The Blitz — an abbreviation of Blitzkrieg (Lightning War) — was the name given to German attacks on British cities in 1940-41. London was bombed by accident on the night of August 24, and the RAF responded by bombing Berlin the following night. In early September, Goering unwisely shifted the Luftwaffe's main effort from airfields to cities, and “Black Saturday,” September 7, saw the first major raid on London. When the Blitz ended in May 1941, over 43,000 civilians had been killed and great tracts of ancient cities and industrial centres devastated — but popular resolve had not been broken.
The Blitz did not just hit London and major provincial cities like Bristol and Liverpool. Here Churchill inspects bomb damage (above) in little Ramsgate.
On November 13, German bombers struck Coventry in the midlands, destroying not only twelve armaments factories but also part of the city centre and the 14th-Century cathedral (below).