About the Show
This four-part documentary series recalls the Battle of Britain in 1940. The opening episode profiles Hugh Dowding, the head of Fighter Command who effectively masterminded the strategy that saw the RAF emerge victorious. In the years before the war, Dowding had been instrumental in modernising Britain's air defences, and when the aerial battle commenced, he deployed the resources at his disposal to maximum effect. Despite clashing with high-ranking officers, politicians and even the Prime Minister over strategy, Dowding stuck to his guns, notably refusing to engage the enemy before they had crossed the Channel. His rationale was that any pilots who were shot down could swiftly return to duty if they were able to bail out over England, and he was proved entirely correct. An austere and socially awkward man, Dowding was never popular with his colleagues and after the Battle of Britain was effectively sidelined. Part 1 of 4.