The Blitz

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The Blitz was the name popularly given to the German bombing offensive against United Kingdom towns and cities in 1940-41. The name derives from the German Blitzkrieg, lightning war, although the objectives and tactics used were in reality very different. Around 40,000 British civilians and civil defence workers were killed during the Blitz, and around 20,000 more by German bombing and missile attacks in the remainder of the war, including the 'Little Blitz' of early 1944 and the V-1 and V-2 attacks of 1944-45.

Most cities were attacked at least once, and many suffered repeated attacks and severe damage. The worst damaged included London, Liverpool, Southampton, Portsmouth, Sheffield, Bristol, Hull, Plymouth and Coventry. However, the town to suffer the worst overall damage was the shipbuilding centre of Clydebank near Glasgow, which was raided on October 13-14 1941; all but 7 of its 12,000 dwellings were damaged, and 35,000 of the 47,000 inhabitants were made homeless.

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