The Belfast Blitz was a series of devastating Luftwaffe air raids that took place in Northern Ireland during the Second World War. The bombs caused death and destruction across the city, affecting those of all religions and political backgrounds.
Luftwaffe bombers honed in on strategically selected targets of industrial and military importance across the city. Over the course of 4 nights in the Spring of 1941, German bombers attacked many of these targets but it was working-class residents in the city who paid the highest price. In particular, neighbourhoods in North Belfast and East Belfast suffered. Tightly-packed, poorly-built housing was no match for the high explosive bombs, parachute mines, and incendiary bombs of the German Luftwaffe.
Between 7th April 1941 and 6th May 1941, an estimated 900-1,000 people died as a result of enemy action in Belfast and parts of Co. Down and Co. Londonderry. BelfastBlitz.com tells their story.
There are many thousands of words to write on the events that unfolded in the skies and on the streets of Belfast and Northern Ireland in 1941. There are hundreds of documents, statements, and eyewitness accounts, as well as dozens of photographs from the time.
Our main priority in building this online resource is to list those who lost their lives in April and May 1941. First and foremost, we will remember their names and stories. More information on the tragic events of the Belfast Blitz will come later in the year.
8th April 1941
On 7th-8th April 1941, the Luftwaffe attacked the city of Belfast causing the deaths of a relatively low number of casualties mainly in the docks and shipyards.
16th April 1941
The Easter Raid took place on 15th-16th April 1941. Luftwaffe bombs across the city of Belfast claimed the lives of 600-700 people over the course of the night.
5th May 1941
On 4th-5th May 1941, the Luftwaffe returned en-masse over Belfast, attacking the city in what became known as the Fire Raid. A further 100-200 died as a result.