Episode 7: Their Finest Hour
As we discussed in episode 6, the Battle of Britain was a direct result of german preparations for operation sealion. With Goering in overall command of the eventual cross channel invasion, the emphasis was placed on an extended preparatory bombardment. Fortunately for the english, Goeing was not the same calibre intellect as say Guderian or Manheim. Sure, he was confident in airpower and correct in predicting that it would be instrumental in modern conflict but he doesn’t seem to have had any kind of theory of airpower. This is revealed in multiple ways. First, the fact that the Luftwaffe was, more or less, an extension of the army. The entire german air force was organized and designed to excel at tactical bombing. It had lots of excellent short range fighter-escort aircraft and medium tactical bombers but it lacked heavy strategic bombers. Secondly, Goering didn’t seem to have any actual plan for how to defeat britain other than throw aircraft at them, in fact it seems he approached the whole thing like a giant tactical exercise rather than the strategic mission it was.