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The most infamous launched by over 1000 UK and US aircraft burnt the city of Dresden to the ground. It was survived by Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007) and inspired him to write Slaughterhouse Five.
My favorite quote about the Blitz, the entrance of a rather famous individual:
I was bored on the 9th of Octover 1940 when, I believe, the Nasties were still booming us led by Madalf Heatlump (Who had only one). Anyway, they didn't get me.
Born in a fallout shelter, during an air raid upon Liverpool: John Lennon (1940-1980).
The British citizenry at least could cling to the knowledge that their own shores had yet to be conquered. Though they faced the constant threat of aerial bombing raids, they also knew that the relatively short distance across the English channel would be a monumental challenge for a German invasion. Such was not the case for mainland Europe, whose citizens faced the harsh conditions of both war and the Nazi occupation.
Everything said above is true. I'll therefore add a slight positive note. I just heard a news story on the BBC about wartime concerts in London at lunchtime -- one every day during the whole of the war at the National Gallery. Says a lot about the spirit of people even in wartime.
Enormous numbers of people were uprooted by war, and had to move to major urban areas like Paris or Amsterdam. Almost all Europeans had to live with wartime rationing, and major shortages. Thousands died in airraids, which by the end of the war, were intended to bring about maximum casualties in Germany.
Many children were sent away from their immediate families. Particularly in the case of children who lived in densely populated areas, the theory was that they would be safer if they were sent to relatives or others who lived in rural areas that would hopefully be spared the threat of being bombed.
Spending long periods of time in neighborhood air raid shelters became the norm. In these conditions, complete strangers came to know one another and people were better able to help one another out, but there were also potential tensions in these places, and certainly the overwhelming fear of being bombed affected the atmosphere of everyday life.
Lots of civilians lost their lives because of the bombings. Many more lost homes and possessions. For everyone, the bombings and the war in general led to deprivation as things like food and other goods came to be much harder to obtain.
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