Hitler postpones the German invasion until September 17th. Fighter-bomber attacks during the afternoon on London.
Night: Reduced activity but main attacks against London.
Weather: Showers and local thunder. Cloud in the Straits, Channel and Thames Estuary.
The main German target for the 14th was again London and throughout the morning reconnaissance aircraft probed the weather and the defences, while between Poling and Great Bromley radar stations there was continual electronic interference. One raider was destroyed over Selsey Bill at lunchtime and bombs were dropped at Eastbourne.
Just after 3 p.m. three raids in quick succession crossed the coast at Deal and Dungeness, and headed for London up two corridors, one via Kent and the other up the Thames. No. 11 Group were involved in a series of combats, and requested two 12 Group squadrons to patrol Hornchurch and North Weald, while other 12 Group aircraft shot down a Ju 88 off Lowestoft. In all, 11 Group sent up twenty-two squadrons against these raids, and 12 Group five squadrons.
At 1715 hours a feint came in over Bournemouth from Cherbourg, but turned back before being intercepted, and shortly afterwards a flurry of raids appeared on the Bentley Priory tables with 12+, 20+, 30+, 15+ and 10+ between 17,000 and 20,000 feet. From then until nine o’clock a succession of individual attacks were made covering the south-eastern area, and aimed towards London.
The final score of fourteen to each side was poor from the RAF’s point of view, particularly as 860 sorties were flown. Six RAF pilots were, however, saved. Most of the German aircraft sent over were fighters and these lured the squadrons into combat.
To the Luftwaffe the opposition appeared scrappy and uncoordinated, and they felt that during the last few days Fighter Command had begun to collapse. This news was, of course, conveyed to the Reichsmarschall, and via the situation reports to Hitler. Both felt that the hour of destiny was approaching.
Excerpt from The Narrow Margin by Derek Wood & Derek Dempster
Airmen: 19 | Aircraft: 13
Airmen: 4 | Aircraft: 13
Hurricane P2542, No. 73 Squadron
Sgt J.J. Brimble killed. Shot down by enemy aircraft and crashed at Parkhurst Farm Chart Sutton.
Spitfire X4275, No. 222 Squadron
Sgt S. Baxter killed. Badly damaged by gunfire from Bf 109s and crashed attempting to land.
Spitfire R6625, No. 19 Squadron
Sgt F. Marek killed. Crashed during routine patrol. Possibly oxygen failure. No other details.
Hurricane P5184, No. 253 Squadron
Sgt W.B. Higgins killed. Shot down in flames after combat with Bf 109. Pilot did not bale out.
- Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring addressing a group of German pilots before their sortie over England, September 1940. © IWM (MH 13382)