The 1942 bombing of York

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York was bombed as part of the Baedeker Raids on April 29th 1942. Hitler had been infuriated when the RAF had bombed the historic cities of Rostock and Lübeck and it is said that he picked up the Baedeker Guide and ordered that any historic city in the guide that had been given three-stars or more was to be bombed – it was a decision that doomed York, which as a cathedral city had been given three-stars in the guide. More than 70 Luftwaffe aircraft took part on the raid and for the most part their journey was unimpeded with only four bombers being shot down. The bombing started at 02.30 and finished at 04.46. Over 9,000 buildings were either damaged or destroyed and 92 people were killed. The raid exposed the vulnerability of British cities to bombing. A nearby Bomber Command base had heard the attack but could do little to stop it.

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