Saturday, 14 May 2011

Foreign News: Blitz Score

About a quarter of London will have to be rebuilt after the war. Bombs (Blitz I) and robombs (Blitz II) have left few streets in the world's largest city without ruins or cratered lots, few buildings undamaged. Last week Reconstruction Minister Lord Woolton totted up the damage.
Blitz I killed 42,000 Britons, injured 50,000, destroyed 84,000 homes, damaged 1,500,000. Blitz II killed 10,000, injured 28,000, destroyed 23,000 homes, damaged 1,104,000.
Most Londoners preferred bombs to robombs. At its peak the robomb blitz destroyed or damaged 17,000 houses a day, a destruction rate never equaled in the much longer bomb blitz.
A million Londoners are homeless, hundreds of thousands are living in "acute discomfort." Lack of labor, materials, time have made it impossible to rebuild wrecked houses. This winter at least 10,000 Nissen-type Army huts will dot the London landscape as emergency shelters. But they will shelter only a fraction of the homeless.
At week's end robombs, launched probably from aircraft, again began falling on London. Londoners, who had cautiously raised their blackout curtains for the first time in five years, promptly lowered them again. On dimout night (Sept. 17) the city continued to look like the inside of an inkwell. As long as the bombs kept coming, London would stay sensibly dark.

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