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This Day In History: Nazi Germany Begins Blitz On London In World War II’s Battle Of Britain

September 07, 2016

This day in history, September 7, 1940, Nazi Germany began The Blitz on London During World War II’s Battle of Britain.

The German Luftwaffe blitzed London for the 1st of 57 consecutive nights. Nazi Germany launched the aerial bombing on the civilian centers and industrial targets of London that Adolf Hitler believed would soften Britain for an invasion.

The German Blitz lasted 267 days and London alone was attacked 71 times, with several other cities attacked multiple times including Liverpool, Portsmouth, Birmingham and others.

More than one million London houses were destroyed or damaged and more than 40,000 civilians were killed, almost half of them in London during The Blitz.

The invasion, “Operation Sea Lion,” never materialized because the Luftwaffe failed to meet the preconditions for an invasion in 1940. By the end of the Blitz, Nazi Germany turned their attention to the Soviet Union and the threat against an invasion of Britain was no more. The Luftwaffe lost 41 bombers over England. The Blitz only strengthened Britain’s resistance. The defense of London was for the Royal Air Force what Winston Churchill called “their finest hour.”