The Battle for Britain

We have just received this insightful response to our New Year Message. At the Gate of the Year – click here to read the article:

hugh_dowding
Air Chief Marshal Lord Dowding commander-in-chief of Fighter Command, Royal Air Force, 1936 – 1940

I was fascinated to read your blog “At the Gate of the Year”  including reference to the Battle for Britain.  

[My husband] Graham and I went to RAF Cosford on Remembrance Day for a service last year. I sat next to someone there whose dad had flown in the RAF and died in World War II. He had tears in his eyes as he spoke about this.  
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After the remembrance service at RAF Cosford we spent time walking around the museum and towards the end we were in the shop area.  I came across a Haynes manual on the Battle of Britain – July to October 1940. It was an RAF Operations Manual. It really leaped out at me in my spirit but I decided to pray about it some more before purchasing it. A few weeks later I came across it again and bought it. Over Christmas I read it through.
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After going to a few war room style prayer gatherings in 2018, I found the manual thought provoking. What struck me in particular was a statement in the 1968 Battle of Britain film made by Dowding who was Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief early on in the war. As the Haynes manual says it may be ‘possibly apocryphal’ but there is a message in it.  In the film Dowding has an exchange with a minister.
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“Dowding says “God willing, we will hold out minister.” 
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The minister then asks if he should tell the Cabinet that Dowding “is trusting in radar and praying to God.”  
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Dowding chuckles in response and replies,“More accurately the other way around.  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 a rate of four to one, if we’re to keep pace at all.” 
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Dowding helped develop the infrastructure that was key to winning the Battle of Britain known as the ‘Dowding System’. This was a plan of defences on the ground and in the air with a control and command structure that was centralised.  
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Last week I had the opportunity to go to Churchill’s War Rooms in London. The words “defence of the realm” came to me as I walked around. Praying into what this means. I sat for a while listening to a radio programme from the second world war. It referred to a National Day of Prayer and I thought of Call The Nation To Prayer.
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Praying blessings upon you and all those who are part of Call the Nation to Prayer team this year. May God direct your steps and open doors for you.  
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Blessings
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Lisa Hutt
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(Lisa writes in a personal capacity but is also the Coordinator of the London LOOP Prayer Walk with the Neighbourhood Prayer Network – www.neighbourhoodprayer.net)

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