3. Pilot Shortages Caused the Training Time to be Cut to 2 Weeks.
Winston Churchill once spoke that “never had so many owed so much to so few” and in that he referred to the British people and their debt to the fighter pilots who fought to try and save British cities. The pilots were exhausted working 15 hour shifts, doing multiple bombing runs a day and only getting a few hours of sleep at a time. Some pilots were known to take amphetamine pills just to keep up and stay fighting. Pilots were exhausted but on the British side they were willing to keep fighting because they believed their way of life was at stake. The Germans also experienced fatigue and pilot shortages but they had a harder time motivating their forces and filling the pilot shortages.
Unfortunately the RAF had already been fighting the war in France which meant that they had lost hundreds of their experienced pilots. When it came time to defending their own homeland, the RAF was short on skilled pilots and therefore did not have the pilots they needed to allow for rotations and pilot leave. They called in the reserves but many of those men had little flying experience and no gunnery training. The RAF had no shortage of volunteers, especially once the Battle of Britain began, but they were hampered by the typically 6 month training period. They were so desperate for pilots that training was cut down to a mere two weeks. When some pilots took to skies in order to defend the country during the Battle of Britain they had spent a little as 9 hours in a modern fighter plane.