Battle of Britain (1969) Script

Who the hell is he trying to kid?

Hello? Hello, Abbeville?

What? But if you cannot place them, advise Paris.

I'm at my winds end, but carry on.

Reinforcements, sir?

Why don't you cut out the clowning?

Me, sir? What have I done? Don't ever let me see you... doing a victory roll over my airfield again.

I thought it would buck up the civilians.

For God's sake, Jamie, give your brain a chance.

Corporal, refuel them immediately!

Yes, sir.

So anyway, he hit me and made me nose bleed...

Corporal, I don't mean with your blood.

I gave him a couple of socks...

And re-arm them.

Yes, sir!

Hello, Harvey. Where's Jumbo?

Posted missing last night.

You acting C.O.?

Oh, yeah. Of what?

Five serviceable aircraft. No spares. No contact.

First we knew the bastards would overrun us... was when we tried to land.

But yes, I hear you very well.

Eh? What?

Are you sure?

They are at Sedan?

For the benefit of the uneducated among us...

I shall translate.

Archam can't believe that Sedan's fallen. I can.

It's no use. They'll be here in half an hour.

We must leave immediately.

Yes, let's get the hell out of it.

Where to, sir?

Why don't you follow me and find out? Come on, idiots.

After you.

Unless they've got there before us.

Get that buzzard out of here! We'll go with what we've got!

All right. Forget your kit. Let's move.

Get all the transport you can and get the men out of here.

All N.C.O. S report to me immediately!

You know what to do with the lame ducks?

Yes, sir.

Bombs away.

All the yanks, over here!

Load 'em up!

Over the wing.

Flood the cowling.

Plenty of it.

Right! Stand clear! Into the trucks!

Come on! We haven't got all day!

"To the permanent Secretary of State for air...

"Sir, I have the honor to refer to the very serious calls...

"which have recently been made upon fighter command...

"in an attempt to stem the German invasion...

"of the continent.

"I hope and believe that our armies may yet be victorious...

"in France and Belgium...

"but we have to face the possibility...

"that they may be defeated. In this case...

I presume that there is no one who would deny...

"that England should fight on...

"even though the remainder of the continent of Europe...

"is dominated by the Germans.

"I must therefore request...

"That not one more fighter be sent across the channel.

"If the home defense is drained away...

"in desperate attempts to remedy the situation in France...

"defeat in France will involve the final, complete...

"and irremediable defeat of this country.

"I have the honor to be, sir...

"your obedient servant, H.C.T. Dowding."

Air Chief Marshal Dowding, sir.

You do realize, Dowding, the position this puts us in?

I realize that the French have been promised this squadron.

By Churchill personally.

He's given the French prime minister his word.

You do appreciate, Dowding... that Churchill will have to see this?

That's why I wrote it.

This is the BBC home service.

Here is the news.

In the House of Commons this afternoon... the prime minister, Mr. Churchill, said...

"What General de Gaulle called the Battle of France is over.

The battle of Britain is about to begin."

Eyes right!

I welcome you in the name of the Second Luftwaffe, General.

Thank you, thank you, Kesselring.

My dear Fink. General.

Everything all right?

We are ready, General. We can start.

Very well, gentlemen, then forward.


Eyes right!

Call out the guard!

Call out the guard!


If I have to inspect one more bomber...

I won't recommend you for a Field Marshal, Kesselring.

Please, may I finish the inspection?



Pleasant return journey.

The English are not ordained by fate to be our enemies.

You heard it yourself, Jeschonnek.

This time he's wrong.

They are completely finished... done for.

We'll never have a chance like this again.

Absolute nonsense!

Nonsense, do you call it? It's a pure catastrophe.

Herr Baron von Richter.

The Fuehrer will speak to you now.

My dear Max!

How lovely to see you back in Switzerland so soon.

I came straight from Berlin an hour ago.

The ambassador will see you now, sir.

Thank you. Excuse me, please.

Sir David, I'm again instructed... to emphasize that the Fuehrer wishes... to avoid further bloodshed.

England is not our natural enemy... and he offers guarantees for the British empire... if you give Germany a free hand in Europe.

Goering and his Luftwaffe would like to flatten London... as a prelude to invasion.

It's two lumps you take, isn't it?

What's left of your army... abandoned its weapons at Dunkirk.

You're defenseless and just playing for time.

We know of the moves you're making in Washington.

We know the Americans won't be drawn in.

Their embassy in London gives you two weeks.

So what's stopping you?

Look, David. The Fuehrer is being very reasonable.

He offers guarantees.

Experience shows the Fuehrer's guarantees guarantee nothing.

What about Churchill?

After our last appeal, what do we hear?

"We will fight them on the beaches."

With what?

Winston gets carried away sometimes.

With liquid courage.

That's what they tell me.

Clearly, you don't know him.

David, we are not asking for anything.

Europe is ours.

We can walk into Britain whenever we like.

If you think we're going to gamble... on Herr Hitler's guarantees, you're making a grave mistake.

All those years in England seem to have left you none the wiser.

We're not easily frightened.

Also, we know how hard it is for an army to cross the channel.

The last little corporal to try it came a cropper.

So don't threaten or dictate to us... until you're marching up Whitehall!

And even then we won't listen.

Heil Hitler.

It's unforgivable.

I lost my temper.

The maddening thing is that he's right.

We're not ready.

We're on our own.

We've been playing for time.

And it's running out.

Silly bitch!

He's calling you names again, Harold.

I spent half a week settling her and the kids in the country... and now, "I'm bored," she says!

One of your elite trying to land without wheels.


It's enough to make you weep.

And welcome home, sir.

Undercarriage lever a bit sticky, was it, sir?

Yes, as a matter of fact, it was.

Well, I wouldn't tell the C.O. That, sir, not if I were you.

You can teach... monkeys to fly better than that!

I'm terribly sorry about that, sir.

It won't happen again. Keep your jacket on, boy.

How many hours have you done in spits, Simon?

On spits, sir? 10 1/2.

We'll make it eleven before Jerry has you for breakfast.

Spring chicken to shite hawk in one easy lesson.

Attack, attack, attack...

This is Rabbit Leader. Are you receiving me?

Hello, Rabbit Leader. Red-3 on 3.

Receiving you loud and clear.

Right. I'll try and get on your tail... and I want you to take evasive action. Understood?

Hello, Rabbit Leader.

Red-3 on 3. Understood.

Attack, attack, attack, attack, attack, attack...

Hello, Rabbit Leader.

I thought you might come in from the sun.

Don't think. Don't just glance.

Look! Search for the bastards!

And never fly in a straight line, or you're a dead duck.

Sir. Now, let's try it again.

Or, in other words, beware of the Hun in the sun... who, for reasons best known to himself... has confined his recent attacks to our channel convoys.

However, this won't last forever.

But it has given us a chance to pull ourselves together... and to train people like you.

As fighter controllers, you'll be joining an organization... which, thank the good Lord... was not rushed up hastily yesterday.

It'll be a pain in the neck to the enemy when he comes.

It's the joker up our sleeves.

Now, the R.A.F. Chain shows us where they are.

The information is passed to group... group scrambles the necessary squadrons... and you, at sector level... guide our chaps to the interception.

It's been tried and tested. It works.

So don't blame the system if you're no good.

Now, clearly, 11 Group here... will bear the brunt of the battle... as those of you who are posted there... will find out to your discomfort.

12 Group is our second line of defense... and covers the industrial midlands and the north.

13 Group, Scotland and the northeast... and 10 Group, the west of England.

More than half the fighter-command squadrons... are stationed here at 11 Group... near the coast where we expect the invasion... and also able to protect London... which is as far as the bombers can get with fighter escort.

But I think we can leave strategy... to those with egg on their hats.


Please, gentlemen, the Inspector General has just arrived.


Thank you, Captain.

Ah, my dear Foehn. You are well?

Yes, thank you, General. And Falke?

Yes, thank you, General.

May I introduce my brother Hans, sir?

Another fighter ace perhaps?

When I get the chance to fight, General.


We have borrowed this.

Dover? Dover.

Those masts are their radio direction finders?

Yes. Their secret weapon.

Which we captured at Dunkirk.

Our Stukas can deal with them.

Excuse me, General, but why?

If they know we're coming, so much the better.

We don't have to look for them.

The pilots are in excellent spirits, General.

I have eyes in my head, Osterkamp.

I merely wanted to say, General... we shouldn't wait too long.

It may happen sooner than you think.

Please, gentlemen.

Come, Falke.

Thank you, General.

This delay is an incredible piece of luck.

I mean, they roll up France and then stop.

They could've come right on.

You know, our latest intelligence... is that Herr Hitler is sightseeing in France.

'Tis rather pleasant weather.

Oh, no, I mean it. He's on holiday.

I'm not complaining, Minister.

No, no, no, seriously, Dowding... the morale factor is vital.

I saw Beaverbrook on Monday.

Now, he's going to be able to deliver... as many as a hundred fighters a week.

Well, after seeing you...

I want to be able to go back to the cabinet... and tell them you're as confident as I am.

Damn it, man, we've got 650 planes.

And they have 2,500 aircraft, haven't they?

They won't all come over at once, and we have radar.

Churchill puts great faith in radar.

It's vital, but it won't shoot down aircraft.

I must say, you don't exactly exude a spirit of optimism.

God willing, we will hold out, Minister.

I see. So I tell the cabinet... that you're trusting in radar and praying to God... right?

More accurate the other way around.

I'm trusting in God and praying for radar.

But the essential arithmetic is that our young men... will have to shoot down their young men... at the rate of four to one if we're to keep pace at all.

It's the oil pressure, sir, but the gauge is being checked.

All right, Charlie. Carry on. Thank you, sir.

Never give up, do you, Charlie?

Instrument check, sir.

I hope your new C.O. Believes you.

He's going to be one of your headaches now.

They know the orders... don't tangle unnecessarily.

So it's "May I do an engine check, sir?

"Or an undercarriage check or a radio?"

Any excuse to get at the Jerries.

At least it shows they're keen.

Yeah, they're a good bunch.

God knows what I'll find in Scotland.

A lot of kids with down on their cheeks.

Yeah, training them to be fighter pilots... is a damn sight more dodgy than fighting Germans.

Well, you've got to earn that new stripe somehow.

At least I got three days in town.

Give my regards to your wife.


May I have a word, sir?

Send us back a haggis.

If you want permission for a test flight... the answer is no.

Large scotch, please.

You with that lot down the road, sir?


One and six, please.

Thank you. Thank you.

Have you applied for that post in Scotland?

Darling, I can't. You can't.

You know I can't.

You mean you don't want to. Can't. I've got a job.

What have we got? What the hell is this?

Is it a marriage or a flaming air force committee?

For God's sake, Colin, don't start that all over again.

I knew this would happen.

I never wanted you to join up... never.

Colin, please, try to behave as if I were a human being.

You look more like a parade-ground suffragette to me.

I'm just not cut out to wave a wet hankie on sooty stations.

For God's sake, who's asking you to?

We'll be in Scotland together.

I never could stand marching women.

You couldn't care less, could you?

I cared enough to come here fifty miles.

I didn't measure it.

I did.

I even booked a room.

Three days.

It would be marvelous.

Are you going to apply for that posting or not?

Left, right, left.

Right, left, right, left, right.

Squad, halt!

Right turn!

Order arms!

Now, wait for it.

Squad... dismissed!

Come on, Albert, you're not dead yet.

It's his turn. You'll be lucky.

Twelve pints, please, Fred.

One for the sarge.

Let him get his own.

No, sir, it's not Charlie.

It's some Hurricane out of juice very likely.

Right. Call me directly you hear anything.

Well, somebody must have spotted him.

He can't just disappear.

All right, I'll hang on.

Sir, it's Air Vice Marshal Park.

That's all we need now.

Jamie, hang onto this.

Good afternoon, sir.

Tell your men to relax.

How are they making out, Canfield?

Half the squadron are new pilots, sir.

That's why you were sent here, to lick them into shape.

They get less warning here than any other station... so they must learn to get up from standby... in two minutes flat if they're to intercept the enemy.

Hello. Dispersal.


Stand down, "A" flight.


Yes, sir.

The chaps spoil her.

All right, Canfield, what's up?

You have a pilot missing.

Yes, sir.

Over the channel.

Is he much overdue?

Over two hours, sir.

I thought I'd made it clear we're too near the enemy... for pilots to go swanning around on their own.

We can't afford to lose them this way.

What's the excuse this time, undercarriage check?

Instruments, sir.

We've all done it, but that's no excuse.

What's his name?

Pilot officer Lambert, sir.

Gerhardt, my bath!

Yes, certainly, Major.

Do me a favor. Not now, Papa.

These are the day's instructions for the Luftwaffe... and they must go off today. All right, if I must.

I know, you have just found it.

That doesn't concern you. Hurry up, old man... because my evening meal will not wait for you.

In exactly five minutes, we drive to Boulogne, OK?

Hans, look after Major Foehn.

Good evening, sir. May I lead the way?

Certainly, my boy. Lead on.

Don't let him near the wine cellar!

What's the best way to evade a Spitfire, Major, shallow dive?

And curving in at the same time.

But excuse me, Major, my brother says... a Spitfire can outmaneuver a 109.

When we are in England, let him take up a Spitfire... and prove it to me in my 109.

Done! But don't forget your life jacket!

I said look after our guest, Hans, not drown him.

Major Foehn doesn't think much of the shot-method.

If you would teach your boys to shoot a little sharper... the problem wouldn't arise.

Excuse me, Jafu II. You are to report to Wissant.

What, now, Papa? Immediately.

And Major Foehn also.

I think I know why we've been asked to go to Wissant.

This is it.

Gentlemen... Eagle Day!

The destruction of the Royal Air Force on the ground.

Zero hour for takeoff 7:15 A.M.

Our targets today in southern England... are the following airfields.

Manston, Biggin, Kenley...

Dover, Hawkinge.

It is our task to destroy the R.A.F. On the ground.

There'll be nothing left for us.

Don't worry, gentlemen... our omnibus drivers won't be able to destroy everything.

Some Spitfires will remain, anyway.

Even for you, Bruno.

Therefore, gentlemen... fly in at maximum height and make good use of it.

And try not to land in the Channel.

Especially use your eyes and watch your petrol gauges.

Remember, you've only got thirty minutes over there.

Come on, chaps.

Away, I'm here.

Hostile 2-3.

Morning, all.

Bearing 1-8-6, range thirty miles.

Twenty plus.

Height, six thousand.

Yes, Danmoor, I confirm.

No I.F.F.

Hostile 2-9, now thirty plus.

Yes, Danmoor, I confirm.

Recheck I.F.F., please, Bentmarle.

Sorry to call you in, sir, but something's building.

2-8 now forty plus.


None due through until tonight, sir.

Hostile 3-1 forty plus, 1-6.

Better bring more squadrons to standby.

Right, sir. Get me Beacon Hill.

Reconfirm Hostile 2-3.

Hostile 2-3, 1-8-0.

Getting interference again, sir.

Not now, corporal, not now.

That's better.

Five miles.

I'm afraid the raid is entering my ground range, Danmoor.


Get them up.

43 Squadron, intercept Hostile 2-1.

That was Danmoor, sir.

Ventnar radar out of action.

Who's covering Dover?

54 Squadron, sir.

6th Squadron's airborne, sir.

Too slow. Some of them took six and seven minutes.

They'll have to do it in two.

Tallyho, Velvet Leader!

Down there on the left.


Roger. Here we go.

Attacking now.

Yellow section, keep your eyes peeled for the escort.


Easier to hit than a barn door.

It's like shooting rats in a barrel.

You'll be in a barrel... if you don't watch out for the fighters.

What's the matter? Can you hear me?

Ventnar, and now Dover's out of action.

Our plots are drying up. Then we're blind.

So now we've only got the observer corps.

This is only the beginning.

They won't stop now.


Make it a hundred plus.

Hello? Hello? Heinkels, hundred plus.

Yes, Center. Still going north.


Twelve thousand.


2 Section, scramble!

Look alive!

Engine trouble!



Muck and filth everywhere, Mr. Warrick. It's like a pigsty!

The cooks don't come on till 6:00.

Well, you've got some defaulters. Put them onto it.

Come on you lots, move!

You'd be there fast enough if it was real!

At the double!

Oh, my God.

Section Officer Harvey!


I've noticed that some of your girls... are now using the men's trenches during air raid practice.

It's got to stop. Sir.

And another thing... gas mask cases... they're for gas masks. They're not handbags.

I do realize, of course, that female requirements... differ somewhat from the male.

Nevertheless, that's no excuse to...

God's teeth!

Take cover!


At least we know what Jerry's going for.

All our airfields, unfortunately.

It's a squadron scramble, sir.

Don't be wet. Get me the duty controller.

We've only just come down. We're still refueling.

Don't just stand there! Get one up!

Corporal Johnson!

Engine blocks away!

Rest of you men, in the trenches!

Talk about a hairy takeoff.

I saw Jimmy buy it. Did Archie get off?

Oh, I'm with you old boy, but I've left my stomach behind.

Ah, shut up, will you!

Rabbit Leader to Cowslip Control.

Do you read me? Over.

For Christ's sake, Cowslip, wake up, will you?

Rabbit Squadron airborne.

Close up, Red-2!

Stick to me like glue, Simon.

Rabbit Leader, sorry about that. This is Cowslip.

About time, too. Where'd they go?

Bandits now twenty miles east of you heading southeast.

Sector 1-2-0 and make Angels 2-0.

We'll go, Cowslip.

Rabbit's turning port... now.

Come in, Red-2. Where the hell are you?

Where the hell are you, Simon?

You, lads, pull yourselves together!

Get moving! Get another shovel!

Bates, pull yourself together.

Stay with them, Seymour.

It's all right. I'll see to it.

How about two hands over here, Officer?

Run the hoses out over here!

Put that cigarette out!

The mains have gone! Can't you smell gas?

Don't you yell at me, Mr. Warrick!

Here, you men!

Don't stand there looking at it, you idle shover!

You! Get me some stretchers and the orderly.

Ma'am. Fast!

You can stand some of the girls down now, Corporal.

Jones, Whitman, clear up that mess.

Then you can take five minutes.

43, stand down.

1-1-1 released.

5-0-1 are down at Tangbear.

They couldn't get in at Big Wing.

Few more days like this... and we won't be able to get them down anywhere.

I suppose we could always pull them all back... north of the Thames, out of range.

That is precisely what they want us to do.

This is the BBC home service.

Here is the 9:00 news.

Large formations of enemy aircraft... today attacked targets in southern England... but the enemy's aerial armada came in for heavy punishment.

Over forty-seven German planes were destroyed... with a loss of only fifteen of our own aircraft.

Six of these pilots were saved.

Several R.A.F. Aerodromes were also attacked... and some casualties were sustained... but they were light.


Good. Very good.

The weather is constant.

We have a stabilized high pressure zone... and we'll make use of it.

The proof, gentlemen. We are destroying... as many planes on the ground as in the air.

Thank you, Schmidt. On the desk, please.

Reichsmarschall Goering will certainly be interested... in my report.

To date, almost 300 planes have been destroyed.

Almost half the entire British fighter force, gentlemen.

The Colonel can report what he pleases.

The fact remains... that our bombers continue to be intercepted.

Because the English are now bringing in their reserves.

As from tomorrow, we'll increase our attacks on these airfields.

And five Luftwaffes will attack the north and north-east.

But that is outside the range of our fighters, Colonel.

Also outside the range of the English fighters.

Not even a Spitfire can be in the north and the south... at the same time .

How far are we from the coast?

Everybody, Action Stations.

Tomato Heinz to all. Tomato Heinz to all.

Another ten minutes to target.

All ready at Fighter Stations.

Another ten minutes to target. End.

Look! Spitfire!

Help yourself, everybody. There's no fighter escort.

There! Right behind us!

Soapbox Leader, break it off.

Home and tea.

For once you deserve it. Well done, everybody.

Heinkel, three-second burst.

Starboard engine. Ruddy great flamer.

Any identification marks?

Yellow stripes on the wings.

Wing leader. See it go down?

Did I? Nyaow... plunk!

Hmm. Graham and Jack will confirm your story.

That's three of you who got him.

1/3 of a kill, laddie, 1/3.


What did you hit? A Heinkel.

Anyone see mine go in? Didn't know you were with us.

Well done, Peter.

Only 1/3 of a one, sir.

Oh, that's better than nothing.

I used to blast away and never hit a sausage.

One thing though...

What's that, sir?

It takes us two years to train people like you.

Suppose your controls had been damaged.

What would've happened to that idiotic victory roll?

You'd have been spread all over the damn field... like strawberry jam. Never again. Clear?

Yes, sir.

Something to make Stuffy's day.

The old man's just gone down to the OPs room with Sasha.

Final figures of the northern raids... twenty-three without loss.

Jolly good. I'll show it to him.


We're getting 6 volunteer pilots from Coastal Command... and from the Fleet Air Arms, sir... five from each of the Fairday battle squadrons... and three from army cooperation.

That's thirty, is it? Not enough.

We lost that many yesterday.

And the air staff hesitate to weaken the light bombers... in case of invasion, sir.

We need pilots now.

What about the foreign squadrons under training?

Czechs, Poles?

I know your feelings about the language difficulties.

They don't understand a word that's said over the air.

They're a menace to themselves and us.

I'll try and cut more corners off the training program.

Pilots are doing well... enemy losing at the rate of two to one... then he can afford to, can't he?

Never sends more than half his bombers at one time.

We must find more pilots... or lose.

Begin. This is off speed.

Check 5-0-1 back at ready desk...

I think you ought to see this, sir.

Thank you.

Air raid warning.

Sector Three Red.

Rabbit Squadron.

Tallyho, tallyho, Red Section.

We'll take the rear starboard.

Yellow, you take the port.

Yellow-1 Wilco.

Tallyho, Yellow.

Amaliel, keep your eyes open for the Red Squad.

Rabbit Leader, Red-3, you're on those bastards...

Six o'clock high. Coming down now.

Roger, Red-3. I see them.

Rabbit, brave right and climb.

Behind you, Andy! On your tail!

Get out, Andy!


Hurry up! Out!

All out!

Don't any of you Joes talk English?



Where are you taking those vultures?

Officers to the mess, ensigns to the guard room, sir.

Like hell you are. They're responsible for all that.

Get them to clear it up. But what about the officers?

Give them a bloody shovel.

Come on, step with it!

Skipper hates Jerries.

He'll hate me if you don't get that gun repaired.

Then wrap up this little lot.

Only eight for the morning?

Got to do better than that.

Five are write-offs.

One has another guard gone, and two are missing, sir.

Mr. Anthony and Sergeant Moore.

And these two are hundred-hour checks.

They've been at it for 48 hours solid, sir.

I know.

Where the hell have you been?!

Learning to swim.

Do your best, Blaine. Roger.

You get one?

All I got was a bellyful of English Channel.

When are you going to learn?

I didn't know they were there.

Never fly straight and level... for more than thirty seconds in the combat area.

How many times have I told you? Come on, I'll give you a lift.

I'd rather walk, sir.

Cut out the "sir."

You called your wife?

All right, boy. Get in.

Here you are, sir.

Thank you.

It's ridiculous!

We go up four or five times a day... and every time we come down, more potholes.

There are more potholes until we can't bloody well get in a door.

We'll get this place operational again.

You won't. Not until someone decides... to protect it while we're up.

What flaming genius thought of sending us... to that dump of a flying club?

Don't blame me. Direct orders from group.

Park himself. It's not a bad little field.

I've seen it. Damp tents... and a nasty little shack full of dead flies.

At least you won't have the Jerries visiting you.

I don't blame them.

How much longer, Hobbes?

The engine's overheating, and so am I.

We either stand down or blow up.

Which do you want?

Hostile 1-6, reconfirm, please.

Need some more Yellow sevens, Flight.

This is R-29, now forty plus. 1-5.

Yes. 2-6 and 4-1 detected, sir.

7 Squadron's airborne, sir.

Thank you. Let 12 Group know. And make sure they know... they're protecting my airfields while they're up.

They have been told, sir. Tell them again.

Pine Tree Leader, this is Turkey Control.

Vector 1-9-2.

I have some trade for you over Maidstone.

Turkey Control, Pine Tree Leader.

Roger 1-9-0.

Pine Tree, this is Turkey.

Twenty plus bandits and Angels 2-0 heading west.

Roger, Turkey Control.

Indiana left. Making low level attack.

Roger. I see you. I'm breaking left to attack.

My God! Fighters coming down now!

Fire speed. Break.


On your tail, Jamie.

Enemy aircraft approaching, sir.

Coming straight for us. Flying course, 21st.

About eight thousand feet.

I'm taking cover.

Tin hats, everybody.

That should damn well never have happened.

Where the hell is 12 Group? They were requested, sir.

They're nowhere in sight.

Find out what the devil they think they're playing at.

They just fell on us.

They got my number two and the C.O.

You saw Canfield go down?

It blew up.

Just blew up.

Bad as we thought? Worse.

Kenley and Biggenor are shambles again... and the rest are not much better.

God knows how many aircraft we'll have in the morning.

All because 12 Group didn't do their stuff.

Leigh-Mallory and his so-called Big Wings.

Might as well stay on the ground for all the use they are.

We were up, sir.

Trying to knock out the enemy en masse.

But it takes time to assemble 40 or 50 aircraft at 15,000 feet.

It takes far too long.

By the time your Big Wing is up... the enemy have hit their targets and are on their way home.

All that matters is to shoot them down in large numbers.

I'd rather destroy fifty after they've hit their targets... than ten before.

Don't forget the targets are my airfields, Leigh-Mallory... and you're not getting fifty. You're not even getting ten.

Gentlemen, you're missing the essential truth.

We're short of two hundred pilots.

Those we have are tired, strained... and all overdue for relief.

We're fighting for survival.


We don't need a big wing or a small wing.

We need pilots.

And a miracle.

Good night, gentlemen.

Good night, sir. Good night, sir.

And now, over to the Savoy Hotel, London... for dance music until midnight... with Carrol Gibbons and his Savoy Hotel Orpheans.

You look a damn sight better out of uniform.

Hardly remember you out of yours.

And who's fault's that?

For God's sake, not again.

Look, damn it, my squadron's come south.

You just apply for that posting!

Colin, no!

All right, agreed! Taboo subject tonight.

Old wafs.

You really think we're solemnly going... to get into these ridiculous garments?

Not at this stage, surely.

I'm shy.

Oh, Maggie, come on.

It's just...

I am shy.


I'll put out the light.

No, Colin!

No, it's not just bed, it's us!

It's you.

And me.

You and me.

We should have been over target nine minutes ago.

The wind has veered.

So where are we?

Where is London?

Far back in the south-west.

Good. Then get rid of the bombs and let's go home.


I will put in for that posting.


That's their bombs!

They're bombing London!

It isn't funny! Cut it out!

Too damn close.

Colin, I promise.

I promise.

Attacks on London are strictly forbidden.

This order you know as well as I do, Major Brandt.

These attacks may only be flown... on the specific order of the Fuehrer.

I regret, gentlemen... that this is now completely out of my hands.

By order of Vice Marshal Goering... you two are to report to Berlin to testify.

Thank you.

Major Brandt?

Flying Officer Froedl. Please follow me.

Would you believe it?

Don't they know there's a blackout?

You know what Goering said:

"If ever a bomb falls on Berlin...

"you may call me Meier." Hmm.

You are to report to Colonel Schroeder at 9 A.M. Sharp.

This car will take you to your quarters... and you are to remain there.

"As from today, we are called Meier."

Last night, bombs were dropped on Berlin by the British.

So be it.

That is a game at which two can play.

If the R.A.F. Drops three, four... five thousand kilograms of bombs on Germany in one night... then in one night we shall drop three hundred... four hundred, five hundred, five thousand on England!

When they attack our cities, we will flatten theirs.

Then we will obliterate them!

The hour will come when one of us must crack.

It will never be National Socialist Germany!

Never! Never!

The English are wondering.

They keep asking, "Why doesn't he come?"

Be patient. Patience.

We are coming.

We are coming!

Sieg heil! Sieg heil!


Reichsmarschall, I welcome you in the name of...

It's all right, Kesselring. Thank you, thank you.

Ah, Osterkamp, everything all right?

Yes, sir.

Then it can begin.

Come with me, Kesselring. Yes.

Don't stand around like a bunch of pigs!

Fall in!

I'll let the lot of you swim over the Channel!


In the ditch! March! Get off the road!


There they come.

If we lose the war now... they'll tear our arses asunder.

Arrow to Rabbit Leader.

Vector 1-6-0.

Bandits one hundred plus.

Angels 1-5.

Bandits one hundred plus. Over.

Rabbit to Arrow.

I can't see them.

But they must be there.

Well, come have a look for yourself then.

Nothing, I repeat, nothing.

Group, please.

Everything we've got, and get them moving.

They've caught us this time.

They're turning northwest. It looks like London.

It's London, all right... and we've got everything up covering airfields.

Where is the Royal Air Force?

Messerschmidt. Iron Corps.


No, they ain't. They're Iron Corps.

Five seconds.



The pressure's dropping again.

This is as far as I can get, lad.

Down at the end there, by that car.

Hey, no you don't. What do you mean?

There's a thousand-pounder down there... and it's not gone off.

If you're looking for somebody... they're all down at the church hall.

They got the Rose 'n' Crown.

He'll have to drink at the Red Lion now.

If they'll have him.

How bloody stupid can you get?

I spend half a leaf seeing you all safe in the country... and you bring her back to all this.

I'm sorry, it's just we missed everyone.

You're all going back.

Dad, have you finished it?

Have you got it?

Thank you.

There's a family trapped in Shaw Street.

Can we have some more volunteers?

I'll be back, luv.

Stop that bloody bell!

It came more from the back.

Not real Spitfires.

They couldn't land here.

You'll see in a minute.

Only officers fly Spitfires.

You're not a fighter pilot.

What about your top button?

Anybody can do that.

T-5? What's that?

They're a training squadron, sir.

The Poles.

Get them out of it. Get them down.

Blackhawk Leader, vector 2-3-0... and return to base immediately. Over.

Blackhawk Leader. Received and understood. Out.

Blackhawk Leader to "A" flight.

Turn to port and steer 2-3-0.

Germans! Germans, on the right!

I don't see! Where? Down there on the right!

I see the Jerries. I see!

Stop that Polish chatter and steer 2-3-0.

Repeat, please.

I say again, 2-3-0.

Repeat, please.

For crying out loud, 2-3-0!

Repeat, please. Repeat, please.

Now, just shut up, the lot of you, and follow me... unless you're blind as well as...

Oh, God's truth.

Shut up!

Silence, in Polish!

Get out quickly!

One, the R.A.F. Is not a flying circus.

Two, strict R.T. Procedure will be observed at all times.

And it is never... repeat, never... to be used...

for private Polish chitchat.

Finally, and God alone knows why...

I've received the following signal.

"Congratulations. As of today, this squadron is operational."

Signed, "Keith Park...

"Air Vice Marshal, A.O.C. 11 Group."

I was wrong about the Poles.

We also have the second Polish squadron, sir.

I thought you'd mention that.

All right. Make them operational.

And the Canadians?

And the Czechs. We need them all.

Looks like London again, sir.


And there's nothing we can do about it.

But if Goering should concentrate... on London by day... it's another matter.

If it means he leaves my airfields alone...

I shan't complain.

Even a few days would give me the chance... to get back to full strength.

He'll have farther to come.

And to go back.

We'll have more time to intercept.

What's more important, Park... his fighters have only fuel enough... for ten minutes over London.

His bombers will lose much of their protection.

For the first time... they'll all come within the range of 12 Group.

Perhaps now, at last, we shall see... what Leigh-Mallory's Big Wings are made of.

Turning on London could be the Germans' biggest blunder.

Spider Leader, this is Top Hat Control.

Bandits now twenty miles east of you, heading southeast.

Vector 1-2-0.

Make, Angel 2-0. Roger, Top Hat.

Fox Trot Leader, this is Tango Control.

Fox Trot Leader, Pass your message.

I have some trade for you building up over green "A."

Roger, Tango.

Spider Leader, Top Hat Control.

Your customers appear to be splitting up.

Main course heading for London will be your target.

Vector 0-9-0.

Roger, Top Hat.

Batman Control. Climb to Angels 1-9.

Roger, Batman.

Thank you again.

This should give them something to think about.

Starlight Control to Dogtail.

Keep an eye out for a friendly wing... joining you on your port side.

Roger, Starlight.

I see them. I see them.

Bloody marvelous.

Fox Trot Leader, Tango Control.

Bandits now probably slightly below you.

Roger, Tango. I've got them.

Peewee Leader turning starboard now.

Watch out for 109s about.

Roger, Fairfield Leader. Going up now.

Take the left-hand pair, Blue Leader.


Everybody else, keep tight.

Swarms of them, sir!

Fox Trot Leader, cut that out.

Everyone keep quiet.

Leave the flaming fighters.

It's the bloody bombers we want.

Ox, will you pipe down?

On fire, son of a gun!

Ox! Behind you!


I am on fire! I'm bailing out!

Good afternoon.

Good afternoon my ass, you Boche bastard.

Put your hands up! Come on, put them up!

What is it? I'm a Polish pilot...

Cor blimey. Your mitts, mate... your mitts.

Put 'em up there. Go on. Get going.

Where are you taking me? I'm fighting on your side!

Can we get in?

And fetch the doctor. Good.

I know, young man.

Get out of the way, man.

It's coming. It's coming.

Are you telling me that your losses are critical?

We're bombing day and night, Reichsmarschall.

Our losses are high, and our pilots are tired... and the planes need servicing.

Be specific! What are you telling me?!

The English have changed tactics.

Changed tactics? How?

They are attacking in large numbers.

Our losses might be reduced if our formations... were more closely escorted by fighters, sir.

The fighters are always there.

But not close enough, is that it?

You, yourself, were a fighter pilot.

The fighter is a hunter, sir.

I was a fighter pilot.

I was not a coward!

There is no suggestion of cowardice, sir!

I am making the suggestion!

From now on the fighters will stay close with our bombers.

And lose their natural advantages... of surprise and speed?

You will obey orders!

The invasion cannot begin until we have cleared the skies.

Come, my friends, I have chastised you enough.

But I am here to help him.

Is there anything you want?

Foehn? Falke?

Yes, sir, a squadron of Spitfires.

Stop... vapor trail.

Left and above.

Vulture Leader to everyone.

Keep quiet. Hold positions.

We'll encircle them only when they close up... to firing distance.

We'll take the rear starboard.

Yellow, you take the port.


Thanks awfully, old chap.

Sir, you know...

I have promised the Fuehrer... to clear the skies and totally destroy the R.A.F.

I expect to be obeyed!

Here we are.

The miracle of the loaves.

We should have moved in here before we were bombed.

Maggie, I'd like you to meet our new assistant controller.

Squadron Leader Tom Evans, Section Officer Harvey.

How do you do?


He knows your old man.

How is Colin?

Haven't seen him since my little escapade... with the burning Hurricane.

Excuse me, ma'am.

Ma'am. There's a call for you.

Will you excuse me just a minute?

Yes. Thanks.

It's around the corner.


It's me.

How on earth did you get through here?

Put it down to rank.

I said I was an old battle-ax from the Air Ministry.

Colin. That was very clever.

Any news?


Your posting, you silly idiot.

Well, you've applied.

I've been so busy here.

It's really not as simple as all that.

Look, why the hell not?

To be absolutely honest, I forgot.

I know, darling. I'm sorry.

Groopy's here now.

I'll go and talk to him right away. All right?

All right?



Get through all right, sir?


Let me give you a piece of advice.

What's that, sir?

Stay single.

Are you still with me, Dogtail Red-2?

Affirmative, Red Leader.

Directly behind you and on your starboard side.

What happened to Harvey?

He got a 1-0-9, then ran into trouble... but he's all right.

No mistake. I saw him bail out.

Right, right, attention.

Right. Stand at ease.

Corporal Seymour will detail you to your various watches.

I left out the bit about the wolf whistles.

You're better at that.

The troops have other things on their minds nowadays... thank goodness.

Right! Shun!

It's Colin.

He isn't dead, Maggie.

He's going to be all right.

They can do wonders nowadays, you know.

It's just a question of time, that's all.

We'll get you a posting so you can be near him.

Is he badly burned?

You sent for me, sir?

Yes, Peter. I want you to take over Red Section.

Who are my numbers two and three, sir?

A couple of new lads. They're outside.

Right, then.

How many hours on spits?

Ten, sir. Seven, sir.

Stick to me like glue and keep your eyes open.

Control. Put out 2-2-2 and 6-0-3 Squadrons... against Hostile 2-6.

Winston would pick a day like this to come.

Is everything up?

The lot, sir.

Reserves? None.

That's what I've just told the prime minister.

Red-3, this is Red-1.

Much closer. I can hardly see you.

Red-2. You must keep up with me.

Right, Red Section. Here we go.

Stick to me like glue.

Red-3, behind you!

Come in, Blue-2.

Hey, kids. Shut up, will you?

This is the BBC home service.

Here is the 9:00 news... and this is Armand Adell reading it.

Up till 8:00 tonight...

165 German aircraft have been destroyed... in big scale attacks attempted by the enemy today... on London and the southeast.

We lost thirty fighters with ten of the pilots safe.

Buckingham Palace has been bombed again... but no one was hurt.

Yes? Yes, one moment.

It's the air minister, sir, on the scrambler.


Dowding. Look, our people in Washington... are having trouble with the American press... and it's about today's figures.

German sources there are saying... that our claims are wildly exaggerated.


Are you there, Dowding?

I'm here, Minister.

Well, can you verify the figures?

I'm not very interested in propaganda.

If we're right, they'll give up.

If we're wrong, they'll be in London in a week.

Morning, Arnold. Morning, sir.

Morning, sir.

Morning, Arnold. Morning, Clyde.



Tea's up.

Good morning, sir.

Good morning.

They are late this morning, sir.

The bastards are up to something.

Quick march!

You have let me down!