#RAF100 | 9 Iconic Aircraft From The Battle Of Britain

First Night History celebrates 100 years of the Royal Air Force with this post from the Imperial War Museum.

The Spitfire was the iconic aircraft of the Battle of Britain and became the symbol of British defiance in the air. Designed by Reginald Mitchell, it had an advanced all-metal airframe, making it light and strong. It took longer to build than the Hurricane and was less sturdy, but it was faster and had a responsiveness which impressed all who flew it. Crucially, it was a match for…supermarine

via 9 Iconic Aircraft From The Battle Of Britain | Imperial War Museums

easter egg, handmade | Imperial War Museums

easter egg, handmade easter egg, handmade © IWM (EPH 641)

Physical description
A carved wooden Easter egg, in two halves, depicting on one side a painted rural scene with cottage, fields, trees and a blue sky, on the other side are large letters in gold…

via easter egg, handmade | Imperial War Museums

The Spitfire lost for almost 50 Years | Imperial War Museums

IWM, Supermarine Spitfire Mark 1a, IWM Duxford

IWM, Supermarine Spitfire Mark 1a, IWM Duxford

Built at Southampton in 1939, this Supermarine Spitfire Mark 1a was issued to No. 19 Squadron at RAF Duxford in April 1940. On 10 May 1940, Germany invaded France and the Low Countries, pushing the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), along with French and Belgian troops, back to the French port of Dunkirk. By the end of May 1940, Germany’s…

via The Spitfire lost for almost 50 Years | Imperial War Museums

The legacy of the Blitz

Death and destruction from the Blitz during WWII is one thing but my heart weeps again at the horrors built in the post-war period, and torn down, only to be replaced with further monstrous edifices. No affordable housing, of course.

The Great Wen

I wrote a piece for the Guardian about the way modern London is still shaped by the bomb damage of the Blitz. This was a subject I immersed myself for several weeks and the first draft of my article is very different to the version that was published. I thought it might be interesting to reproduce the original article on The Great Wen. 


When travel writer HV Morton surveyed London in 1951’s In Search of London, it was still scarred by war. The Blitz had started on 7 September 1940 and more than a decade later, London was a “city of jagged ruins, of hob grates perched in the sunlight in shattered walls, of cellars draped with willow-herb and Canadian fleabane.” As Morton wandered sadly round Cripplegate – an area now covered by the Barbican – he looked “across an area of devastation so final and complete that the…

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