WWII: Outbreak | Britain on the brink of World War II
On 3 September 1939, Neville Chamberlain broadcast to the nation that Britain was at war with Germany. Only a year before, it seemed a peaceful solution had been achieved with the Munich Agreement.
Experience British life on the brink of war through original news broadcasts, eyewitness accounts and commentaries on some of the key events, including the evacuation of children and the distribution of gas masks. The beginning of the BBC's wartime role, which involved a massive change to programming, is also explored through documents and photographs dating back to 1935.
Chamberlain returns from a meeting with Hitler in Bad Godesberg.
The BBC announces Britain's home defence measures.
Chamberlain broadcasts to the nation after one of his last meetings with Hitler.
Richard Dimbleby is at the scene of Chamberlain's return from Munich.
News extract on one aspect of British home defence measures - gas masks.
An inside report from Czechoslovakia on the German occupation.
Germany proposes a settlement to the Polish problem.
'Germany has invaded Poland and has bombed many towns.'
Children from London depart for an unknown destination in the countryside.
The ultimatum to Germany is due to expire at 11.00am.
'This country is at war with Germany' announces the Prime Minister.
The King calls for courage and faith in the battle ahead.
The Battle of the Atlantic begins as the first British ship is sunk by the Germans.
Teachers and a schoolgirl describe settling down in the country.
Evacuees from Manchester discuss their new lives.
The Foreign Secretary speaks after two months of war.
A message of hope and encouragement to the women of Europe.
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