During World War II, the Third Reich run by Adolf Hitler was at war with the world, but at that point, mostly with the British, and especially the British Royal Family. There were a number of bombing campaigns that devastated London, but it was the attack of September 13, 1940, that managed to hit the mark that Hitler would consider, the jackpot. That bombing managed to hit Buckingham Palace. upon hearing that, I wondered, “Where was the family?” Many people tried to leave London, if they had the means. Many of the children were hidden on the country. The rest of the people hid wherever they could…in places like subway tunnels and such. Pretty much everyone had their windows blacked out at night, so that unless there was a moon, homes were well hidden. That summer the German army ramped up their attacks on Britain. London was the prime target of the pounding by the Luftwaffe. Called “The Blitz” attacks, the bombings were very damaging…destroying much of London’s infrastructure.
Well, the Royal Family certainly had the means to get out, so I assumed that they were in Scottland or somewhere when all this took place. As the leaders of the country, it would certainly make sense to get them to safety. Nevertheless, when Buckingham Palace was bombed on September 13, 1940, Queen Elizabeth and King George VI were there. On that morning they were relaxing with a cup of tea, when they heard the ‘unmistakable whirr-whirr of a German plane’ and the ‘scream of a bomb’ that was followed by a rumble and a crash. A German raider had dropped five high explosive bombs on the Palace. The areas hit were the Royal chapel, inner quadrangle, Palace gates, and the Victoria memorial. Four members of the Palace staff were injured, one of whom died. Thankfully, the King and Queen went unharmed in the incident. Queen Elizabeth said in a poignant statement, ‘I am glad we have been bombed. It makes me feel I can look the East-End in the face.’ I’m sure he was just trying to be brave, because they were obviously quite shaken up. Her stance strengthened the reputation of the Royal Family in the eyes of the British public.
This wasn’t the first attempt to take out the palace. Days earlier, on September 8th, a 50-kilogram bomb fell on the grounds of the Palace. That one malfunctioned, and didn’t explode, so it was later destroyed in a controlled explosion. Of course, the British Foreign Office immediately recommended that the family should leave the country for a time after the second bomb did so much damage, they refused, and it was viewed as a deep “courage and a commitment to the United Kingdom” that the public appreciated. The Queen went on to say that “The children will not leave unless I do. I shall not leave unless their father does, and the King will not leave the country in any circumstances, whatever. So, it was settled. This act of defiance in the face of the German Blitz gave the country a much-needed boost in their war efforts. The people felt like they were not alone, and they gained a sense of unity throughout the United Kingdom. All of this happened during the Battle of Britain, which began on July 10, 1940. I would say that the efforts were greatly increased, because it ended on October 31, 1940, with a British victory.