Southampton is thought to have been the 7th most heavily bombed town in Britain during the Second World War because of its strategic importance to the British war effort. For example: the iconic fighter plane ‘Supermarine Spitfire’ was designed and developed in Southampton and was being manufactured here at the outbreak of war. In addition to this, the town was seen as a major commercial port and industrial area, with its extensive Docks, handling military cargo to help keep the Allied forces supplied, making it a key target of Luftwaffe bombing raids until late 1944.
This walk takes you to that part of the town that suffered most from the bombing raids and into some of the medieval vaults that were utilised as air raid shelters, preserving the lives and safety of literally hundreds of the town’s citizens.
Southampton played a vital role in the build up to ‘D’ Day and ‘Operation Overlord’, followed by no fewer than 2 million American servicemen and 68% of all allied forced consigned to war torn mainland Europe, passing through the town in a little under one year. This walk helps you trace their path to ultimate victory.
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