Belfast Blitz


Starting in early September 1940, the German air force (Luftwaffe) began carrying out regular bombings of British cities. In addition to industrial and military targets, residential areas were also bombed as part of trying to force the British government into peace negotiations. Initially, London was the main target, but later in the year it expanded to include cities such as Coventry, Liverpool, Glasgow, Southampton, Bristol and others.

Belfast in Northern Ireland was considered to be outside the reach of the Germans and thus had a weaker air defense. Industrially, the city was a potential target because there are war-producing industries, including. Harland and Wolff is best known for having built the Titanic about 30 years earlier. Belfast was during the peak off the Blitz in the autumn 1940 spared, but that came to an end in April 1941.

On the night between 7 and 8 April 1941, the city’s port area was subjected to a minor attack and it is believed that the Germans partly wanted to try the city’s defenses. The number of victims was not more than a dozen. The next attack took place on April 15 when about 200 German planes attacked industrial and military targets around the city. This time the material destruction was much more extensive and the number of deaths amounted to about 900. The last two attacks took place on the nights between 4 and 5 May and 5 and 6 May respectively. The number of victims during the last two attacks amounted to about 150 inhabitants. In total, about 1,200 residents died during these four attacks.

Current status: Monument (2023).

Address: Hogarth Street, Belfast, BT15 3AS.

Get there: Car.

My comment:

There seem to be no monuments dedicated to the victims of the Blitz, however, there are small information boards on each house that was hit and how many died during the attack at that particular house. There are also a couple of impressive murals dedicated to the Blitz. Those who died during the bombings were buried in mass graves in three cemeteries in Belfast.

Follow up in books: Holland, James: The Battle of Britain: Five Months That Changed History; May-October 1940 (2011).