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24 Disturbing Pictures From The Battle Of Britain

From July to October 1940, Nazi Germany laid siege to the United Kingdom in what is now known as the Battle of Britain. Before the 122-day conflict ceased, over 500 air force pilots and more than 40,000 civilians were killed.

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A bus lies in a large crater in Balham, London, the morning after a German air raid on Oct. 15, 1940. During the raid, a bomb exploded on Balham high street, destroying part of the tube station beneath.

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At Biggin Hill on Sept. 14, 1946, Royal Air Force pilots "scramble" at the signal as they did during the hectic days of the Battle of Britain.

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Vapor trails (left) from RAF planes in the skies over England recall the convolutions of British and German pilots fighting throughout the summer of 1940. A barrage balloon (right) falls in flames during an air attack on Aug. 11, 1940.

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Hermann Göring in France in 1941. Göring was commander in chief of the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain, the first major campaign to be fought entirely by air forces.

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A German pilot (left) paints the tail unit of a Me 109 aircraft, marking 32 air victories. Another German pilot (right) notes how many British and French aircraft he has shot down during the autumn of 1940.


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A building (left) set ablaze by heavy German air raid attacks. Londoners (right) shelter from air raids in a tube station during World War II.

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Weary Londoners catch up on sleep in the safety of a tube station, which was taken out of service and converted into an air raid shelter.

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Children (left) sleep on the floor of a school following an air raid in which their London homes were destroyed. The Storre Brothers (right) entertain their companions while sheltering from a World War II air raid in Piccadilly Circus tube station in 1940.

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Queen Elizabeth, wife of King George VI and mother of Queen Elizabeth II, talks to residents of a bombed-out area of London on Sept. 11, 1940.

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A Me 110 bomber (left) is shot down by a Hurricane fighter plane over Goodwood, Sussex. Local newspapers (right) kept a running tally of the planes and airmen lost on both sides.


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