“When you look at these maps and see the proliferation of bombs dropped on the capital, it does illustrate the meaning of the word Blitz, which comes from the German meaning lightning,” said Kate Jones, the University of Portsmouth geographer who devised the project.
“It seems astonishing that London survived the onslaught,” she added.
The year-long project, called Bomb Sight and devised using data from the UK’s National Archive, reveals the devastation caused by The Blitz over a little more than eight months, according to the BBC.
More than 20,000 people were killed, more than one million London homes destroyed or damaged and 1.4 million left homeless during Nazi bombings of London, which took place between Sept. 7, 1940, and May 21, 1941.
The Blitz, though ultimately unsuccessful in its goal of either demoralizing the British into surrender or significantly damaging the country’s war economy, only came to an end when Hitler began to ramp up preparations for Operation Barbarossa, Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union.
The University of Portsmouth project looks only at London, however.
The project enables individuals who visit the website to zoom in on specific streets on the map, which uses red symbols to illustrate where each bomb landed. The project used maps of the London bomb census, taken between October 1940 and June 1941, a spokesman told the BBC.
The bombing locations were combined with geo-located photographs from the Imperial War Museum, and oral histories recorded in the BBC’s WWII People’s War Archive, according to the BBC.
(Above: Graphic showing distribution of German bombs dropped on London during The Blitz, September 1940-May 1941. To the right is the River Thames and the North Sea. Source: BBC.)