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Bath and the Blitz - Then & Now

Image of Bath and the Blitz - Then & Now

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Over the weekend of 25-27 April 1942, Bath suffered three horrifying raids. The first just before 11pm on the Saturday night lasted until 1am. The enemy aircraft then returned to France; refueled, rearmed and returned at 4.35am. Bath was still ablaze from the first raid, making it easy for the German bombers to pick out their targets. The third raid, which only lasted two hours but caused extensive damage, arrived in the early hours of Monday morning. The bombers flew low to drop their high explosives and incendiaries and then returned to pepper the streets with machine-gun fire.

It has been estimated that nearly 400 high explosive bombs and more than 4,000 incendiaries fell on Bath during the three raids. 417 people were killed, another 1,000 injured. Over 19,000 buildings were effected, of which 1,100 were seriously damaged or destroyed, including 218 of architectural or historic interest.

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This book contrasts a choice selection of images taken during this conflict, with present day photographs of each location featured. All of the images have come from the collection held by Bath Central Library, many reproduced from the photographer’s original negative. These form a small part of the extensive on-line collection of historical images that can be seen at www.bathintime.co.uk