1943 Berlin Blitz: a bomber crew during a raid over Berlin in WW2, in VR!

1943 Berlin Blitz, is a virtual reality application developed by the BBC and the studio Immersive VR Education. Thanks to virtual reality,  they have brought back to life a recording made by a journalist, in order to immerge us during the bomber flight, the night of September 3, 1943, in the World WarII.

1943 Berlin Blitz - a recording to tell the story of a raid :

🔥 On the night of September 3, 1943, in the middle of World War II, a Lancaster bomber named F for Freddie took off from Langar airfield in Nottinghamshire to go bomb Berlin. On board, the crew and the BBC journalist Wynford Vaughan-Thomas and his sound engineer Reg Pidsley for a mission with no guaranteed return.

📻. During the flight, Reg Pidsley recorded the comments of the “frontline” journalist Wynford who described what he saw. This recording was broadcast the next night on British radio and allowed many British citizens to understand the commitment of the RAF crews.

Virtual reality to experiment a Berlin Blitz Raid in 1943:

  • 🛩  Thanks to virtual reality, 75 years later, the BBC and the Irish studio Immersive VR Education brings this recording back to life by making us literally dive into the heart of the bomber in flight as the journalist speaks.
  • 😱. Therefore, It’s possible to live, “as if we were there”, the flight of a bomber during one the most terrifying mission over Berlin, in 1943. In the experience, we are able to follow the crew as they fly into the heart of Nazi-occupied Europe, under endless gunfire and night fighter attacks.
  • 🔥 The danger is palpable and also justified. Only four months after, the F for Freddie flight, was shot down over Stettin.The original recordings detail the terrible ordeal of a major night bombing over Berlin, described by Vaughan-Thomas as “the most magnificently horrific sight I have ever seen.


1943 Berlin Blitz - on the traces of war journalism

To conclude, the authenticity of the audio recording combined with virtual reality makes the 1943 Berlin Blitz experience, one of the most amazing VR educational historical experience. They were successful in bringing the past to life with an intensity that was not possible before.

The original radio program by Wynford Vaughan-Thomas is available in full, on Radio 4 Extra on the BBC iPlayer Radio.

To this day, Vaughan-Thomas is one of the best-known war correspondents of the World War II. His gripping reports brought him notoriety in Britain, giving those at home a real insight into what it was to actually “be on the front line”.

1943 Berlin Blitz is available for free on Steam, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift platforms. You can also find the 360-degree video but for more immersion, we recommend to use a VR headset.

To learn more about the story, visit the publisher’s website.

1943 Berlin Blitz Features

History and geography
13-15 years, 16-18 years, Adult
Oculus Rift, STEAM VR compatible headset, HTC compatible headset, Windows Mixed Reality compatible headset, Web browser, Vive Focus Plus, PCVR, VivePort

The use of "1943 Berlin Blitz" for teaching:

👍. Pros for 1943 Berlin Blitz:

+ The combination of VR visuals and original audio from the actual raid makes it a fascinating experience and makes it truly immersive.

+ An excellent example of how a radio journalism story can gain new life using technology developed decades later.

+ This experience may allow your students to understand the emotions and tension the crew may have felt during these missions.

👎 Cons for 1943 Berlin Blitz:

– The experience cannot be done seated; It is best to stand to see through the windows.

– It is impossible to move in the plane when you want to. It is the story that makes us change our point of view.

– There is no interaction with the elements of the plane.



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