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July 02 , 2010

The Longest Night

Voices from the London Blitz


The bloodiest night of the London Blitz

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Domestic folk-lore

Example in this ebook For the name "Folk-lore" in its present signification, embracing the Popular Traditions, Proverbial Sayings, Superstitions, and Customs of the people, we are in a great measure indebted to the late editor of Notes and Queries—Mr. W. J. Thoms—who, in an anonymous contribution to the…

The Blitz is one of the best known events of the Second World War. It affected more British people than any other 'battle': soldier or civilian, man or woman, adult or child – the bombs made no distinction. Over 40,000 people were killed in the German air raids and many more injured. The scars on London took 50 years to repair and even now there are sealed up air raid shelters where the bodies remain entombed.

London's firemen and emergency services did their jobs under a rain of bombs night after night, for eight months. Whole crews sometimes died as buildings collapsed on them: some of these heroes are commemorated today by having streets in the East End named after them.

Gavin Mortimer concentrates on one night: the particularly savage raids of 10-11 May 1941 to reveal what it was like to experience The Blitz. Based on interviews with survivors, his gripping minute-by-minute account recaptures a time when the very survival of this country hung in the balance.

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