World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Sheffield Blitz

Article Id: WHEBN0003520082
Reproduction Date:

Title: Sheffield Blitz  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: The Blitz, Leeds Blitz, Sheffield, Swansea Blitz, Cardiff Blitz
Collection: 20Th Century in Yorkshire, History of Sheffield, Military History of Yorkshire, The Blitz
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Sheffield Blitz

Devastation in Sheffield city centre

The Sheffield Blitz is the name given to the worst nights of German Luftwaffe bombing in Sheffield, England, during the Second World War. It took place over the nights of 12 December and 15 December 1940.

In 1940 Sheffield was a city of about 560,000 people and contained many heavy industries, primarily centred on

  • Sources for the Study of the Sheffield Blitz Produced by Sheffield City Council's Libraries and Archives.
  • Website for the Finborough Theatre's Production of Operation Crucible by Kieran Knowles

External links

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h License, Paul (2000) Sheffield Blitz - In words, pictures and memories, Sheffield Newspapers Ltd.
  2. ^ Phases of the moon 1931-1940
  3. ^ a b Wakefield, K. (1981) The First Pathfinders - The Operational History of Kampfgruppe 100, 1939-1941 ISBN 0-947554-20-3
  4. ^ Sheffield Blitz
  5. ^ Abrahams, James S. (1940), Sheffield Blitz, Newsphotos Press Agency, Pawson & Brailsford, Sheffield, England.


  • Lofthouse, Alistair (2001) Then & Now: The Sheffield Blitz - Operation Crucible Ald Design & Print ISBN 1-901587-09-6
  • Anderson, Neil (2010) Sheffield's Date With Hitler ACM Retro ISBN 978-0-9563649-3-7
  • Anderson, Neil (2012) Forgotten Memories From A Forgotten Blitz ACM Retro ISBN 978-1-908431-11-0

Further reading

Queen Elizabeth toured the city soon after the raids to inspect the damage and boost morale amongst survivors. Prime Minister Winston Churchill also toured the blitzed city, speaking through loudspeakers to a 20,000-strong crowd in Town Hall Square and giving his signature 'V' for 'Victory' V sign.[5]

Shrapnel damage left on the pillars of the Sheffield City Hall

In total over 660 people were killed, 1,500 injured and 40,000 made homeless. 3,000 homes were demolished with a further 3,000 badly damaged. A total of 78,000 homes received damage. Six City Road Cemetery.[1]


The main raid was carried out by 50 Heinkel 111s and 11 Dornier 17s. The raid finished at 10.15 p.m.. Many steelworks received hits, including Hadfields, Brown Bayleys and Steel, Peech and Tozer Ltd, although the damage was not serious enough to affect production.[1]

The second night of the Blitz saw the first use of a new German policy for their pathfinders. High explosive bombs were no longer carried and were replaced by incendiaries. On this night the pathfinder force was made up of 16 Heinkel 111s that dropped 11,520 B1 E1 incendiaries between 7 p.m. and 7.50 p.m. The 15 large and numerous small fires started were visible from 150 km away.[3]

15 December raid

The first main group was made up of three waves of 36 Junkers 88s and 29 Heinkel 111s. The second group was made up of 23 Junkers 88s, 74 Heinkel 111s and 7 Dornier 17s. The last group was made up of 63 Junkers 88s and 35 Heinkel 111s, a total of 280 aircraft.[3] At about 9.30 p.m. a stick of bombs fell on Campo Lane and Vicar Lane, demolishing the West end of the Cathedral. At about 10.50 p.m. a 500 kg bomb fell on and destroyed the C&A and Burtons buildings opposite the Marples Hotel in Fitzalan Square.[4] At 11.44 p.m., The Marples Hotel itself received a direct hit. It is not known exactly how many people were killed but approximately 70 bodies were recovered from the rubble. This was the single biggest loss of life in the attacks.[1] The majority of the bombs on this night fell on the City Centre or on residential districts with the last bombs falling at 4am.[1]

The yellow alert was received at 6.15pm followed by the purple alert at 6.45pm. The red alert was sounded at 7pm.[1] The attack was made by three main groups of aircraft flying from airfields in northern France, including Cambrai. 13 Heinkel 111s from Kampfgruppe 100, the German Pathfinder unit arrived over the city at 7.41 p.m. and dropped 16 SC50 high explosive bombs, 1,009 B1 E1 ZA incendiaries and 10,080 B1 E1 incendiaries. The first incendiaries were dropped over the suburbs of Norton Lees and Gleadless.[1]

Patchwork on the Wicker Arches covering an unexploded bomb hole.

On the afternoon of 12 December British monitoring stations detected X Verfahren (sometimes called X-Gerät) radio beams being laid across northern England and calculated that the likely target of the coming raid would be Sheffield.[1]

12 December raid


  • 12 December raid 1
  • 15 December raid 2
  • Aftermath 3
  • Further reading 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

The German code name for the operation was Schmelztiegel ("Crucible").

The full moon was on 14 December 1940[2] and both blitz nights were cold and clear.


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.