Date: Tue, 5 Mar 1996 05:02:26 GMT Message-Id: <199603050451.WAA02511@legend.txdirect.net> From: "Harry W. Mazal OBE"
To: kmcvay _The Baedeker Blitz: Hitler's Attack on Britains Historic Cities_ Niall Rothnie c. 1992, Ian Allan Publishing, Surrey, England ISBN 0 7110 2038 3 (from the dust jacket) "From the early years of World War 2 both Britain and Germany had sought to extend the war to the major industrial conurbations through the application of systematic and heavy bombing. For the first three years of the war, however, the results of this bombing were largely indiscriminate, and it was not until March 1942 that the RAF's Bomber Command finally acieved its first concentrated and successful attack on a German city. The target was not one of the heavily defended industrial centres such as Hamburg, but the lightly defended historic Baltic town of Lubeck. Such a successful attack could not go unpunished, but limited German resources had to be used to the best effect: why not play the British at their own game and attack cities that were the equivalent of Lubeck? The result was a sustained campaign in April 1942 against the cities of Bath, Canterbury, Exeter, Norwich, and York -- the Baedecker Blitz. The results were inevitable with the cores of these historic cities severely damaged and many civilian casualties resulted. For the first time in the war terror of the civilian population had become an explicit arm of the strategic planners. In _The Baedeker Blitz_ Nial Rothnie looks in depth at the raids and at the cities that suffered in them. Particular aspects of the raids, such as the civilian consequences and the responses of the emergency services, are examnined in detail to provide a human perspective of the raids." >From the "Introduction" "[...] The Baedeker raids have received only passing mention in the past, as the historian takes breath between describing the drawn out blitz of 1940-41 on London and elsewhere, ant then prepares to move on to the V-weapon raids of 1944. When they are mentioned, the references are often incorrect. Only five cathedral cities were attacked in this sequence of raids -- Exeter, Bath, Norwich, York and Canterbury -- and certainly not Coventry as is sometimes claimed. Nor did the appellation 'Baedeker' come from the mouth of Adolf Hitler. As it will be shown, it was a much lower-ranking Nazi who linked these attacks with the German 'Baedeker' guidebooks to beautiful cities, home and abroad."
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