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7 September 2010

Saturday 7th Sept 1940: terrific glare in the sky

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7 Sat. (Con.) still fine and bright, rather warm. Warning from 5.0 to 6-42 p.m.Sounds of many bombs and gunfire & prolonged bursts of machine gun fire from the air. Short walk at dusk. Noticed a terrif glare in the eastern sky as if the germand had started a conflagration. The red light lit up the whole landscape and continued through the night. Warning from 8.30 p.m. till 5.55 a.m. on 8th. Sun, during which there was a procession of German bombers and many bombs.
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On this day:

  • The Blitz. Luftwaffe begins heavy bombing attacks on London. Some 300 German bombers and 600 fighters attack London's dock area during daylight. Guided by the fires, some 300 continue the attacks by night. 
  • RAF reconnaissance has seen concentrations of German materials being massed at Channel ports. Church bells are rung, the signal to civilians of invasion... and the code word Cromwell is sent to the military - the highest form of warning of an imminent invasion.
  • Vera Brittain records Edwards Square home being shaken 'like a ship in a rough sea' and 'we were practically blown down into the basement.'

"That terrible glare is a familiar sight to many of these girls." Civilian Defence female personnel tackle a fire caused by an explosive incendiary bomb. Photo: P G Hennill
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