With the 70th anniversary of the Blitz in September 2010, National Geographic Channel is bringing the Blitz experience to life in a special like you’ve never seen before. Blowing Up History: Nazi Super Bombs aims to show the true horrors of the ferocious and constant bombardment of the Blitz, and to explain why, ultimately — it failed.
Blitz Street itself is a row of terraced houses, specially built on a remote military base. We will be subjecting it to a frightening range of large-scale high explosive bombs and incendiaries similar to those used by the Luftwaffe. The bombs range from 100 pounds to a massive 2000 pounds; as well as incendiaries, oil bombs, the equivalent of a V1 buzz-bomb, and the 1-ton warhead of the V2 – the world’s first supersonic ballistic missile. With precise measurements of the supersonic blast waves and flying shrapnel, Blitz Street reveals the devastating impact of real explosives on bricks and mortar, allowing scientists to study the awesome power and anatomy of Second World War bombs.
High-speed cameras operating at 1,000 frames per second illustrate the amazing testimony from Blitz Survivors. We discover how houses could progressively collapse from one end to another; how people survived by sheltering under the stairs; and the astonishing protection offered by the humble Anderson Shelter.
Below: An exterior view of both rows of houses on Blitz Street.
Below: SC50 bomb damage to the gabble end of the 1st house. The shot also shows bomb damage to other houses down the street, windows have been blown out of their frames showering the street with glass and doors have been blown off their hinges.
Below: SC500 bomb damage — The first house has collapsed, the chimney is all that remains standing. Chimneys are a box structure and one of the strongest parts of a house.
Below: An incendiary bomb in mid-explosion. The partially ruined street is engulfed in flames.
Below: Front on Anderson shelter post SC1000, on Blitz Street. The front of the shelter has buckled and the contents have been smashed.
Don’t miss Blowing Up History “Nazi Super Bombs“ premiering September 19th at 9P et/pt.