WWII: Outbreak | Britain on the brink of World War II
BROADCASTING HOUSE PROTECTION
3rd October, 1939
With reference to your memo of September 28th to A.D.O.A. (incidentally it would
save time if you would address any memoranda dealing with purely defence matters
direct to me, with a copy to A.D.O.A. if you wish) I really don't think that
camouflaging Broadcasting House would be much use. It isn't the only white
building - the London University is much more conspicuous.
Anyhow if an aeroplane wished to hit it, it would have to release its bomb some
distance off and would have to get its sight of its target still further off. I
doubt whether they could spot any building not actually on the Thames from
15,000 ft. and on a clear night they would have to fly even higher than that.
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Document Type | Memo
03 October 1939
This is an internal memo from RS Stafford (in his role as Defence Executive) to the House Superintendent, HL Chilman. It answers concerns about the fact that the white walls of BBC Broadcasting House make the building easy to spot from the air and, therefore, more vulnerable to attack by German bombers.
Made from gleaming white Portland stone, Broadcasting House was actually bombed three times during the war, between 1940 and 1941. On one occasion, seven members of staff were killed.
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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