October 20th – On this Day in…

October 20th, 1940

RAF’s 100-a-Minute Bombing

Long Range Guns

Land and air bombardments of German positions came to a terrific climax as the RAF launched a bomb avalanche at the estimated rate of 100 a minute. Earlier the Kent coast had rocked while British and German batteries fought a two hour battle, in which the British guns subjected the Nazi-occupied coast to the heaviest shelling of the war.

The RAF struck just as the German batteries were about to attempt to reopen their bombardment. An unbroken rumble of terrific explosions sounded like thunder. Doors and windows in the Kent coast towns rattled, and inside the houses ornaments tumbled to the ground.

The British long range guns also shelled twenty German ships attempting to pass through the channel.

October 20th, 1940

Watch Saved Life

As Mr J. A. Smith of Rotherhithe (London) was walking home during an air raid, he was hit in the waistcoat region by a piece of shrapnel. It smashed his watch and was diverted, and penetrated into his body.

Mr Smith pulled it out, but the shrapnel splinter was so hot that he dropped it.

October 20th, 1940

Hospital Hit Seven Times

Bomb Damaged Hospital

Seven times in six weeks the Nazis have bombed an East End London Hospital. Yesterday 180 patients – babies, grown-ups, and aged; who had sought the healing hands of the gallant staff of nurses and doctors at this “military objective” – left the shattered shell.

The hospital has evacuated at last, only because there is no place left in the havoc of Nazi destruction for them to carry on.

In the long black hours of the night, nurses and doctors, themselves casualties worked to release those who had come to them in suffering and in pain.

In the happier daylight they saw every one of the helpless victims taken off to the country.

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