Raids Elsewhere

Enemy Action over Britain

 

Terrible rumours started going around. People so crushed they couldn’t be recognised; people sitting there without a mark on them, just dead. Mothers with babies still in their arms. A man still holding his accordion…
Robert Westall: Children of the Blitz: p110

 

Home Security Operations Bulletin No 44
Archive Reference: TWAS TI70/8

A national survey of German raids from 0600 hours, Wednesday 30 April to 0600 hours Wednesday 7 May, 1941.

Copies were sent to every ARP headquarters. TWAS holds an almost complete series of these reports, including an extensive assessment of the Coventry Raid.

North Shields (named Tynemouth in the report) wasn’t the only place bombed that night.

 

Confidential
Home Security Operations Bulletin No 44
For the period 0600 hours Wednesday 30th April to 0600 hours Wednesday 7th May, 1941

There were 350 enemy bombers in action in good weather on the next night, and their attacks were heavy and widespread.

All Regions except London and Birmingham reported bombing; Liverpool and Bootle had what was perhaps the worst raid they have known so far, and serious damage and casualties were inflicted at Barrow-in-Furness, on Tyneside and at Portsmouth.

There were about 150 aircraft over Liverpool and Merseyside, for a period of nearly five hours. The attack was heavy and continuous over the whole of Liverpool, and by 0312 there were many fires in the centre of the city, and in outer districts, and some in the docks. Some 300 incidents, 200 of them requiring rescue parties, were reported during this raid, and 30 rescue parties were drafted in from other areas. The number of homeless was not in proportion to the damage done, but provision was made for about 3000. Some 3000 troops were ordered into the city to help with traffic control and debris clearance. The Corn Exchange and two hospitals were among the public buildings damaged on this night.

Bootle suffered hardly less in proportion to the borough’s size, and here too the fire situation was very serious. Damage was extensive and many people were made homeless.

On Wallasey and Birkenhead the attack was lighter, and there were relatively few incidents elsewhere in the area, none of them serious. 406 people were killed in Liverpool, 57 in Bootle and 16 in Litherland.

Considerable damage was done on this night in a short attack on Barrow-in-Furness, in which some 2000 people were made homeless, and about 100 houses were demolished, a further 300 being rendered uninhabitable. A church and a maternity home were also damaged, and altogether 10 people were killed in this raid.

On Tyneside the most serious damage and casualties were at Tynemouth. Here a shelter holding some 190 people was damaged by H.E. and though about 100 people were rescued uninjured the casualties were heavy; the dead in Tynemouth numbered 105 all told. Fires were started in Sunderland, where 18 people were killed, but industrial damage in this district was negligible. In West Hartlepool there was damage to the railway-system, and two people were killed; the raid was also felt to a lesser extent in Gateshead and Newcastle.

Sixteen people were killed in Portsmouth, and four in Gosport, during an intermittent attack which lasted from 2210 to 0020 hours. There were some small fires and service casualties in the dockyard, but damage was largely confined to private property. In Weymouth there were 15 fires, and some dislocation was effected on the railway; three people were killed. Other incidents were reported from Scotland, the North East, the South West and Wales.

Operations Bulletin No44 (PDF)