On Surviving The London Blitz

By Helen Kirkpatrick

The London Blitz

The Blitz (from German, "lightning") is the phrase used in English to describe the period of sustained strategic bombing of the United Kingdom by Nazi Germany during the Second World War.


Between 7 September 1940 and 21 May 1941 there were major aerial raids (attacks in which more than 100 tonnes of high explosives were dropped) on 16 British cities. Over a period of 267 days (almost 37 weeks), London was attacked 71 times, Birmingham, Liverpool and Plymouth eight times, Bristol six, Glasgow five, Southampton four, Portsmouth and Hull three, and there was also at least one large raid on another eight cities.


This was a result of a rapid escalation starting on 24 August 1940, when night bombers aiming for RAF airfields drifted off course and accidentally destroyed several London homes, killing civilians, combined with the UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill's immediate response of bombing Berlin on the following night.

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