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Could Hitler have won the Battle of Britain ?

Posted on Saturday, 11 January, 2020 | Comment icon 18 comments

The Spitfire was a staple of the RAF's defense efforts. Image Credit: PD - Royal Air Force
Mathematicians have used statistical models to calculate how different WW2 strategies would have played out.
The Battle of Britain - which saw a relatively small number of Royal Air Force (RAF) planes defend the skies over the UK against the much larger force of Germany's Luftwaffe - is often regarded to be one of the most pivotal moments of the Second World War.

But what if Hitler had tried a different tactic - would it have ever been possible for him to win ?

Now in a renewed effort to answer this question, mathematicians from the University of York have used statistical models to determine the likely outcome of various alternative strategies.

"The weighted bootstrap technique allowed us to model alternative campaigns in which the Luftwaffe prolongs or contracts the different phases of the battle and varies its targets," said Dr. Jamie Wood.
The results of the analysis suggested that if the Luftwaffe had started its attack 3 months earlier and had focused on Britain's airfields instead of its cities, the outcome would have been very different.

If the likelihood of the RAF's success was 50% in the real battle, these changes would have reduced the chances of a victory over the Luftwaffe to a mere 10%.

"It demonstrates just how finely-balanced the outcomes of some of the biggest moments of history were," said Professor Niall Mackay.

"Even when we use the actual days' events of the battle, make a small change of timing or emphasis to the arrangement of those days and things might have turned out very differently."

Source: Phys.org | Comments (18)

Tags: World War II, Battle of Britain

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #9 Posted by RabidMongoose on 11 January, 2020, 19:50
The Germans sank most of our navy resulting in the Americans giving us their old ships. We lost over 100 vessels including destroyers, cruisers, submarines, and several aircraft carriers. All the Germans would have needed to do is have the Luftwaffe over the English Channel sinking our ships and an invasion would have been pretty easy.
Comment icon #10 Posted by RoofGardener on 11 January, 2020, 19:55
Indeed @RabidMongoose. But to accomplish THAT, the Luftwaffe would first have to have air supremacy. THAT is what Hitler was aiming for. 
Comment icon #11 Posted by Grey Area on 11 January, 2020, 19:57
Yeah the Royal Navy was precisely why Germany didn’t and couldn’t invade.   And the Luftwaffe was grossly misused by the idiot in command of it. The first 2 years of the war were simply a dark comedy of errors.  Hitler hadn’t intended the Blitzkrieg to go as far as it did, and the commander of the mechanised push disobeyed hitlers orders, leaving the infantry dangerously exposed.  At one point the entire German Infantry were stuck on a single stretch of road, if the Allied forces would have just rallied they could have literally stopped the entire occupation of Europe, but that intelligence wa... [More]
Comment icon #12 Posted by Troublehalf on 11 January, 2020, 22:53
This has been done before and it has been largely accepted had Goering stuck to his plan of bombing airfields; he would have won. Originally the British were in the upper-had, but a change in tactics to bomb radar stations followed by airfields lead to a near collapse. But an unfortunately bomb landing on London gave Churchill an excuse to bomb Berlin. Which incited Hitler and he ordered the bombing of British cities, which in turn gave the British a chance to repair the airfields, repair the radar stations and build up more fighter aircraft. Regardless, 'the Blitz' was a night time thing and ... [More]
Comment icon #13 Posted by hetrodoxly on 11 January, 2020, 23:21
'If' the 'Battle of Britain' had been lost Germany would have won WW2.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Habitat on 12 January, 2020, 0:07
Coulda, shoulda, woulda...…..There are endless permutations of possibilities. I think it fair to say that the Battle of Britain, was not an all-out effort by Germany, but the British defence was. Hitler was already fighting on two fronts, at least in his own head. He was mindful of the need not to totally expend his air arm attempting to neutralize Britain, as it would leave nothing in the way of air assets to use in the looming Russian adventure. Or at least, might have made an invasion in 1941, impossible. A year's delay would not have assisted Germany. As it was, the Luftwaffe took heavy lo... [More]
Comment icon #15 Posted by Aaron2016 on 12 January, 2020, 0:26
If the Nazis had taken Dunkirk sooner and captured the British armed forces before they had time to escape, would Churchill accept peace with Germany, or stand down and allow his successor to negotiate peace?  Is it true that Rudolf Hess flew to Britain during the war to try and negotiate peace with the Royal family and several aristocrats who had influence in the government?   In 1942 there was a vote of no-confidence called against Churchill, but he won with a clear majority.  If Hess had succeeded, would that majority have been crushed?  Soon after Churchill won that vote the Duke of Kent w... [More]
Comment icon #16 Posted by hetrodoxly on 12 January, 2020, 9:35
'If' there hadn't been a counter attack 'the 2nd battle of Arras' stopping Rommel and causing him to make the decision to wait for his stretched out supply lines to catch up the troops wouldn't have been rescued.   
Comment icon #17 Posted by Tom1200 on 12 January, 2020, 17:16
If... late July 1888... there'd been something better on Austrian telly that night... Alois and Klara might have stayed up later and then been too tired to make babies.
Comment icon #18 Posted by South Alabam on 20 January, 2020, 23:32
Hitler constantly ignored the advice of his Generals, so it is doubtful there could have been a different outcome.

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