By Wyatt Earp | December 29, 2010
December 29, 1940 – Germans Bombard London
On this day, German aircraft blanket incendiary bombs over London, setting both banks of the Thames ablaze and killing almost 3,600 British civilians.
December 29 saw the widespread destruction not just of civilians, but of great portions of London’s cultural relics. Historic buildings were severely damaged or destroyed as relentless bombing set 15,000 separate fires. Among the architectural treasures that proved casualties of the German assault were the Guildhall (the administrative center of the city, dating back to 1673 but also containing a 15th-century vault) and eight Christopher Wren churches.
The bombing of London was one of the biggest mistakes of the war. The Luftwaffe was targeting and destroying most of the RAF airfields, rendering Britain powerless. After the Brits bombed Berlin, Hitler changed targets from the airfields to London – giving the RAF time to recover and regroup.