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Although World War 1 saw Zeppelin raids nothing during those four years of war would compare to what the civilians and cities would face in World War 2. World War 2 will be marked by the death of hundreds of thousands of people through terror bombing, and cities levelled to dust and rubble. Britain would endure the Blitz, Germany would be laid waste through Allied bombing raids, and the Japanese would be brought to the edge of destruction by intensive American bombing.

The Zeppelin raids of World War 1 were remembered, and at the outbreak of World War 2 governments and civilians feared, and expected, enemy bombing raids. Immediate evacuation of children was organized, and everyone was issued with gas masks for fear of attacks from deadly gas. Civilians were instructed in air raid drills and the positioning of air raid shelters. But the war entered into a surreal period known as the 'Phoney War', and the expected raids did not come.

In the beginning of the War bomber crews on both sides were ordered to avoid civilian targets, and only target military installations. The RAF would concentrate on German ships or even drop propaganda leaflets over Germany. The Luftwaffe acted as support to the German army that employed Hitler's 'Blitzkrieg' tactics. Both sides did not want to escalate the war, one side fearing that such actions as bombing civilians and cities would give reason for the other side to do the same.

It would be in Poland where the first signs and effects of widespread bombing could be found. When Hitler crushed Poland Warsaw refused to surrender. In Hitler's eyes this turned Warsaw from a civilian target to a legitimate military target, and for 10 days the people of Warsaw endured consistent bombing before surrendering to the Nazis.

Hitler's major offensive in the west saw more destruction from the Luftwaffe. When the Nazis invaded Holland the Dutch were surprised and caught off guard, then retreated to protect its major cities. Again when Rotterdam did not surrender it was destroyed by German bombers. This act saw the RAF re-evaluate its bombing missions, which now targeted German industrial factories that supplied the Nazi war machine, but they would still not target civilians and cities.

After the fall of France the invasion of Britain was Hitler's next target. The Luftwaffe would spearhead 'Operation Sealion' by defeating the RAF, which would leave control of the skies over England in control of the Luftwaffe, and this would allow 'Operation Sealion' to proceed without opposition from the skies. The Luftwaffe targeted RAF air fields and installations in its attempt to destroy the RAF. Day raids proved costly to the Luftwaffe as their fighter escorts could only stay over English soil for twenty minutes. When the bombers lost their escort the RAF could pick them off one by one.

The Luftwaffe changed its tactics to night flying, but this in itself caused navigation problems in finding their intended target. Hitler had ordered no terror bombing on British cities without his direct order. It was one night raid that a mistake by a Nazi bomber dropped its bombs on London, this would be the trigger for the Blitz. Churchill ordered the RAF to bomb Berlin the following night in retribution. The British raids shocked the German people, and Goering had stated that no bombs would fall on German cities. Fearing civil unrest from the shocked German public, Hitler ordered the systematic bombing of British cities, especially London, as retribution for the raid.

On 7th September 1940, the Luftwaffe started its raids on the British people, and for nearly three months in succession the cities of of Britain suffered night after night of air terror. With the defeat of the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain Hitler cancelled his plans for invading Britain. Instead he looked east and concentrated on his plans to invade the Soviet Union.

But the Nazis still continued to bomb British cites, which was an attempt to pound the British people into submission. While the cities were being destroyed the people would seek safety in air raid shelters. Later, ignoring orders from the government, swarms of people would seek sanctuary in the network of the Underground stations (subway) below London, and so the government relented.

During the day Londoners would try and go about their normal activities, but by night they lived a living nightmare that was signalled by the eerie sound of the air raid siren warning them of incoming Nazi bombers. On 12th November 1940, Winston Churchill paid tribute to Neville Chamberlain who had recently died. Churchill said : "If he grieved at all, it was that he could not be a spectator of our victory; but I think he died with the comfort of knowing that his country had, at least, turned the corner." (The complete speech).

During the Blitz the British wanted to hit the Nazi's on other fronts, but after the success in North Africa, gains had been lost and the British pushed back. Attempts to gain a foothold on mainland Europe in the Balkans also failed. Both Greece and former Yugoslavia joined the Allies, but to no avail. The Nazi's invaded and occupied, with Greece falling within three weeks. Also the strategic island of Crete in the east Mediterranean fell into Nazi hands.

On 10th May the Nazi's unleashed its most devastating attack on London, with more than 3000 people killed or injured in this one raid alone. All in all over 40,000 people perished in the Blitz.

This would be the lowest point in the war for Britain, ending a year of disappointment and defeat under Churchill's year long leadership. Not only were the people of England alone in the dark, but Britain itself had been alone since the fall of France in June 1940, and was very much alone in the dark.

While people asked how long Britain could endure this, Hitler turned his focus eastward and the vast lands of the Soviet Union. Conflict with the communist state was only a matter of time, and the time had come. The Nazi attack on the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941 would be the turning point of the war. Britain would no longer be alone against Hitler, and by the end of 1941 the long awaited entrance of the United States of America and her industrial might, would be also be an ally to Britain.

But the Blitz would not be forgotten, and the memories of the Blitz would be an incentive for the RAF and Allied forces, that would continue to pulverize Germany until the final surrender in 1945.

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For those visitors that have entered to this site, directly to this page, we would like to inform you that this page is part of a series of pages, within a section that acts as a backdrop to 'The Puzzle' project. 'The Puzzle' is a musical project that looks at different events from the 20th-21st Century.

This section is part of the 'World War II' zone. 'A Promise Of Peace' tells the story, in chronological order, of World War II.

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