The Blitz: An Alternative History

Between September 1940 and May 1941, the German Luftwaffe relentlessly pounded British cities with bombs in an attempt to force the British to surrender. Ultimately whilst killing thousands and causing extensive damage the bombing offensive failed. The morale of the British public was largely undimmed and war production was never seriously impacted. The Blitz has become a key part of the British national psyche with many celebrating the 'Blitz spirit' with people coming together and helping one another during the crisis. But, as with much of history, the reality was much messier and complex. Spivs and looters profited from the chaos, people explored new ideas and sexualities, and there were new opportunities for women. In this interview taken from our archive, Joshua Levine author of The Secret History of the Blitz discusses the myths and realities of the Blitz and the social and political changes it brought about.


 

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