Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sept 15th, 'Battle of Britain' Day.

Sept 15th has just passed. British 'chaps' put this as the day the Battle of Britain was won.

The Churchill speech is well known;
"...The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the World War by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. ..."
(My favourite Churchillian piece though is this one;
"...Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender..."
However, we should also remember the Engineers, those who designed and built those wonderful, beautiful, Merlin Engines, which powered Spitfires, Hurricanes, Lancasters, and later, Mustangs, and those who made that feat possible;

"This window commemorates the pilots of the Royal Air Force who, in the Battle of Britain, turned the work of our hands into the salvation of our Country".

(Inscribed under the stained glass window at the Rolls-Royce manufacturing unit in Nightingale Road, Derby, England).
Update 20Sep07: I found out here something even more interesting. The Merlin was 27 litres, the Daimler DB605 as used in the Messerschmidt Bf109 was 39 litres. (The FW 190's BMW801 was even larger at 42 litres). The Merlin out-performed them both. Rolls Royce had built an aviation 'hot rod'! What a wonderful engineering achievement.


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