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Blitz: The Making of the TV Series

Updated Friday, 20th October 2017

Hear from one of the producers of 'Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain', Emily Thompson, on how the production team did their research. 

If you have watched the BBC series Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain’, which examined a single bomb, on a single street, in a single place – London, Hull, Clydebank and Bristol, you may well have asked yourself how the programme team was able to find out so much detail about individuals caught up in the Blitz, and how they managed to trace their descendants. In this interview, producer Emily Thompson explains how the team did their research and which sources they have used to learn about the Blitz in Britain.

The Zuckerman Archive

In this first clip, Emily discusses the Zuckerman Archive at the University of East Anglia. Zuckerman’s main task had been to find out ‘how many bombs does it take to break a city’. The resulting school children’s essays and adult psychological surveys provide historians today with a fascinating resource:


The Hull History Centre

In the second clip, Emily talks about the Hull History Centre, which proved an invaluable and unique resource for the team, including air raid reports, handwritten group reports, casualty lists and surveys, structural engineering damage reports and local school essays:


ARP Wardens’ Reports and Bomb Maps

In the final clip, Emily describes another important and interesting resource from the centres she visited, the ARP wardens’ reports and how these were collated.  She also talks about the so-called Bomb Maps which provide detail about air raids in a Blitz area:




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