The Newcastle Blitz refers to the strategic bombing of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England by the Nazi German Luftwaffe during the second world war. Close to 400 people were killed between July 1940 and December 1941 during bombing raids on the city.
As part of the Führer's War Directive No. 9, Newcastle, north Tyneside, Wearside and Teesside in north-east England were deemed important targets. The areas had important heavy industry and busy docks sending coal to London and the south and there was also major railway connections to Scotland. Targets included the Tyne river bridges, the docks, Elswick steelworks, Swan Hunter's shipyard, Vickers Armstrong "Naval Yard" and Wallsend slipway.
Following the declaration of war against Germany in September 1939, over 30,000 people, mainly children, were evacuated from the city.
The first major raid on Newcastle and Jarrow came on 2 July 1940. The target was the High Level Bridge and 13 people were killed with further 123 injured.
Another raid on Newcastle came on 15 August 1940, when German bombers flew from bases in Norway and Denmark (heading for airfields). Though much of the attacking force was intercepted by British fighters a number of bombers dropped bombs on Newcastle and Sunderland.
On April 25, 1941, a force of German bombers attacked Newcastle and dropped high explosive bombs, incendiaries and a parachute mine. 47 were killed and dozens of homes were made uninhabitable.
A raid on 1 September 1940 (This should be dated 1941) caused a major fire New Bridge Street Goods Station which burned for a week. The raid left 50 dead, 71 seriously injured, 140 slightly injured and over a thousand people homeless.
The last substantial raid on Newcastle came on 29 December 1941 with nine people killed in the Byker area. Smaller scale 'tip and run' raids by small groups or single bombers continued for the next two years.
- In pictures: The Blitz in North Shields and Jarrow
- World War II air raid damage in Newcastle
- Rare film footage of Newcastle taken during World War II
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