WWII

Coventry Blitz: How The City Rose From Its Ashes

The bombings on 14 November 1940 destroyed buildings and killed hundreds, but the city started to rise from its ashes within a fortnight.

During the Second World War, the English city of Coventry was a major manufacturing centre for the aircraft industry.

This made it a prime target for the Luftwaffe, the aerial warfare branch of the Wehrmacht.

The city had been the victim of smaller air raids, but the one unleashed on the night of 14 November 1940 was major.

"Nearly 500 bombers dropped over 500 tonnes of high-explosives, 30,000 incendiaries and 50 landmines," Colleen Fletcher, Labour MP for Coventry North East, said in the Commons this week.

Buildings destroyed and smoke during Coventry Blitz 1940 141140 CREDIT National Archives and Records Administration.jpg
Tens of thousands of buildings, including the city's cathedral, were destroyed or damaged on 14 November 1940 (Picture: National Archives and Records Administration).

The attack on 14 November resulted in more than 500 deaths.

Thirty-three thousand houses were damaged or destroyed, as well as the city's cathedral.

Ahead of the 80th anniversary of the Coventry Blitz, MPs remembered how the city rose from the ashes.

"Within the first few weeks, basic repairs had been carried out on 12,000 homes," Ms Fletcher said.

"Within a fortnight, many of the bomb factories had already started production," she added.

Cover image: Images of buildings destroyed by the Luftwaffe's bombings in Coventry on 14 November 1940 (Picture: National Archives and Records Administration).