The British prepare for a Nazi invasion

Members of the Local Defence Volunteers (LDV) stand guard at a concrete road barricade at Findon, Sussex, 26 June 1940.

Members of the Local Defence Volunteers (LDV) stand guard at a concrete road barricade at Findon, Sussex, 26 June 1940.

A pillbox on the promenade on the sea front at Worthing, 26 June 1940. The pier can be seen in the background.

A pillbox on the promenade on the sea front at Worthing, 26 June 1940. The pier can be seen in the background.

The last remaining British troops in France had not yet been evacuated but attention rapidly switched to the threat to Britain herself. The threat of invasion appeared very real and was underlined by the issue of an official leaflet ‘If the Invader comes” to every household in the land during the course of this week.

The government was very concerned that the flight of refugees that had hindered military movement in France should not be repeated if invasion came to Britain. The straightforward message to everyone was “Stay Put”.

The front page of a relatively simple leaflet issued to every household during June 1940.

The front page of a relatively simple leaflet issued to every household during June 1940.

Another high priority was the reduction of rumours and panic. This was perhaps more difficult to combat – since so many diaries from the time make mention of stories circulating about parachutists and similar events, many of which are presented as fact.

The second page of the leaflet

The second page of the leaflet

A car passes a sandbagged barricade on the A23 road near Brighton, Sussex, 26 June 1940. Camouflaged tents can be seen in the background.

A car passes a sandbagged barricade on the A23 road near Brighton, Sussex, 26 June 1940. Camouflaged tents can be seen in the background.

A car negotiates a barricade comprising concrete blocks, on the road between Warnham and Horsham, Surrey, 26 June 1940.

A car negotiates a barricade comprising concrete blocks, on the road between Warnham and Horsham, Surrey, 26 June 1940.

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