Raiders Over Sheffield:

The Story of the Air Raids of 12th and 15th December 1940 by Mary Walton
City Aerial View

“It was known in Main Control that the enemy radio beams were intersecting above the City-the prelude, generally, to a concentrated attack. It was a beautiful night, with a full moon and a crisp frost, and visibility was extraordinarily good. There was, however, a fairly thick ground fog over the plain of Attercliffe and the town of Rotherham, and the vital five miles of steel works following the course of the Don were enveloped in its protective blanket”.

“Over the network of wires linking up the country's and the city's defence services, the first quiet warnings were being carried to official posts. The yellow was received at 6.15, the purple at 6. 45. At 7.0, the warning was red, and the wail of the sirens arose on the instant”.

“In the space of a few hours the people of Sheffield had been blown out of one existence into another; for they came from their shelters into a world as unreal as if they had been transported to the moon which was then making beautiful the frost and the fire”.

“The three days between the raids had been the strangest in the lives of most Sheffield people. Another, grimmer, memory which is likely to be common to everyone is the smell of burning that hung everywhere in the daytime and accompanied women to their pillows on their hair”


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