In early summer 1940, the situation was critical for the Allies. The United Kingdom is the last European power standing up to Hitler. Hitler was considering Operation Sea Lion, which called for a major landing on English shores.
For the plan to succeed, Hitler ordered the Luftwaffe to destroy the Royal Air Force (RAF). With their 1,030 fighter planes and 1,320 bombers, the Germans launched several raids simultaneously on August 13, 1940. The Brits had 850 fighter aircraft—Hawker Hurricanes and Spitfires—and the most powerful radar system in Europe. Despite their superior numbers, the Germans came up against the fierce pilots of Fighter Command, who offered heroic resistance.
The Hurricane was known to be solid and robust and turned out to be very effective against the enemy bombers. It was the Hurricane pilots, including a number of Canadians in No. 1 Squadron, who shot down the most aircraft. Indeed, 55% of German planes were shot down by Hurricanes, compared with 42% for the Spitfires. It is true that there were more than twice as many Hurricanes as Spitfires, which partially explains their success.
Photo : The alert is given to Royal Canadian Air Force Hawker Hurricane pilots during the Battle of Britain.