: Thursday, 14 November 1940
Author: Frederick Taylor
Provides a history of Conventry, its importance to the British aircraft industry, a discussion of the supposed sacrifice of the city to protect the ultra secret, the effects of the raid on the town, and how the civilian population reacted to the attack.
The chapters dealing with sacrifice of the city provide an excellent discussion of what the British knew of the attack and their lack of an ability to stop the attack. Ultra had indicated that the Germans were planning an operation called Moonlight Sonata. The problem was the correct interpretation of the operation name, potential targets, and what could be done about it.
One way to interrupt the attack was to jam or subvert the signals used to guide the bombers on the target. There is a good discussion of the main types of beams used by the Germans and the problems associated with jamming and subverting those beams. There is also a discussion of the role inter-service rivalries over the analysis of a German bomber that had been shot down.
At the time, the British night fighters were not effective and only occasionally could find the German bombers at night.
There is also a discussion of whether a mass civilian evacuation would have been effective or would have resulted in mass panic and greater casualties.
There is a discussion of how the German propaganda failed in its attempt to use Conventry as a means of showing off German airpower. The raid had a pronounced affect on the Americans and their willingness to support Britain. From being neutral, the Americans, starting gradually shifting their support to helping Britain.
I think you will find this book to very informative.