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Hull at War 1939–45 (Paperback)

The Air Raids

Local History WWII Yorkshire and Humberside P&S History Social History Towns & Cities in World War Two Military England

By David Bilton, Malcolm K Mann
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Your Towns & Cities in World War Two
Pages: 160
Illustrations: 25 black and white
ISBN: 9781473860902
Published: 1st April 2019
Last Released: 9th June 2021



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As in the Great War, Hull was a prime target for the bombs of the German air force when the Second World War began, particularly as it was common knowledge that prior to September 1939, German planes had over flown the city taking pictures, and German sailors had visited the port and city. Throughout the war, each night the citizens of the city waited for the sound of the sirens telling them to get to their shelters. There were many false alarms but there were also many raids, so many that Hull has the dubious distinction of being the most bombed city in the country, after London, but compared to its size, the damage and number of casualties were even more devastating.

In the book are numerous photographs, many never previously published, which detail the effects of the raid on the city. Also included are extensive lists of the casualties caused by the bombing and by the blackout. This book is the first to detail every known raid and provides new evidence about previously unreported attacks using contemporary documents. Some parts of the story of the raids are harrowing and show the perils of daily life in a city during the blitz.

Superbly detailed and hugely entertaining.

Books Monthly

This is a harrowing book which takes the reader on a rather roller coaster of emotional highs and lows. Read it, absorb it. learn from it and above all never forget the hardship which civilians suffered during the years of conflict.

For anyone with some link to Hull during the period of the war will find this book a useful addition to their book shelf.

East Yorkshire FHS

As with other books in the series, this must have a special interest for those who live in the area and those whose families survived the bombing. It will also appeal for those interested in understanding the extent of total war experienced in Britain, where every part was in the front line and where civilians and troops were equally engaged in fighting Nazi Germany.

Read the full review here

 David Bilton

About David Bilton

David Bilton is a retired teacher who spends his time looking after his family, working as a university lecturer and researching the Great War; an interest ignited by his paternal grandfather’s refusal to talk about his experiences at Gallipoli and on the Western Front. He is a prolific author whose books includes works on the British and German Army, the Home Front and Great War badges; this is volume three of the badges of the British Army in the Great War. Since he started writing he has contributed to television and radio programmes, appeared on Country File and Look North, and given talks on his work.

Perfect Partner

Hull in the Great War (Paperback)

The outbreak of war in 1914 aroused an enthusiasm in Hull and within the first six months 20,000 local men had enrolled. Hull was also attacked by Zeppelins and it raised its own Pals Battalions. This book looks at how the experience of war impacted on the City, from the initial enthusiasm for sorting out the German Kaiser in time for Christmas 1914, to the gradual realization of the enormity of human sacrifice the families of Hull were committed to as the war stretched out over the next four years. The Great War affected everyone. At home there were wounded soldiers in military hospitals, refugees…

By David Bilton

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