Yes I am a Brit so its pretty well known. The battle of Britain is shown starting 10th of July 1940 the British as it says below launched the raid on Berlin on the 25th August 1940 next day Hitler ordered the Blitz on British civilian populations to start.
The first real bombing raid on Berlin would not occur until August 25, 1940, during the Battle of Britain. Hitler had placed London off-limits for bombing, and the Luftwaffe was concentrating on defeating the Royal Air Force in preparation for a cross-Channel invasion. But on the night of August 24, a German plane dropped bombs on London, probably by accident, on its way home from a raid. Prime Minister Winston Churchill immediately ordered the RAF to retaliate with a raid on Berlin. That same night, a force of 81 Vickers Wellingtons and Handley Page Hampdens headed for Berlin. Only about half of them reached the capital, which was obscured by dense clouds. Little damage was done, but one bomb killed the only elephant in the Berlin Zoo.
An incensed Hitler ordered Göring to change their air war strategy. Instead of concentrating on neutralizing the RAF, the Luftwaffe now focused on reprisal raids on English cities, especially London. Conducted mainly at night, “the Blitz” failed to break British morale, and in September Hitler was forced to cancel plans for the invasion.
This first air raid on Berlin is a little-known event, even to most Berliners. The German Propaganda Ministry stated the next day that an air raid drill had been held. News of the raid was no doubt suppressed because an air attack on the capital would have embarrassed Adolf Hitler and especially Hermann Göring, the air minister, who had bragged before the war, “If any bombs fall on the Reich I will change my name to Maier.” (Contrary to popular belief, this was not an anti-Semitic slur: Maier is a common German name, especially in Bavaria, and Göring was implying that he would just be a “nobody.”) In France, the news of this dangerous raid may have satisfied the leaders’ desire for revenge, even though symbolic, but it was obscured by the general chaos and confusion resulting from the massive German blitzkrieg that was rapidly overrunning France and the Low Countries.
As everyone knows, more or less, the Luftwaffe came close to overwhelming the RAF several times in that hot summer, not least when it attacked the visible and vital radar masts at key airfields on 12 August. Puffed up by overly optimistic reports about damage done and puzzled by British resilience (the radar system was much better than they realised), Göring failed to stick to winning ways. Unable to resolve the rival claims of his bomber and fighter chiefs for priority, his frequent changes let the RAF off the hook more than once.
The greatest strategic error arose from a chain of accidents. German fighters had been escorting the bombers, often at great cost in terms of lives and aircraft, but Hitler had told them not to bomb London except on his express orders. Then, in late August, the British capital was accidentally bombed in mistake for military targets. The RAF duly bombed Berlin in retaliation on 25 August – something Germans had been assured would never happen.
Hitler was furious. In a speech on 4 September, he mocked the British for asking “Why doesn’t he come?” “Calm yourselves, calm yourselves, he is coming,” he said, to tumultuous applause.
But he wasn’t coming. As usual, he was misreading his enemy, too. An offer to repatriate 40,000 PoWs might have worked better.
Berlin switched its full attention to daylight raids on British cities on 7 September, with 400 bombers and 600 fighters attacking key targets such as the London docks. The Blitz had begun. But the attacks on airfields ended and Fighter Command was spared to fight on, heavy losses rapidly forcing the Luftwaffe later to confine itself to night bombing raids.
< Message edited by ironduke1955 -- 12/5/2017 3:46:59 PM >