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Bootle in the Blitz

‘The kisses on your windows won’t help you’

Liverpool and in particular Bootle were targeted by the Germans – and badly hit – as a port town. The city had become a lifeline to Britain during the Battle of the Atlantic and the convoys were controlled from an underground command centre, the' Western Approaches' at Derby House in the City Centre beneath a 1930s office building. The food, fuel, weapons and troops that came in to Liverpool saved Britain and made possible the liberation of Europe. Between May 1st and 8th, 1941, over seven consecutive nights, German planes dropped 870 tonnes of high explosive bombs and over 112,000 incendiary bombs, starting fires throughout Merseyside. Lord Haw Haw addressed the people of Bootle with the words: ‘the kisses on your windows won’t help you’, referring to the tape supposed to prevent flying glass. Here are just a few of the photographs of the damage recorded by the City Engineers Department. Bootle was extensively bombed by the Luftwaffe and only an unbelievable ten percent of properties in the town were left unscathed. Because of its close proximity to the docks it was a prime target and scenes like the ones below were regrettably not unusual.

74-76 Gonville Road after bombing in 1940

Aintree Road bomb damage

Air raid bomb damage and salvage operation at Southey street in 1941

Bomb damage at St Monica's, Fernhill Road, Bootle in 1940

Bootle bomb damage

Bootle bomb damage 1941

Brasenose Road bombed

Bryant & May matchworks Bootle blitzed.

County Hall, Pembroke road Bootle bombed in 1940

Garfield Street shelter

Johnsons bombed at Mildmay Road.

Keble Road bomb damage

Kings Road bomb damage

Radnor Drive bomb blast on 20.12.40

Rimrose Road bombed 2oth December 1940

Sidney Road, Bootle 1940

Surrey Street Bootle

Surrey Street was Bootles worse bombing casualties with 109 killed in 1941

Viola street blitzed

What happened in May was the culmination of a bombing campaign which left a total of 4,000 dead, probably the heaviest loss per head of population of any British city. Yet the Liverpool Blitz remains the forgotten Blitz. It is still thought that, raids on Liverpool were not publicised in the hope of concealing their accuracy and effectiveness from the Germans.
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