Bramall Lane during the Blitz

Bramall Lane - the Blitz

German Luftwaffe bombing in Sheffield during the Second World War. It took place during night-time between 12 and 15 December 1940. Our football grounds were clearly accidental hits. The German code name for the operation was Schmelztiegel (“Crucible”).

Sheffield United’s ground took direct hits during the blitz, and so an alternative ground was needed. They did not have to look far, just across the city to Hillsborough. United played 4 games at the home of Sheffield Wednesday losing just once to Rotherham.

They lost 3-2 to Rotherham, beat Hull 2-1 and Barnsley 3-1 before claiming a 2-0 victory over Newcastle, so haven’t a decent record of losing only one of their ‘home’ games at Hillsborough.

In 1940, Sheffield was a city of about 560,000 people and contained industries primarily centred on steel and armaments. Hadfields steelworks was also the only place in the UK at that time where 18-inch armour-piercing shells were made. Most factories were located in the East End of the city beside the River Don. Documents captured at the end of the war showed the targets for the raids included the Atlas Steelworks, Brown Bayley Steelworks, Meadowhall Iron Works, River Don Works, Darnall Wagon Works, Tinsley Park Collieries, East Hecla Works and Orgreave Coke Ovens.

United returned to Bramall Lane in September 1941 after the necessary fixes were made, with the Blades and the Owls continuing to play in the wartime regional football leagues at their respective homes until the 1945/46 campaign – the first peacetime football season since the 1939–40 season was cut short following the declaration of war.

Here’s a PDF about Sheffield and the Blitz, made by Sheffield Archives.

Do you have more information about this that we could add? Are any of the facts wrong? Please get in touch if so.

Source: John Clarke / Wikipedia
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