Receive our newsletter - data-led analysis, original reporting and insights
Community / Public space

4 things we learned from a map of London's World War Two bombings

Yesterday, a fascinating interactive map did the rounds of the internet.


Cleverly named “Bombsight“, it shows the locations of all the bombs dropped on London during the Blitz, which lasted from September 1940 to June 1941. 

Turns out the map isn’t actually new – it was created back in 2012, using old bomb census records (yes, this is a thing). But, like any map enthusiasts worth their salt, we were sucked in. Here’s what we learned. 

1. London was bombed a lot.

The map below shows the aggregate bombings from October 1940 to June 1941 (for some reason, it doesn’t include the first month of the bombardment). In retrospect, it’s amazing that anything survived at all:

This is even more striking when you realise that many of those red dots are used to represent five, 10, or even 19 bombs:

Sorry, Tower Hamlets.

2. East London had a bad first night of the Blitz. 

A separate map shows the bombings on the first night of the Blitz, 7 September 1940. As you can see, the attack was focussed on the eastern part of the city: 

The Luftwaffe focussed on taking out the docks and industry in east London, both major sources of income and, well, stuff for the city. 

The web site also tells you when exactly bombs were dropped. On this first night, the majority (about 300) fell around 6pm. 

3. The Germans dropped a lot of bombs on Hyde Park.

Also, Hampstead Heath:

This was less of a waste of time than you might think: parks were used as army camps and bases during the war.  

4. Our building was bombed. Twice.

Was yours? Go on, you know you wanna know
This article is from the CityMetric archive: some formatting and images may not be present.