Interactive map and dataset shows devastating impact of Second World War air raids
Updated 8 October 2020: The ‘Bombing Britain’ map was withdrawn permanently in May 2020. However, the data, edited methodology, essay and acknowledgements remain free to access.
Bombing Britain uses wartime data from our collection to pinpoint more than 30,000 UK locations that were subject to air raids over the course of the Second World War – including the first attack on 16 October 1939.
The map (no longer available) was based on 6,500 pages of brief, daily reports compiled by wartime intelligence officers for the Ministry of Home Security and senior officials. Routledge, Taylor and Francis digitised the reports as part of their War, State and Society online resource.
By clicking on a pin on the map, people could view and download information on an air raid, including the date, location and number of casualties.
The map was researched by Dr Laura Blomvall from the Department of English and Related Literature at the University of York and was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) through The White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities’ (WRoCAH) Innovation Placement Scheme.
Dr George Hay, Military Historian at The National Archives, said: ‘We hold vast collections that tell the story of both the British and German strategic bombing campaigns of the Second World War. This interactive map makes use of the intelligence reports that followed German raids on the United Kingdom, and visually demonstrates the impact and reach of those attacks.’
‘This map will be a fantastic resource, not only for military and social historians, but for anyone interested in the impact of wartime air raids across the UK.’