History explorer: the Second World War home front

As part of our series in which experts nominate British locations to illustrate historical topics, Juliet Gardiner visits Chislehurst Caves in Kent, home to thousands of people fleeing aerial assault between 1939 and 1945.

Portrait of Juliet Gardiner for BBC History Magazine

This article was first published in the March 2014 issue of BBC History Magazine

In many ways, Kent found itself on the front line throughout the Second World War. The county lay on the direct path of German bombers heading for London, with the planes frequently jettisoning bombs on their return journeys from raids elsewhere in the UK. Aircraft repair sheds and planes on the ground were also subjected to continual attacks as the Luftwaffe attempted to gain air superiority over the RAF.

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