Seminar: The Battle of Britain 1940, History and Myth

Ref: C3746846

The Battle of Britain holds a unique place in the history of the Second World War. Without doubt, the aerial combat between the RAF and German air force in the summer of 1940 was an auspicious moment in British history as it prevented a German invasion and, equally crucially, kept Britain in the war. Since that time, however, a number of historians have expressed reservations about the traditional accounts and cherished illusions of the 'Battle' story and the iconographic status given to the Spitfire and 'the Few'. This one session course will examine the historical narratives of the events of 1940, looking at the popular reactions of the time, analysing its unfolding history since the end of the war, whilst re-examining and challenging some of the myths and half-truths that have grown around the events of Britain's 'Spitfire' summer.

Course aim

The conflict between the RAF and the Luftwaffe in the summer of 1940 holds a special place in 20th century British history. This course will reassess the events of the time, placing the myths and popular narratives within an historical perspective.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • explain the main causes, events and outcomes of the Battle of Britain
  • explain where 'The Battle' now stands in British history
  • explain the significance of 'The Battle' at the time, and how it has shaped the popular myths, memory and sense of identity since 1940.

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

No previous knowledge or experience of the period and events are necessary, although family experiences of the time and anecdotes would be received gladly. Otherwise just bring yourself. You will be most welcome.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Seminar: The Battle of Britain 1940, History and Myth


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
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  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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