Battle of Britain Silver Coin – Battlefront Series 1 oz. (2015)
First coin in the new Second World War Battlefront series, order today!"The Battle of France is over. The Battle of Britain is about to begin..." – Sir Winston Churchill
By the summer of 1940, much of continental Europe was occupied by Nazi Germany, which had turned its sights across the English Channel to Great Britain. As a precursor to a possible invasion, the Luftwaffe began a series of aerial attacks on Britain's coastal defences in a battle for superiority in the skies. With this fine silver coin, the Royal Canadian Mint commemorates Canada's role in the Battle of Britain, which would prove to be one of the turning points of the Second World War.
A poignant commemoration of the contributions made by Canadian pilots and crew members during this pivotal chapter in the Second World War. Order yours today!
• EFFIGY OF KING GEORGE VI: Your coin features the effigy of King George VI by T. H. Paget.
• First coin in the Royal Canadian Mint's commemorative Second World War Battlefront Series, which depicts scenes from key battles in which Canadians bravely participated during the Second World War.
• Crafted of 99.99% pure silver, this coin is struck with fine details which showcase the Royal Canadian Mint's world-class artistry and skillful engraving.
• A striking addition to any military or history-themed collection and a thoughtful gift for military-history enthusiasts.
• Your coin is GST/HST exempt.
About the Design:
"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few... All hearts go out to the fighter pilots, whose brilliant actions we see with our own eyes day after day..." – Sir Winston Churchill
Your coin pays tribute to Canada's role in the Battle of Britain with its depiction of a dogfight in the skies above Dover. At the helm of a Hawker Hurricane, a Canadian fighter pilot ascends higher after firing upon a Dornier Do 17Z—the enemy plane has seemingly dropped in altitude as a trail of dark smoke billows up from one of its engines. Well below these fighter planes, the background recreates England's beautiful southeastern coast, where the waters of the English Channel meet the famous White Cliffs of Dover.
Never before has the fate of a nation depended on the outcome of a combat fought entirely in the air.
The Battle of Britain began on July 10, 1940, as Messerschmitts Bf 109s crossed into British airspace to strike shipping convoys and centres. Despite being outnumbered nearly 2 to 1, the Royal Air Force (RAF) had a key advantage throughout the ensuing attacks: a network of radar stations eliminated the possibility of any sneak attacks, which allowed for fighter squadrons of Hurricanes and Spitfires to scramble and intercept the enemy.
Canadian pilots joined the series of short-range aerial combats, including members of the RAF's No. 242 "Canadian" Squadron and the RCAF's No. 1 Squadron, which became the first Canadian unit to face enemy planes in a dogfight over Southern England on August 26, 1940. Other Canadians played a role serving in RAF Bomber and Coastal Command squadrons.
Daily raids continued; after unleashing heavy attacks upon RAF targets throughout August, the Luftwaffe broadened its targets in September to include a key civilian target: London. Still, the RAF resisted and in the face of mounting losses, Hitler postponed his planned invasion dubbed "Operation Sea Lion" and turned his attention to the East.
On October 31, 1940, the Battle of Britain came to a close. Although the Luftwaffe would continue nighttime bombing raids until May 1941, it had suffered its first defeat by failing to disarm British defences during those pivotal three and a half months—all at the hands of the outnumbered yet resourceful Allied pilots.
Did you know…
• The Royal Canadian Air Force was born on 1 April 1924.
• In August 1939, the RCAF received delivery of its first Hawker Hurricane aircraft, the same type most Canadian pilots would fly during the Battle of Britain.
• Roughly 232,000 men and 17,000 women enlisted with the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War; sadly, over 17,000 would become casualties in the war.
• Britain's aerial defences were in the hands of pilots flying Hawker Hurricanes, Supermarine Spitfires and Boulton Paul Defiants; it is these aircraft that would repel the Luftwaffe's Messerschmitts, Dornier Do 17s, Heinkel He 111s and Junker aircraft during the Battle of Britain.
• With its higher top speed, the Supermarine Spitfire targeted high-flying fighter planes while the more numerous Hawker Hurricanes would pursue slower bombers; although the Spitfire has become associated with victory in the Battle of Britain, in fact it was the Hurricane squadrons that accounted for more enemy aircraft shot down.
Your coin is encapsulated and presented in a Royal Canadian Mint-branded maroon clamshell with a custom beauty box.
Order your coin today!