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Nine stirring photos of London during the Blitz

It's been 75 years since German bombers began their 267-day attack of the UK. These pictures tell a story of a city that just got on with it

Written by
David Clack
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As we constantly fret about air pollution, road safety and stifling property prices, it’s easy to forget that London has survived far scarier times.

A year into the Second World War, the German Luftwaffe launched an unprecedented aerial assault on the UK’s major cities, dropping more than 100 tons of explosives on the country over the course of 37 weeks. London was attacked 71 times, damaging more than a million homes and killing around 20,000 Londoners.

The photos that have survived the three quarters of a century since are at once upsetting and uplifting. Though they show familiar places reduced to dusty tatters, the stiff, unemotional reactions of the Londoners they depict say a lot about our character. If we can deal with this, we can deal with anything.

Pictures are supplied courtesy of the Imperial War Museum, where you can find hundreds more artefacts relating to the Blitz. You can also learn more about the Blitz on the museum's website

Holborn, October 25 1940

Holborn, October 25 1940

Brixton, September 7 1940

Brixton, September 7 1940

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Burlington Arcade, September 17 1940

Burlington Arcade, September 17 1940

Kingsway, September 11 1940

Kingsway, September 11 1940

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London Zoo, November 24 1940

London Zoo, November 24 1940

Ludgate Hill, date unknown

Ludgate Hill, date unknown

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St Paul's Cathedral, March 7 1941

St Paul's Cathedral, March 7 1941

Tate Gallery, October 8 1940

Tate Gallery, October 8 1940

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Tottenham Court Road, November 15 1940

Tottenham Court Road, November 15 1940

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