16 Explosive Facts About The Blitz

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16 explosive facts about The Blitz

On 23rd August 1940 the Luftwaffe launched a massive air bombing raid on the south of England. During the raid a small detachment of German bombers got lost and, worried about being caught by the RAF, they dumped their bombs and quickly returned home. The thing is they just happened to drop their bombs on London. Killing nine civilians.

Churchill was angry at this apparent unprovoked attack on civilians and immediately ordered the RAF to bomb Berlin in retaliation.

On 25 August 1940, eighty-one RAF bombers set off for Berlin. Only twenty-nine planes reached their target, no civilians were killed and the physical damage done to Berlin was minimal.

On 4 September 1940 in a speech at the Berlin Sportpalast, Hitler retaliated:

and if the British Air Force drops two, three or four thousand kilos of bombs, then we will drop 150,000, 180,000, 230,000, 300,000, 400,000 kilos, or more, in one night. If they declare that they will attack our cities on a large scale, we will erase theirs!

The message was loud and clear. Britain was about to get Blitzd

Shortly before 4pm on 7 September, over 300 German bombers, escorted by over 600 fighters roared up the Thames Estuary heading straight for the London dockyards. Thousands of bombs smashed buildings, destroyed homes and caused massive damage.

The Blitz had started.

At approx 8pm it was time for the Luftwaffe night shift. It rained bombs until 4.30am.

Thousands of homes and buildings were destroyed, 448 Londoners were dead with another 1,600 injured.

Day two of the Blitz over London saw 200 enemy planes repeat the bombing; this time targeting power stations and railway hubs.

Another 412 Londoners died with 747 seriously injured.

Day three saw 370 deaths and 1,400 injured that day King George VI also ventured out to see the devastation in the East End for himself.

The same night, the RAF hit back at Berlin. All bomber crews were told that under no circumstances were they to return to England with their bombs.

Even Hitlers Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbelss garden received a direct hit.

To escape the bombing raids, thousands of Londoners took refuge in tube stations across the capital

London wasnt the only city to get bombed. Cities such as Coventry, Bristol, Manchester and Birmingham were also attacked.

On 14 November 1940 over 500 bombers attacked Coventry. Over 4,000 homes were destroyed and 554 people killed. At one point during the night 200 separate fires burned in the city.

The Blitz claimed over 40,000 lives. With another 40,000 injured. Millions were made homeless.

One in ten bombs didnt explode. Brave bomb disposal units successfully dealt with 40,000 unexploded bombs. 750 men died trying to defuse the devices.

Between September 1940 and May 1941 127 separate raids were carried out over Great Britain. Dropping 30,000 tonnes of high explosives

Hitler called off the bombing raids in May 1941. He was planning something big in the east and needed all available planes to spearhead a new offensive.

Operation Barbarossa

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WW2: A Laymans Guide

Want to know the facts and discover the why/who/what/when of WW2 without being bored rigid?

This 'Layman's Guide' has been written to educate, engage and entertain readers - especially those who perhaps have not read too much about WW2 before.

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