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After the evacuation of Dunkirk and Britain's rejection of Hitler's offer for an armistice, the British hope to gain time to rearm for the inevitable clash with the Luftwaffe. Following Goering's plan to destroy British air power on the ground, the Luftwaffe attacks airfields in southern England, causing heavy losses. The RAF is able to fight back effectively, however, thus vindicating Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding's policy of maintaining protective strength in Britain during the battle for France. Continuous assaults by the Germans begin to place a strain on the RAF's most experienced pilots, such as Squadron Leaders Skipper and Harvey, and inexperienced fliers are hurriedly trained for the daily operations. When a German plane accidentally bombs London, the British retaliate by shelling Berlin; Hitler, furious that the enemy was able to penetrate his country, calls for the destruction of London and other British cities. The RAF uses the time of the blitzkrieg to rebuild the destroyed airfields and to regroup with the aid of the Polish Freedom Fighters; Goering's massive attack is met by a strong RAF, and the order to invade Britain is cancelled.