At the time of the Battle of Britain,
Fighter Command was split into four groups. 13 Group covered the North of
England and Scotland, 12 Group the Midlands and Wales, 10 Group South West
England and, most importantly 11 Group covered the South East and London.
11 Group was also nearest to the Germans in an area where the German
invasion of Britain, Operation Sea-Lion, was most likely to take place. By
clicking on the groups on the map below, a full list of their stations and
equipment during the period of the Battle can be viewed.
The Royal Air Force Chief of Staff was
Air Chief Marshal Sir Cyril Newall, and the Fighter Command Air Officer
Commanding-in-Chief was Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding.
The Groups were commanded by:
Air Vice-Marshal Sir Quintin Brand,
Air Officer Commanding 10 Group
Air Vice-Marshal Sir Keith Park, Air
Officer Commanding 11 Group
Air Vice-Marshal Sir Trafford
Leigh-Mallory, Air Officer Commanding 12 Group
Air Vice-Marshal Richard Saul, Air
Officer Commanding 13 Group
click on the map for details of the groups
Britain was almost surrounded by German
air power. Luftflotte (Air Fleet) No 5 was based in Norway, Headquartered
at Stavanger, Luftflotte 2 was in Northern France, Belgium and Holland,
Headquartered at Brussels, and Luftflotte 3 occupied bases in the rest of
France with their Headquarters in Paris. A German Luftflotte controlled
both fighters and bombers in combined operations, but the RAF had separate
Commands for the two tasks. To learn more about the organisation of each
Luftflotte click on the colour icons or the map areas to go to a page
describing the units stationed within each.
Above the three Luftflotte organisations, there were a number of units
controlled directly by the office of Reichsmarschal Goring in Berlin.
These were largely weather and reconnaissance units and operational
standards organisations. The two based in the Battle area were:
Westa 2 ObdL - He 111H - Based at
Westa 26 ObdL - Do 17, He 111, Me 110
- Based at Brussel