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The London County Council Bomb Damage Maps 1939-1945

Laurence Ward


An invaluable graphic representation of the bombardment of London during the Second World War – one of the most dramatic episodes in the history of the city


Between 1939 and 1945, London and its environs experienced destruction on a huge scale, with air raids and rocket attacks reducing buildings and entire streets to rubble. The London County Council Bomb Damage Maps speak of the human experience of war — of loss and camaraderie, of tragedy and heroism — conjuring up the days of blackout and the 'Spirit of the Blitz'. They tell a story, moreover, that was echoed in towns and cities across Britain and throughout the world.

The maps, meticulously hand-coloured to document the level of damage being wrought, represent a key record of the destruction, the impact of which can still be seen in the capital’s urban and social landscapes. Featuring new, high-quality images of each of the 110 maps that make up the set, complete with archival tables of often grim statistics, this book marks the first time these remarkable documents – part historical artifacts, part social history – have been published for a general audience.

The book also includes a series of extraordinary photographs of the damage done to the City of London in particular, taken with a sympathetic yet unflinching eye by police constables Arthur Cross and Fred Tibbs.

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'Though there is no florid prose or gripping anecdotes, these maps are not mute. This A-Z of destruction tells a powerful story'
The Times

'A handsome folio … [the maps'] utility has been hugely enhanced by presentation in this new format, spacious, scholarly and visually compelling'
Times Literary Supplement

'This A-Z of atrocity - which includes 70 stunning photographs of the ruined City - has a terrible beauty'
Evening Standard, Books of the Year

'Beautifully designed, with all illustrations, be they the maps, old documents or the photographs reproduced to the absolute highest standard … a pleasure to handle'
Reference Reviews

'An amazing visual record of what happened to London in the war … fascinating'

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 36.5 x 26.5 cm

Extent: 288 pp

Publication date: 31 August 2015

ISBN: 9780500518250

Contents List

Introduction • The Attack on London • Architects and District Surveyors • Recording Ruin • Researching War Damage at the London Metropolitan Archives • Incidents • Statistics • The Maps • Photographing War Damage in the City of London

About the Author

Laurence Ward is Principal Archivist at the London Metropolitan Archives.