Nazi Invasions of Britain in Film and TV
Fortunately for the rest of Europe, Nazi Germany never succeeded in its efforts to invade Great Britain. Following the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk in France in 1940, a German invasion across the English Channel seemed to be imminent. But with the Germans unable to gain air superiority over southern England during the Battle of Britain, the plans for invasion had to be abandoned.
But the counterfactual "What If?" of a successful German invasion of Britain in World War II has turned up in books, TV series and films many times since then. Here are some of the times the Nazis did successfully invade - at least in film and TV.
|A scene from It Happened Here (1964)|
Miss Grant Goes to the Door (1940)
This short film was made in the early days of World War II, when the British population was steeling itself for the possibility of invasion. The film stars Mary Clare and Martita Hunt as two sisters dealing with Nazi spies and paratroopers in the first minutes of a German invasion. The film was sponsored by Britain's Ministry of Information and, in its brisk 7 minute running time, carries important official messages about how to behave in the event of invasion. Read more about the film here.
Went the Day Well? (1942)
This prototypical invasion thriller is set in the sleepy English village of Bramley End. The residents' peaceful existence is interrupted by the arrival of a unit of British soldiers. Unbeknown to the villagers though, the soldiers are actually German troops in disguise, and they are the advance guard of a German invasion force. Among the locals are Thora Hird, Harry Fowler and Leslie Banks. But who among them can really be trusted, and who is secretly working for the Germans?
This dark thriller was produced by Ealing Studios, and its violence belies the company's sometimes misleading reputation for cosiness. Went the Day Well? was also an obvious influence on the 1970s novel and film The Eagle Has Landed, which was based on a similar premise.
The Silent Village (1943)