The Luftwaffe's targetting and destruction of Coventry city remains the biggest and most destructive air raid on British soil during the Second World War. Seen as a centre of British armaments production, the German high command wished to inflict terror and panic on the British public, a plan that had paid dividends during their relentless conquest of France that year. Attacking over two nights in November, 1940 they systematically bombed and destroyed the bulk of the city, making thousands homeless, and killing over 400 men, women and children.
Such was the devastation, panic and disorder it wrought, that Winston Churchill ordered a news blackout for three weeks in order to quell the unease and morale-sapping effect that the raid had. But people at the time acted with great bravery to save those trapped in bombed out and burning buildings, as well as caring for those badly injured (of which there were thousands), and fighting the Nazi planes coming in to attack the city itself.
Now, for the very first time we interview those veterans who survived the raid and helped fight the flames and bombs to tell the story of this iconic event. Such was the effect it had on the country that when Bomber Command began night time raids against German cities — Hamburg, Cologne and most famously, Dresden — the call 'Remember Coventry!' went up.
KAREN FARRINGTON is a bestselling and respected military historian, with numerous books to her credit, such as Kitchener's Last Volunteer - The Life and Times of Henry Allingham and Great British Railway Journeys. She is a Fleet Street trained journalist and now runs her own media company with her husband in Devon.