The Luftwaffe has been invited to join special celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain Britain’s at next summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, organisers have revealed.
A delegation from the airshow visited the German embassy this month to invite them to join in commemorative displays alongside all the countries that participated in the historic events of 1940. The Italian Air Force, which flew alongside the Luftwaffe, has also been invited to join in. Dubbed ‘Britain’s finest hour’ by Winston Churchill, the Battle of Britain marked the most important event in Royal Air Force history – and proved pivotal to the outcome of the Second World War. Lasting less than four months, this was the first major campaign to be fought entirely by air forces.
Supported by the Royal Air Force and including the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and representative international air forces, the Air Tattoo plans to recognise the bravery of all those who fought; from Fighter Command, Bomber Command, Coastal Command and the Fleet Air Arm as well as their German and Italian counterparts.
In total, 17 countries took part in the Battle of Britain, including Poland, New Zealand, Canada, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic and Slovakia), Australia, Belgium, South Africa, France, Ireland, the US, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Palestine Mandate (now Israel) Barbados and Jamaica. The special tribute has been supported by Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, who will be encouraging military chiefs representing all the nations to take part on July 17-18, 2010.
Air Tattoo Director Tim Prince said that, 70 years on, it was important to recognise the bravery and honour the fallen, on both sides of the conflict. “The Air Tattoo is renowned the world over for being a place where nations come together in a spirit of friendship to share their passion for aviation. The German military has been a great supporter of the Air Tattoo for many years and we’re confident it will be taking part in this important anniversary.”
Special, cut price Earlybird tickets for next summer’s Air Tattoo, which is staged in support of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust, will go on sale in December. For details, visit www.airtattoo.com