London shows the flag: life goes on in wartime London, England, 1940

After failing to defeat the RAF in the Battle of Britain, the Luftwaffe turned to night bombing raids against London and other British cities. The ‘Blitz’, as it became known, aimed to disrupt production and break morale. London was the main target and suffered the heaviest bombing but, by the end of the war, there was hardly a large city or town in Britain that had not come under attack.

As the winter wore on, the air raids became heavier. Between August 1940 and May 1941 over 43,000 civilians were killed. British defences were failing to bring down many enemy aircraft, but over time both the anti-aircraft ground defences and night-fighting aircraft improved. The repeated heavy raids would not crush the morale of the British people – a ‘Blitz spirit’ that was in evidence throughout the country.