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"Goering underestimated the strength and resilience of Fighter Command"

The late Wing Commander Bob Foster gives his reasons for why the RAF ultimately defeated the Luftwaffe in the skies above Britain.

"From 1936 onwards," he says, "we'd built up a system of defence – radar, communications and so on, so that when the battle happened we were far more prepared for what was coming than the Germans were. The Germans just thought that they could come over and bomb willy-nilly.

"They didn't realize that we had all this radar set up, we had this great system of squadron control and filter rooms … so therefore when the battle started, the RAF were ready for it."

This system consisted of various infrastructure including radar, the Royal Observer Corps and a protected telephone network that linked the key strategic areas together.

"The second thing is that we had a great nucleus of fighter pilots who although had never fought in action before, were quite skilled pilots who were ready for the battle.

"Goering also underestimated the strength and resilience of Fighter Command. We [605 Squadron] were up north, and when squadrons got tired they were relieved and we came south. And so on. That went on all the time.

"Basically I think it went back to Dowding and Park, who’d set up this wonderful organisation that the Germans had never met before."

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