A desperate measure to combat the German night raiders of late 1940 saw Handley Page Hampdens being pressed into use as improvised fighters
The Blitz of 1940 is readily associated with London. However, England’s second city, Birmingham, was hit on numerous occasions before the Germans turned their attention to the capital on 7 September. During that month, Birmingham experienced only small-scale raids, but this was just a respite as the German bombers returned time and again during October, November and December. Some of these attacks on Birmingham were major, especially those in the wake of the infamous Coventry raid on 14-15 November.
The night of 11-12 December would witness Birmingham’s longest raid of the war, lasting 13 hours and carried out in two distinct phases. On that particular Wednesday evening, the air raid red alert sounded at 18.20hrs and bombing commenced 10 minutes later.