Tuesday, 11 October 2011

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The Blitz in Colour

Between 7th September 1940 and 10th May 1941 the Luftwaffe launched a strategic bombing campaign against London and other key industrial cities in the United Kingdom, commonly know as The Blitz.

Throughout the UK over a million houses were damaged or destroyed and 40,000 civilians killed. Despite the intensity of the bombings, the stoicism of the British public and their 'Blitz Spirit' ensured that morale did not fall, and despite precautionary measures enacted throughout the affected cities, civilians endeavoured to continue with 'business as usual'.

Over 600 aircraft losses were sustained by the Germans over the course of the campaign, and their aims of forcing the British public into submission prior to invasion and the disruption of war production ultimately failed. With the launch of Unternehmen Barbarossa (Operation Barbarossa - the invasion of Russia) in June 1941 and the cancellation of Unternehmen Seelöwe (Operation Sea Lion - the invasion of mainland Britain) the Luftwaffe's resources were required in the East and the bombing campaign over the UK was called off.

Time Life recently published a set of colour photos of London during the Blitz, reproduced below. The whole set with their original captions can be viewed here. Many thanks to Harb of the Tripwire Interactive Forums for the excellent find!

As always, click the photos to view them full-size.




















Thanks to Marsch of Military Photos for pointing out the oddity regarding the number houses damaged in London, I shall be sure to verify stats found on Wikipedia in the future!

These photographs are © Time & Life/Getty Images