After reviewing the assigned texts, it seems that Great Britain’s use of radar throughout the Second World War was the most critical factor in the power’s success during the conflicts of 1940. The advances with the Enigma machine made at Bletchley Park were, indeed, integral to Great Britain’s success after 1940 and though out the war’s duration. With regard to the air and sea battles of 1940, however, it seems that Britain’s embrace of radar—along with Germany’s neglect of the technology—gave them a critical upper hand. According to the Routledge Atlas of the Second World War, Great Britain had established 51 radar bases along the southern coast of the island. The radar used at these bases could detect aircraft arriving from the continent and were able to determine trajectory. These detections (along with those made by coastal observers) helped people logistically allocate resources and put anti-aircraft weapons in strategic locations.
With regard to the sea, shipping routes across the Atlantic Ocean became increasingly hostile during 1940. Great Britain’s use of radar helped ships avoid U-Boat assaults and attacks from German ships. This technology helped ensure the continued transmission of necessary resources from North America. Further, because increasingly advanced radar technology provided greater resolution and more accurate location identification, the British military could more precisely predict the movements of the German naval forces. These powers of prediction allow the Allied forces, led by Great Britain early in the war, to reroute and regroup key shipments.

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It also bears noting that German military officers ignored radar technology and worked under the assumption the Allies would never break the Enigma code machines. Great Britain and the other Allies took advantage of this neglect and heavily utilized these technologies to gather valuable intelligence. Additionally, while radar was extensively used throughout the war and served as a particularly useful tool in 1940, its use in concert with the Enigma codes helped secure successes in ensuing years. Radar helped detect various imminent movements and the intelligence received from decoded Enigma messages revealed the intentions and plans of the German military. Together, they helped Great Britain augment disastrous attacks on land and sea.

  • Gilbert, Martin. The Routledge Atlas of the Second World War. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis, 2014.
  • Murray, Williamson, and Allan R. Millett. War to Be Won: Fighting the Second World War, 1937-1945. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2009.  Accessed September 14, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central.