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  • Air Raids in Britain, 1940–45

    Mark Clapson

    Chapter from the book: Clapson, M. 2019. The Blitz Companion: Aerial Warfare, Civilians and the City since 1911.


    The outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 led to the worst air raids suffered by Britain in its entire history. London, the capital city, suffered the longest aerial attack of any Western European city during the Second World War. Lasting from September 1940 to May 1941, the air raids violently disrupted everyday life and destroyed much of the urban environment. Following the Blitz on London and other towns and cities in 1940-1941, historic British cities were attacked by the Baedeker Raids during 1942, and by further air raids in 1944-1945, during which Nazi ‘vengeance weapons’ spread fear and destruction but rarely despair among the urban population. Focusing upon the experience of air raids, the chapter highlights the performance of the ARP apparatus, the impact of air raids on the fluctuating morale of the civilian population, and the wider lessons to be drawn from the behaviour and values of British people under the bomb.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Clapson, M. 2019. Air Raids in Britain, 1940–45. In: Clapson, M, The Blitz Companion. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book26.c

    This chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives 4.0 license. Copyright is retained by the author(s)

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    Published on April 2, 2019