It's seventy years today since Britain and France declared war on Germany. At 11.15am on Sunday 3 September 1939, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain spoke to the nation via the BBC. At 11.28am, less than a quarter of an hour later, air raid sirens went off in London and (at differing times) across much of the country. This was in fact only a false alarm, caused by an unscheduled civilian flight from France. But as far as civilians were concerned, this looked like precisely what they had been told to expect when the knock-out blow came: mass air raids simultaneous with the outbreak of war. So their reactions to the alarms give us a little insight into their fear of bombing at the end of the scaremongering 1930s.
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