The Three Nights Blitz on Swansea 1941
On the 19th 20th and 21st of February 1941 Hinkle bombers of the German Luftwaffe, Kampfgruppe 100 left their airfields in Vanes, Brittany, their target the port town of Swansea. During the three nights of intensive bombing, the German Luftwaffe dropped on Swansea 1,273 high explosive bombs and 56,000 high incendiary devices. Over the three nights, 230 lives were lost and a further 4409 people were left seriously injured. Although aiming for the docks most of the bombs dropped on the town itself. The bombing completely destroyed 857 buildings and damaged a further 11’000 businesses and homes, leaving 7000 residents of Swansea homeless. After seeing the devastation of Swansea, Dylan Thomas wrote Return Journey.
‘I went out of the Hotel into the snow and walked down High Street, past the flat wastes where once all the shops had been. Eddershaw Furnishers, Curry’s Bicycles, Donegal Clothing Company, Doctor Scholl’s, Burton Taylors, W.H.Smith, Boots…- all the shops bombed and vanished. Past the hole is space where Hodges the Clothiers had been, down Castle Street, past the remembered invisible shops’.
It is worthwhile noting that on Swansea’s Coat of Arms the Phoenix is seen rising from the ashes. As the Phoenix rising out of the ashes, so Swansea slowly recovered from the immense devastation that happened during this dreadful event.