Beginning in September 1940, the Blitz was an aerial bombing campaign conducted by the Luftwaffe against British cities. Over a period of nine months, over 43,500 civilians were killed in the raids, which focused on major cities and industrial centres. 

Two Dornier Do 217 bombers flying over the Plumstead sewer bank, Crossness pumping station and the Royal Arsenal butts on Saturday 7 September 1940, the first day of the sustained Blitz on London.
© IWM C 5424
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1. A Raid From Above

Two German bombers fly over south-east London on the first day of the Blitz, 7 September 1940.

Damage to the north transept of St Paul's Cathedral caused by a bomb during the Blitz.
© IWM PL 4864A
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2.St Paul's Cathedral

Damage to St Paul's Cathedral. A bomb hit the north transept, crashed through the floor and exploded into the crypt.

Buildings surrounding a bus station in Manchester burning after a German air raid on the night of 23 December 1940.
© IWM H 6319
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3. Fires In Manchester

Buildings in Manchester burn after an air raid on the night of 23 December 1940.

East End Wine Merchant's Cellar: Old woman sleeps in a bed constructed on top of a row of barrels.
© IWM D 1507
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4.Taking Shelter

A woman sleeps on a bed made on top of a row of barrels in the cellar of a wine merchant's in East London in 1940.

In the aftermath of a bombing raid, a bus lies in a crater in Balham, South London.
© IWM HU 36188
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5. Damage in South London

A bus lies in a crater in Balham, south London, after a bombing raid.

Bomb damage in Broadgate, central Coventry, the morning after the German air raid on the night of 14 November 1940.
© IWM H 5600
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6. Broadgate, Central Coventry

Bomb damage in the centre of Coventry after the devastating German air raid on the night of 14 November 1940.

Elephant and Castle London Underground Station Shelter: People sleeping on the crowded platform of Elephant and Castle tube station while taking shelter from German air raids during the London Blitz.
© IWM D 1568
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7. Sheltering In The Tube

Civilians take shelter in Elephant and Castle Underground Station in south London during an air raid in November 1940.

Only one very badly damaged house still stands amidst the huge piles of timber and rubble following an air raid on Queen's Road, Aston, Birmingham.
© IWM D 4130
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8. Queen's Road, Birmingham

One badly damaged house still stands amidst the piles of timber and rubble following an air raid on Queen's Road, Aston, Birmingham, on 11 December 1940.

A group of local boys play a game of cards in this air raid shelter, probably a basement shelter, somewhere in South East London, in November 1940.
© IWM D 1619
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9. Passing Time In An Air Raid Shelter

Local boys play a game of cards in an air raid shelter in south-east London in November 1940.

Troops of 9th Battalion, the Hampshire Regiment, helping to clear bomb damage in Hull.
© IWM H 11954
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10. Clearing Damage in Hull

Troops of 9th Battalion, The Hampshire Regiment, clear bomb damage in Hull sustained during the Blitz.

Shop mannequins are among the debris that litters the pavement outside the John Lewis department store on London's Oxford Street, following an air raid on London. Windows have been blown out and awnings damaged.
© IWM D 1091
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11. Mannequins Outside John Lewis, London

Mannequins litter the pavement outside the John Lewis department store on London’s Oxford Street after an air raid in September 1940.

Workers in the John Keble Church kitchen supply tea to other shelter volunteers to be distributed to shelterers.
© IWM D 1435
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12. Refreshments In An Air Raid Shelter

Volunteers prepare to distribute tea to people taking shelter in North London.

The ruins of Coventry cathedral two days after the German Luftwaffe air raid on the city on the night of 14 November 1940.
© IWM H 5603
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13. Coventry Cathedral

The ruins of Coventry Cathedral two days after the air raid on the city in November 1940.

Man sleeping in a stone sarcophagus in Christ Church, London, during an air raid.
© IWM D 1511
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14. A Makeshift Bed

A man sleeping in a stone sarcophagus in an East London church in November 1940.

A young boy called Leslie plants a Union Flag into the pile of rubble and debris that is all that is left of his home, following an air raid on London, 1940.
© IWM D 1303
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15. Life Goes On In London

A young boy places a Union flag into the remains of his home, which was destroyed in an air raid on London in 1940.