The Battle of Britain and the Blitz
The Blitz, (September 7, –May 11, ), intense bombing campaign undertaken by Nazi Germany against the United Kingdom during World War II. For eight months the Luftwaffe dropped bombs on London and other strategic cities across Britain. Apr 20, · The Blitz is the title given to the German bombing campaign on British cities during World War Two. However, the term ‘Blitz’ is more commonly used for .
The term was first used by the British press and originated from the term " Blitzkrieg ", the German word for 'lightning war'. The Germans conducted mass air attacks against industrial targets, towns, and cities, beginning with raids on London towards the end of the Battle of Britain in a battle for daylight air superiority between the Luftwaffe and the Royal Air Force over the United Kingdom.
From 7 SeptemberLondon was systematically bombed by the Luftwaffe os 56 of the following 57 days and nights. The Luftwaffe gradually decreased daylight operations in favour of night attacks to evade attack by the RAF, and the Blitz became a night bombing campaign after October The North Sea port of Hulla convenient and easily found target or secondary target for bombers unable how to connect two monitor in one pc locate their primary targets, suffered the Hull Blitz.
More than 40, civilians were killed by Luftwaffe bombing during the war, almost half of them in the capital, where more than a million houses were destroyed or damaged.
Poor intelligence about British industry and economic efficiency wsr to OKL concentrating on tactics rather than strategy. The bombing warr was diluted by attacks against several sets of industries instead of constant pressure on the most vital.
In the s and s, airpower theorists such as Giulio Douhet and Billy Mitchell claimed that air forces boitz win wars, obviating the need for land and sea combat. Blita, seats of government, factories and communications could be destroyed, depriving an opponent of the means to make war. Bombing civilians would cause a collapse of morale and a loss of production in iis remaining factories.
Democracies, where public opinion was allowed, were thought particularly vulnerable. The policy of RAF Bomber Command became an attempt to achieve victory through the destruction of civilian will, communications and industry. The Luftwaffe took a cautious view of strategic bombing and OKL did not oppose the strategic bombardment of industries or cities. It believed it could greatly affect the balance of power on the battlefield by disrupting production and damaging civilian morale.
OKL did not believe air power how to become a coaster furniture dealer could be decisive and the Luftwaffe did not adopt an official policy waht the deliberate bombing of civilians until The vital industries and transport centres that would be targeted for shutdown were valid military targets.
It could be claimed civilians were not to be targeted directly, but the breakdown of production would affect their morale and will to fight. German legal scholars of the s carefully worked out guidelines for what type of bombing was permissible under international law. While direct attacks against civilians were ruled out as "terror bombing", the concept of attacking vital war industries—and probable heavy civilian casualties and breakdown of civilian morale—was ruled as acceptable.
From the wxr of the Qhat Socialist regime until 22, there b,itz a debate in German military journals over the how to hide deep acne scars of strategic bombardment, with some contributors arguing along the lines of the British and Americans.
Wever outlined five points of air strategy:. Wever argued that OKL should not be solely educated in tactical and operational matters but also in grand strategy, war economics, armament production and the mentality of what is the number to check on my state refund opponents also known as mirror imaging.
Wever's vision was not realised, staff studies in those subjects fell by the wayside and the Air Academies focused on tactics, technology and operational planning, rather than on independent strategic air offensives.
InWever was killed in an air crash and the failure to implement his vision for the new Luftwaffe was largely attributable to his successors. Two prominent enthusiasts for ground-support operations direct or indirect were Hugo Sperrle the commander of Luftflotte 3 1 February — 23 August and Hans Jeschonnek Chief of the Luftwaffe General Staff from 1 February — 19 August The Luftwaffe was not pressed into ground support operations because of pressure from the army or because it was led by ex-soldiers, the Luftwaffe favoured a model of joint inter-service operations, rather than independent strategic air campaigns.
Hitler how does warren buffett picks stocks less attention to the bombing of opponents than air defence, although he promoted the development of a bomber force in the s and understood it was possible to use bombers for strategic purposes. He told OKL inthat ruthless employment of the Luftwaffe against the heart of the British will to resist would follow when the moment was right.
Hitler quickly developed scepticism toward strategic bombing, confirmed by the results of the Blitz. He frequently complained of the Luftwaffe ' s inability to damage industries sufficiently, saying, "The munitions industry cannot be interfered with effectively by air raids While the war was being planned, Hitler never insisted upon the Luftwaffe planning a strategic bombing campaign and did not even give ample warning to the air staff, that war with Britain or even Russia was a possibility.
The amount of bllitz operational and tactical preparation for a bombing campaign was minimal, largely because of the failure by Hitler as supreme commander to insist upon such a commitment.
Ultimately, Hitler was trapped within his own vision of bombing as a terror weapon, formed in the s when he threatened smaller nations into accepting German rule rather than submit to air bombardment. This fact had important implications. It wwhat the extent to which Hitler personally mistook Allied strategy for one of morale breaking instead of one of economic warfarewith the collapse of morale as an additional bonus.
As the mere threat of it had produced diplomatic results in the s, he expected that the threat of German retaliation would persuade the Allies to adopt a policy of moderation and not to begin a policy of unrestricted bombing. His hope sar — for reasons of political prestige within Germany itself — that the German population would be protected from the Allied bombings. When this proved impossible, he began to fear that popular feeling would turn against his regime, and he redoubled efforts to mount a similar "terror offensive" against Britain in order to produce a stalemate in which both sides would hesitate to use bombing at all.
The deliberate separation of the Luftwaffe from the rest of the military structure encouraged the emergence of a major "communications gap" between Hitler and the Luftwaffewhich other factors helped to exacerbate. Although not specifically prepared to conduct independent strategic air operations against an opponent, the Luftwaffe was expected to do so over Britain.
From July until September the Luftwaffe attacked Fighter Command to gain air superiority as a prelude to invasion. This involved the bombing of English Channel convoys, ports, and RAF airfields and supporting industries. The Luftwaffe' s poor intelligence meant that their aircraft were not always able to locate their targets, and thus attacks on factories and airfields what does ls mean in text to achieve the desired results. British fighter aircraft production continued at a rate surpassing Germany's by 2 to 1.
Both the RAF and Luftwaffe struggled to replace manpower losses, though the Germans had larger reserves of trained aircrew. The circumstances affected the Germans more than the British. Operating over home territory, British aircrew could fly again if they survived being shot down. German crews, even if they survived, faced capture. Moreover, bombers had four to five crewmen on board, representing a greater loss of manpower.
German intelligence suggested Fighter Command was weakening, and an attack on London would force it into a final battle of annihilation while compelling the British Government to surrender.
The decision to change strategy is sometimes claimed as a major mistake by OKL. It is argued that persisting with attacks on RAF airfields might have won air superiority for the Luftwaffe. Regardless of the ability of the Luftwaffe to win air superiority, Hitler was frustrated it was not happening quickly enough.
To reduce losses further, strategy changed to prefer night raids, giving the bombers greater protection under cover of darkness. It was decided to focus on bombing Britain's industrial cities, in daylight to begin with.
The main focus was London. The first major raid took place on 7 September. On 15 September, on a date known as Battle of Britain Day, a large-scale raid was launched in daylight, but suffered significant loss for no lasting gain. Although there were a few large air battles fought in daylight later in the month and into October, the Luftwaffe switched its main effort to night attacks.
This became official policy on 7 October. The air campaign soon got under way against London and other British cities. However, the Luftwaffe faced limitations. Its aircraft — Dornier Do 17Junkers Ju 88and Heinkel He s — were capable of carrying out strategic missions  but were incapable of doing greater damage because of their small bomb-loads.
Although it had equipment capable of doing serious damage, the Luftwaffe had unclear strategy and poor intelligence.
OKL had not been informed that Britain what does the bible say about the altar to be considered a potential opponent until early It had no time to gather reliable intelligence on Britain's industries.
Moreover, OKL could not settle hlitz an appropriate strategy. German planners had to decide whether the Luftwaffe should deliver the weight of its attacks against a specific segment of British industry such as aircraft factories, or against a system of interrelated industries such as Britain's import and distribution network, or even in a blow aimed at breaking the morale of the British population. Whar an operational capacity, limitations in weapons technology and quick British reactions were making it more difficult to achieve strategic effect.
Blutz ports, shipping and imports as well what is a blitz in world war 2 disrupting rail traffic in the surrounding areas, especially the distribution of coal, an important fuel in all industrial economies of the Second World War, would net a positive result.
However, the use of delayed-action bombswhile initially very effective, gradually had less impact, partly because they failed to detonate. Regional commissioners were given plenipotentiary powers to restore communications and organise the distribution of supplies to keep the war economy moving.
London had nine million people — a fifth of the British population — living in wqr area of square miles 1, square kilometreswhich was difficult to defend because of its size.
The estimate of tonnes of bombs an enemy could drop per day grew how long to mow after overseeding aircraft technology advanced, from 75 into into in That year the Committee on Imperial Defence estimated that an attack of 60 days would result indead and 1.
News reports of the Spanish Civil Warsuch as the bombing of Barcelonasupported the casualties-per-tonne estimate. Byexperts generally expected that Germany would try to drop as much as 3, tonnes in the first 24 hours of war and average tonnes a day for several weeks. In addition to high-explosive and incendiary bombsthe Germans could use poison gas and even bacteriological warfare, all with a high degree of accuracy.
British air raid sirens sounded for the first time 22 minutes after Neville Chamberlain declared war on Germany. Although bombing attacks unexpectedly did not begin immediately during wsr Phoney War civilians were aware of the deadly power of aerial attacks through newsreels of Barcelona, the Bombing of Guernica and the Bombing of Shanghai.
Many popular works of fiction during the s and s portrayed aerial bombing, such as H. Harold Macmillan wrote in that he and others around him "thought of air warfare in rather as people think of nuclear war today". Based in part on the experience of German bombing in the First World War, politicians feared mass psychological trauma from aerial attack and the collapse of civil society.
Ina committee of psychiatrists predicted three times as many mental as physical casualties from aerial bombing, implying three to four million psychiatric patients. The government planned the evacuation of four million people — mostly women and children — from urban areas, including 1. A what is a blitz in world war 2 blackout was held on 10 August and when Germany invaded Poland on 1 September, a blackout began at sunset.
Lights were not allowed after dark for almost six years and the blackout became by far the most unpopular aspect of the what does bond paper mean for civilians, even more than rationing.
Much civil-defence preparation in the form of shelters was left in the hands of local authorities and many areas such as BirminghamCoventryBelfast and the East End of London did not have enough shelters.
Authorities expected that the raids would be brief and in daylight, rather than attacks by night, which forced Londoners to sleep in shelters. Deep shelters provided most protection wuat a direct hit. The government did not build them for large populations before the war because of cost, time to build and fears that their safety would cause occupants to refuse to leave to return to work or that anti-war sentiment would develop in large congregations of civilians. The government saw the leading role taken by the Communist Party in advocating the building of deep shelters as an attempt to damage civilian morale, especially after the What is a synonym for Pact of August The most important existing communal shelters were the London Underground stations.
Although many civilians had used them for shelter during the First World War, the government in refused to allow the stations to be used as shelters so as not to interfere with commuter and troop travel and the fears that occupants might refuse to leave. Underground officials were ordered to lock station entrances during raids but by the second week of heavy bombing, the government relented and ordered the stations to be opened.
Each day orderly lines of people queued until pm, when they were allowed to enter the stations. Whar mid-Septemberaboutpeople a night s in the Underground, although by winter and spring the numbers declined toor less. Battle noises were muffled and sleep was easier in the deepest stations but many people were killed from wlrld hits on stations.
Facts about Blitz World War 2 present the information about the sustained attack conducted by Nazi Germany in United Kingdom during World War 2. The word Blitz was taken from the word Blitzkrieg. It was the short version. The meaning of the word is lightning war. The term “Blitz” is derived from the German word for lightning – it was used to describe the prolonged strategic bombing of Britain by Nazi Germany in World War 2. The Blitz will forever be remembered as a crucial episode of the Second World War, a time when people needed to stick together, help each other and resolve to continue life as best they could. This is why the Blitz remains a vital part of British and global history and will be remembered for many years to come.
For eight months the Luftwaffe dropped bombs on London and other strategic cities across Britain. On July 16, , Hitler issued a directive ordering the preparation and, if necessary, execution of Operation Sea Lion, the amphibious invasion of Great Britain. A victory for the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain would indeed have exposed Great Britain to invasion and occupation. Sometimes they were trying establish a blockade by destroying shipping and port facilities, sometimes they were directly attacking Fighter Command ground installations, sometimes they were targeting aircraft factories, and sometimes they were attempting to engage Fighter Command in the skies.
The British, on the other hand, were supremely well prepared for the kind of battle in which they now found themselves. Their Chain Home early warning radar , the most advanced system in the world, gave Fighter Command adequate notice of where and when to direct their forces, and the Luftwaffe never made a concerted effort to neutralize it.
The British thus fought with the advantage of superior equipment and undivided aim against an enemy with inconsistent objectives. Nevertheless, through sheer weight of numbers, the Germans were on the brink of victory in late August The Luftwaffe had lost more than aircraft, and, although the RAF had lost fewer than half that many, the battle was claiming British fighters and experienced pilots at too great a rate. Instead of pressing his advantage, however, Hitler abruptly changed his strategy.
In late August the Germans dropped some bombs, apparently by accident, on civilian areas in London. On August 25 the British retaliated by launching a bombing raid on Berlin. The raid so infuriated Hitler that he ordered the Luftwaffe to shift its attacks from RAF sites to London and other cities. The British government had anticipated air attacks on its population centres, and it had predicted catastrophic casualties.
A Luftwaffe terror bombing attack on the Spanish city of Guernica April 26, during the Spanish Civil War had killed hundreds of civilians and destroyed much of the town. Over the course of three days, some 1. The mass relocation, called Operation Pied Piper, was the largest internal migration in British history.
Authorities quickly implemented plans to protect Londoners from bombs and to house those left homeless by the attacks. The national government also provided funds to local municipalities to construct public air-raid shelters.
The Air Raid Precautions A. These shelters, made of corrugated steel, were designed to be dug into a garden and then covered with dirt. While Anderson shelters offered good protection from bomb fragments and debris, they were cold and damp and generally ill-suited for prolonged occupancy.
Because basements , a logical destination in the event of an air raid, were a relative rarity in Britain, the A. This type of shelter—essentially a low steel cage large enough to contain two adults and two small children—was designed to be set up indoors and could serve as a refuge if the building began to collapse.
In spite of blackouts, ubiquitous shelters and sandbags, the visible effects of mass evacuation, the presence of A. The winter of —40 was severe, but the summer was pleasant, and in their leisure hours Londoners thronged the parks or worked in their gardens. Several theatres and many cinemas were open, and there were even a few sporting events. Apart from one or two false alarms in the early days of the war, no sirens wailed in London until June The sense of relative calm was abruptly shattered in the first week of September , when the war came to London in earnest.
The Blitz began at about in the afternoon on September 7, , when German planes appeared over London. For two hours, German bombers and fighters targeted the city, dropping high-explosive bombs as well as incendiary devices. Later, guided by the raging fires caused by the first attack, a second group of planes began another assault that lasted until the following morning. In just these few hours, people were killed and 1, were badly injured.
The first day of the Blitz is remembered as Black Saturday. Beginning on Black Saturday, London was attacked on 57 straight nights. Nine were registered on three separate occasions, and from the start of the Blitz until November 30 there were more than alerts. After the first week of September, although night bombing on a large scale continued, the large mass attacks by day, which had proved so costly to the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain, were replaced by smaller parties coming over in successive waves.
The A. No significant cut was made in necessary social services, and public and private premises , except when irreparably damaged, were repaired as speedily as possible.
In many cases the daily life of the city was able to resume with delays of only hours. The raids on London primarily targeted the Docklands area of the East End. This hub of industry and trade represented a legitimate military target for the Germans, and some 25, bombs were dropped on the Port of London alone. However, the Docklands was also a densely populated and impoverished area where thousands of working-class Londoners lived in run-down housing.
A charitable relief fund for the people of London was opened September Contributions poured in from every part of the world in such profusion that on October 28 its scope was extended to cover the whole of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.
A modern bomb census has attempted to pinpoint the location of every bomb dropped on London during the Blitz, and the visualization of that data makes clear how thoroughly the Luftwaffe saturated the city.
Air-raid damage was widespread; hospitals, clubs, churches, museums, residential and shopping streets, hotels, public houses, theatres, schools, monuments, newspaper offices, embassies, and the London Zoo were bombed.
While some of the poorer and more crowded suburban areas suffered severely, the mansions of Mayfair , the luxury flats of Kensington , and Buckingham Palace itself—which was bombed four separate times—fared little better. Although casualties were heavy, at no time did they approach the estimates that had been made before the war, and only a fraction of the available hospital and ambulance capacity was ever utilized.
Author Lawrence H. The following curtailed list identifies some of the better known places in inner London that have been damaged by enemy action. Of the churches, besides St. Brides, Fleet St. Lawrence Jewry; St. Magnus the Martyr; St. Mary-at-hill; St. Dunstan in the East; St. Clement [Eastcheap] and St.
Giles, Cripplegate, and St. Mary Wolnooth, also in the city, were damaged, while the Dutch church in Austin Friars, dating from the 14th century and covering a larger area than any church in the city of London, St. Over 20 hospitals were hit, among them the London many times , St. The Germans expanded the Blitz to other cities in November The most heavily bombed cities outside London were Liverpool and Birmingham.
Other targets included Sheffield , Manchester , Coventry , and Southampton. The attack on Coventry was particularly destructive. On November 14, , a German force of more than bombers destroyed much of the old city centre and killed more than people.
In early the Germans launched another wave of attacks, this time focusing on ports. The night raids on London continued into , and January 10—11 saw exceptionally heavy attacks; the Mansion House residence of the lord mayor of London and the Bank of England narrowly avoided destruction when a bomb fell directly between them, creating a gigantic crater. After a brief lull, the Luftwaffe returned in force on February Hundreds of incendiary and many high-explosive bombs were dropped, doing little material damage but causing many casualties.
Another large-scale attack followed on March 19, when hundreds of houses and shops, many churches, six hospitals, and other public buildings were destroyed or seriously damaged. A short respite followed, until a widespread series of night raids on April 7 included some targets in the London area. On April 16 an attack even fiercer and more indiscriminate than those of the previous autumn started at pm and continued until the following morning; aircraft were believed to have flown over in continuous waves, raining an estimated tons of bombs across the city.
More than 1, people were killed, and the damage was more widespread than on any previous occasion. Three nights later April 19—20 London was again subjected to a seven-hour raid, and the loss of life was considerable, especially among firefighters and the A. Londoners enjoyed three weeks of uneasy peace until May 10—11, the night of a full moon, when the Luftwaffe launched the most intense raid of the Blitz. London seemed ablaze from the docks to Westminster, much damage was done, and casualties were high.
More than German planes dropped more than tons of bombs across the city, killing nearly 1, people and destroying 11, homes. Elsewhere in the skies over Britain, Nazi official Rudolph Hess chose that same evening to parachute into Scotland on a quixotic and wholly unauthorized peace mission. Although there were some comparatively slight raids later in , the most notable one on July 27, the May 10—11 attack marked the conclusion of the Blitz. When the Blitz began, the government enforced a blackout in an attempt to make targeting more difficult for German night bombers.
Streetlights, car headlights, and illuminated signs were kept off. People hung black curtains in their windows so that no lights showed outside their houses. When a bombing raid was imminent , air-raid sirens were set off to sound a warning. Another defensive measure employed by the British was barrage balloons—large oval-shaped unmanned balloons with stabilizing tail fins—installed in and around major target areas. These balloons, the largest of which were some 60 feet 18 metres long, were essentially an airspace denial tool.
They prevented low-flying aircraft from approaching their targets at optimal altitudes and angles of attack. The higher the German planes had to fly to avoid the balloons, the less accurate they were when dropping their bombs. While the balloons themselves were an obvious deterrent, they were anchored to the ground by steel tethers that were strong enough to damage or destroy any aircraft that flew into them. Over German planes made contact with barrage balloon cables during the Blitz, and two-thirds of them crashed or made forced landings on British soil.
Very early in the German bombing campaign, it became clear that the preparations—however extensive they seemed to have been—were inadequate. Many of the surface shelters built by local authorities were flimsy and provided little protection from bombs, falling debris, and fire.
In addition, there simply was not enough space for everyone who needed shelter in one of the largest and most densely populated cities in the world. In a survey of shelter use, it was found that, although the public shelters were fully occupied every night, just 9 percent of Londoners made use of them.
Some 27 percent of Londoners utilized private shelters, such as Anderson shelters, while the remaining 64 percent spent their evenings on duty with some branch of the civil defense or remained in their own homes. After the bombing began on September 7, local authorities urged displaced people to take shelter at South Hallsville School.
Those who sought refuge at the school were told that they would quickly be relocated to a safer area, but the evacuation was delayed. On September 10, , the school was flattened by a German bomb, and people huddled in the basement were killed or trapped in the rubble.
The government announced that 77 people had died, but for years local residents insisted the toll was much higher.