This evening marks the anniversary of the fifth air raid on York during World War II.
It was the first raid to use incendiary bombs in such a deliberate way and scale. It came about following recent attempts to ‘torch’ other British towns and cities – the most infamous being Coventry, which was severely damaged on 14 November 1940.
York fortunately escaped such a fate on the cold evening of 2 January 1941, but the fear of having incendiary bombs dropped on the city must have been palpable, especially as it was said at the time via the Press that the use of incendiary bombs and flares were a prelude and acted as illuminating markers for Nazi bombers to return in a subsequent waves of a raid to drop high explosive bombs.
Read the story of the fifth raid here: https://raidsoveryork.co.uk/raid-5-2-jan-1941/