On the first night of the barrage[1], which was the heaviest, they are said to have fired 500,000 shells, i.e. at an average cost of £5 per shell, £2½ millions worth. But well worth it, for the effect on morale.

[1] When the Germans first bombed London, there appeared to be no anti-aircraft defence. Sometimes a single plane could be cruising above and people could only wait anxiously, often for seemingly long periods, for a bomb to be dropped. At other times there would be a concentrated attack of incendiary bombs, high explosives, or both. After all the anti-aircraft guns available had been regrouped around London, quite unexpectedly they all opened up on the night of 10 September. Orwell is absolutely correct about the effect on morale. See also 12.9.40. Peter Davison

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4 Responses to 14.9.40

  1. George~~
    My, you certainly do have outstanding accounting skills. And your nonchalance is brilliant! Nevertheless, when I read this professionally mundane post I thought, “Ah-HA! Coded Message!”

    Over Britain….. The daytime attacks on London are repeated again after two quieter days. The night attacks have been continuing without respite. The fighting goes well for the Luftwaffe with 14 planes lost on either side. With some justification it appears to the Luftwaffe leaders that the RAF is almost beaten.
    In Berlin….. Hitler decides that Goring needs four or five consecutive days of fine weather to hammer home his advantage. Accordingly he defers his decision on the invasion once more, until September 17th, which in turn means that the invasion cannot take place until September 27th. This is a final date because October 8th might be the only day when conditions will be suitable for the landing; this is dangerously near winter for the exploitation stage of the invasion. There can almost certainly be no further postponement.

    Part II; Shopkeepers at War; I

    I began this book to the tune of German bombs, and I begin this second chapter in the added racket of the barrage. The yellow gunflashes are lighting the sky, the splinters are rattling on the housetops, and London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down. Anyone able to read a map knows that we are in deadly danger. I do not mean that we are beaten or need be beaten. Almost certainly the outcome depends on our own will. But at this moment we are in the soup, full fathom five, and we have been brought there by follies which we are still committing and which will drown us altogether if we do not mend our ways quickly.

  2. Pingback: Airminded · Post-blogging 1940

  3. Pingback: Orwell’s Diary Entry For Sept.14th 1940 « Orwell's Dreams

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