Story Behind Iconic Photo of St Paul’s

 

From London Daily Mail

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Today is the ­anniversary of one of the greatest photographs of World War II being taken — and of a defining ­moment in British history.

On the night of December 29, 1940, ­Daily Mail chief photographer ­Herbert Mason was ­firewatching on the roof of the ­newspaper’s offices ­between Fleet Street and the Thames. The Luftwaffe’s blitz on London was at its height: after a brief pause decreed by Hitler on Christmas Day, Goering’s bombers had resumed their almost nightly pounding of the capital.

A brief attack on December 27 inflicted 600 casualties, more than 50 of them in a single public ­shelter in Southwark which received a direct hit. Symbol in the smoke: Herbert Mason’s iconic photograph of St Paul’s dome emerging from the smoke of raging fires in surrounding streets was taken 70 years ago this week

Symbol in the smoke: Herbert Mason’s iconic photograph of St Paul’s dome emerging from the smoke of raging fires in surrounding streets was taken 70 years ago this week.

When darkness fell on December 29, the Heinkel and Dornier planes came again to launch their 125th attack since the campaign began — which inflicted unparalleled devastation on the old City of London.

Barely 30 minutes into the raid, ­Luftwaffe aircrew counted 54 major fires beneath them; in three hours of early evening bombing, 120 tons of explosive and 22,000 incendiaries fell, inflicting appalling damage.

Hundreds of buildings in the heart of the ­financial district were set ablaze; eight Christopher Wren churches were destroyed and the 15th-century Guildhall was set on fire.

One bomb landed near the Monument, erected by Wren to commemorate the 1666 Great Fire of London. A middle-aged spinster named Vere Hodgson, who worked in a charity shop in Notting Hill, kept a wonderful diary of the war years, ­especially of the Blitz.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1342305/The-Blitzs-iconic-image-On-70th-anniversary-The-Mail-tells-story-picture-St-Pauls.html#ixzz3hl6rslTY

UXB in London: A Reminder of the Blitz

 

From Al Jazeera America 3.24.15

 

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a bomb disposal expert from the Royal Logistics Corp working on defusing an unexploded (UXB) German bomb in London 3.24.15

WWII bomb prompts evacuation of thousands in London

Hundreds of Londoners were allowed to go home on Tuesday after a huge unexploded World War II bomb that kindled a “Blitz spirit” among evacuees was removed for detonation after being found by construction workers.

About 1,200 homes in Southwark, on the south bank of the River Thames near Tower Bridge, were evacuated as army bomb disposal experts examined the 1,000-pound bomb dropped by the German Luftwaffe.

Eighty people spent Monday night in hotels after being put up by the local council, which was also laying on food and hot drinks for residents plus activities for children whose schools were closed.

The police said the bomb was “made safe” and driven through the city in an army truck to a quarry outside London, where it will be detonated.

“There’s been a sense of the Blitz spirit,” said Louise Neilan, a spokeswoman for the local council in Southwark. “We’ve been trying to reassure people.”

Southwark was an industrial and commercial hub that was badly damaged during the Blitz, the German aerial campaign against Britain in 1940 and 1941 that killed some 20,000 civilians in London and was intended to cripple the country and force it to surrender.

The entire story is here:

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/3/24/blitz-spirit-london-evacuees-go-home-as-ww2-bomb-removed.html