Sep 072010

Today there has been a lot of coverage of the London Blitz that started 70 years ago today; where the Nazi’s war machine began waging total war against civilians in London. But perhaps we should look a little deeper than the media’s claim that this was the beginning of a new era in total warfare.

Pcasso's Gernica

Picasso’s Gernica.

Despite the media’s claim that the London Blitz was the dawn of a new era of warfare against civilians, the terror-killing of civilians had been practised earlier by the Nazi’s during the Spanish Civil War – at Gernika (note that I use the Basque spelling which seems more natural to us odd-ball English people). This happened three years earlier than the London Blitz in 1937 and in retrospect was clearly a honing of tactics by the Nazis.

The scale of course was quite different – between 400 to 1600 people were killed at Gernika whereas the London Blitz killed around 20,000 civilians with even more killed in other cities in the UK. We should remember the victims of the Blitz both in London and elsewhere, but we should also remember the Basque victims of the Nazi terror bombing and their other victims too.

Perhaps we need to have a national day of mourning for the victims of all such terror bombings of civilians.

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