August 18, 2016

Today in History: “The Hardest Day” marked Battle of Britain’s heaviest losses (1940)

John RobsonResident Historian
 

August 18 was “the Hardest Day”. To be sure history is crowded with those. But this one refers to the date in 1940 that saw the heaviest combined losses to both sides in the Battle of Britain. 

Now “Battle of Britain Day" is September 15, celebrating the decisive defeat of the Germans’ last massive assault on Britain. And rightly so.

But “the Hardest Day” reminds us of all the effort and sacrifice that went into, and must also be recalled on, the more celebrated dates from September 15 to November 11.

Comments
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commented 2016-08-21 20:03:43 -0400
The problem with today’s millennial’s is they think a sacrifice means giving up their favorite program on TV to go camping for the weekend..
commented 2016-08-21 20:02:22 -0400
Al Peterson ..If we all felt that way none absolutely none of the fruit of our labor would be wasted generationally or in anyways..
Wise wise words Reading between them lines..
commented 2016-08-21 15:19:29 -0400
You got it Leviticus. One of the sages ofd old said:
“Thus I hated all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun, for I must leave it to the man who will come after me. And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the fruit of my labor for which I have labored by acting wisely under the sun. This too is vanity.
commented 2016-08-21 14:13:10 -0400
You are so correct Drew… What the soldiers were fighting against then is what we’re living with today..

And the only reason that happened is that we all let ourselves get greedy and distracted. And all it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing
commented 2016-08-21 01:24:50 -0400
Bill, when I was doing my commercial license training I was flying dual with another guy trading off time under the hood. As we were flying west of Calgary I spotted a train making its way towards the mountains. The other guy was under the hood so I told him I had control. I did some dipsy-doodling around and then put it into a shallow dive in about a 45 degree angle gaining on the train. When we got got close I told him, “okay take off the hood”.

When he looked out the train was filling the windscreen and I yelled, “Typhoon attack! Fire!, Let him have it!”. So we proceeded to rat-a-tat and fire rockets down the side of the train on our make believe rhubarb, laughing ourselves silly. After it was done and we had blown up the Nazi munitions train he shook his head and said, “You crazy SOB”.

Made me think how exhilarating it must have been to fly a Typhoon on low level ground attack with
2000 HP, 8 rockets and 4- 20mm cannons. Yee haw!
commented 2016-08-19 02:07:54 -0400
The Brits from those days are probably pretty damn ashamed of what their country has become now. The ones who are gone must be spinning in their graves wondering what the hell they even resisted for.
commented 2016-08-19 00:07:33 -0400
A good reminder of where we came from, and the closeness of Britain and Canada in 1940.
commented 2016-08-18 23:30:46 -0400
Brings back memories, when you mentioned the battle of Burma, our neighbors escaped across the river , the Japanese chasing them , the British planes warding off the Japanese, they ended up our best neighbors in a little town in the Fraser valley
commented 2016-08-18 20:28:43 -0400
Clipping tree tops and power lines at 450 MPH with your butt strapped into a wood and tin contraption with a 1500 HP engine and 6 full auto 20mm cannons in the wings – what a total rush!

Adolph, I’m coming for ya.
commented 2016-08-18 17:40:04 -0400
Hitler was a dope. He should have had his muslim pals come in a demand rights and privileges. Much easier. Of course back then their backsides would have been kicked back from whence they came. In hindsight it makes you wonder if the sacrifice of one generation that is squandered for a later one is worth it? We can’t have “Rule Britannia” without “Think Britannia”.