chapter
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The invasion of England: introduction

On 25 August German bombers, possibly lost or dumping their loads to facilitate escape, hit London. In immediate retaliation a raid on Berlin was ordered and on the night of 28/29 August the German capital was

bombed. The damage was trivial, but the blow to German pride was signifi-

cant. The Luftwaffe had, for some time, been advocating attacks on London,

but Hitler had continued to forbid them. The airmen’s theory was that

massed bomber strikes against London would force the RAF to fly in defence

of the city and thus expose themselves to a fighter battle which they would

lose. On 9 September the Luftwaffe Operations Staff proposed:

The continuous attack on London will be carried out during the day by Air Fleet

2 under strong fighter escort, whilst Air Fleet 3 will operate at night; the

offensive will continue until London’s docks, supply centres and power stations

have been destroyed.1