Sheffield Blitz exhibition to open this month

A permanent exhibition about the Sheffield Blitz is set to open March 18 in the National Emergency Services Museum. The installation is the result of the Sheffield Blitz 75th project and will be opened by Doug Lightning, the last surviving fireman who was on duty for both nights during the attacks. The exhibit will feature oral history clips, original emergency vehicles along with several photographs and film footage. Permanent memorial plaques are also being installed around the city to mark buildings affected by the bombings as part of the Sheffield Blitz Memorial Trail.

The German code name for the operation was Schmelztiegel (“Crucible”). We know it as the Sheffield Blitz.  Named so after the worst nights of the German Luftwaffe bombing the city during the Second World War. It took place over the nights of 12 December and 15 December 1940. In 1940 the city had a population of about 560,000 people and contained many heavy industries, primarily centered on steel and armaments. At the time, Hadfields steelworks was also the only place in the UK at that time where 18-inch armour-piercing shells were made; making it a prime target for the raids.

Most of the factories were located in the East end of the city beside the River Don. After the war, documents were captured showing that the prime targets for the raids included the Atlas Steelworks, Brown Bayley Steelworks, Meadowhall Iron Works, River Don Works, Darnall Wagon Works, Tinsley Park Collieries, East Hecla Works and Orgreave Coke Oven.

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