Operation Moonlight Sonata: The German Raid on Coventry

By Allan W. Kurki | Go to book overview

15
Public Reaction to the Raid

BRITISH REACTION

The personal impact of this massive raid on many of the residents who were in Coventry that night was understandably traumatic. One such individual was a Miss Gladys A. Hollingsworth who captured the drama of that tragic night so graphically in her diary when she recorded the following observations: 1

MEMORANDA

Do I really need this appropriate heading to describe my experiences after the night of Nov. 14, 1940 something which I hope I shall never have the terror of enduring again or anyone else. THE CITY OF COVENTRY smashed to destruction in a single night by the stride of German air attack. Can anyone imagine such a prosperous thriving industrial centre + 10 hr later such a graveyard & rubbish heap!

After spending 10 hr in a hole beneath ground, hearing noises never heard by human beings before in the history of mankind. Guns, bombs, machine guns, aeroplanes, buildings collapsing; fire engines, ambulances, rescue parties all filling the air with peculiar sounds.

Then to arise to view a second "Pompeii." Death & poverty overshadow the piles of rubble + smoldering remains of once world famous buildings. Firemen, doctors, nurses, civil defense, L.D.V. rescue parties, demolition & bomb disposal squads fighting to not alone save human life but to start & make our city (without a cathedral) not again prosperous but after debris have been cleared nothing but a barren wilderness. Bombs lie buried beneath wreckage to renew this eruption. Shall we ever see our city anything like it was before or are we to be thrilled with a modern, new, clean, well planned city, we wonder. Our first thoughts are for water, gas, light & heat. Does this seem possible. IT IS.

-129-

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Operation Moonlight Sonata: The German Raid on Coventry
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Glossary of Abbreviations, Codenames, and Terms Used in the Text xv
  • Part I - Overview 1
  • 1 - Introduction 3
  • 2 - Coventry Before the Raid 9
  • 3 - The Raid in Brief 15
  • Part II - The German Air Force (GAF) 21
  • 4 - Gaf Development and Strategy 23
  • 5 - The Bombers and Ordnance of the Gaf 29
  • 6 - The Flying Beams 39
  • Part III - The RAF and the Battle of Britain 47
  • 7 - Raf Fighters and British Defenses 49
  • 8 - Ultra and British Electronic Countermeasures 63
  • 9 - The Battle of Britain 71
  • Part IV - The Coventry Raid 87
  • 10 - Coventry's Defenses 89
  • 11 - Advance Knowledge About the Raid 97
  • 12 - Operation Cold Water 103
  • 13 - The Raid: Operation Moonlight Sonata 109
  • Part V - The Aftermath 121
  • 14 - The Results of the Raid 123
  • 15 - Public Reaction to the Raid 129
  • Appendix A Luftwaffe 3 Bombing Report of Coventry Raid 147
  • Appendix C - U.S. Army Military Attache's Report on the Coventry Raid 153
  • Notes 157
  • Bibliography 167
  • Index 173
  • About the Author 179
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