Sorry, this episode is not currently available

War Comes to Britain

Jeremy Paxman traces the story of the dramatic early stages of the war, from stunned disbelief to the mass recruitment of volunteer soldiers.

Fear of invasion grips the country, Boy Scouts guard bridges, and spies are suspected everywhere. For the first time, British civilians are fired on by enemy ships and bombed from the air. Paxman meets a 105-year-old eyewitness to the shelling of Hartlepool, who describes how she thought the Germans had landed.

Total war has come to Britain.

Release date:

1 hour

Last on

Wed 19 Feb 2014 01:00

Making the series

Making the series
"We think we know what the First World War was about: mud and death, young men needlessly slaughtered by blinkered generals, an entire generation sacrificed. That is only part of the picture, and not all of it true."

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on Twitter
The latest World War One content on BBC TV, Radio and Online.


Role Contributor
PresenterJeremy Paxman
Series ProducerJulian Birkett
ProducerMark Halliley

Order your free Open University booklet

Britain's Great War

From casualties to commemoration, explore the realities of war with this OU booklet.