Dan Snow's History Hit


The Women Who Organised the Battle of Britain

In a suburb of North-West London, among housing estates and residential streets lies a secret bunker, you may never have heard of it but it's one of the most important World War Two sites in Britain. Here, deep underground, the RAF built its Uxbridge headquarters where it commanded the defence of the country in the Battle of Britain. The pilots who fought in the skies are rightly hailed as heroes and affectionately known as 'the few', but they wouldn't have been able to do what they did without the many women behind them and under the ground gathering intelligence and commands, distributing them at lightening speed under the intense pressure of active battle.

Dan goes down into the earth with Dr Sarah-Louise Miller, who brings their stories to life in the room where the Battle of Britain was organised, overlooking the very maps that show what happened there during that decisive summer of 1940. Dr Sarah-Louise's new book 'The Women Behind the Few' puts the Women's Auxiliary Air Force back at the heart of Britain's war, exploring what they did- collecting and disseminating vital intelligence- that led to the Allied victory.

You can also visit the secret RAF bunker in Uxbridge, find out more about the Battle of Britain Bunker Museum here: http://battleofbritainbunker.co.uk/

Produced by Mariana Des Forges and edited by Dougal Patmore.

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