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Eight Months of Horror Started 79 Years Ago Today

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Spare a thought and drink a toast tonight as on this day day. 7th September 1940. The German Blitz began.

Following France's surrender to the Nazis months before, Hitler turned his attention to Great Britain and ordered Luftwaffe commander Herman Goring to bomb factories and other vital supply chains in an attempt to cripple the British. When this failed, the Luftwaffe began bombing London, Liverpool and other civilian population centers all over Britain.

Despite the British gaining air superiority with the RAF, the bombings would go on for 8 months, in an attempt to make the British submit. Despite the heavy bombing, the British war economy and production increased. In October, the Nazis switched to night time bombings to evade the RAF.

Civilians hid in shelters such as the London Underground and homemade shelters. An estimated 40,000 people were killed during the Blitz.

Eventually, the Nazis realized that their efforts did not hinder the British and instead focused on the invasion of the Soviet Union

327 Firefighters were killed (and many more injured) in London during the Blitz - around the same number of FDNY FFs who dies on 9/11. And of course, like 9/11, the Blitz didn't just involve one city.  Fire crews gave their all (literally in some cases) across the UK in the most horrific and unimaginable circumstances.

There's a radio programme on BBC London Radio where people have to answer set questions on London (a Soho Stn O was on it years ago). One question is where would you like to visit in London, past or present? My answer would be to experience the blitz as a LFB FF. There would be conditions of course, e.g. for 1 or 2 nights and close to a canteen van.

Heroes with grimy faces said Winston Churchill in his own poetic way. You can't argue with that!



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