The Hawker Hurricane was a WWII-era British single-seat fighter designed by Hawker Aircraft Ltd in 1934. A total of 14,000 Hurricanes were manufactured during the war. Different variants acted as interceptors, fighter-bombers and attack aircraft. By late 1940, after the fall of France, most of the RAF squadrons in Britain were equipped with Hurricanes. The Battle of Britain officially lasted from 1st July to 31st October 1940, but the heaviest battles took place between 8th August and 21st September. Spitfires and Hurricanes became famous for defending England from the might of the Luftwaffe. The Spitfires would most often deal with the fighters, leaving the bombers to the Hurricanes. Despite the Spitfire's obvious performance advantage, the Hurricane actually scored the most kills in the conflict, 1,593 out of 2,739 total Axis aircraft shot down. However, the experience of the Battle of Britain clearly proved that the Hurricane’s rifle-calibre .303 machine guns were inadequate. Damaged German aircraft showed obvious damage to unarmoured components, such as control surfaces or cockpit glass, while even slightly armoured components, such as fuel tanks, engines and crew compartments, took no damage.