The Blitz: RAF veteran recalls experience in documentary
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The Blitz was one of the darkest moments of World War 2, as the Nazis’ bombing campaign led to the loss of thousands of lives. Brave soldiers took to the skies to fight, while others were forced to try and survive on the ground in London over 56 nights.
The Blitz 80th Anniversary is a new documentary which looks at the time over 1940 and 1941 when the relentless bombing of London killed more than 40,000 civilians.
In an exclusive clip shared with Express.co.uk, veteran and Squadron Leader Geoffrey Wellum, spoke of how he prayed when he knew the bombs were coming, begging to be given another day.
He said in a heartbreaking interview: “I can remember looking up at the sky and thinking, ‘It’s going to be a lovely day again. Oh god, another dawn.’
“I said a little prayer. [I prayed] ‘It’s going to be a very busy day, but if I forget you don’t forget me.
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“‘Just give me this day, please, give me this day.’”
He also spoke of how the work of being in the Air Force meant he did not have the time to be concerned for his own wellbeing until he prayed.
He added: “In the end, you didn’t think about it, you were tired.
“I could always see dawn… I can see the spitfire standing in the dispersal, I can hear the airmen and the clank of petrol…”
The Blitz took place after Adolf Hitler’s air strategy changed during World War 2, and the German forces focused on industrial cities with more people in them.
The period of the greatest bombing took place in September 1940, but the Blitz spirit meant civilians worked together to keep themselves safe.
People took cover in make-shift shelters, such as those created in tube stations and purpose-built air raid shelters.
The second phase of The Blitz began in November 1940, and continued until February 1941, with port cities like Swansea and Portsmouth being targeted as well as inland cities.
The final phase focused more heavily on ports before most of the attacks attributed to The Blitz ceased in May 1941.
The Luftwaffe dropped around 41,000 tons of bombs during The Blitz, which caused issues with production, transport, and food supplies, and when ports were the focus, it impacted rifle production.
The synopsis of the new documentary into The Blitz reads: “The film offers a brand new insight into how ordinary people managed to survive with incredible acts of courage and features amazing never seen before archive footage, along with powerful interviews with those who experienced it first-hand…
“This fascinating and powerful documentary sheds light on those fateful months and how they affected the British people living in the cities under attack.
“The film delves into the real story of The Blitz, how it played out from city to city, with an in depth look into the build up and the difficult and emotional personal stories.
“Discover more about one of the darkest periods of the Second World War in this definitive look, where Britain was on the verge of being invaded, but held strong through stubborn defiance and a sheer will of the entire nation to never surrender.”
The Blitz 80th Anniversary is out on DVD and digital download now
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