The Radio Times logo

The Battle of Britain: 3 Days That Saved the Nation

  • Season 1
  • 3 episodes
  • History
Advertisement

Episode 1: The Few

Summary

Dan Snow and Kate Humble present a three-part guide to the critical aerial battle that changed the course of the Second World War, featuring personal stories of pilots, ground crews and members of the public. The first episode tracks the first skirmishes of the three-day battle,as the Luftwaffe began an all-out assault to rid Britain of air power prior to a land invasion. The first skirmishes were being tracked by a 19-year-old WAAF member in a secret London bunker, and her secret diaries provide fresh insight into the strategies behind the aerial combat.

Review

As part of this close-up history, Dan Snow visits an underground bunker in west London that was an operations room in 1940 tracking Luftwaffe attacks. It’s an evocative place and combined with the diaries of 19-year-old WAAF plotter Joan Fanshawe of her shifts there on 15 August, it brings home the Battle of Britain’s human dimension.

That’s the aim here, as Snow and Kate Humble track the personal stories of a handful of individuals on one day of that tense summer. Another teenager, vicar’s son William Hopkin, was a Spitfire pilot on call at RAF Hornchurch (now parkland) and managed to shoot down a German dive bomber on one of the [italics] four [italics] sorties he flew that day. “The tiredness, the strain of the fear, the fatigue must have been extraordinary,” says his son.

How to watch

Loading

Details

Formats
Colour

Credits

Cast

rolename
PresenterDan Snow
PresenterKate Humble

Crew

rolename
DirectorSimon Smith
DirectorStuart Elliott
Executive producerBill Locke
ProducerSimon Smith
ProducerStuart Elliott
Series producerGiulia Clark

All episodes

  • Episode 1

    The Few

    Summary

    Dan Snow and Kate Humble present a three-part guide to the critical aerial battle that changed the course of the Second World War, featuring personal stories of pilots, ground crews and members of the public. The first episode tracks the first skirmishes of the three-day battle,as the Luftwaffe began an all-out assault to rid Britain of air power prior to a land invasion. The first skirmishes were being tracked by a 19-year-old WAAF member in a secret London bunker, and her secret diaries provide fresh insight into the strategies behind the aerial combat.

    Review

    As part of this close-up history, Dan Snow visits an underground bunker in west London that was an operations room in 1940 tracking Luftwaffe attacks. It’s an evocative place and combined with the diaries of 19-year-old WAAF plotter Joan Fanshawe of her shifts there on 15 August, it brings home the Battle of Britain’s human dimension.

    That’s the aim here, as Snow and Kate Humble track the personal stories of a handful of individuals on one day of that tense summer. Another teenager, vicar’s son William Hopkin, was a Spitfire pilot on call at RAF Hornchurch (now parkland) and managed to shoot down a German dive bomber on one of the [italics] four [italics] sorties he flew that day. “The tiredness, the strain of the fear, the fatigue must have been extraordinary,” says his son.

    How to watch

    Loading

    Details

    Formats
    Colour

    Credits

    Cast

    rolename
    PresenterDan Snow
    PresenterKate Humble

    Crew

    rolename
    DirectorSimon Smith
    DirectorStuart Elliott
    Executive producerBill Locke
    ProducerSimon Smith
    ProducerStuart Elliott
    Series producerGiulia Clark
Advertisement

RadioTimes.com is getting better. Fresh new look, redesigned programme hub, richer content…

FIND OUT MORE
Advertisement

Sponsored content