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Lives sacrificed; Letters.

ON October 6 this year there was a documentary on BBC2 commemorating the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Coventry, in which the city centre was obliterated in an air raid which lasted 12 hours and hundreds of people were killed.

I remember reading in the Evening Despatch after the war that fire engines were sent from Birmingham to Coventry to tackle the inferno.

When they arrived, however, they were of no use as the connectors on the Birmingham hoses were of a different circumference to the Coventry hydrants. The men were put on heavy duty rescue instead.

When the Government was told of this, they ordered all hydrants and hoses to be standardised all over the country, which they are to this day.

Although Coventry defended itself on the ground with anti-aircraft fire, there was no air cover - no Spitfires.

Why not? It was rumoured that if the Prime Minister and the War Office had allowed fighters to attack the German bombers, it would have told the enemy that British Intelligence had cracked the enemy code of their bombing plans.

Hundreds of lives were said to have been sacrificed to save many more in Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow and Belfast, among many others.

JAMES BENTON, Hall Green
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 18, 2009
Words:208
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