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War Museum Contents

  Paul  Rowntree 

Communiqué No. 26 by Paul Rowntree
sent from London during the first WW2 blitz

Previous Communiqué   (No. 26)  Communiqués - Index  Introduction

Appendix

Notes by Gwendoline Rowntree regarding the details of the Blitz in 1940 to 1941

 

  HE means High Explosive

 

Aug 18

Blitz on Croydon (Kenely and Biggin Hill)

Sat Sept 7

Day aid 300 bombers – docks – Woolwich and Surrey docks and riverside boroughs

Sept 8

Night 171 bombers 335 tons of HE & 440 incendiaries - mostly docks

 

Raids continued nightly with one exception from Sept 8th for 65 nights. 8th and 9th Sept 842 civilians killed and 2347 seriously injured in London

Sept 9

Day -200 bombers to London

Night -195 bombers 232 tons of HE & 289 incendiaries -Docks and East End.

Sept 10

Night - 148 bombers 175 tons of HE & 318 incendiaries

Sept 11

Day -heavy attacks on London and Southampton

Sept 12

Night - only 43 bombers over London  53 tons of HE & 61 incendiaries

Sept 13

Night - 105 bombers 123 tons of HE & 200 incendiaries

Sept 14

Day – Heavy daylight raid on London

Night - 38 bombers 55 tons of HE & 43 incendiaries

Sept 15

200 bombers escorted by 700 fighters sent to London in broad daylight

Night - 181 bombers 224 tons of HE & 279 incendiaries

 

Sept 16

Day - Minor raids

Night - 268 bombers 334 tons of HE & 391 incendiaries

Sept 17

Day – Minor raids

Night - 300 bombers 350 tons of HE & 628 incendiaries

Sept 18

Day – Last big daylight raid - 70 bombers

Night – Heaviest night raid on London yet. 300 bombers 350 tons of HE & 628 incendiaries

Thursday Oct 8th 

P & G met at Gt Eastern Hotel and went to Dirty Dicks

 

Steady raids from then on, of varying intensity Jan – March 1941 a lull- Started again March 8th ( 120 bombers to London)

Oct 15 and 16

Termini at St Pancras, Marylebone, Broad Street, Waterloo and Victoria all put out of action – Also traffic to Euston, Cannon St., Charing Cross and London Bridge reduced to 1/3 normal

A bomb burst Fleet St. Sewer pouring water etc into the railway tunnel between Farringdon St. and Kings Cross.

3 large water mains fractured

900 fires in London area 6 “major” 430 killed 900 seriously injured

Dec 29

The Great Fire – Only 136 Bombers 127 tons of HE and 613 incendiaries. (Dec 8th 3188 did far less damage) but on the 29th Dec City buildings were locked, water mains were bombed, tide absolutely low so no water.available and there was a 50 mph westerly wind. Great destruction – 8 Wren churches and the Guildhall (see communiqué 19)

1941

Big raids were on:

Jan 11

Bank Crater

March 3

After a long lull raid on London and the Bethnal Green Disaster. – 178 killed, 60 seriously injured – disaster caused by panic.

Mar 19

479 bombers dropped 467 tons of HE & 3347 incendiaries

April 16   The Wednesday

685 planes dropped 685 tons of HE & 4200 incendiaries

April 19

712 planes dropped 1026 tons of HE & 4252 incendiaries

May 10

541 bomber sorties on London 1436 killed 1800 seriously injured 2000 separate fired, 5000 houses totally destroyed, 12,000 homeless

507 planes dropped 711 tons of HE & 2393 incendiaries

 

 

During the bombing Aug 10 – May 41 over
43,000 civilians were killed

51,000 seriously injured

88,000 slightly injured

 

Predicted figures were much higher

750,000 beds were provided for casualties

6,000 were only required in the event.

 

13th June 1944 Flying bombs started – about 2400 on London in a month

 

During the course of the 2nd World War 52,000 civilians were killed and 63,000 seriously injured by bombs A further 8,500 killed and 23,000 injured by V1’s and V2’s and long range guns.

Worst period was blitz in the final 4 months of 1940 with 22,000 killed ans 28,000 seriously injured.

 

The chances of a civilian being killed as a result of attack were just less than 1 in 800 and of serious injury 1 in 500.

In London Civil Defence Area, however, there was a 1 in 200 chance of being killed and a 1 in 160 chance of serious injury.