After the fall of France, the 1st Canadian Division was the only fully equipped Allied force in Britain. German leader Adolf Hitler had issued orders for the preparation of the invasion of England. Code- named Operation Sea Lion, the invasion would be preceded by an air offensive aimed at destroying the Royal Air Force. Throughout the month of July, the 1st Canadian Division conducted a series of marches and countermarches across the length of southern England. The goal of the operation was to mislead German aerial reconnaissance planes as to exact strength of the Allied forces available for the defence of the English coast. The exhausted troops of the 1st Canadian Division referred to themselves as "McNaughton's Flying Circus."