With the outbreak of war in 1939 Swansea as a major port with an industrial hinterland became an obvious target for the Luftwaffe. Ironically, the Three Nights Blitz in February 1941 and numerous other bombing sorties over the town left the docks and industries virtually unscathed but the town centre was completely obliterated.
The town’s civil defence forces, air-raid wardens, firemen, police and the Home Guard faced up to the threats imposed on the civilian population. While the inhabitants had to contend with the problems which shortages inflicted on everyday life. Foodstuffs were rationed, as was petrol, coupons had to be collected in order to buy clothes.
The Women’s Land Army and the ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign ensured the growth of crops to supplement the food shortages. Children in Swansea must have found the war years particularly strange, with fathers absent in the armed forces, sweets on ration and evacuees sharing their homes and schools. Victory celebrations, street parties and parades marked not only the end of war but also the start of a new chapter in the history of Swansea.
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Read more about Swansea during World War Two… The Blitz