Authentic voices from the past illustrate this unique history of the Twentieth Century, written by Joanna Bourke and presented by Tim Pigott-Smith Eyewitness provides a rare and fascinating opportunity to hear the events of the century described by those who saw them happen. A wealth of BBC archive recordings, some never previously broadcast, is interwoven with an illuminating commentary by the historian Joanna Bourke. Published in ten volumes, Eyewitness examines the role and the life of the British people in each decade of the century. In May 1940, Hitler invaded the Netherlands and the phoney war was over. It would take five years to defeat Nazi tyranny in Europe and finally, in August 1945, the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan to bring the Second World War to an end. Post-war Britain saw a return to austerity, but conditions gradually improved and the National Health Service came into being. Internationally, Soviet Russia retreated behind the Iron Curtain. A new enemy was defined communism. Servicemen and women remember the battles on air, sea and land; prisoners of war describe how they coped and civilians speak of bombs and doodlebugs.
The words of Winston Churchill, JB Priestley and the irreverence of ITMA boosted morale in the darkest hours, and throughout it all the BBC s own correspondents all over the world reported on this turbulent decade. Thought-provoking and moving, these are the voices of the past, speaking to the present.show more