Battle of Britain

The Battle of Britain was recognized almost immediately as a significant event. Waged from July to October 1940, it pitted a small group of fighter pilots from around the world against a far larger Luftwaffe. Their victory gave hope to the people of Great Britain and to other freedom-loving nations. History

Battle of Britain London Monument

Battle of Britain London Monument

80th Anniversary

Virtual ceremony
Sunday, September 20, 2020
10:30 A.M. EDT

Fly-past of Second World War aircraft, weather permitting.

info icon Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the RCAF invites you to watch this year’s wreath laying and small ceremony, hosted at the Beechwood National Military Cemetery, on the RCAF Facebook page www.facebook.com/rcaf.arc.

Battle of Britain: Did you know?

On September 15, the Germans launched a massive attack but, although the fighting was fierce, the Royal Air Force (RAF), using new tactics, was victorious.

Two days later, Hitler postponed the invasion; he never again considered it seriously. By the end of September, the Battle of Britain came to an end without fanfare. It was the first military confrontation won by air power and Germany’s first defeat in the war.

Battle of Britain Webpage

News and articles

A man wearing an Air Force uniform salutes.

“Victory rests on their shoulders”

The national Battle of Britain ceremony was held in Ottawa on September 18, 2016, marking the 76th anniversary of a hard-fought battle that turned the tide of the Second World War.
September 23, 2016

A black and white photo of four Second World War air force officer.

Battle of Britain profile of courage: Otto John Peterson

Flying Officer Otto John Peterson was one of 23 Canadians who died during the Battle of Britain.
September 14, 2016

A black and white photo of a Second World War air force officer in dress uniform, wearing a “wedge cap”.

Battle of Britain Profile of Courage: Harry Raymond Hamilton

Harry Hamilton flew with 85 Squadron of the Royal Air Force during the Battle of Britain.
September 9, 2016

A black and white photo of a Second World War air force officer in dress uniform, wearing a hat.

Battle of Britain Profile of Courage: Alfred Keith Ogilvie

“Skeets” Ogilvie of Ottawa flew in the Battle of Britain and later took part in “The Great Escape”.
September 8, 2016

Leslie Burk, a sergeant with the Royal Canadian Air Force’s No. 1 Fighter Squadron serving in England during the Battle of Britain, is remembered on the Minden, Ontario, War Memorial, near his very small hometown of Lochlin.

“It is with the deepest regret”: The death of Sergeant Leslie Alexander Burk, No. 1 Squadron, RCAF

During the Battle of Britain, Sergeant Leslie A. Burk was likely the first Canadian in an overseas Royal Canadian Air Force unit to give his life protecting the democracy that this country holds so dear.
October 14, 2015

Lieutenant-General Michael Hood addresses attendees of the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain Commemorative Ceremony on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, on September 20, 2015.

ARCHIVED - Battle of Britain speech: “Our freedom is built upon their valour”

Lieutenant-General Michael Hood addresses attendees of the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain Commemorative Ceremony on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, on September 20, 2015.
October 13, 2015

Sentries stand at rest with arms reversed at the Royal Canadian Air Force memorial in City Park in Kingston, Ontario, during 1 Wing Kingston’s Battle of Britain parade.

Ceremonies throughout Canada mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain

2015 Battle of Britain ceremonies throughout Canada honoured the Canadian and other Commonwealth air personnel who gathered in England 75 years ago to win the first-ever air campaign and change the course of the Second World War. NEW: Battle of Britain ceremony photos from Kuwait.
September 24, 2015

Royal Canadian Air Forces veterans stand during the national ceremony held at Parliament Hill on September 20, 2015, to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

Canadians remember “The Few” who fought the Battle of Britain

The crowd of military personnel, veterans and spectators, assembled on the lawn in front of the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, fell silent in remembrance. They were there for the national ceremony observing the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain; the first Allied military victory of the Second World War and the first in the history of the world to be won by air power.
September 23, 2015

Pilot Officer Richard Alexander Howley was posted to No. 10 Flying Training School at Tern Hill in Shropshire, England, on March 18, 1939, and received his wings on October 7, 1939.

Battle of Britain profile of courage: Pilot Officer Richard Alexander Howley

During the Battle of Britain, Canadian-born Pilot Officer Richard Alexander Howley, flying a No. 141 Fighter Squadron Boulton Paul Defiant I aircraft, held the line against Luftwaffe Messerschmitt 109s over southeastern England.
September 17, 2015

With one of their Supermarine Spitfires, Flying Officer John Stewart Hart (fourth from right) and other members of No. 602 Squadron gather for a photograph in Westhampnett, England, during the Battle of Britain.

Battle of Britain profile of courage: Canadian John Hart recalls his role in the Battle

John Stewart Hart is believed to be the last surviving Canadian Battle of Britain pilot living in Canada, was interviewed recently about his service during the only Second World War battle fought and won entirely in the air.
September 17, 2015

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