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In this installment of the "Why We Fight" propaganda film series, we have the account of Great Britain's last stand against the forces of Nazi Germany. This mainly focuses on the desperate, but successful, battle to maintain their vital air superiority over the British Isles and the morale of the people to prevent invasion. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <email@example.com>
In the year 2000, the United States Library of Congress mandated that this film (and the other six documentaries in the 'Why We Fight' series) were "culturally significant" and selected them for preservation in the National Film Registry. See more »
With all of mainland Europe under his control Hitler prepares for the last obstacle in his way before heading for North America, Great Britain. With an overwhelming edge in aircraft Goering's Luftwaffe looks unstoppable on paper. Once in the air however the RAF tenaciously disrupts the paradigm by blowing the enemy out of sky air at a seven to one rate. The Battle of Britain rages on for a over a year as the Island nation is bloodied but unbowed providing crucial time for their American allies to produce more arms for the inevitable struggle.
Using more staged footage than the three previous documentaries in the Why We Fight series the Battle of Britain has a more propaganda like feel to it with the dramatized (some with unmistakable Warners music score ) scenes glaringly obvious to newsreel. In an ironic twist amid the devastation caused by German air attacks Beethoven's Seventh Symphony is employed to underscore the visual suffering. The story itself is one of remarkable courage by a defiant nation who refused to buckle under to the devastating attacks inflicted upon it by up until that point an invincible war machine. It is the 20th century version of the 300 Spartans.
There have been more exhaustively researched and better looking commercial efforts done on this battle since this film but the immediacy and motivation The Battle of Britain provided then will always make it a more valuable document of England during its "Finest Hour".
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