Monday, January 28, 2008
Blitzing the Blitz
The Blitz has never really held my interest but I have the short straw to deliver a paper this week on the experience of the Blitz. And I never realised how involved it was and just how close to breaking we were either (it appears that Merseyside actually did break). Despite popular myth only 9% of Londoners used the underground, 60% prefered to stay at home and take their chances. Although the Anderson Shelter was popular, look at how many homes had gardens in which to put them! It has become fairly clear that, unlike the army, there was no real structure and no enforcable procedures to follow. This led to looting, racketeering etc. Strangers were not welcome in shelters and I even came accross an incident where a woman was arrested in a shelter for having a Spanish accent! At the same time there were amazing acts of selflessness. The basic conclusion drawn was that to experience the Blitz was very personal and that everbody was different.