Big Think (USA): mathematical model shows how the Nazis could win the Battle of Britain

Battle of Britain (Battle of Britain) is recognized by many as one of the most important battles that occurred during world war II. It was the first important victory of the allied forces, and she changed the course of military operations.

However, historians have long argued over what was the deciding factor in the victory of Britain and the defeat of Germany.

a New mathematical model takes into account numerous options for alternative tactics that could use the Germans. The experts came to the conclusion that only two adjustments on the part of the Germans could provide them victory over Britain.

Shortly after the Nazis took control of France in June 1940, they began a military campaign against Britain. For three months the Luftwaffe, the air force of the Wehrmacht struck at targets in Britain and against them operated by the Royal air force. Targets for bombing attacks were chosen arbitrarily. The first Luftwaffe bombers attacked ports and Maritime cargo complexes, then the base of the Royal air force, then objects of strategic infrastructure and, finally, an important civil and political purpose. The campaign, dubbed the Battle of Britain, included night bombing of high intensity, which are called “Flash” (Blitz).

defeating the Royal air force was the deciding factor, before the German army could launch a ground invasion of Britain, but in the end this military operation was too costly for the Wehrmacht. The planned invasion was cancelled, and a focus against Britain’s campaign were dismissed in the blocking of access to the sea of the island nation. It was the first major defeat of nemtsEV in the Second world war, which can be regarded as a decisive turning point that determined the future course of events.

part of the victory of the British became possible due to poor preparation by the Germans. Hitler never believed the invasion of Britain, and after the fall of France, he believed that Britain recognizes the “hopelessness of his military situation” and to agree to favorable terms of surrender, which he offers. Historians have long been debating the question of what the result could achieve the Luftwaffe, if the Germans had developed a more comprehensive strategy.

Two strategic blunders

Recently, historians of mathematics from the University of York St. John (York St. John University) have joined efforts and created a mathematical model that is able to show a possible outcome of the battle of Britain in that case, if a few things were changed.

the ContextWinston ChurchillBattle of Britain: a strategic mistake of Hitler that changed the course войныAtlantico06.09.2012 Phoenix: without the United States and Britain, the Soviet Union would have won ГитлераФеникс30.05.2019 Could the military actions of the Germans to be more successful if they are not bombed Britain? What would have happened if Hitler had started bombing before — just for a few weeks? That would be the case if the Germans throughout their operations focused on airfields of the Royal air force? Using a special method of weighted probability distribution (weighted bootstrapping), experts have studied these and other alternatives.

“a Method of weighted probability distribution allowed us to model alternative options for operations which course of action the Luftwaffe extend or shorten the various phases of this battle and vary the purpose for the bombings,” said one of the authors of this study, Dr Jamie wood (Jaime Wood). On the basis of various strategic decisions, which could be accepted in the armed forces of Germany, suggested by the model allows to predict the probability of events for the particular day of this battle.

“the Luftwaffe could have June to prepare the available military air base in France to conduct air raids on Britain, so we moved our alternative operation over the next three weeks, noted wood. We analyzed the impact of this and other possible factors, changing conditions for the chosen separate days.”

In the end, two strategic amendments significantly changed the situation in favor of the Germans. If the Germans started their operation a little early and continuously to cause air strikes on the airfields of the Royal air force, the victory of the allied forces would have been highly unlikely.

Assume that the chances of winning Britain in the real version of the Battle of Britain was 50: 50 (actually it is impossible to say with certainty, what were the chances, so we just take an arbitrary ratio). In this case, change the start date of this operation and focusing only on the airfields would reduce the chances of a British victory to 10%. Even if the chances of Britain was estimated at 98%, these changes would reduce them to 34%.

a Tool for understanding the history

this method, according to Niall McKay (Niall Mackay), co-authored the study, “shows how finely balanced was some of the most important moments in history. Even if we use the actual daily events of the battle, skyolsha change over time or shifting the emphasis in training can give absolutely other results”.

Scientists also claim that this method can be applied to other uncertain historical events. “Weighted probability distribution can be a natural and intuitive tool for historians in studies of missed opportunities and use the thus obtained data in the historical disputes and debates,” said McKay.

Using this method, scientists can explore other options and get an idea of how other might be important events in the history of the case, if it was made only minor changes. So far, at least we can be thankful that Hitler underestimated the resilience of Britain.

the new York times contain estimates of the solely foreign media and do not reflect the views of the editorial Board of the new York times.