The Liverpool Blitz

Liverpool was probably the most important, wartime mercantile port, the destination of many convoys from America. Furthermore it was easy to locate by air, with the lights of Dublin burning across the Irish Sea. It had already received much attention from the Luftwaffe. On the night of the 28th November one direct hit on a shelter at Durning Street had killed at least 166 people…

Liverpool Blitz
A panoramic view of the city of Liverpool, showing bomb damage received after an air raid. The Liver Building can be clearly seen just to the right of centre, and the River Mersey is just visible to the left of the photograph.

Liverpool was probably the most important wartime mercantile port, the destination of many convoys from America. It was also easy to locate by air, with the lights of Dublin burning across the Irish Sea. It had already received much attention from the Luftwaffe. On the night of the 28th November one direct hit on a shelter at Durning Street had killed at least 166 people, see Liverpool Remembrance.

There were intense raids on Liverpool on the nights of the 21st and 22nd December, killing an estimated 345 people. The Home Security Situation report for the week recorded:

The Liverpool area was strongly attacked on the night of the 20th-21st December, and an even more severe attack followed the next night, when a concentration appears to have been made on the Docks area. On the night 22nd-23rd, some bombs were again dropped in Liverpool, Bootle and Birkenhead.


(a) Docks.—Damage to warehouses and storage sheds at the Docks has been serious, with considerable losses—the latest estimate of which has not as yet been made—of tobacco, cotton and timber. Substantial damage to shipping has also been reported, two ships being sunk and ten others damaged. Although nine docks suffered various degrees of damage and seventeen berths are stated to be out of commission, it is reported that, generally speaking, the working of the Port has not been seriously affected.

(b) Industry.—Serious damage was done to food-factories, production being stopped at Spiller’s Flour Mills and Paul Bros. Flour Mills, both at Birkenhead, while Hutehinson’s Flour Mills were also damaged. Considerable damage was also done at Tate and Lyle’s sugar refinery. Seven other key points, including the Wallasey Gas Works, were hit, but no serious damage resulted.

(c) Public Services.—Damage to main services was considerable, electricity in particular suffering by a fire at the Highfield Street sub-station.

(d) Communications.—Altogether 15 hits were registered in the railway system, the cumulative effect of which reacted seriously on the working of the lines, while tranrvray services and road traffic were badly dislocated, particularly in the centre of the city.

See TNA CAB/66/14/22

Stil images recently discovered by Merseyside Police:

Liverpool Blitz
Vertical aerial view from 1,800 feet of the waterfront from the Pier Head to the Albert Dock, and of the city east to Derby Square, showing the extensive bomb damage to the commercial centre. The shell of the burnt out customs shed is visible left centre. Photograph taken in June 1941.

4 thoughts on “The Liverpool Blitz”

  1. My father who was in the Liverpool city police his name was Lewis Glover was killed while trying to extinguish a incendiary bomb on the 23 of December 1940 on the Glandstone Docks I was 6yrs old at this time.I believe there was a memorial erected with the names of all officers killed during that time. I was there 2yrs ago but could not locate monument would appreciate help in locating where they have moved it too.Have tried the Liverpool Police academy but no one could help me at that time so if anyone has any information this would really help
    Thank you

  2. Was Ruin in Scouts Field a result of bomb damage?

    We lived at 64 Cooper Avenue. WW2 ended, and peace, blessed peace, came and with it more freedom to play, and wander out of the house after school and on holidays. My brother Lionel and I often played in “Scouts field,” a bombed out estate between Brodie and Cooper Avenues was just across the street from our home. There my brother and I often played with other local children. To reach Scouts Field from our house, rather than use the more distant entryway by the air-raid shelter, local boys, like my brother and I, would climb a stone wall right across the street. –fingers and toes in the cracks between the stones–to the top of the high stone wall.

    The Scouts Field ruins, between Cooper and Brodie Avenues, and between Brymor and Martin Roads were on a massive raised mound, and they consisted of a complex divided cellars walls and little else, all somehow painted white. The grounds were vast, with ancient trees. I recall a holly tree so tall we would climb up inside its branching deep green foliage, and a rectangular depression which would fill like a pond when it rained a lot.

  3. For a while towards the end of WW2 on return to Liverpool from Rhosneigr, we lived in the peaceful middle class neighborhood of Mossley Hill in a house that grandfather had given mother as a wedding gift. Mossley Hill was a place of semi-detached houses and beautiful green parks.

    During the summer of 1940, while my mother and we kids slept in relative safety in the village of Rhosneigr, Anglesey while Dad was with the Royal Engineers and MacAlpine, building the nearby Valley Aerodrome which eventually would stop the German bombing of Liverpool, Hitler’s evil eggs began to drop on Liverpool. On the night of the 28th-29th of August 1940 the Mossley Hill Parish Church was destroyed by German bombs.

    Yet in relative terms, the area where our house was at 64 Cooper Avenue had suffered little from German bombing; it was not like downtown Liverpool where entire blocks of housing had been razed. Here in our section of Mossley Hill which was downhill and some distance from the Mossley Hill Parish Church, most damage was limited to blast-shattered windows. However, there was another exception. There had been a mansion, between Cooper and Brodie avenues surrounded by trees and separated by a high stone wall just across from our house. …

  4. Ringo Starr was 5 months old. Birthday July 7, 1940 LiverPool, England
    John Lennon was 2 months old. Birthday October 9, 1940 LiverPool, England

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