Bomb damage to HMV (His Master’s Voice) gramophone shop, Oxford Street, London, 1940. The shop had been opened by Sir Edward Elgar in 1921Photograph: Cecil Beaton/Imperial War Museum
The Blitz, London, 1942. A workman with a wheelbarrow clears up fallen debris from the roof of St Mary-le-Bow after its first bombing. Subsequently the church was completely destroyed. The church was rebuilt after the war. It was said that a genuine Cockney was a person born within the sounds of the bells of St. Mary-le-Bow. Photograph: Cecil Beaton/Imperial War Museum
Bomb damage to the church of St Lawrence Jewry, Guildhall, London, 1940. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren, the church suffered major damage during the Blitz and was rebuilt to Wren’s original design in 1957. Photograph: Cecil Beaton/Imperial War Museum
London Blitz: Young woman pulled alive from rubble of bombed building by London Air Raid Precaution emergency workers
Payback is a Bitch
Stuttgart after a visit from RAF Bomber Command in 1943
Given its relatively small population, Canada made an immense contribution to Allied victory in WW Two. Canadian troops, most of whom were volunteers, fought all over Europe although mainly in the Italian campaign and the battles in Northwest Europe. The 3rd Canadian Infantry Divison comprised a part of the Allied forces on D-Day.
Lest We Forget
44,000 Canadian soldiers, sailors, and airmen lost their lives in World War Two.
British built R5727, the pattern Lancaster, in Gander 23 August 1942.
“On September 18, 1941, a decision was made to build Lancasters in Canada and the first drawings arrived in January 1942. For a country still largely agrarian and just recovering from a decade of depression, the challenge was immense. 500,000 manufacturing operations were involved in building a Lancaster which was made up of some 55,000 separate parts even when engines and turrets were only considered as one and small items such as rivets, nuts, and bolts were not included. A Lancaster from England was flown across the Atlantic in August 1942 to act as a “pattern” and a Crown Corporation named Victory Aircraft was formed to do the work in Malton, Ontario.”
More than 130,000 Allied pilots trained in Canada which also “hosted” tens of thousands of German prisoners of war. Famed U-Boat ace Otto Kretschmer was held in a Canadian POW camp.
KB-882 is one of over 400 Mk-10 Lancasters built in Canada.
Workers at the Victory Aircraft Plant in Malton, Ontario celebrating the rollout of KB799, the one-hundredth Canadian built Lancaster.
Lancaster R-5727 over Montreal 24 Aug. 1942
ground crew of a Canadian Lancaster
Let’s Go Canada! by Henri Eveleigh 1939–1945
(Issued by the World War Two agency, Canadian Bureau of Public Information)
Usually tougher than nazi bombs,anderson shelters, were named after home secretary John Anderson. He also served as MINISTER OF HOME SECURITy, A WARTIME DEPARTMENT, ATTACHED TO THE HOME OFFICE.
“While a properly installed Anderson shelter could withstand the effects of a hundred-pound bomb falling six feet away, Anderson shelters often leaked, were cold, dark and cramped and amplified the noise of falling bombs.”
While given free to people of limited means, others had to pay £7. Anderson shelters were useful only to the middle class because one had to have a garden (backyard in the US) as usually referred to in England. More than three million were eventually erected in gardens throughout those cities in England often bombed by the Nazis. (source: Warrior Race: A History of the British at War, by Lawrence James. 2003)
Unfortunately, the fourteen galvanized and corrugated steel plates which were bolted together to create the Anderson shelter weren’t waterproof. Unless one took extra measures, as many did, to make the shelter more comfortable, it wasn’t easy to get a restful night’s sleep. The shelters were often damp or even had standing water in them. They were cold. People waited until bombs got close to run to their Anderson shelters because they didn’t like being in one.
The reference to the landmine falling a few feet away is slightly inaccurate. What the Germans dropped were heavy sea mines which could break through heavy roofs, even ones made from cement, and the go off, creating a powerful explosion. Having learned this technique from the Germans, the Allies dropped sea mines on Nazi Germany.
Obviously, this was an upper working class family given how well the children are dressed and that they have a back garden which provided enough room to dug in the Anderson shelter. The box around the boy’s neck is his gas mask.
An Anderson shelter stands intact amongst a scene of debris in Norwich, c.1941
(photo courtesy Imperial War Museum)
“Anderson shelters – named after Sir John Anderson – consisted of two curved corrugated sheets of steel, bolted together at the top and sunk three feet into the ground, then covered with eighteen inches of earth. If constructed correctly, they could withstand the effects of a hundred-pound bomb falling six feet away. However, many Anderson shelters leaked, were cold, dark and cramped and amplified the noise of falling bombs.”