November 1st, All Saints Day, seems to be an appropriate day for my first blog of the month which features the memorial garden of remembrance situated at the city end of the Newtownards Road, Belfast.
During the second world war Belfast was the twelfth most heavily bombed British city with a tonnage of 440 high explosive bombs dropped over two raids. Originally Belfast was believed to be out of range from German bombers, but the ship building and aircraft factories were the key attraction.
Reconnaissance flights had given the Luftwaffe very detailed photographs of what factories were where within the city. They also showed where the 22 anti-aircraft guns were and analysis showed that 16 were heavy AA guns while 6 were classed as light. As a comparison, 100 AA guns defended Liverpool. The Luftwaffe concluded that Belfast “was the most poorly defended city in the UK”.
My late father was on duty on both night raids and I am glad that I took the trouble to record his memories of that time.
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