In late summer 1940, Hitler told his army to prepare to invade England. The nation waited, breathless with tension, for the Nazi threat to become real.
Midge Gillies gathers together the personal accounts of those who still remember this time, with written sources from contemporary press reports, to diaries and letters, to illustrate and recreate the fear, suspense and even excitement of living in England in the shadow of the Nazis. A pair of sisters, determined that life should go on as normally as possible, carry on swimming and playing tennis – only to find themselves under suspicion of being sympathisers because of their seemingly carefree attitude. A group of former poachers and gamekeepers huddle in a woodland hideout, newly trained and prepared to blow up bridges and slit German throats. Citizens hide their most treasured possessions from the Nazis in biscuit tins, or bury them in graveyards.
Over the weekend of September 7th, the code word for high alert flashed round the country, and with tensions at their height many assumed it to mean that the Nazis had already landed. Sunday September 8th was declared a National Day of Prayer – and seemed to many to be the beginning of the end.