Intense RAF daylight bombing raids on Germany

The view from a Blenheim bomber as it finishes its bomb run over the other Cologne power station with bombs exploding on target.

Blenheims, flying close to the ground, located and attacked, under favourable weather conditions, the two power stations at Cologne. From reports received, both power stations appear to have been severely damaged in most determined attacks ; 24 tons of bombs were dropped on the turbine and boiler houses and the targets were left with fires blazing.




RAF bombers intensify attacks on Libya

An RAF raid on a German ammunition dump in the desert. Each of the dots in the sand is a pile of around 50 bombs.

During the week under review, our bombers made two successful daylight raids. On the 1st August, nine Blenheims, escorted by Hurricanes, attacked a concentration of enemy M.T. vehicles at Sidi Omar and inflicted severe damage and, on the 3rd, twenty-one Marylands bombed enemy gun positions in the Tobruk area, while our fighters carried out a covering sweep over enemy forward aerodromes.




The Kremlin bombed

One of the iconic images of the war, captured by Margaret Bourke-White on 26th July 1941.

She had arrived in Moscow at the outbreak of war with Germany. On the 26th she took these striking images of the German air attack on the Kremlin, pictures that were soon received world wide attention.




First German Air Raid on Moscow

A Russian Anti Aircraft position in Moscow, July 1941.

The main objectives were apparently the railway station, industrial areas and aerodromes. Several large fires were caused by enemy aircraft which flew over at a medium height. The Soviet A.A. defences, of which a large proportion were light anti – aircraft guns, put up what was described as ” an impressive show.”




Thousands die in Chungking raid

One of the worst ever single incidents in any air raid occurred when over 4,000 suffocated when air raid shelter tunnels were blocked during the raid on Chungking.

One of the most destructive raids was on 5th June 1941 when Japanese planes launched successive sorties against the city for more than three hours. When some of the tunnels became blocked during the bombing they became a death trap, asphyxiating as many as 4,000 people in one incident.




Ambulance duty during the Hull Blitz

The search for survivors after one of the numerous raids on Hull.

When the road was cleared we took the dead, each with a printed form attached to them, saying where they were found, to Alber Ave Mortuary. The injured, who had been given morphine, and the letter ‘M’ marked on their foreheads to say so, we took to the Western General Hospital on Anlaby Road, and laid them on the floor on their stretchers.




Liverpool’s ‘May Blitz’

The devastation in Liverpool docks after ammunition ship 'Malakand' blew up on the night 3rd May 1941.

A lot of children were evacuated to the countryside, but my mother would not let me go and decided to move back to Nelson. She went working in the mill weaving. She would work there from early morning until teatime, then rush home and after tea go back to work on munitions until 10 pm.




Plymouth bombed again

A Naval bomb disposal unit deals with an unexploded bomb during the Plymouth blitz.

It is natural that after five such raids the people should be somewhat shaken, but the movement of population from the city is regarded as reasonably well in hand, and the problem is being largely solved by the provision of rail tickets for would-be evacuees, and by the evacuation of children from specified areas.




Low level bombing attack on Ijmuiden

One of the dramatic photographs taken during the low level attack on Ijmuiden with bombs falling centre frame.

On two successive days formations of Blenheims attacked the iron and steel works at Ijmuiden, some of the aircraft coming down to 100 feet; direct hits were obtained on buildings which were seen to be severely damaged; the power house, ships and barges in the docks and a railway bridge were also attacked.




The Morrison Shelter is introduced

The Morrison shelter was an indoor cage that was designed to protect the occupants from the debris if the house was hit by a bomb.

As the bombs stirred the ground and the shrapnel clattered down the road we fought a quiet battle of cunning for the bedclothes. Feet touched faces, arms swung across chests, elbows elbowed; snores bubbled and spluttered to be silenced by ostensibly accidental blows; fragments of wild dream-talk escaped from the depths of our private lives. Enmity was closer to the surface during those caged nights than at any other time in our well-mannered lives.