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The London Blitz

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Essay title: The London Blitz

In September of 1940 through May of 1941 there was a strategic bombing attack

that was lead by the Germans targeted towards London and other cities located in

England, this was known as The Blitz. The Germans aimed the bombs mostly at

populated cities, dock yards, and factories.

The bombing on London began on September 7, 1940 and lasted for 57

consecutive nights. During these nights of bombing people took shelter in warehouse

basements, and in underground subway stations with no privacy and poor sanitation

facilities.

British radar, detected the huge formation, the Observer Corps started to count the

mass of German bombers in the sky, then came a warning call, "One hundred plus

bandits approaching..." Fighter Command could do nothing but scramble all twenty two

squadrons around London and they vectored towards Thames Haven and Tilbury.

"......all we could see was row upon row of German raiders heading for London. I

have never seen so many aircraft in the air all at the same time.....The escorting

fighters saw us at once and came down like a ton of bricks, when the squadron

split up and the sky became a seething cauldron of aeroplanes, swooping and

swerving in and out of the vapour trails and tracer smoke. A Hurricane on fire

spun out of control ahead of me while above to my right, a 110 flashed across my

vision and disappeared into the fog of the battle before I could draw a bead on it.

Everyone was shouting at once and the earphones became filled with a

meaningless cacophony of jumbled noises. Everything became a maelstrom of

jumbled impression - a Dornier spinning wildly with part of its port mainplane

missing; black streaks of tracer ahead, when I put my arm up to shield my face;

taking a breather when the haze absorbed me for a moment....." 1

The main reason for all of this bombing was to break up the morale of the British

people so Hitler could pressure Churchill into negotiating. To Hitler's surprise the

bombing had an opposite effect. The bombing actually brought the English people

together.

"Between five and six o'clock on the evening of Saturday 7th September, some

320 German bombers supported by over 600 fighters flew up the Thames and

proceeded to bomb Woolwich Arsenal, Beckton gas Works, a large number of

docks, West Ham Power Station, and then the city, Westminster and Kensington.

They succeeded in causing a serious fire situation in the docks. An area about 1ВЅ

square miles between North Woolwich Road and the Thames was almost

destroyed, and the population of Silvertown was surrounded by fire and had to be

evacuated by water. At 8.10pm some 250 bombers resumed the attack which was

maintained until 4.30 on Sunday morning. They caused 9 conflagrations, 59 large

fires, and nearly 1,000 lesser fires. Three main line railway termini were put out

of action, and 430 persons killed and some 1,600 seriously injured. After the fire

brigades had spent all day in an effort to deprive the enemy of illumination, some

200 bombers returned in the evening (Sunday 8th) to carry on the assault. During

this second night a further 412 persons were killed and 747 seriously injured, and

damage included

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