Insignias Wiki

The 1965 british film "It happened here" takes place in an alternate historical setting in which Nazi Germany managed to invade Great Britain during World War 2. The story itself centers on Pauline, a nurse who despite being originaly apolitical, find herself forced to join Immediate Action, a fascist organisation in control of britain. and must maintain a balance between idealism and pragmatism.


As the movie is in black and white, the exact colour of various elements is uncertain. Various in-story cues and historical precedent however, especialy the almost integral use of British Union of Fascist (BUF) symbology by Immediate Action, does allow for a fair degree of certainty.

Immediate Action[]

The majority of uniform elements (jackets, headdress, ties) appear to be black although the pants worn by a recruitement officer and the shirts worn by many characters is of such a shade that it might be khaki.

  • Headdress comes in the form of either a peaked cap, service hat (for female members) and a side cap. All characters wear on their headdress the IA symbol, a lightning bolt in a circle. Characters who wear a peaked cap wear the IA symbol above a death head (security troops seen performing anti-riot duty) or above a vertical fasces (all others).
  • The jacket most commonly seen is black with metalic buttons, four pockets and shoulder flaps worn close with a sam brown belt. On the lapels are worn insignias that appear to indicate branches within the organisation:
    • Rod of Asclepius: Doctors or medical teacher
    • white circle with red cross: nurses
    • gold or silver fasces in a black circle with a border of the same metal: Either generic insignia or security members
    • torch: political officers
  • a black trenchcoat made of leather or a rubberised materical is worn by security troops performing anti-riot duties. The collar, on which are the "security branch" insignias described above, is clearly of a different material as it appears matte compared to the shiny material of the rest of the coat.
  • A black jumpsuit is worn by the nurses during their training and at time when on active duty.
  • probably the most distinctive part of the uniform is the armband worn on the upper left arm. It displays the IA symbol in white with the space within the circle being darker then the field of the armband. This would seem to indicate that like the historical BUF armband, the center might be blue and the field red. Medical personnel also wear a white armband with the red cross on their right arm.
  • a chart on the wall of the recruitement officer displays the rank insignias of IA. The chart is not seen in closeup so that rank names are impossible to make out. Characters seen at various times during the movie display insignias that appear consistent with the chart the one exception being the female officer who announce the transfer of Pauline to a country hospital who appears to wear a pip over a pip within a wreath. Unlike the rest of the uniform, the rank insignias do not appear to be based on those of BUF or any other specific organisation.

Unless otherwise indicated, the following images are based on the poster mentioned above and due to the poor quality of the picture should not be seen as definitive.

English Volunteers in the Waffen-SS[]

As happened in real life in occupied countries, a military unit made up of local volunteers was raised to fight alongside the german. Its actual name however is a bit ambiguous being refered to at various time by different names.

Just like their real world counterpart, the english volunteers wear integral waffen-SS uniform with a national shield (here the saint-george cross below the word "ENGLAND") and a unique cuff tittle ("Black Prince").

One departure from real life is their use of the SS runes on the right lapel collar. In real life, this was reserved for german units with non-germans (even those considered "aryan") wearing some national symbol instead.