St George's Church in High Street was damaged by fire. [citation needed] However on 20 October 1941 the Garda Sochna captured a comprehensive IRA report on captured member Helena Kelly giving a detailed analysis of damage inflicted on Belfast and highlighting prime targets such as Shortt and Harland aircraft factory and RAF Sydenham, describing them as 'the remaining and most outstanding objects of military significance, as yet unblitzed' and suggesting they should be 'bombed by the Luftwaffe as thoroughly as other areas in recent raids'[28][29], After three days, sometime after 6pm, the fire crews from south of the border began taking up their hoses and ladders to head for home. The most heavily bombed area was that which lay between York Street and the Antrim Road, north of the city centre. With Britains powerful Royal Navy controlling the surface approaches in the Channel and the North Sea, it fell to the Luftwaffe to establish dominance of the skies above the battle zone. He spoke with Professor Flynn, (Theodore Thomson Flynn, an Australian based at the Mater Hospital and father of actor Errol Flynn), head of the casualty service for the city, who told him of "casualties due to shock, blast and secondary missiles, such as glass, stones, pieces of piping, etc." Train after train and bus after bus were filled with those next in line. Another large-scale attack followed on March 19, when hundreds of houses and shops, many churches, six hospitals, and other public buildings were destroyed or seriously damaged. [12], There was little preparation for the conflict with Germany. Both planes quickly proved their mettle against German bombers, and Germanys best fighter, the Bf 109, was of limited use as an escort due to its relatively short operating range. 255 corpses were laid out in St George's Market. The district of Belfast has an area of 44 square miles (115 square km). 50,000 houses, more than half the houses in the city, were damaged. In Bristol, the bombed-out ruins of St Peter's Church were left standing with added memorial plaques to the civilians who were killed. "[22], In his opinion, the greatest want was the lack of hospital facilities. The Battle of Britain They remained for three days, until they were sent back by the Northern Ireland government. The use of the Tube system as a shelter saved thousands of lives, and images of Londoners huddled in Underground stations would become an indelible image of British life during World War II. department distributed more than two million Anderson shelters (named after Sir John Anderson, head of the A.R.P.) On the 60th anniversary of the Belfast Blitz, Luftwaffe Pilot Gerhardt Becker spoke to BBC Northern Ireland about his mission over Belfast in 1941. Nearby residential areas in east Belfast were also hit when "203 metric tonnes of high explosive bombs, 80 land mines attached to parachutes, and 800 firebomb canisters containing 96,000 incendiary bombs"[16] were dropped. Belfast has the world's largest dry dock. Video, 00:01:15The Belfast blitz, Up Next. . [25] He followed up with his "they are our people" speech, made in Castlebar, County Mayo, on Sunday 20 April 1941 (Quoted in the Dundalk Democrat dated Saturday 26 April 1941): In the past, and probably in the present, too, a number of them did not see eye to eye with us politically, but they are our people we are one and the same people and their sorrows in the present instance are also our sorrows; and I want to say to them that any help we can give to them in the present time we will give to them whole-heartedly, believing that were the circumstances reversed they would also give us their help whole-heartedly Frank Aiken, the Irish Minister for the Co-ordination of Defensive Measures was in Boston, Massachusetts at the time. Around 20,000 people were employed on the site with 35,000 further along in the shipyard. Belfast is located on the island of Ireland. He gave an interview saying: "the people of Belfast are Irish people too". These shelters were vital as these factories had many employees working late at night and early in the morning when Luftwaffe attacks were likely. It is situated at on the banks of the River Lagan on the east coast. Men from the South worked with men from the North in the universal cause of the relief of suffering. "There are plans for one but there isn't one yet. parliament: "if the government realized 'that these fast bombers can come to Northern Ireland in two and three quarter hours'". While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. Authorities quickly implemented plans to protect Londoners from bombs and to house those left homeless by the attacks. Air power alone had failed to knock the United Kingdom out of the war. They all say the same thing, that the government is no good. Video, 00:01:09The Spitfire turns 80, The German bombing of Coventry. [18], Over 900 people died, 1,500 people were injured, 400 of them seriously. Humanity knows no borders, no politics, no differences of religious belief. The youngest victim was just six-weeks-old. The British thus fought with the advantage of superior equipment and undivided aim against an enemy with inconsistent objectives. The Belfast Blitz consisted of four German air raids on strategic targets in the city of Belfast in Northern Ireland, in April and May 1941 during World War II, causing high casualties. In the west and north of the city, streets heavily bombed included Percy Street, York Park, York Crescent, Eglinton Street, Carlisle Street, Ballyclare, Ballycastle and Ballynure Streets off the Oldpark Road; Southport Street, Walton Street, Antrim Road, Annadale Street, Cliftonville Road, Hillman Street, Atlantic Avenue, Hallidays Road, Hughenden Avenue, Sunningdale Park, Shandarragh Park, and Whitewell Road. For eight months the Luftwaffe dropped bombs on London and other strategic cities across Britain. The 2017 film Zoo depicts an air raid during the Belfast Blitz. A Luftwaffe terror bombing attack on the Spanish city of Guernica (April 26, 1937) during the Spanish Civil War had killed hundreds of civilians and destroyed much of the town. Fewer than 4,000 women and children were evacuated. Between Black Saturday and December 2, there was no 24-hour period without at least one alertas the alarms came to be calledand generally far more. The bombing of British cities - Swansea, Belfast, Glasgow Before the war broke out, civilians had been issued with gas masks and Anderson shelters, which people were encouraged to build at the. The Germans expanded the Blitz to other cities in November 1940. Video, 00:01:23, Watch: Matt Hancock message row in 83 seconds, Isabel Oakeshott: Why I leaked Hancock's messages. While some of the poorer and more crowded suburban areas suffered severely, the mansions of Mayfair, the luxury flats of Kensington, and Buckingham Palace itselfwhich was bombed four separate timesfared little better. On August 2, Luftwaffe commander Hermann Gring issued his Eagle Day directive, laying down a plan of attack in which a few massive blows from the air were to destroy British air power and so open the way for the invasion. Very early in the German bombing campaign, it became clear that the preparationshowever extensive they seemed to have beenwere inadequate. [citation needed], Other writers, such as Tony Gray in The Lost Years state that the Germans did follow their radio guidance beams. Maps and documents uncovered at Gatow Airfield near Berlin in 1945 showed the level of detail involved. The telegram was sent at 4:35am,[citation needed] asking the Irish Taoiseach, amon de Valera for assistance. At the time of the first attack in April 1941, there were no operational searchlights, too few anti-aircraft batteries and scarcely enough public air raid shelters for a quarter of the population. [citation needed]. Tommy Henderson, an Independent Unionist MP in the House of Commons of Northern Ireland, summed up the feeling when he invited the Minister of Home Affairs to Hannahstown and the Falls Road, saying "The Catholics and the Protestants are going up there mixed and they are talking to one another. Despite the attacks, Belfast continued to contribute to the war effort, and within less than a year the city witnessed the arrival of thousands of American troops. 150 corpses remained in the Falls Road baths for three days before they were buried in a mass grave, with 123 still unidentified. the Blitz, (September 7, 1940May 11, 1941), intense bombing campaign undertaken by Nazi Germany against the United Kingdom during World War II. The Germans established that Belfast was defended by only seven anti-aircraft batteries, which made it the most poorly defended city in the United Kingdom. Of the churches, besides St. Pauls cathedral, where at one time were five unexploded bombs in the immediate vicinity and the roof of which was pierced by another that exploded and shattered the high altar to fragments, those damaged were Westminster abbey, St. Margarets Westminster, Southwark cathedral; fifteen Wren churches (including St. The danger faced in London was greatly increased when the V2 attacks started and the casualty figures mirrored those of the Blitz.. The most heavily bombed cities outside London were Liverpool and Birmingham. About 1,000 people were killed and bombs hit half of the houses in the city, leaving 100,000 people homeless. The M.V. Sometimes they were trying establish a blockade by destroying shipping and port facilities, sometimes they were directly attacking Fighter Command ground installations, sometimes they were targeting aircraft factories, and sometimes they were attempting to engage Fighter Command in the skies. Streets heavily bombed in the city centre included High Street, Ann Street, Callender Street, Chichester Street, Castle Street, Tomb Street, Bridge Street (effectively obliterated), Rosemary Street, Waring Street, North Street, Victoria Street, Donegall Street, York Street, Gloucester Street, and East Bridge Street. 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The national government also provided funds to local municipalities to construct public air-raid shelters. On the ground, there were only 22 anti-aircraft guns positioned around the city, six light and 16 heavy, and on the first night only seven of these were manned and operational. Death should be dignified, peaceful; Hitler had made even death grotesque. From papers recovered after the war, we know of a Luftwaffe reconnaissance flight over Belfast on 30 November 1940. When war broke out in 1939 the city did not expect to be attacked by German bombers: it was geographically remote and deemed a relatively . [6] It was MacDermott who sent a telegram to de Valera seeking assistance. [17] A stray bomber attacked Derry, killing 15. As many were caught in the open by blast and secondary missiles, the enormous number of casualties can be readily accounted for. continuous trek to railway stations. No searchlights were set up in the city at the time, and these only arrived on 10 April. On May 11, 1941, Hitler called off the Blitz as he shifted his forces eastward against the Soviet Union. Clydeside got its blitz during the period of the last moon. This amounted to nearly half of Britains total civilian deaths for the whole war. Van Morrison is from the east part of the city. Belfast's Albert Clock tower is sinking - it leans by four feet. 1. Corrections? ", Dawson Bates, the Home Affairs Minister, apparently refused to reply to army correspondence and when the Ministry of Home Affairs was informed by imperial defence experts in 1939 that Belfast was regarded as "a very definite German objective", little was done outside providing shelters in the Harbour area.[14]. The Luftwaffe never attacked the city after May 1941, but it would be many years before life returned to normal for many in the city. Although there were some comparatively slight raids later in 1941, the most notable one on July 27, the May 1011 attack marked the conclusion of the Blitz. Over 20 hospitals were hit, among them the London (many times), St. Thomass, St. Bartholomews, and the childrens hospital in Great Ormond st., as well as Chelsea hospital, the home for the aged and invalid soldiers, built by Wren. [1][2], The third raid on Belfast took place over the evening and morning of 45 May 1941; 150 were killed. William Joyce (known as "Lord Haw-Haw") announced in radio broadcasts from Hamburg that there will be "Easter eggs for Belfast". There were Heinkel He 111s, Junkers Ju 88s and Dornier Do 17s. Accounts differ as to when flares were dropped to light up the city. Nurse Emma Duffin, who had served in World War I, contrasted death in that conflict with what she .templatequote{overflow:hidden;margin:1em 0;padding:0 40px}.mw-parser-output .templatequote .templatequotecite{line-height:1.5em;text-align:left;padding-left:1.6em;margin-top:0}. The government announced that 77 people had died, but for years local residents insisted the toll was much higher. A modern bomb census has attempted to pinpoint the location of every bomb dropped on London during the Blitz, and the visualization of that data makes clear how thoroughly the Luftwaffe saturated the city. It remains a high death toll - a shocking number of people killed in just a few weeks. The attacks were authorized by Germany's chancellor, Adolf Hitler, after the British carried out a nighttime air raid on Berlin. Since 1:45am all telephones had been cut. In the course of four Luftwaffe attacks on the nights of 7-8 April, 15-16 April, 4-5 May and 5-6 May 1941, lasting ten hours in total, 1,100 people died, over 56,000 houses in the city were damaged (53 per cent of its entire housing stock), roughly 100,000 made temporarily homeless and 20 million damage was caused to property at wartime values. Another attacked Bangor, killing five. [27] One widespread criticism was that the Germans located Belfast by heading for Dublin and following the railway lines north. From a purely military perspective, the Blitz was entirely counterproductive to the main purpose of Germanys air offensiveto dominate the skies in advance of an invasion of England. Simpson shot down one of the Heinkels over Downpatrick. Wave after wave of bombers dropped their incendiaries, high explosives and land-mines. Over 500 received care from the Irish Red Cross in Dublin. Apart from one or two false alarms in the early days of the war, no sirens wailed in London until June 25. "A lot of the people I spoke to were relatives who ended up donating images and handwritten letters from before and after the Blitz. Sir Basil Brooke, the Minister of Agriculture, was the only active minister. Your donations help keep MHN afloat. Three nights later (April 1920) London was again subjected to a seven-hour raid, and the loss of life was considerable, especially among firefighters and the A.R.P. Video, 00:01:23Watch: Matt Hancock message row in 83 seconds, One-minute World News. Video, 00:01:37Thanks, but no big speech, in Ken Bruce's sign off, Tear gas fired at Greece train crash protesters. [26], Initial German radio broadcasts celebrated the raid. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Also, on Queens Island, stood the Short and Harland Ltd. Aircraft Factory. What's the least amount of exercise we can get away with? After the bombing began on September 7, local authorities urged displaced people to take shelter at South Hallsville School. Video, 00:00:36, Tears of relief after man found in Amazon jungle. The most significant loss was a 4.5-acre (1.8ha) factory floor for manufacturing the fuselages of Short Stirling bombers. In the mistaken belief that they might damage RAF fighters, the anti-aircraft batteries ceased firing. Why Alex Murdaugh was spared the death penalty, Why Trudeau is facing calls for a public inquiry, The shocking legacy of the Dutch 'Hunger Winter'. Lecturer of History, Queens University, Belfast,, During the war years, Belfast shipyards built or converted over 3,000 navy vessels, repaired more than 22,000 others and launched over half a million tons of merchant shipping over 140. More than 500 German planes dropped more than 700 tons of bombs across the city, killing nearly 1,500 people and destroying 11,000 homes. Belfast's Albert Clock tower is sinking - it leans by four feet. Eduard Hempel, the German Minister to Ireland, visited the Irish Ministry for External Affairs to offer sympathy and attempt an explanation. ISBN 9781909556324. Despite the military and industrial importance of the city, the Luftwaffe described the defences asweak, scanty, insufficient. [citation needed]. At the core of this book is a compelling account of the Luftwaffe's blitz on Belfast in April-May 1941. The refugees looked dazed and horror stricken and many had neglected to bring more than a few belongings Any and every means of exit from the city was availed of and the final destination appeared to be a matter of indifference. Wherever Churchill is hiding his war material we will go. Under the leadership of amon de Valera it had declared its neutrality during the Second World War. These balloons, the largest of which were some 60 feet (18 metres) long, were essentially an airspace denial tool. 10,000 "officially" crossed the border. Video, 00:02:54Living through the London Blitz, At least 17 dead in Jakarta fuel storage depot fire. On occasion, forces consisting of as many as 300 to 400 aircraft would cross the coast by day and split into small groups, and a few planes would succeed in penetrating Londons outer defenses. harold schultz obituary, 16 block bloods denver, lsu women's basketball transfers,
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