many
to so few'
Winston Churchill

The Battle of Britain took place as a result of Adolf Hitler’s call for the subjugation of the RAF by the Luftwaffe. The destruction of the RAF would allow the German forces to cross the Channel, land men and equipment and maintain communications during the operation. It would also open up the Royal Navy to attack. The RAF depended on the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and volunteer pilots of the Commonwealth and other nationalities to augment its numbers. Twenty-five South Africans also served in the RAF during this period. The Battle of Britain was over at the end of October 1940, when the Luftwaffe switched targets away from the airfields and concentrated on the night bombing of London and industrial centres in the Midlands. This came to be known as the Blitz, which continued through the winter of 1940/41, terrorising the civilian population. It, too, ended eventually, with the German invasion of the Soviet Union and the need for aircraft on that front.