Until the first bombs fell on Belfast in 1941, the city had had little direct experience of the war: there was plenty of food, no conscription and the only air raids that residents saw were on news reels. But, in April and May of that year everything changed. The Luftwaffe targeted the city, launching bombing raids of such ferocity that one observer described the Nazi planes as being like a ‘giant swarm of insects’. Over one thousand people were killed, countless more were injured and the shape of the city changed forever.
In over 150 contributions from the widest possible range of sources – including nurses, policemen, air-raid wardens, housewives, parish chronicles, school magazines, newspapers – the book tells the story of the Belfast Blitz from the perspective of those who lived through it – what people saw and experienced and how they felt.
Covering the days of peace before the raids, the terrifying nights when the bombs rained down and the traumatic aftermath, The Belfast Blitz is a testament to the people whose voices and stories form this book.