Random Notes on the Bath Blitz

Today at 11.20pm is the 70th anniversary of the Bath Blitz. An exhibition at Bath Central Library this week has given me some interesting insights.

Many of the buildings that were bombed in 1942 are currently being “refurbished” or rebuilt in some way. So they look like they have been bombed again! Scaffolding and builders and mess everywhere. Most notable is the Francis Hotel, which is “ON THE SQUARE”. A Masonic phrase! Do these buildings attract in the same thing over and over again, or are they deliberately targeted for a rebuild for some reason? Nowadays you can rebuild or write something off without the need to bomb or have an earthquake. Southgate is a very big example. Maybe in 1942, something had to be bombed to get a rebuild or get rid of it. The Church in Julian Road was bombed and not rebuilt, for example.

Abbey, Guildhall, Admiralty not hit…
The Abbey and Guildhall were not hit, deliberately avoided. Very strange. Wouldn’t a cultural civilian bombing attack the biggest religious site? And the biggest centre of power? No, it was protected. The UK Admiralty control centre at Foxhill moved about 50 yards across the road to the Foresters Arms pub. They knew they were not being targeted because it was a cultural attack. Very strange war, this one. You have the centre of control of the enemy admiralty in your sight, but you go for a big bunch of terraced housing crammed with poor people. Royal Crescent and The Circus are the Georgian masonic masterpieces of Bath, prime cultural targets you would think. But the buildings weren’t touched, only the grass, and street! Made to look like they just missed. So were all Masonic places mysteriously protected?

The Baedeker Raids…
The cities hit at this time were taken from the Baedeker guidebook, which neatly describes exactly what to hit, with very good maps! This fits in nicely with studies I make of current maps, particularly the A-Z of Bath, which has quite surprising things made to stand out. I feel that these maps have a double use, depending on who you are. The cities attacked were Exeter, Canterbury, Norwich, York and Bath, Bath being the worst hit, and the plan was to attack culture, civilians and morale. As far as I can gather, this was a turning point at which deliberately attacking civilians became the norm. There are plenty of eye witness accounts to confirm this.

The Moon and the Sun….
The night of a Full Moon was chosen for the attack. Which fits with the idea of the moon being useful as a searchlight. To aid the lighting, magnesium flares were dropped, which gave a brilliant white light. What does this remind me of? The state of the Sun these days. It is so often white, brilliant white, rather than yellow. Some say this is due to chemtrails, but I am not sure if it is chemtrails or some other form of change happening.

Plane Guidance…
The attacking planes were flying at night, and were guided by 4 electromagnetic beams. One was beamed from Europe direct to Bath. This was the flight path. 3 cross beams went diagonally over to intercept the main beam, one actually on Bath, and the other two a little before Bath to mark a countdown to arriving, a bit like the motorway signs which countdown to an exit with 3 bars, then 2 bars, then 1 bar. The plane picked up the beam frequencies to determine its position. Extra help was provided from a field of dot signals on the left of the main beam, and dash signals on the right. So if the plane went slightly off beam, to the right, it would pick up all dashes, and would know to go back to the left to get on track. I expect spaceships work a bit like this.

Not real…
One eyewitness, an actress starring at the Theatre Royal at the time, speaks of the moments of the Blitz, saying it was as if it wasn’t real. I find this an interesting comment from someone who is an actress, and accustomed to being not real. It also fits with a quote on the War Memorial in Taunton, which says “THEY NOBLY PLAYED THEIR PART”, as if it was a play. War Memorials also take care to tell you to remember the “NAMES” of those that died, not the people or their souls.

Every cloud has a silver lining…
One eyewitness had her street badly hit. Her father and friends and neighbours were all killed. She said they all just carried on afterwards as children, playing in the rubble. She said she wouldn’t swap her childhood for her grandchildrens’ childhood, it was a good childhood. I am always struck by how people remember the war as the best time in their lives. And I wonder if we need the bad in order to value the good. And if we have more joy in our lives if we have less materialism and comforts. And if the war brought out the best in the human spirit. Not that I wish for another war. But if there is one, we will all cope and be stronger for it. We need not fear it. We can deal with whatever comes our way, we just have to believe in ourselves, and that we would collectively rise to the challenge. And if we do not fear the future, we can live life more fully in the present.

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