Over in France, the scene was of methodical but urgent activity. On 14th June, the Germans had marched into Paris. The Luftwaffe was doing the job it did best. As a tactical air force it was settling in to new quarters. The French campaign had been hugely successful but at the same time it had been costly. A large number of aircraft had been lost. Air operations, as part of a successful campaign involving hugely ambitious thrusts on the ground, inevitably meant taking big risks. Most of them came off but even when they didn’t, there was a high cost to pay. Many replacements were needed. At the same time, new headquarters had to be set up. Luftflotte 2, under the command of Generalfeldmarschall Albert Kesselring, chose Brussels for theirs. It was a city with excellent communications. Down in France, the airfield at Epinoy, halfway between Cambrai and Douai, was extensive but still needed to be put shipshape, German fashion. Communications had to be established with headquarters in Brussels. Spares and ammunition had to brought in, workshops set up, catering staff had to be recruited, food ordered, but in a couple of weeks this was all done. The Luftwaffe was used to it. It was their purpose in life. Now they were at least operating without opposition. For them it was a relatively easy task.

Luftflotte 3, had its headquarters in Paris, with its fighter HQ in Cherbourg. From there, it controlled a number of bases in Brittany and Normandy. They were under the command of Generalfeldmarschall Hugo Sperrle, a very large bear-like man, who was, nonetheless, a very professional man. He liked everything done properly. Under his command it was. Preparations were in hand from Brittany in France right along the coast up to the northern most tip of Norway. It was here that Luftflotte 5 was based, to cover the North Sea, with headquarters at Stavenger and under the command of Generaloberst Hans-Jürgen Stumpff.

Britain was faced, therefore, with the enemy getting ready across the sea on the western coast of Europe. It was still too early to be clear about what would happen next. But the Luftwaffe was preparing for every eventuality, even an air battle over Britain itself.