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Coventry Bombing Myth Debunked Yet Again

“Angry History Podcast” Takes Dead Aim At Coventry Canard Cathedral: Old & NewMay 18th:  Presenters at “Angry History Podcast” have produced a half-hour program discussing the persistant myth that Prime Minister Winston Churchill deliberately sacrificed the city of Coventry to Luftwaffe bombing in November 1940 in order to protect the fact that British intelligence had broken German military codes.  Dean Karayanis and Owen Moogan discuss the origins of the myth, directly traceable to a 1974 book that presented no evidence, and how variations of the groundless claim have been repeated ever since.  They counter this with the facts of the case and explain how people today can be so easily taken in by the falsehood.  To listen to the complete podcast, please CLICK HERE.

“Operation Moonlight Sonata”, as it was code-named by the Germans, started at 7PM on the night of 14 November 1940.  The code-name was in fact all that British intelligence had to go on.  It suggested to analysts a three-part attack–hence “Sonata”–but the target remained a mystery.  As he was leaving London that evening, Churchill received word that the capital or regions further to the south-east (i.e. away from Coventry) were most likely to be hit.  Churchill returned to Downing Street determined to be at the heart of the action.  All of this is substantiated by contemporary accounts whereas no evidence of any kind has ever been put forward to prove the myth.

In their podcast, Karayanis and Owen note that Coventy was well defended by the resources then available and had a higher per-capita number of anti-aircraft guns than did London.  Unfortunately virtually all forms of night air defense in 1940 were nearly useless.  The attackers had the advantage, and the Germans planned their attacks well. The myth propagators cannot even get their stories straight presenting various arguments for what Churchill was supposed to have known and what he was trying to accomplish.

Dean Karayanis told the Chartwell Bulletin: “I have always been bugged by this myth, and I felt it especially personally because my mother survived the London Blitz thanks to Prime Minister Churchill’s wisdom and refusal to surrender.  As Owen and I addressed [in the podcast], the idea of people preying on survivors in their old age to sell books and tickets to plays–while besmirching the name of the Greatest Briton along the way–is enraging.”Coventry-Banner2

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