Friday, December 7, 2012

The Blitz (2*)

I had always wondered why, at the end of the street where I live, the Edwardian semi-detached houses suddenly gave way to a row of newly built properties. What happened to the houses that stood there originally? I'm far too anti-social to spend time chatting with my neighbours, but I did mention this to the bloke across the road as we discussed the weather. The answer was simple, he said: the original houses were obliterated by a German bomb in the Second World War.

Wow, I thought, making a note to look into this further. I wondered why German bombs might have been dropped on Chiswick, which is neither central or a hive of vital industry. I've been doing some research on bombing raids recently, and the explanation was probably simple: the crew of the Luftwaffe bomber was probably too scared to fly over central London where the flak was heaviest and searchlight glares formed a web in the sky, so they dropped them as near as they dared and then hightailed it out of there.

I've been able to find out more because of this astonishing interactive map that shows every single bomb that dropped on London. Sure enough, near my house, there is a red dot that indicates several bombs were dropped, probaly the entire load on single German bomber. The map is so detailed and compulsaive, that I lost the next looking at where else the bombs had landed. It turned out two had fallen on the grounds of my cricket club and the park where I take my kids to play. Chiswick was not badly bombed, but it's landscape was changed by those bombs. Elsewhere in London whole districts were razed to the ground. As you can tell from the graphic above, in central London it's easier to see where the bombs didn't fall. It's amazing that London survived as intact as it did.


Dan - Friday

*I've written about the Blitz and the effect its bombs had on London before


  1. Stunning, Dan. Especially the map showing the concentrated bombing in London against the backdrop of all Britain. It's like a single bloody every sense of the phrase.

  2. Hello Dan - my husband and I were just discussing WW2 last night. Americans were very much affected by the war, but not nearly as much as the UK. The damages sustained there were more than life changing. I always believed that buildings tell real stories.