WWII: The Battle of Britain | Memories of 'Britain's finest hour'
CHANNEL | BBC 2
FIRST BROADCAST | 17 September 1965
DURATION | 10 minutes 58 seconds
World War II fighter pilot ace Douglas Bader discusses his fame and why it is so important to mark anniversaries of major historical events such as the Battle of Britain. He defends the attitude of young people who protest against wars and talks about the 1956 film 'Reach for the Sky', which tells his story.
Douglas Bader got his RAF commission in 1930, but lost both his legs in a plane crash in 1931. However, within six months he was walking on artificial legs. He rejoined the RAF in 1939 and rose to command No 242 Squadron, the Canadian squadron based at Coltishall. He led this unit with great success throughout the Battle of Britain and by October 1940 had been awarded the DSO (Distinguished Service Order) and the DFC (Distinguished Flying Cross). By the end of the war he had been mentioned in dispatches three times, had an official tally of 23 enemy aircraft shot down and had been a prisoner of war in Colditz, from where he made numerous attempts to escape.
'The news from France is very bad.'
BBC reporter Charles Gardner comments live on a dogfight over the Channel.
A rousing message of encouragement to the nation from the Minister of Aircraft Production.
The perils of a pilot's life.
Robin Duff reports from the scene of an attack on a convoy in the Channel.
Day-by-day re-enactment of encounters with the enemy.
A pilot vividly recounts his experience of being shot down over the North Sea.
Memories of events in the hot summer of 1940.
Recalling the vital role of the Operations Room team.
Battle of Britain tactics, strategies and post-campaign conspiracies.
The Battle of Britain was won by 'everyone in this country'.
Commander-in-Chief Hugh Dowding talks about the Battle of Britain.
What 'The Few' did next.
The story of the race to design and build a fighter plane fit to win a war.
Celebrating an iconic symbol of Britain's 'finest hour'.
Recollections of war by a pilot ace.
Frank views from a Battle of Britain fighter pilot.
'A symbol of defiance and hope for Britain in the dark days of 1940.'
What would have happened next if Germany had won the Battle of Britain?
Archaeologists explore the site of the RAF airbase at Hornchurch.
The story of the squadron that fought the battle before the Battle of Britain.
Two members of the Observer Corps describe their duties.
Charles Gardner spends time with RAF pilots in combat.
The results of an urgent inquiry into the controversial radio report are analysed.
A warning about items recovered from German planes shot down in England.
Air Marshal Joubert is to broadcast thanks to the Empire for donations.
How an aerial dogfight starts, proceeds and ends.
A technical description of Britain's famous fighter plane.
The tactics of an air battle over Dover analysed in detail.
Air Marshal Joubert suggests subjects for his BBC broadcasts during the Battle of Britain.
Notes on the character of captured German pilots.
Transcript of a government publication about the role of the anti-aircraft defences.
How best to mark the third anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
Why marking the anniversary of the Battle of Britain is so important.
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