As Britain commemorates the 70th anniversary of The Blitz, when the Luftwaffe shamefully killed over 43,000 civilians - half of them in London - by bombing British cities, these clever photographs help to merge the horror of Blitz-torn British cities with how they look today.

One image comprises of a wartime photo of a huge crater right next to the Bank of England in central London which is merged with a modern photo of the area.

Another image merges a photo of workmen repairing the pavement outside Buckingham Palace during the Blitz which is merged with a modern photo of the same area showing tourists visiting the royal landmark.

And another image shows bomb damage in Newton Street in Birmingham during the War merged with a photo of the same area today.

The Blitz continued from September 7th 1940 to May 10th 1941, during which time 18,000 tons of high explosive were dropped on Britain.

The Blitz, and the deliberate targeting of British civilians, caused an angry Britain to later get revenge by bombing German cities into oblivion.

Over 20,000 people died in London alone during the bombings - the equivalent of around seven 9/11s.

Back to The Blitz: The startling images that merge the horror of WWII bombings with modern-day Britain

By Daily Mail Reporter
7th September 2010
Daily Mail

These eye-opening images bring the devastation of the Blitz into the modern world.

As a nation reflects on the 70th anniversary of one of the most brutal examples of 'total war' these montages blend vintage black and white shots of the carnage of 1940 with colour images of the same locations today.

One image shows a huge crater next to the Bank of England in London - perfectly merged with the same location as it looks today to bring home the dangers and privations that affected every Londoner - and indeed the inhabitants of most of Britain's major towns and cities.

Another image comprises of a black and white photo of workmen repairing the pavement where a bomb fell outside Buckingham Palace

Credit crunch: A different kind of crisis engulfed the Square Mile 70 years ago as German bombs rained on the Bank Of England

These remarkable pictures show the bomb damage of 1940 superimposed with the same scene today: This view of Bruton Street in London shows Londoners picking their way through rubble on their way to work

Well-dressed businessmen from seven decades ago are seen discussing the damage in the foreground, while modern city slickers pass by oblivious to the carnage that once took place where they now walk.

Another striking fused photograph shows in black and white how workers repaired a huge hole in the pavement just yards from Buckingham Palace.


8: Number of months the Blitz bombing raids continued from Sept 7, 1940 to May 10, 1941
1,000: Approximate number of German bombers and fighters that attacked Britain on just the first day
92 guns available to defend the capital on the first day of the bombing
People killed in first day in London: 436
18,000 tons of high explosives dropped on Britain
76 consecutive nights London was attacked at the start of the Blitz
43,685 civilian deaths in Britain - 20,083 were in the capital

Meanwhile the outer edges of the picture show tourists visiting the royal landmark more recently.

A black and white shot of Newton Street in Birmingham, near near to the city's Children's Hospital reveals the snaking lines of firemen's hoses in the aftermath of an aerial incendiary bombardment on the Second City framed by a contemporary colour image of the same scene

In Bristol, firemen in 1942 try to retrieve a car that has plunged into a crater in the centre of city road Park Street, creating an eerie juxtaposition as they are surrounded by current day shoppers going about their business, unaware of the devastation that once brought Britain's cities almost to their knees.


A Luftwaffe plane flies over London and the Thames

The Blitz began on September 7, 1940, on a glorious sunny afternoon. 'All of a sudden, on the skyline coming up the Thames were black specks like swarms of flies, weaving their way through puffs of smoke,' recalled Robert Baltrop, who witnessed the attack, in Juliet Gardiner's book The Blitz: The British Under Attack.

'I began to hear loud thumps, and those were bombs falling, and clouds of smoke were rising up — clouds of black smoke floating away until you couldn't see anything but a huge bank of smoke, and still they were coming.'

Before then people hadn't really bothered carrying gas masks and air raid warnings were seen as a bit of an inconvenience. But that was all to change for the next harrowing eight months.

The precursor to the raid had been when on August 24 of that year the Luftwaffe offloaded, believed to be in error, seven or eight bombs over London.

This, however, gave Winston Churchill the chance to order raids on Berlin and then came the German retaliation.

The relentless aerial bombardment came to be known as 'the Blitz' after the German word 'Blitzkrieg', meaning lightning war.

In addition to London's streets, several other UK cities - targeted as hubs of the island's industrial and military capabilities - were battered by Luftwaffe bombs including Glasgow, Liverpool, Exeter, Cardiff, Belfast and Southampton and many others.

In London the City and the East End bore the brunt of the bombing with the course of the Thames being used to guide German bombers. Londoners came to expect heavy raids during full-moon periods and these became known as 'bombers'moons'.

Hitler intended to demoralise the country before launching an invasion using his naval and ground forces. The Blitz claimed the lives of over 20,000 Londoners and ended on May 16, 1941.

'I'm glad we have been bombed. Now I can look the East End in the face' - The late Queen Mother was sanguine about the damage to Buckingham Palace in September 1940

Newton Street in Birmingham showing the wartime scene of April 10, 1941 after it was bombed during the Blitz, and how it looks today

St George's St in Birmingham where the Evening Mail depot and garage use to be situated on November 19, 1940, which shows the landscape after it was bombed during the Blitz, and how it appears today

Pit crew: Rescue workers discuss how to extract a car from this huge hole in the centre of a Bristol street

Harley Street in London showing the scene after it was bombed during the Blitz (in black and white), and now (in colour).

Last edited by Blackleaf; Sep 8th, 2010 at 11:19 AM..