Today in History: Over 10,000 Bombs Dropped on London During Worst Night of the Blitz
by M.C. Millman
On the evening of December 29, 1940, London suffered the worst night of the eight-month Blitz as over 10,000 bombs were dropped by the German Luftwaffe over the city, not only destroying lives and buildings but causing hundreds of fires as well.
The Blitz began on September 7, 1940, and continued until May 11, 1941. It was an extensive bombing campaign during World War II when the Germans attacked Great Britain for eight months straight.
After Holland, Belgium, Norway, and France fell to the Germans in May and June 1940, Great Britain stood alone against the German plans for world domination as the U.S. had not yet joined the war.
While it seemed unlikely that Great Britain could stay strong and face the monster, Winston Churchill, the new British prime minister, promised Britain would "never surrender."
Despite being vastly outnumbered, for every British plane shot down, two Luftwaffe warplanes were destroyed.
At the end of August, Great Britain launched a retaliatory nighttime air raid against Berlin, which so angered Hitler that he ordered his airforce to attack London and other cities in Great Britain, which was how the Blitz began. When Great Britain's Royal Air Force (RAF) fought back and downed 56 German aircraft in less than an hour, the Germans switched tactics yet again and began to attack only at night to avoid the superior RAF flyers.
In October 1940, Hitler ordered an even more massive bombing campaign against London and other cities, which continued until May 11, 1941, after which Great Britain's air raids sirens fell silent as Germany focused on the USSR instead.