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Why was Belfast an important target for enemy bombing in 1941?

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Introduction

Why was Belfast an important target for enemy bombing in 1941? Belfast first became a target for enemy bombing on April 7th 1941 and was raided on 4 different occasions. There were many reasons for the Germans to attack Belfast and these can be put into 3 categories. The first reasons were military. Aside from being part of the United Kingdom, Belfast was a major city situated in Northern Ireland which was used as a base for north Atlantic convoys due to its location between Britain and America. Its position also meant that if America entered the war Northern Ireland would be the first stop between for US ships to mainland Britain. ...read more.

Middle

The ordnance factory built thirteen million aircraft parts and Short and Harland was regarded as one of the best seaplane manufacturing bases in the British Isles. The Sydenham aerodrome assembled the aircrafts at the factory ready to be taken to the airport. Together they provided the planes needed to fight the war. James Mackie and Sons and Sirocco were two engineering works which produced large quantities of munitions such as shells, grenades and bombs. The linen mills produced large amounts of fabric parachutes, uniforms and tents and the rope works supplied a third of the cordage and rope required by the War Office. These were vital military supplies for Britain during the war. ...read more.

Conclusion

This led to the government believing that Belfast would not become a target and therefore took little action to prepare for air raids, for example there were no fighter squadrons or balloon barrage and only 20 anti-aircraft guns for the entire city. The immediate cause of Belfast being attacked was probably the defeat of France in 1940 which allowed German planes to be based along the northern French coast and it was now practical for them to attack Belfast which remained one of the most undefended cities in the UK. On top of this Belfast's capital status meant that attacking the one city would affect the whole province and meant bombing it was an easy way to spread panic throughout Northern Ireland. Therefore military importance, economic output and practicalities all contributed in making Belfast an important target for enemy bombings. ?? ?? ?? ?? Chuer Zhang ...read more.

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