The Bombing of Bath
On the nights of 25th and 26th April, 1942 the Blitz came to Bath. High explosive bombs dropped by the bombers of Luftflotte III killed over 400 people, totally destroyed 329 properties, wrecked 700 more so severely that they had to be demolished and inflicted some degree of damage on at least 1,900 buildings. The bombing, one of a series on British ‘cultural’ targets, was ordered by Hitler in retaliation for British strikes against Lübeck. They became known as ‘Baedeker Raids’ after a German official mentioned the famous guide book in connection with them.
There was widespread public indignation at the wanton destruction of a historic and defenceless city (Bath was devoid of anti-aircraft protection), though a few, perversely, seemed to find satisfaction that Bath had come face to face with the reality of war.
How did Bath cope? In this thoroughly researched book Niall Rothnie, a former history teacher at Bath‘s King Edward‘s School, provides the definitive history of the raids and their aftermath. He has woven the accounts of children, ARP wardens, soldiers at home on leave, policemen, ambulance drivers, housewives, doctors and many others to produce a blow-by-blow account, interspersed with official statistics and German and British military reports.
The result is of interest not only to all who know and love Bath, but to all who are curious about how a community can react to a sudden, destructive crisis.
This new expanded edition includes 32 pages of archive photographs
Price: £9.99 post free to UK mainland addresses
Buy both books together
Price: £17.50 post free to UK mainland addresses