WWII: Outbreak | Britain on the brink of World War II
CHANNEL | Unknown
RECORDED | 30 September 1938
DURATION | 9 minutes 23 seconds
From amid cheering crowds at Heston airport on 30 September 1938, Dimbleby observes the historic moment when Chamberlain waves the piece of paper that reportedly was the agreement for peace signed by Adolf Hitler. Stepping down from the plane onto the tarmac, Chamberlain briefs the waiting crowds, who give him a hero's welcome, before heading to Whitehall. Foreign Secretary Viscount Halifax and Rt Hon Leslie Hore-Belisha, the Secretary of State for War, are also present.
The Munich Agreement was a settlement between Germany, Britain, France and Italy that allowed Germany to annex the Sudetenland in western Czechoslovakia. Hitler was determined to regain the German territory that had been removed at the end of World War I under the Treaty of Versailles.
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.
Children from London depart for an unknown destination in the countryside.
'Germany has invaded Poland and has bombed many towns.'
'This country is at war with Germany' announces the Prime Minister.
The King calls for courage and faith in the battle ahead.
The ultimatum to Germany is due to expire at 11.00am.
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.
How various hospitals in London prepared for war.
Personal memories of the outbreak of World War II.
A reporter remembers Poland in the summer of 1939.
What will the BBC's role be during war?
Precautions to protect staff from air raids.
Plans for variety programmes during wartime.
Defence: the Corporation's plans in the event of war.
Plans for the 'Radio Times' during wartime.
'This department will have to stand by in a period of comparative chaos.'
The front cover of the 'Radio Times' from the pre-war edition.
Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's broadcast to the nation.
The front cover of the 'Radio Times' from the wartime revised edition.
Are the headquarters of the BBC in danger from an air attack?
Is there a need to camouflage the headquarters of the BBC?
Remember your gas mask.
A collection of photographs from the BBC archives on the outbreak of World War II.
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