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Pics : 'Blitz' damage in London.....

Discussion in 'WWII Today' started by Martin Bull, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Sometime in 2008, a new member asked if anything remained to be seen of bomb damage in London. The answer is that, nearly seventy years on, very little can be found.

    As with any 'battle area', you need to know where to look and what you're looking for. For instance, the old goods-yard area behind Kings Cross railway station in London was very heavily bombed during the 'Blitz' of 1940-41 ( in fact, a Bomb Disposal George Cross was won at the site ). Much was rebuilt after WWII but has been derelict for many years.

    Now it's all being 'regenerated' incorporating some of the old buildings. While waiting onsite for a meeting yesterday, I took these snaps which clearly show where 'Blitz' damage was repaired post-war...

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    The demarcation line between the old, smoke-stained Victorian brickwork and the later repair is clear. Much bomb damage was of this type - masses of 1-kg incendiary bombs would land on the roofs and buildings such as these old warehouses would burn from the top-down, leaving an empty shell in most cases. After the war, a new roof and interior was needed.

    With much renovation and restoration now being done, such images will disappear as the buildings will look 'better than new'......
     
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  2. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    That would be a shame to erase or "rejeuvenate" the reapairs. When I was in Germany -Nuremberg & Munich- there were several places on the street that had outlines, in different colored cobble stones, in the cobbles of parking lots, streets etc. where buildings had been that were destroyed. There was often a plaque that said what the building was and when it was bombed.

    Great pictures Martin
     
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  3. The_Historian

    The_Historian Pillboxologist

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    Nice pictures, Martin.
     
  4. mhuxt

    mhuxt Member

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    Aren't there still some splinter traces at St. Clement Danes? Or does my memory deceive me?
     
  5. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Not sure about that one....there are a lot around Cleopatra's Needle but they are from a WW1 Gotha attack......
     
  6. Richie B

    Richie B Member

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  7. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Location:
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    Not damage, but a memento nonetheless...this is the often-overlooked memorial to the London Fire Brigade in the Blitz, situated in a corner of St Pauls Churchyard.....

    [​IMG]


    And now, to get into the realms of the really obscure......

    [​IMG]

    A spot passed by countless unsuspecting tourists.....

    Look carefully, and you'll see that the second bollard from the camera has a differently-shaped top to the others, and is of a different type of stone.It marks the spot where, on September 17th 1940, a large German bomb penetrated the pavement and burrowed 26ft beneath St Pauls Cathedral. It was successfully recovered by Bomb Disposal, taken to Hackney Marshes ( where the 2012 Olympics site now is ) and exploded. This incident contributed substantially to the 'myth of St Pauls' during the Blitz.

    ( PS : I'd never had found this in a million years if it weren't for After The Battle magazine....;) )
     
  8. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Cheers Martin , these are great pictures and getting the info from the "After the Battle" mgazine makes it even more interesting.
     
  9. SwitchFX

    SwitchFX Member

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    Martin, those are some great pictures. Thanks for sharing. :p


    I have to agree with you here. Historic sites should be kept intact and not renewed. What will we have to show future generations of children about the war? Nothing. It's a shame too, the more cleanup that's done the more obscure history gets. :(

    Interesting story. It's the first time I've heard about this non-explode bomb hitting that area of London. I believe I read in an article years ago people discovered small bombs in the wooded areas of Germany's forest of ally bombs varying in size that hadn't yet exploded but still plenty dangerous. :)
     
  10. razin

    razin Member

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    That would lead to what is refered to as a "Theme Park City". Buildings particularly commerical buildings have a life expectancy, I am a great fan of the building design guru Stewart Brand but while buildings shown in Martin Bulls photos are very adaptable we have to be careful not to have cities set in aspic, which is something that often happens in the U.K as opposed to the U.S. or Canada. The Historic Building grading system is completely out of hand, in England we have had the rather odd situation of a relatively none discript and not unique POW camp been given a Grading status and public money, whereas major anti-invasion defences on the East Yorkshire coast were bull dozed without question or protest, I doubt a proper survey was done.

    With regard to Martin Bulls photos, I wonder if he could tell me whether the building to the left ofn the main photo has a stone cornice-built in gutter (the tree is in the way) as I wonder if the rebuild of the upper section of the main building in brick was as it had been previously or did it have stonework cornice work before the roof collapsed.
     
  11. SwitchFX

    SwitchFX Member

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    I would like to argue your "Theme Park" idea. How many historic sites in the US let alone other countries have become theme parks? They're usually bought by the country's historic department and then maintained. Has Eagle's Nest become a theme park, has Omaha beach become a theme park, have the detention centers become theme parks? No.

    There's a time and a place for theme parks. There is no valid reasoning that they will become theme parks.
     
  12. razin

    razin Member

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    SwitchFx

    Please read my post-don't "speed read it". I did not say anything about historic sites in the U.S becoming Theme parks.
     
  13. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    I want more!!! :D
     
  14. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    Not theme parks per se, but tourist based funding is not only sought it is sometimes the base of the economy in some of these spots you mentioned. Now, while the Eagle's Nest isn't a "Theme Park" it is a privately run, leased entity for the making of money.

    See:

    Eagles Nest, Obersalzberg, Germany : Mount Kehlstein, Berchtesgaden

    Thought you guys might find that interesting. BTW, I first heard of this restaurant when that visiting chef got in trouble for promoting the "Hitler's favorite dish" to be served there last year some time. It wasn't the meal, it was the setting which created the "outcry". BTW, it was stuffed squab (pigeon) which a female chef at one of Hamburg's top hotels always made for him when he visited the city.
     
  15. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Quite large numbers of Luftwaffe bombs which fell on London either did not explode ( ie were 'duds' ) or had long-delay fuzes. The Bomb Disposal squads were kept very busy and suffered high casualties. It's worth noting that UXB's are still being discovered and defused ( most recently at the Olympic Park on Hackney Marshes ).

    As to the question about the cornice - I'm no architectural expert so cannot give a definitive answer, but my guess would be that the building was restored largely to its former condition.....
     
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  16. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    I wonder why the Luftwaffe used so many long -delay fuses, knowing they wanted a maximum destruction as soon as possible. I'm aware that this added to the psychological effect , as a bomb coud explode at any time after the bombing with a maximum risk of casualties, but this allowed salvation crews to defuse some of them on time
     
  17. wtid45

    wtid45 Ace

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    Intresting stuff you have posted Martin, hope you have a good bike because you know we are greedy buggers and will want more;).I have a book somewhere about UXB that would tie in nice with some of the pics that have been posted will try to find it.
     
  18. wtid45

    wtid45 Ace

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    I would recomend Chris Ransted's book if anyone is intrested in the work of the Bomb disposal guys in ww2 it gives some good examples of architecture that still exists thanks to thier bravery.Also contains a roll of honour for the Army, Navy, Air force, and the three civilians of the 'Holy trinity'
     
  19. texson66

    texson66 Ace

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  20. texson66

    texson66 Ace

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