历史Essay结构:Factors that Determined the Outcome of the Battle of Britain

发布时间:2022-04-12 11:56:33 论文编辑:zeqian1013

本文是历史专业Essay范例,题目是“Factors that Determined the Outcome of the Battle of Britain(决定不列颠之战胜负的因素)”,1940年7月10日至10月31日,不列颠之战被描述为第一次完全由空军参与的主要战役这是德国为了把英国赶出战争而做出的努力的结果,无论是直接通过海上入侵还是威胁,都迫使英国求和为了取得这些成功,德国空军必须获得对英国皇家空军(RAF)的空中优势,这是德国人未能实现的目标。

The Battle of Britain has been described as the first major battle contested entirely by air forces, fought between 10th July and 31st October 1940.[1]  It resulted from German efforts to drive Britain out of the war, whether directly by seaborne invasion or by its threat,[2] forcing Britain to sue for peace.[3]   For these efforts to succeed the Luftwaffe had to attain air superiority over the Royal Air Force (RAF), which objective the Germans failed to achieve.

This essay will argue that British air defence organisation and the ability to maintain effective forces combined with inadequate German intelligence were the key factors in determining the result.  It will consider the world’s first Integrated Air Defence System (IADS), the Dowding System,[4] enabling Fighter Command to effectively control the deployment of its resources and manage its assets such that it never reached the point of collapse.  It will analyse British success in achieving levels of aircraft production and serviceability that prevented the Luftwaffe from establishing effective numerical superiority.  Finally the failure of the Germans to secure accurate intelligence of RAF aircraft numbers, losses and deployments will be considered, together with the effect of this upon Luftwaffe planning, strategy and tactics and in encouraging the overconfidence of its leadership.

A key factor in the outcome of the battle was the RAF’s effective use of its IADS, which gave Fighter Command the ability to ‘see, control and influence what was happening using the maximum economy of force’.[5] Central to this was the Chain Home system of Radio Direction and Finding (RDF) stations which by 1940 covered the length of Britain’s eastern and southern coasts from the Orkneys to Weymouth. These could provide early warning of incoming enemy aircraft at ranges of up to 200 miles, or 110 miles for low flying aircraft.[6]

战斗结果的一个关键因素是皇家空军对IADS的有效使用,这使战斗机司令部能够“使用最大的兵力经济来观察、控制和影响正在发生的事情”其中最重要的是无线电定位系统(RDF),到1940年,该系统覆盖了从奥克尼群岛到韦茅斯的整个英国东部和南部海岸。它们可以对200英里范围内的来袭敌机提供早期预警,对低空飞行的飞机提供110英里范围内的来袭预警

The aerials of the Chain Home stations did not rotate, a broad beam of radio pulses being transmitted to 'floodlight' a fixed area of sea approaches.  The Chain Home Low (used to identify low flying aircraft) aerials did rotate, however their signals were affected by returns from the land surface.[7]  Therefore once enemy aircraft crossed the coast and moved inland they were unsighted by the RDF stations and hence responsibility for tracking them was passed to the Observer Corps.

历史essay范例

In 1940 there were 30,000 observers continuously manning 1,000 observation posts, largely made up of volunteers self-trained in aircraft recognition and height estimation.[8]  While the system worked well in good weather the observers struggled in rain or low cloud, however the Observer Corps constituted the sole means of tracking enemy raids once they had crossed the coastline.  Supplemented by low-level radio interception based around the RAF wireless interception station at Cheadle (taking advantage of the slack radio discipline frequently displayed by German aircrew),[9] information on incoming aircraft was sent by landline to Fighter Command headquarters or, in the case of the Observer Corps, to Sector Stations (i.e. airfields) and Group Headquarters.

The cumulative effect of these multiple sources of intelligence was to create a network of information that could be internally compared for consistency, one source confirming, refuting or supporting another, to build a composite picture of enemy activity.  The IADS information network had such an effective flow of secure intelligence it allowed Fighter Command the crucial time to flexibly organise responses to German attacks.[10] This gave the RAF an essential counter to the element of surprise enjoyed by an enemy who could pick and choose when and where to attack.

这些多种情报来源的累积效果是建立了一个信息网络,可以在内部进行一致性比较,一个情报来源证实、反驳或支持另一个情报来源,从而建立一个敌方活动的综合画面。IADS信息网络有如此有效的安全情报流,它使战斗机司令部有关键的时间灵活地组织对德国攻击的反应这为皇家空军提供了一个必要的反击手段,以对抗敌人的出其不意,因为敌人可以选择攻击的时间和地点。

The heart of the system lay in the Filter Room at Fighter Command headquarters, where information on incoming aircraft was relayed by landline from RDF stations.  Here plots were recorded and once the track of incoming aircraft was clearly established information would be relayed in turn to Group Headquarters and individual Sector Stations.  Group commanders decided which of their sectors to activate while Sector Station commanders selected which squadrons should fly on a particular operation. The whole process, from target discovery to aircraft deployment, was intended to take only minutes however without speed and clear instructions based on accurate and timely information the system could not be effective and for this the IADS was critical.

As a result Fighter Command no longer needed constant airborne patrols to track the enemy and could use the minimum assets necessary for an interception.[11] The effectiveness of the RAF squadrons was thus increased, with pilot flying hours reduced and aircraft and fuel usage minimised, maximising the efficient utilisation of personnel and aircraft.[12]

因此,战斗机司令部不再需要持续的空中巡逻来跟踪敌人,并可以使用最低限度的必要资产进行拦截皇家空军中队的效能因此得到提高,飞行员飞行时间减少,飞机和燃料的使用降至最低,人员和飞机的有效利用达到最大化

The effectiveness of the IADS was supported by the maintenance of operational aircraft numbers.  Despite advances in monoplane aircraft technology prior to the war which greatly increased the speed, reach and potential of air power the British aircraft industry had been unable to properly exploit these developments due to years of austerity and disarmament.[13]  Great strides were made, however, to enable British aircraft production to catch up with Germany’s by the outbreak of war.

The Air Minister, Lord Swinton, introduced a scheme to generate a reserve of productive capacity by creating ‘shadow factories’ across Britain that would be provided with all the resources necessary to establish a functional production line by their ‘parent’ firms.[14] Increased aircraft production was supported by the Civilian Repair Organisation (CRO) placed under the energetic Lord Beaverbrook at the Ministry of Aircraft Production.  The CRO proved highly effective, co-ordinating the maintenance and repair of military aircraft by civilian firms with such success that 60% of aircraft repaired were able to return to operational service, the remainder being utilised for spares.[15]  The foundations of success had been laid with new aircraft being constructed at an unprecedented rate and damaged aircraft returned to service in ever increasing numbers.  The numbers confirmed this: in addition to nearly 300 new aircraft a week, in the last two weeks of June more than 250 were repaired and sent back to squadrons.[16], [17]

空军部长斯温顿勋爵提出了一项计划,通过在英国各地建立“影子工厂”来产生生产能力储备,这些工厂将由它们的“母公司”提供所有必要的资源来建立一条正常运转的生产线民用维修组织(CRO)为飞机生产的增加提供了支持,该组织由飞机生产部精力充沛的比弗布鲁克勋爵领导。CRO被证明是非常有效的,它成功地协调了民用公司对军用飞机的维护和修理,60%被修理的飞机能够恢复运行服务,其余的用作备件随着新飞机以前所未有的速度建造,以及越来越多的受损飞机重新投入使用,成功的基础已经奠定。数字证实了这一点:除了每周近300架新飞机外,在6月的最后两周,有250多架飞机被修理并送回了飞行中队。[16], [17]

历史essay怎么写

Throughout the battle British aircraft industry out-produced its German rival by a considerable margin, allowing a continuous flow of replacements to compensate for the high loss rates sustained by Fighter Command.  Indeed RAF fighter numbers grew steadily stronger between June and October. On 19 June there were 548 operationally ready fighters (with 200 more ready for the following day); by 31 October 729 ready to fly, 370 in store at a day’s notice, and a further 110 at four days’ notice.[18]  At no point during the battle did Fighter Command suffer from a shortage of serviceable front-line aircraft.[19]

Unlike the increasingly efficient British aircraft production and repair systems the German aviation industry suffered from generally poor levels of performance, constructing less than half the number of aircraft produced by the British during 1940.[20] Despite possessing the most advanced aeronautical technology in the world, with larger resources of machinery, raw materials and manpower than the British, productivity often fell more than 30% below target.[21]  

与英国日益高效的飞机生产和维修系统不同,德国航空工业的性能普遍较差,在1940年建造的飞机数量不到英国生产的一半尽管拥有世界上最先进的航空技术,拥有比英国更多的机械、原材料和人力资源,但生产力往往比目标低30%以上

German aircraft were some of the most technically complex of the period therefore could frequently not be suitably repaired in the field, [22] often having to be transported back to Germany by land or rail.  This exposed the long supply and logistical chain of the Luftwaffe from its forward bases back to German factories, in direct contrast to the RAF based in its home airfields. The RAF and the CRO could repair an aircraft in hours, depending on its level of damage, and have it serviceable for front-line combat the next day. Luftwaffe repair times were long:  ‘just over a thousand Me 109s and just fifty-nine Ju 88s would be repaired and back in the air during the whole of 1940’.[23]   This poor supply and repair system restricted the operational capabilities of the Luftwaffe, preventing it from achieving a decisive numerical advantage in the air.[24]

By the summer of 1940 Germany’s series of speedy and spectacular victories had left the Luftwaffe’s high command feeling arrogant and unbeatable.[25]  Led by Goering, who lacked ‘the technical knowledge and strategic forethought necessary to develop the German Air Force’s full potential’,[26] Luftwaffe leadership had come to believe that they could defeat Britain as quickly and efficiently as their other recent campaigns. This overconfidence was supported by German Air Intelligence failures.

到1940年夏天,德国的一系列快速而壮观的胜利让德国空军的最高指挥部感到骄傲和不可战胜在戈林的领导下,德国空军领导层开始相信,他们可以像最近的其他战役一样,迅速而有效地击败英国。戈林缺乏“充分开发德国空军潜力所必需的技术知识和战略远见”。这种过度自信得到了德国空中情报部门失败的支持。

The Luftwaffe never understood the efficiency and effectiveness of Britain’s defences,[27] as late as July 1940 producing intelligence reports which failed to appreciate the significance of either IADS or RDF.[28] This contributed to the German failure to give a higher priority to attacks upon the RDF stations.  Luftwaffe intelligence was ‘disorganised and inefficient’,[29] displaying a clear lack of understanding of RAF capabilities. This resulted in ever changing operational aims and objectives and plans that were disjointed with contradictory targets.[30]

The true balance of forces was never properly appreciated, the outcome being a misperception that played a critical part in the conduct of the battle.  German intelligence reports consistently underestimated the size of Fighter Command and the scale of British aircraft production while exaggerating RAF losses. This encouraged the Luftwaffe to believe that attrition had pushed Fighter Command to the very edge of defeat, leading first to complacency then strategic misjudgement. It was assumed that Fighter Command was virtually eliminated: at the end of August it was estimated that the RAF had lost 50% of its fighters. On 16th September Goering announced that Fighter Command had only 177 operational aircraft, while intelligence estimated that only 300 British fighters were left, including reserves, with a monthly output of 250.[31]

真正的力量平衡从来没有得到正确的认识,结果是一种误解,这在战斗的进行中起到了关键的作用。德国情报报告一直低估了战斗机司令部的规模和英国飞机的生产规模,同时夸大了皇家空军的损失。这促使德国空军相信,消耗战已经把战斗机司令部推到了失败的边缘,首先导致了自满,然后是战略上的错误判断。据推测,战斗机司令部实际上已被消灭:据估计,在8月底,英国皇家空军损失了50%的战斗机。9月16日,戈林宣布战斗机司令部只有177架作战飞机,而情报估计,包括预备队在内,英国只剩下300架战斗机,每月产量为250架

This miscalculation led to the mistaken shift of targets from air bases to industry and communications.  In reality on 19th September Fighter Command had an actual operational strength of 656 with 202 aircraft in reserve, 226 in preparation; output of fighters between 7th September and 5th October being 428.[32]  This difference was critical, leading the Luftwaffe to fight in September as if Fighter Command had been all but destroyed and resulting in a level of attrition so high that the Luftwaffe could not sustain it for more than a few weeks.

The outcome of the Battle of Britain was technically a stalemate, neither side being defeated in a conventional sense as both remained operationally effective.  However, the failure of the Luftwaffe to achieve its primary objective of air supremacy enabled the RAF’s Fighter Command to claim victory by the removal of the threat of invasion.

从技术上讲,不列颠之战的结果是一个僵局,双方都没有在传统意义上被击败,因为双方都保持了作战效力。然而,由于德国空军未能实现其制空权的主要目标,英国皇家空军战斗机司令部得以通过消除入侵威胁而宣告胜利。

This essay has argued that the German failure resulted from effective British preparation contrasted with an overconfident Luftwaffe lacking efficient logistics and whose intelligence failures led to poor strategic decision making.  The development of the IADS, supported by innovative RDF technology, gave the RAF a greatly enhanced early warning and resource management capability that supplied Fighter Command with a vital force multiplier. The use of IADS was underpinned by a swift and revolutionary transformation of the British aircraft industry to produce a collaborative, nation-wide mass production and repair capacity in the form of shadow factories and CRO.

These developments enabled the RAF to replace its losses and increasingly negate the Luftwaffe’s initial numerical superiority.  German inability to produce and repair their own aircraft in similar numbers eroded the balance of forces as the battle progressed and the Luftwaffe leadership’s misperception of these factors, driven by a lack of accurate intelligence, encouraged first complacency and then fatal strategic misjudgement.

这些进展使英国皇家空军得以弥补损失,并逐渐削弱了德国空军最初的数量优势。由于德国无法生产和修理自己数量相近的飞机,随着战斗的进行,削弱了力量的平衡。由于缺乏准确的情报,德国空军领导层对这些因素的错误认识,先是助长了自满情绪,然后是致命的战略误判。

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