The battle of London 1939-45


Britain and Germany were at war for almost six long years. For prolonged periods of time – from September 1940 to May 1941, and again from December 1943 to March 1945 – London was under sustained, sometimes unrelenting, aerial bombardment by night and by day. Throughout the war, London was the nation’s front line, and the capital and its people bore the brunt of the nation’s suffering. Yet if the bombing defined the era for those who lived through it, the months of terror were outnumbered by those spent knitting together the skein of daily life at work, in the home, on the allotment, in the cinema or theatre and, not least, standing in those interminable queues for daily necessities that were such a feature of London’s war. Jerry White has unearthed what actually happened during those years, getting close up to the daily lives of ordinary people, telling the story through their own voices.

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