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  • European Cities Under the Bomb: Nazi and Allied Bombing Campaigns, 1939–45

    Mark Clapson

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


    Although British cities and their populations suffered significant losses during the Second World War, German cities endured heavier bombings and losses of life from American and British forces, while many larger urban centres in other European countries were attacked from the air by both the Allies and the Nazi Luftwaffe. Air warfare conducted by both Nazi and Allied fleets, however, tended to ignore the lessons from the Blitz on British cities between 1940 and 1945: the will of the people was rarely destroyed, despite pre-war predictions and warnings. And even where, as in Hamburg and Dresden, there was terrible damage and high mortality rates, mostly caused by firestorms, the role played by bombs and in destroying the civilian population was by no means clear cut. In this, the citizens of German cities unwittingly shared a common desire with British people and urban populations in other counties to resist the worst consequences of air raids upon their behaviour and collective spirit.

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    Clapson, M. 2019. European Cities Under the Bomb: Nazi and Allied Bombing Campaigns, 1939–45. In: Clapson, M, The Blitz Companion. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book26.d

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    Published on April 2, 2019