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Most people thought they were going to die…

September 3, 2015



76 years ago today, Neville Chamberlain came on the radio.  Although this phenomenon was not normally a ratings winner, most everyone seems to have tuned into this broadcast.  It’s a slow, plaintive sort of performance, with a slightly whiny edge to it.  A lot of it is devoted to pleading “imagine how I feel”?

I asked my Dad, who was old enough to remember the broadcast well, how most people reacted to this news.  He said, quite bluntly, “most people thought they were going to die”.  None of the cheering and flag-waving that had broken out in August 1914 was in evidence.  There was in the meantime, tremendous fear of bombing.  It was axiomatic that “the bomber will always get through”.  The Luftwaffe was assumed to enjoy complete domination of the skies and the fate of Guernica was thought representative.  Just extrapolate those casualties across the populations of London, Birmingham…

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