Night Bombing of Britain intensifies

A Heinkel He III Bomber undergoing maintenance -
using a captured RAF airfield crane, November 1940.

From the Naval, Military and Air Situation for the week up to November 21st, as reported to the War Cabinet:

46. During the week the enemy made a greater number of long-range nightbomber sorties than during any other week of the war. On the 19th/20th approximately 500 aircraft were employed; this is the highest number recorded in operations on any night against this country. Attacks also showed greater concentration, and on the nights of the 14th/15th, 15th/16th and 19/20th heavy attacks were made on Coventry, London and Birmingham respectively; 350 aircraft attacked Coventry, under ideal weather conditions, and 340 were used against Birmingham.

On other nights fewer aircraft were employed and the bombing was more widespread. Parachute mines are being employed in increasing numbers. During the week about thirty aerodromes have been attacked, but damage was again very small in proportion to the effort expended, though ten aircraft were severely and twenty slightly damaged at Hawarden on the 14th/15th November. At Hythe on the 17th/ 18th a civil flying boat was destroyed and two others damaged.

Civilian Casualties.

72. The approximate figures for the week ending 0600 the 21st November are 1,190 killed and 3,738 injured. Of these totals, London suffered 484 killed and 1,080 injured; Coventry, 380 killed and 800 injured; and Birmingham (with West Bromwich), 228 killed and 802 injured in the three raids.

Unexploded Bombs.

73. The number of unexploded bombs during the week was 801, 363 less than last week. The total remaining for disposal is 2,939, a reduction of 130.

See TNA cab/66/13/37

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