Oxted & District History Society - Talk
Oxted & District History Society

Dr. Stephen Bungay, author and leadership consultant, gave an illustrated lecture to the Oxted & District History Society on ‘The Most Dangerous Enemy: A View of the Battle of Britain’

Britain got through the Battle of Britain by superior organisation.  Hugh Dowding invented the world’s first integrated air defence system.  Fighter Command HQ at Stanmore processed information from radar and the Observer Corps and passed it down to 4 Groups which decided what to do with it.  The Groups passed this down to the Sectors, such as Kenley and Biggin Hill, which communicated with the aircraft.  The Germans aimed to take out the airfields, but damage was quickly repaired.  There were back-up Sector ops. rooms for Kenley in Caterham Valley and for Biggin Hill in the village.  Fortunately the Germans did not take out the power supplies, which could have been a more successful strategy.

Fortunately Britain had highly professional leaders, rather than an amateur (Goering) and a determination and ruthlessness rather than the romantic and chivalrous German approach.  Britain also had a well prepared plan compared with the German improvised plan.  Britain exploited the latest technology, unlike the Germans and Britain’s undisciplined teams outperformed the German individuals.  By October 1940 the Battle of Britain was won.


The Most Dangerous Enemy: A View of the Battle of Britain