But the city centre was devastated in the raid and nearly 3, homes and shops were destroyed. During , Liverpool and the rest of Merseyside was the most bombed area outside London. On November it was hit by tons of high explosive bombs.
Battle of Britain
From December, Merseyside was hit on consecutive nights. During the first eight days of May , Merseyside was bombed almost every night. In Bootle, 8, out of 17, houses were destroyed or damaged during the Blitz. This photograph, taken in , shows the extent of bomb damage in the city.
The Liver Building can be seen just to the right of centre, and the River Mersey is just visible to the left of the photograph. The heaviest raids on Manchester took place on consecutive nights on and December. Deansgate and Oxford Road were blocked with debris and unexploded bombs. More than 8, homes were destroyed or made uninhabitable. The Trafford Park industrial area was badly damaged by fires. Many of the city's firemen and civil defence workers had not yet returned from Liverpool which had been hit on 20 December. Fires still burning in Liverpool from that raid also helped illuminate the bombers' path to Manchester.
Cardiff in south Wales was bombed on 2 January This marked the start of a series of raids on cities targeted for their docks, vital in maintaining Britain's supply lines. While the docks and factories were hit, residential areas suffered too. The raid left people dead and the same number injured. Cardiff was bombed again on consecutive nights in early March. The important naval base of Portsmouth on the south coast was raided almost every four weeks during the start of It suffered its heaviest raid on January.
German aircraft dropped tons of high explosive bombs and 40, incendiaries on the city.
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Fires were started in the dockyard. The city's Guildhall was also set on fire by incendiary bombs and its interior and roof destroyed. The North East of England was targeted during early The vital east coast port of Hull suffered two heavy raids in March and then was badly hit again on May. The whole of the riverside quay was devastated by fire. Hull was bombed again in June after the worst of the Blitz was thought to be over.
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For security reasons, news reports on air raids usually referred to Hull not by name but as a 'north east town'. This meant that many people were unaware how badly the town suffered in the Blitz. Plymouth was hit by intermittent small scale bombing raids throughout Its docks and naval base made it a major target and in March and April , Plymouth and neighbouring Devonport suffered a series of devastating raids.
More than people were killed and 40, were made homeless. The city lost its historic Guildhall and the main shopping streets were particularly badly hit. The extent of destruction in the city is evident in this photograph, dating from , showing shoppers among piles of rubble and makeshift stalls. On March , the town of Clydebank was hit by two nights of devastating raids.
The Blitz: the British Under Attack by Juliet Gardiner: review
Clydebank was in the industrial area of Clydeside to the west of Glasgow. The housing stock consisted mainly of tenement buildings, many of which were overcrowded. Air raid shelter provision was inadequate. Out of a population of around 50,, 35, people were made homeless.
Belfast experienced its first air raid April Its docks and shipyards were the primary target, although as in other dockside cities, the residential areas nearby were badly hit. The city was blitzed again on 15 April.
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The raid lasted for five hours. The main combatants were the United Kingdom and Germany. The German plan was to unfold in several phases, but all efforts toward that end ultimately failed. The reasons for the failure are just as interesting as the battle itself. Hope for American isolationism came to an end with the Battle of Britain.
By the end of , most Americans had come to realize that war was inevitable. By the beginning of July , the British Royal Air Force RAF , had built up its strength to serviceable fighters, but the Luftwaffe German air force boasted 2, bombers and fighters. Both services saw heavy action during that conflict. The RAF was under the supervision of the Air Ministry and was the world's second-largest independent air force, after the German Luftwaffe. In August , U. In it, they vowed not to pursue gains, "territorial or otherwise;" to honor the right of every country to determine its own form of government; to ensure freedom of the seas; and to carry on peaceful global trade.
Britain became the main recipient. As the chief British defense strategist, Churchill refused to countenance an armistice with the Nazis. A master of rhetoric, the prime minister hardened British public opinion against a peaceful resolution with Germany, having foreseen Nazi aggression as imminent and unavoidable. German forces nearly cornered the bulk of the British army, which had retreated to Dunkirk in Northern France. Following the British army's great escape across the English Channel from Dunkirk , there was a lull that allowed the British to prepare for defense against the Germans.
The British organized a well thought-out air defense system that included the newly developed Radar , Radio Detection and Ranging. Observer Corps posts stood all over the country. Their job was to report air raids once they had crossed the coast and were behind the radar. Strategically positioned Barrage Balloon posts were notified of an impending attack. The balloons impeded the attacking aircraft by causing them to either veer from their course or increase elevation, which reduced their bombing accuracy.
England faced a wide arc of German air power. Luftflotte Air Fleet No.
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Five was based in Norway, headquartered at Stavanger; Luftflotte Two was in Northern France, Belgium and Holland, headquartered at Brussels; and Luftflotte Three occupied bases in the remainder of France with their headquarters in Paris. A German Luftflotte controlled both fighters and bombers in combined operations, but the RAF had separate commands for the two tasks.
They were largely weather and reconnaissance units, and operational standards organizations. The two based in the Battle area were based at Brest and at Brussels. Operation Sea Lion.
A month after the Fall of France in June , when the Germans believed they had already won the war in the West, Hitler ordered preparation of a plan to invade Britain. The operation was scheduled for September and called for landings on Britain's south coast, backed by an airborne assault.