Battle of Britain Talks

14 September 2014

The crew of 303 Polish Squadron who fought so valiantly during the Battle of Britain


In commemoration of the 74th anniversary of the Battle of Britain the museum will be hosting three very special lectures by Military Historians; James Holland, Peter Caddick-Adams and Stephen Bungay.

Each lecture will look at a specific area of the Battle of Britain, giving an overall insight into the events that took place on the 15th September 1940:

Stephen Bungay: The Girls in Blue – The WAAF in the Battle of Britain

Stephen Bungay11.30 to 12.30 in the Museum Lecture Theatre      

The difference that made the difference in the Battle of Britain was Fighter Command’s unique Air Defence System.  

Many of the jobs in it were carried out by members of the WAAF.  They were the first women in any military organisation to be placed in what was effectively the front line. 

Stephen Bungay will talk about who they were, what they did and why it mattered.

James Holland: The Battle of Britain - Myth & Reality

James Holland13:00 to 14:00 in the Museum Lecture Theatre      

In this talk, James Holland takes a fresh look at one of the most iconic episodes in British history, examining the story that has been passed down into folklore and assessing the performance of both sides.  

In so doing he will be asking whether Britain’s victory in the summer of 1940 was even more comprehensive and significant than perhaps is widely thought.

Peter Caddick-Adams: Blue and Grey - Command in the Battle of Britain

14:30 to 15:30 in the Museum Lecture Theatre      

Peter Caddick-Adams will contrast the operational commanders, Dowding and Goring, and examine how concepts of leadership within the two opposing air forces were quite different.

The Public Opening of the ‘Sir Alan Cobham’s Flying Circus; A Life of a Pioneering Aviator’ exhibition

Daniel Albon - Curator16:00 to 17:00 in the Museum Lecture Theatre

Daniel Albon, curator of the ‘Sir Alan Cobham’s Flying Circus’ exhibition will give a free lecture to officially open the exhibition to the public. This hour long lecture will feature footage from the Battle of Britain film and a personal tour of the exhibition which opens on 14th September 2014.

Sir Alan Cobham was a pioneering long distance aviator and technical innovator who became famous for his exploits in the interwar years by making aviation accessible and popular throughout the world. This talk will highlight Sir Alan Cobham’s life and achievements and also explore how he inspired countless pilots to join the Royal Air Force during the Second World War.


  • Full price: £17.00 per person plus a 50p booking fee (allows entry into all three lectures and guaranteed entry to the public opening of the ‘Sir Alan Cobham’s Flying Circus’ exhibition)
  • Child: £12.00 per person plus a 50p booking fee (allows entry into all three lectures and guaranteed entry to the public opening of the ‘Sir Alan Cobham’s Flying Circus’ exhibition)

  • Individual tickets: £6.00 per person plus a 50p booking fee (entry into individual talks only)



Are you a member of the RAF Museum? If so, you’re eligible for a £3.00 discount on the Battle of Britain talks. Just type BOBMEMBER into the promotions box when purchasing your ticket.

Please note: this offer is only valid when buying the full priced ticket. Those who purchase a ticket using a membership discount may be asked to show their membership card upon arrival. The discount will be valid until the 14th September 2014.



Stephen Bungay is a British management consultant, historian and author who has made a special study of the Battle of Britain.

Stephen published his first book on military history, The Most Dangerous Enemy – A History of the Battle of Britain, in 2000.  It has now become the standard work on the subject.  A second work, Alamein, appeared in 2002.

Since 2004 he has also been a frequent contributor to television programmes, including the Channel 4 series ‘Spitfire Ace’ and BBC 1’s ‘The Real Battle of Britain’ which was screened in September 2010.  His most recent appearance was in ABC’s two-part documentary about the desert war.



James Holland is a historian, writer, and broadcaster. The author of the best-selling Fortress Malta, Battle of Britain, and Dam Busters, he has also written nine works of historical fiction, five of which feature the heroic Jack Tanner, a soldier of the Second World War. He regularly appears on television and radio, and has written and presented the BAFTA-shortlisted documentaries, Battle of Britain and Dam Busters, which were made for BBC2, and the Battle for Malta and the BBC series Cold War, Hot Jets.  

He has recently been a part of the BBC's D-Day 70 coverage and was writer and presenter of a new film, Normandy '44: The Battle Beyond the Beaches. Co-founder and Programme Director of the hugely successful Chalke Valley History Festival, he has his own collection at the Imperial War Museum, and is Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.



Peter was educated at Shrewsbury School, Sandhurst and Wolverhampton University, where he gained First Class Honours in War Studies. Since May 1998 he has lectured at the UK Defence Academy, Shrivenham, initially under the late, inspirational Professor Richard Holmes. Acknowledged as one of the UK’s most experienced battlefield guides, Peter has led nearly 300 visits to more than 50 battlefields around the world, covering all periods in history, from the Romans to the present day. At the Defence Academy, he lectures on air power, military history, doctrine, terrorism, psychological, and media operations, as well as current security issues.

He combines an academic life with a uniformed one. Commissioned at Sandhurst in 1979, Peter has over 35 years of Regular and Reserve service. In 1996-7, he was the official NATO historian in Bosnia, based in Sarajevo, attached to the staff of the US Commander. Awarded the Territorial Decoration in 1997, in February-May 2003 he served on the staff of the UK Contingent Commander (Air Chief Marshal Sir Brian Burridge) during the Iraq invasion, based in at CENTCOM Forward in Qatar and at Basra, in Iraq.


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