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Duration: 29 minutes

Military historian Howard Tuck travels along the south coast uncovering forgotten traces of one of the most terrifying planned invasions of Britain. Howard knocks on doors and takes metal detectors into the countryside to unearth untold stories of bravery, tragedy and guilt lain buried for 70 years.

Last on

Wed 29 Jun 2011 19:00 BBC Two Northern Ireland only

  • Battle of Britain

    15 September 2010 will mark the 70th Anniversary of Battle Of Britain Day.

    The Battle of Britain reached its climax when the Royal Air Force (RAF) downed over 50 invading German aircraft in two dogfights lasting less than an hour.

    The costly raid convinced the German high command that the Luftwaffe could not achieve air supremacy over Britain. Shortly after Nazi leader Adolf Hitler postponed indefinitely his invasion.

    Military Historian Howard Tuck journeys the south coast uncovering forgotten traces of one of the most terrifying planned invasions of the UK.

    Howard knocks on doors, takes metal detectors into the countryside unearthing untold stories of bravery, tragedy and guilt that have been buried for 70 years.

    Howard’s journey starts in Portland, Dorset on the search for the crash site of Hans-Joachim Göering the nephew of the man who masterminded the Battle of Britain.

    Howard's only clue to the whereabouts of the site is a photograph taken almost 70 years ago. Historian Andy Saunders helps Howard search and reveals a remarkable artifact from the past.

    Howard also meets up with Ginger Roberts who returns every year to remember his friends who were killed on the HMS Foylebank.

    Ron Walsh tells Howard of the bravery of Leading Seaman Jack Mantle who remained at his gunners post even though he had suffered terrible injuries.

    Jack was later to be posthumously awarded a Victoria Cross.

    Howard visits Southampton to see what’s left of the spitfire factories and meets up with former worker Bill Bull. Bill describes the day he was nearly killed during the bombings.

    Howard also meets Don Smith and they return to the factory where he helped make Spitfires 70 years ago.

    Don recounts his memories of the day he witnessed one of the most famous dog fights of the Battle of Britain that saw two British pilots jumping out of their burning planes, only one of them would survive.

    Flight Lieutenant James Nicholson was awarded a Victoria Cross for his actions that day. Don and Howard travel to All Saints Church in Fawley where Don discovers more about the man who he saw fall to his death over 70 years ago.

    At King Somborne in Hampshire Howard tracks down the site where a German bomber crashed killing the crew of four. Howard meets up with eye witness Barbara Broadbridge on a trek to find a hidden memorial.

    At Elham Valley in Kent Howards travels with 93 year old Battle Of Britain pilot Bill Green to try and find the wood where Bills plane was shot down. With the help of a metal detector Bill searches for fragments of his plane.

  • Battle of Britain

    Battle of Britain

  • Goering's nephew

    Goering's nephew

  • BBC History

    BBC History

    Explore the key events of the Battle of Britain with clips from over 50 years of BBC television and radio programmes.

    BBC History: The Battle of Britain
  • The Battle of Britain Season

    The Battle of Britain Season

    This programme is part of a season marking the 70th anniversary of The Battle Of Britain across BBC One, BBC Two and BBC Four.

    Go to The Battle of Britain Season site


Executive Producer
Jane French


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