The Blitz

Today marks 76 years since Nazi Germany began bombing London

Nazi Germany’s aerial bombing campaign during World War II, commonly known as The Blitz, began on 7 September 1940 and lasted for eight months.

The name comes from the German word blitzkrieg meaning “lightning war”.

By the end of the campaign, 43,000 civilians were killed. The attacks only began to peter out when Hitler’s focus moved to his plans for Russian Invasion.

During The Blitz, Londoners were forced to take cover in shelters or subway stations. Many who escaped death still lost all their belongings in the fires that broke out.

RELATED: Bomb-Damage Maps Reveal London’s World War II Devastation

On the very first day of the bombings, The New York Times reported, “Bombs fell in a district of the London area this morning before the sirens sounded and most of the residents were caught unprepared.

At least five persons were killed outright and several others were seriously injured or burned by the fire that broke out. Search parties worked through the early hours looking for victims under wrecked houses. Many who escaped with their lives lost all their belongings in the fire."

Prior to The Blitz, the Nazi air force was attacking England’s Royal Air Force bases, hoping to disable the RAF. When the RAF managed to withstand the attacks, Hitler called for a new strategy that would deflate Britain’s morale: attacking civilian centres.

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