Bombs on Belfast: The Blitz, 1941

Few events in the history of Belfast have had such a profound effect upon the memories of its citizens as the blitzing of the city in April and May, 1941. That the city would be a target for the Luftwaffe appears now to have been inevitable, considering the strategic importance of a city with such a long established manufacturing industry. However, at the time the general consensus was that Belfast was out of range of the German planes. This left Belfast, as one commentator put it, 'the most unprotected major city in the United Kingdom'. There was a heavy toll to pay in human life and material damage. The Civil Defence Services made heroic efforts but were overwhelmed, under-manned and ill-equipped. During the four raids on Belfast almost 1,000 people perished and 2,500 were injured. The material damage saw large parts of North and East Belfast, as well as the city centre, reduced to rubble.The images in this new edition of Bombs on Belfast are those taken by the photographers of the Belfast Telegraph, providing a vivid record and an invaluable archive of the destruction caused to the city and the response of its people.