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Mapping the Blitz 2

Bomb front

Luftwaffe map of the docks

In a previous post Mapping the Blitz,I reported on the launch of the Bombsight website that tracked where individual bombs were dropped in the Blitz over London.

But how did the Germans managed to target the docks so accurately  before the advent of sophisticated targeting equipment?

Eric Pemberton’s collection of German aerial photos, maps  and navigational instructions which were given to the pilots and crew before their bombing missions provides some of the answers.

Every German pilot and crew was given a copy of  these photos and maps for the area to be bombed.

These included navigational advice and landmarks to look out for.

One of the tragedies for people in the Docks was although the very detailed photographs would have helped to pinpoint certain areas, the fact was that the very distinct meandering of the Thames made areas such as the Isle of Dogs a distinctive and easy target from the air.


Photographs of Surrey Docks and St Katherine’s Dock.


Isle of Dogs, Surrey Docks and Greenwich


West India Docks and Millwall Docks

bomb 4



Areas clearly marked for attack

bomb 6

Map and instructions of Docks and surrounding areas.

Other posts related

Mapping the Blitz


  1. Bob Putt says:

    At the later part of the war the street my family lived in received a V2 hit.Half the street was blown away with surrounding damage.I was not yet born(1946) but brother John was born 1944 and was partially blinded by ceiling plaster falling onto his cot.His condition lasted for about 18 months.I have a map showing all the “Hits” in Stepney during the Blitz tucked away somewhere. As a aside my Uncle was attached to a mobile Anti-Aircraft unit and went all over the country depending on the received intel.This was often incorrect.However you may already know that He and his unit along with many others were posted to the coast to face the V1 onslaught.Once we were having a chat and I asked him if they ever shot any down.In his very familiar laid back fashion,remembering many did not discuss the war,He replied “We might have got one or two”.

    • Hi Bob,

      Thanks for your memories, It is very difficult for us to understand how terrifying it was to live through the blitz.
      Can you imagine what it would be like to come out of an air raid shelter to find half a street blown away?
      It must have been terrible for your family when your brother was injured. These stories give us some idea of the human cost of that terrible time.
      You are right many people did not want to talk about the war, and were very modest about about their efforts.
      Thank you again for your memories.

  2. […] Mapping the Blitz, over the Isle of Dogs. […]

  3. claire says:

    Hi! i have just found your website whilst researching in preparation to teach my year 5 class about the Blitz in history. These images are really great and something I’d love to use in the class.. is there any way of accessing the originals of these so I can enlarge them? any help would be much appreciated! thanks. Claire

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