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World Association of International Studies

PAX, LUX ET VERITAS SINCE 1965
Post Interactive Map of Blitzkrieg Bombing of England
Created by John Eipper on 01/17/15 7:37 AM

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Interactive Map of Blitzkrieg Bombing of England (Enrique Torner, USA, 01/17/15 7:37 am)

Regarding WWII, I came across this interesting interactive map of England online where you can see where all the German bombs fell during Blitzkrieg, together with information about each drop. I thought WAISers might be interested, if they don't know about it already. Here is the link:

http://bombsight.org/#15/51.5050/-0.0900

JE comments:  To think that our colleagues Siegfried Ramler, David Pike, and John Heelan (and perhaps others) were on the receiving end of this horror.


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  • London Blitzkrieg: Map and Lived Experience (John Heelan, -UK 01/17/15 11:05 AM)
    My thanks to Enrique Torner for the Bombsight link (17 January). It correctly shows the bombs that fell on the road where I was living as a child, and I clearly remember them happening. We lived just short of an important factory that was making aircraft parts that was obviously the target. It also shows the the bomb (in this case it was a "Doodlebug"--V1 Flying Bomb--also targetted at the factory (she lived 100 yards away from it) that landed opposite my aunt's house. Luckily for her and my cousins, the blast blew 180 degrees away from her house, although it killed many people and demolished other houses. As children we subsequently played in the rubble after the war.

    JE comments: Thank you, John, for verifying the accuracy of the map. When documental and experiential history coincide, it's a very exciting moment.


    Folks, here again is the link:


    http://bombsight.org/#15/51.5050/-0.0900




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  • London Blitzkrieg: Map and Lived Experience (David Pike, -France 01/17/15 3:32 PM)
    The Bombsite link provided by Enrique Torner (17 January) is certainly interesting, but I must question a point or two mentioned in the subsequent post of John Heelan, who rarely makes mistakes.

    First of all, it should not be supposed, from the dates given for the Blitz--October 7, 1940 to June 6, 1941--that the bombing of London did not begin earlier or continue later. If it had not begun earlier, then John Heelan and I would have missed the September part of it, for the Coalition Government of Churchill-Attlee had decided to allow all evacuated children to return to their homes for the summer vacation, allowing those in the Southeast to watch the Battle of Britain in the skies and then experience the beginning of the Blitz. After the summer of 1941 bombing became spasmodic, up until autumn 1943 when London underwent what was called the Little Blitz.


    But none of this has anything to do with the Doodlebugs that began in June 1944, ten days after D-Day. I also have to challenge the idea that a V1 was ever aimed at a factory or anything specific. It was aimed at a city, London or Antwerp, indiscriminately, just like the V2s that began in September, and they could fall anywhere. It was useless to worry about V2s, but V1s could be frightening. Their very loud engines would cut and the bomb would glide in silence for three minutes. If it cut above you, you knew that you were safe. The defense system provided every locality with a double alert system, with different bells ringing for each incoming V1 at a distance of 35 and 15 miles. Of course when the V1s came in large numbers the alerts were useless.


    JE comments: I wasn't aware that the V1s didn't appear until after D-Day, by which time Germany's war effort was already doomed. Wikipedia tells us that over 9500 were launched through March 1945:


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V-1_flying_bomb


    At 1/20th the price per unit, they were also far more cost effective for Germany than the subsequent V2 rocket.  I cannot imagine how terrifying it must have been to see and hear the Doodlebugs overhead.


    Speaking of transitions, overnight we will launch the new WAIS website.  (Functionality will be improved, especially with hand-held devices.)  So say goodbye to the old look and feel of WAIS.  The only constant is change, etc., but I'm already getting nostalgic for our old e-home, where we've tended the store since September 2010.  


    Here, for posterity, is a screenshot of David Pike's post.  Fare thee well, WAISworld 1.0!





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    • Experiencing a V1 Attack (John Heelan, -UK 01/18/15 5:29 AM)
      David Pike (17 January) is, of course, correct both about the dates of the Blitz and the first arrivals and the targeting accuracy of Doodlebugs--the technology of V1s and the later V2s did not enable "surgical strikes."  I was just confirming that the Bombsight map forwarded by Enrique Torner accurately depicted the landing sites of at least three bombs that I witnessed as a child, the nearest one less than 100 yards away from my home.

      I recall standing in a crowd the following morning, looking at the damage and the sight of a double bed hanging in the gap where the floor used to be. This must have been in late 1940, as I was one of the London children evacuated to safety to a family in the country returning in 1943, I think, in time for the later V1 attacks on London. Doodlebugs had a distinctive engine noise when dropping to earth when they ran out of fuel. People held their breath when they heard a V1 approaching, even more so when the engine stopped and a deadly silence prevailed while it fell to earth and then heaved a sigh of relief that they were alive to hear a distant explosion. Scary times!


      JE comments:  And imagine that the V1 terror was repeated 9500 times, at a pace of up to 100 per day.  Psychologically it must have been far more demoralizing than the V2, which simply showed up unannounced.

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