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A history of the consecutive events that happened during the second world war

See Article History This contribution has not yet been formally edited by Britannica. Articles such as this one were acquired and published with the primary aim of expanding the information on Britannica.

Although these articles may currently differ in style from others on the site, they allow us to provide wider coverage of topics sought by our readers, through a diverse range of trusted voices. These articles have not yet undergone the rigorous in-house editing or fact-checking and styling process to which most Britannica articles are customarily subjected. Interested in participating in the Publishing Partner Program? The British lacked effective antiaircraft artillery and searchlights, as well as night fighters that could find and shoot down an aircraft in darkness.

World War Two: Summary Outline of Key Events

London was subjected to Luftwaffe attacks for 76 consecutive nights. Although the casualty figures were very small when compared with later Allied raids on Germany, the bombing of Coventry came to be seen as a symbol of the barbarity of modern warfare. The BlitzFiremen at work in a bomb-damaged street in London after a Saturday night raid, 1941. In a series of 46 raids between February and May, ports including PlymouthPortsmouthBristolSwanseaMerseysideBelfastClydeside, Newcastleand Hull were pounded heavily, although they still managed to function.

Londoners taking refuge from German air raids in an Underground station, c. The government had not adopted the idea of building large shelters to protect the public from bombardment—as was the case in Germany—preferring to rely on semiprivate initiativessuch as the inadequate Anderson family shelters.

It was only with reluctance that the underground railway subway system was made available to the people of London as an air-raid shelter, a decision that ultimately saved many thousands of lives. The stoical manner in which the people of Britain—especially in London—endured the Blitz made a deep impression on neutral commentators, and the radio broadcasts of U.

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Children sitting outside the bomb-damaged remains of their home in the suburbs of London, 1940. The numbers of antiaircraft guns and searchlights were increased, and in key areas they were radar-controlled to improve accuracy. The problem of guiding interceptors to their targets was partially solved by the introduction of heavily armed Bristol Beaufighters fitted with their own radar.

These improvements were reflected in monthly German casualty figures, which rose from 28 in January to 124 in May. London BombingInjuries and destroyed buildings brought on by the bombing on London in the Battle of Britian, ca. The Luftwaffe did not have sufficient resources to conduct a two-front war, and German aircraft were redeployed to the east. This did not, however, prevent a final, vindictive flurry from the Luftwaffe; on May 10, a raid against central London led to the highest nightly casualty figure of the battle: