The Battle of the Bombs
Bombs were flying in the air. Wrong assumptions were made. Countries declared war. People slept in warehouse basements just to be safe. Secrets were found out and greater defense was then created. One unlucky country surrendered this terrible battle. This is what the Blitz in WWII was like. The Blitz was when Germany bombed London and other cities in England that had either a lot of people, military sites, factories, or docks. England responded with bombs of its own. The Blitz lasted from September 1940 to May 1941.
The first place Germany bombed in London was actually an accident. On August 24, 1940, bombers that were going to attack military sites on the borders of London went off course, and by mistake they dropped their bombs in the center of London, destroying many homes and hurting English citizens. Everyone in London was very upset. Prime Minister Winston Churchill thought that the bombing of innocent people was on purpose. Most of the British air raids against Germany were sparked by this assumption. The others were because Germany kept bombing England.
Winston Churchill ordered Berlin, Germany, to be bombed the night after London was bombed. Around 40 British bombers got to Berlin, but they did very little damage. The Germans were very surprised because it was the first air attack on Berlin. The German people were mad at their government because one of their leaders said that Berlin would never have an air raid against it. Another bombing attack on Germany on August 28-29 killed some Germans on the ground. Two nights later, another air raid in Germany occurred.
Itís Payback Time
Germans were terrified. The Nazis were very mad. In one of his many speeches, Adolf Hitler said that if the British Air Force dropped 2,000-4,000 kilograms of bombs, that Germany would drop 150,000-400,000 kilograms of bombs. He also stated that when England said they would raise their attacks even more, Germany would respond with greater attacks. He then asked for God to help him.
Starting on September 7, 1940, for 57 nights in a row, London was bombed by Germany. The choice to have this long bombing raid, and the choice of where to bomb, was important to Germany's role and the outcome of Germany in the Blitz. Before this, Germany had always bombed only military sites. This time, they made a choice to attack English cities. This allowed England, without Germany knowing it, to rebuild its airfields, train new pilots, and repair aircraft. During the nightly bombing in London, people slept in warehouse basements and subway stations. They had no privacy and bad facilities.
One of the worst attacks was on November 14-15 on Coventry, a city in the middle of England. Germany had dropped almost 450 bombs, 1,400 high explosive bombs, and 100,000 other explosives. They destroyed 50,000 buildings. They killed 568 people and injured another 1,000.
On December 29-30, Germany dropped weapons that made a fire storm that destroyed many churches. Famous landmarks such as St. Paul's Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and the Chamber of the House of Commons were also damaged or destroyed. By the end of 1940, the German air raids had killed 15,000 British people.
Hitler ordered all of these air raids because he wanted the British people to make Prime Minister Winston Churchill surrender. Because of all the attacks, the English people came together to face Germany. They were determined to get rid of all Nazis.
German bombers eventually stopped bombing England because they had to go to the east side of Europe to carry out a secret mission against Russia. England stopped its bombing campaign against Germany because they had stopped fighting back.
The Blitz. <http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/timeline/about-blitz.htm> Last visited: March, 2002.