Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Bombing London

London has had more than its fair share of bombings over the course of the last one hundred years; in particular during World War 2. Today when someone says "the Blitz" we all know what they are talking about, the raids on London by the Luftwaffe that began in 1940. Blitz is short for Blitkrieg - lightning war- but those raids of sixty seven years ago were not the first time that London had faced bombardment from the air. In the First World War London was bombed in May 1916, albeit accidentally, and before the year was out there had been over twenty more raids directed against various cities, but mostly London, in which almost 300 people were killed and 700 injured.

German Zeppelin LZ 77 was one of the airships that was used to drop bombs and it was shot down by anti-aircraft fire over Revigny in France on 21 February 1916.

Raids gradually decreased as the air defences improved but in all 550 were killed by air raids and by the time the last one occurred in August 1918 almost 6,000 bombs had been dropped which had also injured a further 1,400 people. While these raids had little significance in military terms they did raise the spectre of fear in the build up to the Second World War - a major contributory factor towards the evacuation of so many children on the first weekend of World War Two.

The WW2 Blitz lasted until May 1941 and around two million homes were destroyed in Britain, 1.2 million of which were in London. Almost 40,000 were killed and over 50,000 people were seriously injured. The majority of those who lost their lives were in London. The devastation to the City of London was terrible with 30% of this historic area totally destroyed.


ian russell said...

heavy bombing, lightening war? :oP

Richard Havers said...

dyslexia strikes deep!

r morris said...

I think the 'lightening' refers more to the dirigibles of WWI. However, as the Hindenberg found out, lightening and lightning do NOT go together well. Case in point--Lakehurst, New Jersey mooring mast.

Great post, Richard. Loved it.