Plymouth Blitz - 80th Anniversary

Shopping in Post-Blitz Plymouth. Image credit: Imperial War Museum

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The months of March–April 1941 witnessed the destruction of large parts of the city of Plymouth as a result of aerial attack by the Luftwaffe. 

As the city comes together in March-April 2021 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Plymouth Blitz, to remember and to mourn, the History Team at the University of Plymouth will provide two Zoom events (a series of 20 minute papers) to explore different aspects of the Plymouth Blitz, to contextualise the event and to think about its legacies. 

The events will be live screened as a Zoom presentation on the YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfJiQgLVl6rvdbxZWLX8o9g to facilitate the maximum number of attendees – please join us about five minutes before the start so that you don't miss anything. 

If you have a particular question about the Plymouth Blitz, please email Harry Bennett (H.Bennett-1@plymouth.ac.uk) and a selection of these will be worked through across the two nights. Harry can also be emailed for further information about these events.


Wednesday 17 March, 19:00 - Blitz

  • Dr Harry Bennett, Associate Professor (Reader) in History: 'Gegen England: Why was Plymouth bombed?'
  • Alex Halls: '"The bomber always gets through”: The policy of aerial bombardment during the Second World War'
  • James Bartle: 'Sacrifice and rebirth: Devonport Dockyard and the Plymouth Dockyard'

Chaired by Dr Jameson Tucker, Head of History, University of Plymouth

Wednesday 21 April, 19:00 - Aftermath

  • Elliot Clark: 'Amidst the rubble: Winston and Clementine Churchill visit Plymouth'
  • Professor Dan Maudlin: 'From the ashes: Rebuilding Plymouth'

Chaired by Dr Jameson Tucker, Head of History, University of Plymouth

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Today's events

Blitz 80

Plymouth commemorates the 80th anniversary since the Blitz

The city of Plymouth comes together to commemorate the 80th anniversary since Plymouth experienced mass devastation during the Blitz. 

The ‘Blitz’ was a sustained campaign of heavy air raids on British cities carried out by the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) from September 1940 until May 1941.

After London, Plymouth was the most heavily bombed city in the country.

Find out more on the Visit Plymouth website

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