Bombing attacks across Britain

A view of bomb damage and a crater on the railway line at Victoria Station

The view towards Victoria Station as military personnel assist railway workers dealing with a bomb crater on the railway tracks.

The Home Security Situation Report for the week ending 5th December, as reported to the War Cabinet, summarises the bombing for the week. It was estimated that 775 people had been killed, including 277 in London and 264 in Liverpool. By now bombing had become so widespread that a single day without bombing merits a note:

Summary of Air Raids.

By Day.

49. The week has been uneventful. On the 2nd December in particular, no bombs were dropped anywhere in the country.

By Night.

50. 28th/29th November. A short but heavy raid took place on Liverpool and neighbouring districts. A direct hit on a shelter at Durning Street killed 164 people. Forty other places in Lancashire and Cheshire were attacked, among them Chester and Manchester. Seventeen parachute mines were dropped in other parts of the country, mostly in the South and South-West.

51. 29th/30th November. There was a heavy raid on London but this was of short duration and confined to the outskirts. The Southern Railway was damaged at a number of points. The Home Counties shared extensively in the raid.

52. On the two succeeding nights attacks were delivered on Southampton. On the first night a great deal of damage was done by fire, and civil defence services were hampered by the destruction of the telephone exchange and reserve exchanges. About two-thirds of the main shopping centre was destroyed. On the second night the fire situation was rendered more grave by the shortage of water and losses of equipment, but after 0300 the situation eased. Damage to industry was not extensive and casualties on either night were not proportionately high.

53. 2nd/3rd December. Bristol suffered the most widespread raid it has yet had. Damage was done to the G.W.R. system but was mainly confined to public buildings and private property, though some production was lost in the aircraft and other industries from damage to public utility services.

54. 3rd/4th December. There was a short sharp attack on Birmingham and a relatively heavy random attack on London. Most of the damage in Birmingham was on small houses and shops, but there was some industrial and railway damage and the Birmingham-Worcester Canal was breached. In London a direct hit on a shelter in Hammersmith killed 10 persons and injured 50.

55. 4th/5th December. Raids were repeated on Birmingham and London, but they apparently miscarried and a proportion of bombs were dropped in Midland, Southern and Home Counties.

See TNA CAB/66/14/3

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