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The ‘Three Nights’ Blitz’ of February 1941 was a momentous episode in the history of Swansea and one about which every resident of the city is aware. It has been described as ‘the most significant event in Swansea’s recent history’ and always evokes a great deal of local interest. Indeed, the face of the present city centre, largely rebuilt in the 1950s, is direct evidence of the devastation of the raids. Yet many questions are still asked about the attacks of these three nights. Why did the Germans bomb the town centre rather than the docks or local industries? How high were the casualty figures? How did the civil defence authorities cope? How many enemy aircraft were involved? Why, indeed, did the Germans single out Swansea for attack?
This study does not pretend to have conclusive answers for all these questions, but it is hoped that it will provide solutions to many. The author has brought together in this work a series of contemporary reports from British and German sources which, collectively, throw a great deal of light on these raids. Most of the documents printed here have never previously been published in their entirety. Read in conjunction with one another, they provide a fascinating point of reference for anyone interested in this critical episode in Swansea’s history.
This book, first published in 1994, has been reprinted to help tell one of the most important moments in the city’s history, as we approach the 80th anniversary of the bombings in 2021.