Plymouth reduced to rubble
When someone says the word blitz, you would probably immediately think of London. But most people forget about some of the worst and most significant events in WW2, such as the Plymouth blitz. The Nazis began Bombing Plymouth on Saturday the 6th of July, 1940, and finally ended 4 years later on the May 1944. Over the course of these years of terror, the city of Plymouth endured 59 bombing attacks which were responsible for the deaths of 1172 civilians, the injuries of 4448 injured and 3,754 houses were destroyed also, 18,398 were seriously damaged- most of the city centre was completely obliterated. Almost no house hadn't been touched by the blitz as a further 49,950 had been slightly damaged- at the end of the bombing, the city had to be practically built from scratch. The population of Plymouth dropped drastically at times because most of the children living in Plymouth were evacuated to safe areas and during night raids, large numbers of people were taken in lorries to the countryside- they were often taken to the edges of Dartmoor. At one point, in the 4 years, the population had dropped by a huge 93,000, from 220,000 to a mere 127,000.
"in this town that was wasting away in reddish trails of smoke, only a few citizens wandered: the others were still in hiding; or lay, all distress ended, under the ruins."
André Savignon on dawn, 21 March 1941.
A great message
In march,1941, St Andrews parish church was bombed and severely damaged, with a head mistress still inside, but luckily she survived. She pushed away the debris from a broken, shattered church and emerged from the smoking ruin as she walked over to the front door and nailed a wooden message to it. It simply said, Resurgam, which is Latin for I shall rise again. This shows the strong spirit of the innocent civilians during the terrible times of war, but this simple word gave courage to everyone and many other European churches that were bombed engraved this word too. The word is now permanently engraved in a granite plaque on the door of St Andrews, where the door has it's own name, the Resurgam.
How did it begin?
The Nazis were planning to take over the entire of Britain and to do this they would have needed a clear and easy way to access large amounts of important land, such as a large dock. The Nazis chose Plymouth to be bombed because of it's docks called, the royal dockyards at HMNB Devonport, they needed to get the powerful docks out of the way and out of action before they could invade Britain through Plymouth. But the docks were well organised and, despite the loss of many lives and much destruction, they managed to repair themselves within months of the bombing and continued operating.
You can see that without the extreme efficiency of the docks in Plymouth, the Nazis may have succeeded in their plans to take over Britain and then, would have possibly won the entire war, with Britain obeying their every command. This is yet another example of how the humble county of Devon was a major part of the war.