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The Blitz on London

The Blitz on London,

It was Hitler’s belief that the war from the air would terrorise London into defeat. He was wrong. The city’s inhabitants, on the contrary, took a perverse and particular pleasure from being the front line of the war. ‘We can take it’ became the catchphrase of the Blitz

By September 1940, London had already experienced German bombing. But the Blitz started in earnest on the afternoon of 7 September when the German Luftwaffe filled the skies in the first major daytime raid on London. Nearly 350 German bombers (escorted by over 600 fighters) dropped explosives on East London, targeting the docks in particular. Around 450 people died and 1,300 were seriously injured.

The night-time raids that followed were just as terrible and deadly. Night after night, for nearly two months, the bombers returned. The Strand, the West End and Piccadilly were attacked. St Thomas’s Hospital, St Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, Lambeth Palace and the House of Commons were all hit. Between September and November, almost 30,000 bombs were dropped on London. In the first 30 days, almost 6,000 people were killed and twice as many badly injured.

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