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16 October 2014
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The Belfast Blitz

Few people believed there was much chance of Belfast being bombed. They were very wrong.

Belfast Blitz

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Sunday 4 May 1941, 9.45:
German bombers leave France
German pilots arrive over Belfast and find visibility good
Planes reach their targets - the docks district
Workshops, offices and sheds in Harland & Wolff are destroyed
3 ships are sunk at their moorings, 5 others are damaged as Musgrave Yard and Dufferin Dock are attacked
The entire docks district is ablaze - the Abercorn Yard, Queen's Works, Clarence Works, Alexandria Works and Victoria Shipyard are devastated
Lower Newtownards Road area suffers - 25 people die in a shelter in Avondale Street, 35 Houses are destroyed in Witham Street
Damage is widespread and devastating: Belfast Water Commissioners offices; The City Hall; Gallaghers; Bank Buildings; Ulster Arcade; Co-op; Timber Stores; Thorntons; Athletic Stores; Dunville Stores all suffer attacks. York Street Mill is hit again.
2 parachute mines fall in Barbour Street killing 30 people
The fires raging in Belfast can be seen from the Glenshane Pass, 45 miles away
In less than 3.5 hours, 205 bombers drop 95,992 tons of incediaries and 237 tons of high explosive


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Your Responses

John Boyd - July '08
Lived in Barbour street in the 50's. A neighbour told me of being blown from her back door into her yard with the force of the blast.
There were only 4 houses left remaining in Barbour Street, we lived in number 5. The remains of the street were rubble, grown over with grass and the local kids would play on top of them little realising the carnage of the 40's. In the fields above Barbour Street were the remanants of air raid shelters, we would play there also. Seems so long ago....

Ian Millar - May '06
My Father, James Millar, was part of a Home Guard unit and his duty post was at Fitchie's Garage at the top of the Castlereagh Road in East Belfast where he was to set drums of oil alight in the hope that the dense smoke would drift over Belfast and obscure targets.


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