July 9, 2012

The Remains


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Today’s shot is a remembrance of war.

On November 14, 1940 the city of Coventry, England was leveled in the Blitz. Over 500 Luftwaffe bombers dropped over 150,000 incendiary bombs and 500 tons of high explosives on this industrial city.

Hundreds of people were killed and thousands of buildings destroyed. One of them was the majestic St Michael’s Cathedral. The remains of St Michael’s was preserved as a reminder of the devastation. I photographed it on afternoon and returned later at night (this shot) to shoot it at dusk.

Coventry was the center for automobile production in England. When the war started (just like here in the US) the automobile factories turned to producing military vehicles, making Coventry a prime target.

It is believed that Churchill knew of the attack several days before when British Intelligence intercepted a German message. Churchill held the information in fear that warning the citizens of Coventry would tip the Germans to the fact that British Intelligence had cracked the Enigma Code.

From what I observed in my time in Coventry, the people are still not very happy about having been kept in the dark.

I wondered what the cathedral looked like before it was destroyed so I searched Google. Found this video:

Tomorrow, another shot of the Remains and more history.

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  1. Fascinating to discover that the remains that stood behind the iconic Churchill photo still stand. By the way, some people dispute the “Churchill knew” theory as a myth. I’m not sure we really know either way.

  2. What a powerful image. As a child I remember we had a Coventry cross hanging on our wall, three nails arranged in a cross and secured with a bit of wire.

    I hope the Churchill theory is a myth, what a gut-wrenching decision to have had to live with.