Wednesday, February 8, 2012

14 Incredible Color Photographs Captured London After Air Raid Attacks During World War II

The air raids by German Luftwaffe planes on English cities and towns in 1940 and 1941 — attacks known collectively and famously as The Blitz — were terrifying, but they failed in their key aims: namely, to demoralize the British people, and to destroy the UK’s war economy.

London, not surprisingly, suffered the brunt of the Blitz: More than a million London houses were ruined or badly damaged, and more than 20,000 civilians were killed in the city alone. (Roughly 40,000 civilians were killed in the whole of England.)

These amazing color photographs were taken by LIFE photographers in London, captured the City after Air Raid attacks during World War II.

A view of London in 1940, with damage from German bombing raids. (William Vandivert—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Workers clear debris from the lot where a home once stood, London, 1940. (William Vandivert—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Damage in London during The Blitz, 1940. (William Vandivert—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Britons work a "victory garden" in the midst of World War II, 1940. (William Vandivert—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

A London bus rests in a massive crater left by a German bomb, 1940. (William Vandivert—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

A London building ablaze during the Blitz, 1940. (William Vandivert—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

London smolders, 1940. (William Vandivert—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

A view of London after a German air raid, 1940. (William Vandivert—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

A man sits on a park bench in London, reading a book, 1940; a moored "barrage balloon" is visible in the background, while a second one soars high in the distance. (Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

A London Civil Defense Rescue crew helps remove injured and dead civilians from destroyed buildings, London, 1940. (Ralph Morse—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

London, 1940. (William Vandivert—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Life goes on in London, despite the destruction caused by German air raids, 1941. (Frank Scherschel—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Respite, Hyde Park, 1944. (Frank Scherschel—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Outside of London during World War II, 1940s. (William Vandivert—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

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