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Plotting air raids on Britain: map shows devastating impact of WWII Luftwaffe strikes

Date: 18/10/2019

A researcher from the University of York has developed an interactive map detailing every air raid across the UK during the Second World War with funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Bombing Britain: an air raid map uses wartime data from The National Archives to pinpoint more than 30,000 locations that were struck in the UK over the course of the war - including the first ever attack on British shores on 16 October 1939.

The project allows the full scale of the devastation to be visualised like never before.

The map, which is free to use, is based on 6,500 pages of brief, daily reports compiled by wartime intelligence officers for the Ministry of Home Security and senior officials.

By clicking on a pin on the map, people will be able to view and download information on an air raid, including the date, location and number of casualties.

The map was researched by Dr Laura Blomvall from the University of York and is funded by AHRC, part of UK Research and Innovation, through The White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities’ (WRoCAH) Innovation Placement Scheme.

Dr Blomvall said: “This map offers an astonishing insight into the extent and scale of total war. Bombing Britain allows us to visualise how bomb strikes affected the entire country – not just London and the South East – as bombs were dropped from the Orkney Islands to Coventry, from Liverpool to the Scilly Isles and from Dover to Swansea.

“This unique research project shows how war was ‘no longer confined to the battlefield’.

“The normalisation of aerial warfare turned mainland Britain into a violent battlefield, and the term ‘home front’ was no longer figurative.”

Find out more about the project on the University of York’s website.

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