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World War II Database

23 Apr 1942

United Kingdom
4 May 1942

United Kingdom
  • Before dawn, 90 German bombers attacked the ancient city of Exeter, England, United Kingdom. This, the third raid on the "Jewel of the West" in ten days, caused extensive damage, devastating 30 acres of the city with many if its historic buildings smashed or incinerated by high explosive and fire bombs. The 15th-century cathedral was badly damaged, while many of the Tudor, Georgian and Victorian landmarks were lost forever. The city library was burnt down losing an estimated 1 million books and historic documents (which took Exeter more than 20 years to recover). Over 1,500 houses were completely destroyed with a further 2,700 more seriously damaged. Some 400 shops, 150 offices, over 50 warehouses plus 36 pubs and clubs were also lost. Additionally 156 civilians had been killed and 563 others injured. During the day, the Nazi propagandist Lord Haw-Haw broadcast to British listeners "We have destroyed that jewel and the Luftwaffe will return to finish the job". ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | Exeter, England | AC]

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis




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