September 07, 2006

Gratuitous Historickal Posting - WWII Division


September 7, 1940 was the opening day of the Luftwaffe's "Blitz" against London and other English cities. London would be hit for the next 57 consecutive days and the Blitz would not be over until May, 1941. In all, somewhere in the neighborhood of 30,000 Londoners were killed, with massive damage done to houses, factories and government buildings including both Parliament and Buckingham Palace.

Ironically, the Blitz represented a strategic mistake on the part of the Germans. The original air assault against Britain had been designed to secure air-superiority over the beaches on which the Germans hoped to land an invasion force. To this end, throughout the summer of 1940, the Luftwaffe attacked forward British air bases and facilities, doing extensive damage and disrupting Fighter Command's operations in the southeast of England much more severely that the Germans realized. Underestimating the damage it was doing, the Luftwaffe decided to switch targets and concentrate instead on Britain's industrial ability to reenforce the RAF. (Whether the deliberate bombing of the civilian population of London itself was an integral part of the Blitz from the beginning or no, it certainly was an element by the time the Blitz ended.) This had the unintended consequence of giving Fighter Command welcomed breathing space in order to get back on its feet, from which it was never again seriously threatened.

Posted by Robert at September 7, 2006 10:14 AM | TrackBack