Statistical summary, Week 7:

  • Total Fighter Command Establishment: 1558 planes
  • Strength: 1377 planes
  • Balance: understrength 181 planes
  • Losses: 20 Hurricanes (+ 1 damaged), 23 Spitfire, 4 Defiants
  • Aircraft Production: 5 Beaufighters, 8 Defiants, 64 Hurricanes, 44 Spitfires

Good intelligence relies on the capacity to understand what is going on in the head of the enemy. During the Battle of Britain, the Germans were not good at this. The Germans had a number of intelligence agencies, each of which jealously guarded their own information. This rivalry, coupled with the intelligence officers providing the leadership with the figures that they wanted to hear, meant that German intelligence could be notoriously inaccurate .

On one occasion, the Luftwaffe had convinced itself that in every way it was more effective than any other air force that existed including the RAF. The trouble was that the Luftwaffe completely failed to appreciate the potential advantage which the new control system of defence, based on radar, gave the RAF. This system was after all the very core of the way the British fought the Battle. The underestimation by the Luftwaffe of the importance of radar to the British can be seen from the way that Goering, in the middle of August, countermanded the orders to attack radar installations. This was because, very shortly after being attacked, they were once again transmitting their signals. The explanation for this was that the Germans thought that the workings were buried beneath concrete reinforcements, which was just not the case. Being above ground, once damaged they could be put back together again very quickly.

The teams responsible for repairing bomb damage were extremely efficient. The only concrete reinforcements were to be found at Fighter Command Headquarters at Bentley Priory and at 11 Group where the control room was protected in this way. All the rest of the radar installations were housed in flimsy huts, easily damaged but easily reconstructed. It also seems as though the Luftwaffe had no system for identifying which airfield being attacked actually belonged to Fighter Command. Consequently, they attacked airfields belonging to Coastal and to Training Command. Indeed, the most apparently successful attack by the Luftwaffe during the Battle was when a couple of Ju88s succeeded in destroying over 50 aircraft at Brize Norton airfield. In fact these had been training aircraft. It was a brilliant attack but had no effect on Fighter Command. The result was a continuing overestimation by the Luftwaffe of how, in the light of the rate of destruction, Fighter Command was being damaged. It all contributed to the feeling that they were much nearer achieving the complete elimination of Fighter Command than in reality was the case.