On this day in 1940, 300 German bombers raided London, in the first of 57 consecutive nights of bombing. “Blitzkrieg” (lightning war) would continue until May 1941. The destruction caused from this extreme attack was immense, with over 40,000 civilians losing their lives, and fallout that would plague the country for decades after. 


The blackout was an important defence against Blitzkreig. The blackout began before the World War had; on the 1st of September 1939 the country was plunged into a darkness that would persist until April 1945. Tests were executed from early 1938, with the RAF monitoring light pollution overhead, while civilians assessed it from ground level. The blackout aimed to cause confusion from the sky, as the lowered car headlights and the light blocked from homes and businesses erased roads and prevented correlation with landmarks. 


The darkness lowered morale. Pedestrians walked the streets with arms outstretched, train journeys were unlit, crime was widespread, and even late-night pub trips were curtailed to prevent civilians being hit by cars after stumbling home after a few.

The home front was an important part of the allies victory, and volunteers were key in enforcing precautions such as these. This blackout paper was a popular option, blocking out the light omitted from windows, and also, apparently, to help reinforce the glass and minimise potential damage.