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Birmingham - the workshop of the War
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Construction of Supermarine Spitfire fighter aircraft at Castle Bromwich, Birmingham, about 1943.

Construction of Supermarine Spitfire fighter aircraft at Castle Bromwich, Birmingham, about 1943. | © Birmingham Central Library, Local Studies

Birmingham was Britain’s industrial giant in the 1900s. Gun making was just one of the industries for which the city was famous.
Thousands of weapons, bombs and aircraft were made to help win the Second World War. Birmingham’s industrial might was at the heart of the country’s war effort. However, its products caused the deaths of many German people.
Germany launched air raids to try and destroy Birmingham’s factories. This put its people, young and old, in great danger. It was a dark chapter in the history of Birmingham and the world... 
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When did Birmingham start making guns?
The Birmingham Gun Barrel Proof House, Banbury Street, less than half a mile from Thinktank.
German Panzer tanks during the invasion of Poland in 1939


Why did the Second World War start?

Bert Sheldon, who grew up in Tyseley, Birmingham recalls the day the war started, 3rd September 1939.

Watch Bert Sheldon recalling the day the war started in 1939.
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