Belfast Blitz

This one-and-a-half hour Belfast history walking tour gives a broad overview of the city’s experience of the Belfast Blitz of Easter and Spring of 1941.

One of the unhappiest elements of modern Belfast history is that almost everyone forgets that the city suffered dreadfully during the Second World War.

Between 7-8 April to 5-6 May 1941, the German air force launched four aerial bombing raids against Belfast to attack its war factories and shipbuilding facilities.

As a result of the raids, over 900 lives were lost, 1,500 people were injured, 400 of them seriously. Fifty thousand houses, more than half the homes in the city, were damaged. Eleven churches, two hospitals and two schools were destroyed. (The image below is a bomb crater on the Stormont Estate from one of those raids.)

Belfast endured some of the most damaging bombing experienced by any city in the UK. Over 100,000 Belfast residents were left homeless and the city’s industrial contribution to the war effort was temporarily crippled.

On the tour you will hear the personal stories of those who suffered, lost love ones and lived through the bombings. You will also learn why the city was such a key German target and why it had been left so badly defended. Finally, we shall consider the legacy of the aerial bombardment that affected both the Catholic nationalist and Protestant unionist communities across the city and brought them, briefly, closer together.

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  • START: The tour is 1.5 hours; departs from Writers’ Square. Times will be arranged in advance.
  • LANGUAGE: All tours are delivered in English.
  • MEET: opposite St Anne’s Cathedral in Writers’ Square, Donegall Street (postcode BT1 1DL for GPS)
  • END: Approximately 1.5 hours later at opposite the Cathedral in Writers’ Square, Donegall Street (postcode BT1 1DL for GPS)
  • COST: 20.00 GBP per adult (16 and over); minimum group is 5 adults, maximum is 15.
  • INCLUDED: tour guide.
  • EXCLUDED: refreshments/transport.