Dowding and Churchill: The Dark Side of the Battle of Britain
Throughout the Battle of Britain a number of high-ranking officials in government and the Air Ministryrnschemed and conspired to undermine Dowding's authority and to have him removed from Fighter Command. They are conspicuous for their machinations, motivated as they were by hatred, jealousy, ambition and fear. They were ultimately successful, and Dowdhg and Park, the victors of the Battle, were replaced by two of the arch-schemers.rnThe infamous conference of October 17 in the Air Ministry was arranged by Sholto Douglas overtly to discuss air fighting and tactics and covertly to put Dowding and Park in the wrong, but ultimately to have his revenge on them for having humiliated him at the conference at Fighter Command of September 7. Spite went so far in the Air Ministry as to publish,a booklet on the Battle in March 1941 without mentioning Dowding. Churchill was Dowding's staunchest champion throughout, yet he acquiesced in his removal in November 1940; and while knowing of the campaign against Dowding did nothing to inquire into it. Dowding went head-to-head against Churchill over sending more fighters to France in June, and by winning the day won the Battle. Yet Churchill failed to mention this decisive intervention in his war memoirs. Dowding merely commented: One can hardly expect the man who nearly lost us the battle before it began to write about it.