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The Blitz

The seven nights of the 1941 May Blitz (1st-7th May) were the heaviest consecutive nights of bombing experienced by Liverpool during the whole of the Second World War. In those few nights around 681 planes dropped 870 tonnes of high explosives and over 112,000 incendiaries (firebombs) on the area, killing over 1,700 people and making around 76,000 homeless.

Waterloo dock warehouse destroyed by a parachute mine
A parachute mine destroyed Waterloo dock warehouse 20/21 December 1940
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Liverpool, and its surrounding towns of Bootle, Wallasey and Birkenhead, was attacked mainly because of its huge dock system. This west coast port was the main link between Britain and the USA, and saw food, fuel, raw materials, weapons and troops enter the country. Without these supplies it is doubtful whether Britain could have survived Hitler's attacks.

Damage to the area around Lord St. and Castle St.
The area around Lord Street and Castle Street was severely damaged. 3/4 May 1941
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General Admiral Erich Raeder, Commander in Chief of the Kriegsmarine (German Navy), understood how important Liverpool was to Britain's war effort. He saw that if supplies into the country were cut off then Britain would be weakened, morale would fall and Prime Minister Churchill would be open to negotiation. Luckily for Liverpool and the country as a whole, Hitler did not listen. Many heavy air attacks were launched but not on a sufficient scale to close the docks or seriously disrupt shipping. However, they did cause a lot of damage to the city and her people.

Munitions workers around a bomb
Kirkby munitions factory workers around a bomb
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While fighting these attacks and keeping the country's supply line open, the people of Liverpool tried to lead normal lives: going to work, looking after families, shopping, going out etc. This website tells some of their stories, often in their own words. While the day presented is fictional, all of the events represented happened, many of them during the May Blitz of 1941.

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