New Scotland Yard

11 May 1941

By Sarah Allen

On 11 May 1941 a delayed-action high explosive bomb hit New Scotland Yard, headquarters for London’s Metropolitan Police (1890-1967). It landed on the east side of the building, near the entrance on Victoria Embankment SW1. The bomb hit at around 5.30am, penetrating the basement. It was discovered covered by debris, preventing wardens from identifying the type of bomb. The original report asked for the bomb to be treated as a priority because police officers were at work in the building at the time. One hour later, at 6.30am, the bomb exploded. An ambulance was dispatched, but there were only two minor injuries. Additionally, no major power, water, or sewer lines were hit, and the surrounding roads did not have to be cleared.

The bomb that hit New Scotland Yard was part of the deavstating all-out raid of 10-11 May 1941, at the end of what is considered the true Blitz period. The bombs fell under full moonlight: some 711 tons of high explosive and 86,000 incendiaries were dropped. Almost 1,500 Londoners were killed and about 2.000 more were seriously injured. This was the single most deadly raid of the Blitz. Scotland Yard was one of more than 10,000 buildings in London either damaged or completely destroyed that night.

In total, over the course of these two days around 700 acres of London were either burnt down or reduced to rubble. After this raid, the Blitz entered a period referred to as “The Lull” in which German forces greatly reduced the number of air raids targeting Britain.

On the night of 21-22 January 1944 New Scotland Yard (and Canons Row) were hit again - by incendiaries dropped during the 'Little Blitz'. No major damage resulted.

Photo:Bomb Damage, New Scotland Yard, May 1941

Bomb Damage, New Scotland Yard, May 1941

Copyright Westminster City Archives

Photo:ARP Message, New Scotland Yard, 11 May 1941

ARP Message, New Scotland Yard, 11 May 1941

Copyright Westminster City Archives

New Scotland Yard, Victoria Embankment

This page was added by Sarah Allen on 20/10/2013.

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