On the 14th May 1940, the Local Defence Volunteers force was created to protect Britain from invasion. They later became known as the Home Guard and were nicknamed ‘Dad’s Army’.
By the end of July, 1.5 million men had volunteered to join the Home Guard. They were either too old to join the regular army or hadn’t been called up to fight as they were needed in a reserved occupation to keep the country running
Nearly all of them worked at other jobs by day. In their spare time, they either trained for combat or guarded important sites such as: railways, bridges and factories. At night they patrolled fields in which the German gliders or paratroopers might land.
As they had little equipment, the public were invited to give them their shotguns and pistols – within a few months over 20,000 weapons were handed in.
To help protect the country from any invasion they also:
Members of the part-time Observer Corps watched the skies and telephoned news of enemy aircraft to RAF headquarters. The invention of radar allowed approaching planes to be spotted even earlier using radio signals.
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