November 14, 2005

November 14, 1940

On this date, the English town of Coventry was devastated by German bombers. Churchill knew about the attack ahead of time but did not alert town officials.

Why? Because an evacuation of the town would have been communicated to Germany by the pilots, and Hitler would have known that England was intercepting and decoding German communications.

Churchill was focused on the big picture, which may or may not have been some consolation to the families of the over 1,000 English civilians killed.

Posted by Jennifer at November 14, 2005 02:03 PM | TrackBack


There is in fact some debate over the classic question "what did he know and when did he know it?"

Posted by: triticale at November 14, 2005 04:36 PM

Something seems wrong there. Would an evacuation have really been noticable from German bombers at their altitude? And what's the point of intercepting comunications if not to evacuate a city when you know the bombs are coming in? I know there was a long way to go, but sheesh.

Posted by: Tuning Spork at November 14, 2005 08:51 PM