It is 1940, and the diabolical mind of Adolf Hitler is planning to bomb England into submission to his warped dreams of a 'Fortress Europe'. Standing between Britain's freedom & Hitler's terrifying plans is the R.A.F - dedicated pilots who took to the skies again & again in the face of overwhelming odds. The German Luftwaffe's planes outnumber the R.A.F's by more than 2 to 1 - 650 planes of the R.A.F. vs. 2,500 of the Luftwaffe! These odds. however, do not deplete the determination of the R.A.F. to stop Hitler, and as the Luftwaffe launches wave after wave of Heinkel 111 bombers against British cities, the R.A.F. responds, under the leadership of Air Vice Marshal Park and Squadron Leaders Canfield and Harvey who lead the newest pilots of the R.A.F. into confrontation after confrontation with the Luftwaffe's experienced veterans, with the aim of driving Hitler's forces away from Dover's white cliffs for good... Written by Derek O'Cain
Errors and Explanations
Internet Movie Database
- Harry Andrews' character is seen seated at his desk, wearing glasses, reading Dowding's letter to Churchill. As Dowding enters the room Andrews turns to speak to him and his glasses are now absent. The timing of the scene precludes him removing them as part of the action. He could have quickly removed them just before Dowding entered.
- The Poles cannot understand Squadron Leader Edwards without a translator until he tells them that they are now operational, when they immediately cheer. Edwards probably had the translator on hand to make doubly sure the pilots understood what he was complaining about, as the pilots obviously prefered to use their own language, even though they probably understood English.
- In the scene where Kenneth More is talking to Susannah York and the Germans start to bomb the airfield; the blast from the first bomb landing in the distance is heard at the same time as the blast occurs. Both actors react to the true sound seconds later, making them look rather slow on the uptake. At first, neither of them can believe that the Germans are really attacking the airfield.
- Sgt Pilot Andy never pays the taxi driver who brings him to the London docklands. As the driver only explains that the route is blacked after he has stepped out, he could not have paid the correct fare inside the cab. Assuming the cabbie charged Andy at all, on account of him being a pilot in uniform.
- Why would Polish flight T5 have loaded cannons if it is only supposed to be a training mission? It makes sense to have loaded guns for a training flight, in order to a) provide experience of flying with a full load of ammo, and b) for gunnery practice.
- (At 01:30) A Polish flight of Hurricanes is flying in formation with Messerschmitt 109s (the 109s at the rear). The 109s can be easily distinguished from the Hurricanes by their tailplane struts. Three of the 109s - actually HA1112s - were painted in RAF markings to act as distant stand-ins for other aircraft. (The struts were removed after filming, and not replaced for later appearances, such as the miniseries Piece of Cake).
- The film takes place in 1940. In at least two scenes on an airfield, a Land Rover (possibly a made-for-defence purposes Defender model) can clearly be seen. The Land Rover was not developed until after WW2 & not actually put into production until 1947, as the British "answer" to the US Jeep. This is utter nonsense. The vehicle was a period Bedford MW 15cwt truck. There is no Land Rover anywhere in this film.
- On the attack on the airfield by He111s, a burning Spitfire is out of control and heads towards a fuel truck. Unfortunately the truck blows up before the Spit' hits it. This is wrong. We see the Spitfire approaching from behind the fuel truck, from our point of view. The spinning propeller hits, unseen, and the fuel truck explodes. The only visible part of the Spitfire on impact is the starboard wingtip - and as that is some way behind the propeller itself (obviously) it is not in contact with the truck itself.
- In many scenes you will see Spitfires diving to avoid the German Messerschmitts. Now the film shows the beginning of the Battle of Britain to the end, well there is one problem with the Spitfires diving, it wouldn't happen. The type of Spitfire in service during the Battle of Britain was the Spitfire Mark 1, which had a carburetor. If the plane dives the engine will stall. Spitfire pilots would never intentionally dive, but Messerschmitt 109 pilots, when being tailed by a Spitfire, would engage in a sharp dive to save their butts as they knew the Spitfire couldn't follow them. The Mark 1 couldn't match the performance of the Me109, but the Spitfire Mark 2, first delivered in August 1940, could match it. The filmmakers based their recreation of combat footage on film taken during the actual battle, so the flight characteristics of the Spitfires shown are realistic.
- During the film, a German bomber crew, lost in the dark, accidentally jettison their bombs over London, thus starting the Blitz. In reality, the very first German air-raid on London in late August 1940 was planned and intentional, borne out by the fact that a number of aircraft bombed the city at different times during the night. This is wrong. The sequence of events in the film is almost completely accurate. On August 25, 1940 a lone German bomber lost its way and dropped its bombload on London. The British reacted by launching an 81 bomber attack against Berlin. In fact the German response was relatively muted and the raids on the RAF airfields continued until September 7th, 1940 when the first full-scale attack on London was mounted.