8 May 2006 | Jmhl3
Hitler's Britain. This documentary sets out a Britain where we had been defeated and lay under the Nazi jackboot.
Many of you military historians out there may have noticed that the idea for a successful German invasion, that the program puts forward, kinda falls down when it comes to crossing the channel and not mentioning the Royal Navy, which as the Sandhurst War Game proved, could have straddled the German's supply and reinforcement line via the Channel. It also mentions the successful German paratroop landings. Which would'nt have been possible. Even in October 1940 the German Airborne divisions were still re-equipping and training replacement recruits for their losses in France and the Low-Countrys. Even if the BEF had been cut off at Dunkirk the Royal Navy would have made a massacre of the invasion fleet which consisted mainly on Rhine River Barges. About a quarter would have capsized in the Channel anyway. So there's the history.
Whilst the actual invasion itself was poorly thought out by the writers the content of the program was fascinating. The German's prepared a list of about 2,300 Britons to be "detained" if Britain was taken. With Einzatzgrupen sqauds (Death Sqauds) at London, Liverpool, Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh. Also mentioned was the treatment of Freemasons and Jews but most of you pretty much know all about this so I wont go into it. How the Britsh police force was to be handled. And of course the big question, who was going to be the Prime Minister ? (The program killed Churchill off in an air raid). The first name that will pop into someones head is probably Oswald Mosley the interned leader of The British Union of Fascists. You might be screaming TRAITOR, TRAITOR at Mosley but it was not to be the case. The Nazi's rarely let local Fascist or Nazi party's run occupied country's governments and anyway Mosley announced he was supporting the British war effort and called on BUF men and women to resist the invaders. The program settles on Lord Halifax becoming leader and surrendering the country after the British counter attack is defeated due to lack of armour. (Which also doesn't stand up as we had an armoured division that was nearly fully equipped and also that Air Chief Marshall Dowding had a plan to withdraw what was left of the RAF to the Midlands, and don't forget there was also a considerable force in Scotland and the North of England at that time). So anyway the the writers have the Royal Family as we know it George VI, Queen Elisabeth (later Queen Mother), Princess Elisabeth (later Queen) and Princess Margret, fleeing to Canada. It has Edward VIII being instated as Prince Regent and Wallis Simpson, his Princess. They rule from Balmoral Castle in Scotland. I'm guessing they rule the North of England, Scotland, Nothern Ireland and a part of the British Empire (as the Dominions, the West Indies, the South Atlantic Islands and some African colonies would remain loyal to King George.) Others like India would stay loyal to the puppet government so that Germany could restrain Japan from trying to seize British colonys there.
Anyhow it ends up with another program on the Auxiliury Units or "The British Resistance". The Auxiliury Units were set up in mid 1940 to act as a resistance movement in case the country was occupied. This is the most interesting program as it has interviews with former members and charts a fictional one in a what-if scenario.
All in all it's a good documentary, if flawed on the historical side. Worth a watch though and much better than ITV's horrible attempt to put their view of it in "When Hitler Invaded Britain".