On August 23rd 1940 the Luftwaffe launched the biggest bombing attack on Great Britain since "The Day of the Eagle" on August 13th, striking at British aircraft factories and vital oil storage tanks, as well as the already badly damaged airfields. One flight of bombers, flying off course and confused by a low ceiling of heavy cloud, dropped its bombs and headed for home. Nine civilians were killed by the bombs that fell inadvertently on London.
On the evening of August 25th bombers struck at Berlin, dropping their bombs on the very heart of Hitler's most prized city. Incensed, Hitler ordered that London be "razed to the ground" and that her people be beaten and bombed into submission, gone was his wish that London be spared the wrath that had befallen Warsaw, if her centuries of history and culture were to be destroyed, then so be it.
Shortly before four o'clock on September 7th three hundred German bombers, with an escort of six hundred fighters, arrived in two huge waves, their target, the London docks.
The bombers dropped their incendiaries on some of the poorest and most overcrowded streets of London, their slum buildings and poorly built tenement houses more vulnerable than most to the pounding blast of bombs and the ensuing fires. The Blitz had begun... But the British people refused to be cowered.
"Prime Minister Winston Churchill was taken to an air raid shelter in the heart of the East End, where 40 people had been killed that previous night. 'It was good of you to come, Winnie,' the survivors called out to him as they crowded round. 'We thought you'd come. We can take it. Give it 'em back.'"
"I was there..." The Blitz, is their story, the real story of the East End Blitz, the role of the Bomb Disposal, and the real story of the evacuees, told and frighteningly re-lived by people who really were there:
John Smythe, the young boy who watched the incendiaries fall on the East End as he "beachcombed" on the Isle of Dogs... Walter Higgs who risked his life daily defusing Goering's unexploded bombs... James Roffey, evacuated to the Sussex countryside where he excitedly watched the Battle of Britain being fought overhead... This is the real story of the Anderson shelters and the Underground stations, of rationing.