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Historic Homecoming: Spitfires Return To UK Shores

Spitfire Knox Pic

Two historic Battle of Britain Spitfires, owned by American entrepreneur philanthropist Thomas Kaplan, have been returned to the UK after 75 years.

His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge climbed into the cockpit of one of them, which has been donated to the Imperial War Museum at Duxford.

The other Spitfire, a fully restored Vickers Supermarine Spitfire Mk.1A will go to auction today (9 July) and is expected to be worth between £1.5m - £2.5m.

Imperial War Museums, meanwhile, plan to mark the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain and the Blitz with a major Battle of Britain Anniversary Air Show at IWM Duxford on 19th and 20th September.

There will also be a new exhibition, Duxford’s People in the Battle of Britain, on 21st August.

A large-scale family exhibition, Horrible Histories®: Blitzed Brits, will open at IWM North on 11th July, meanwhile.

Summer 1940 impacted on the lives of civilians and military personnel in new and unprecedented ways.

From 10th July the Battle of Britain began, as Britain’s pilots became under attack from the Luftwaffe in an attempt to gain air superiority.

By 7th September the Nazi tactics switched to strategic bombing of towns and cities. The Blitz had begun and would continue to affect millions of civilians until May 1941.

The fighting reached its peak on 15th September, which was seen as an overwhelming and decisive defeat of the Luftwaffe and is now known as 'Battle of Britain Day'.

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