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September 25, 2011

12 Amazing Color Photographs Captured London After Air Raid Attack, September 1940

The appearance of German bombers in the skies over London during the afternoon of September 7, 1940 heralded a tactical shift in Hitler's attempt to subdue Great Britain.

During the previous two months, the Luftwaffe had targeted RAF airfields and radar stations for destruction in preparation for the German invasion of the island. With invasion plans put on hold and eventually scrapped, Hitler turned his attention to destroying London in an attempt to demoralize the population and force the British to come to terms.

At around 4:00 PM on that September day, 348 German bombers escorted by 617 fighters blasted London until 6:00 PM. Two hours later, guided by the fires set by the first assault, a second group of raiders commenced another attack that lasted until 4:30 the following morning.

This was the beginning of the Blitz - a period of intense bombing of London and other cities that continued until the following May. For the next consecutive 57 days, London was bombed either during the day or night. Fires consumed many portions of the city.

(Images via LIFE archives)

1 comment:

  1. Can you imagine growing up in this decade? All four guys in The Beatles- John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr grew up in the decade where England was getting bombed, not London, but Liverpool, and as for The Stones, every one of them was born in the 1940s, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards in 1943, Ronnie Wood in 1947, so he's a post-WWII baby and Charlie Watts in 1941. Every one of those guys were born near London and I"m pretty sure they probably seen and definitely lived through the bombings.

    London has my sympathy




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