After the fall of France, and the evacuation of Allied forces from Norway and Dunkirk, Nazi Germany was master of western Europe. After the rapid collapse of its ally, Britain was preparing to fight for its very survival. As Churchill put it on 4 June, “We shall fight in the fields and in the streets.” At the most secretive level of the British military, over 3,000 civilian soldiers were preparing for just such a fight. Unknown to even their family and friends, these men were ready to wage a brutal and likely brief guerrilla campaign against the expected invasion, using sabotage and stealth as part of the British resistance.
A sergeant of the Dorking Home Guard in Surrey, England, gives his Tommy gun a final polish before leaving home to go on parade, December 1940