“On November 15 [1940], the enemy switched back to London with a very heavy raid in full moonlight. Much damage was done, especially to churches and other monuments. The next target was Birmingham, and three successive raids from the 19th to the 22nd of November inflicted much destruction and loss of life. Nearly eight hundred people were killed and over two thousand injured; but the life and spirit of Birmingham survived this ordeal. When I visited the city a day or two later to inspect its factories, and see for myself what had happened, an incident, to me charming, occurred. It was the dinner hour, and a very pretty young girl ran up to the car and threw a box of cigars into it. I stopped at once and she said: ‘I won the prize this week for the highest output. I only heard you were coming an hour ago.’ This gift must have cost her two or three pounds. I was very glad (in my official capacity) to give her a kiss. I then went on to see the long mass grave in which so many citizens and their children had been newly buried. The spirit of Birmingham shone brightly, and its million inhabitants, highly organised, conscious and comprehending, rode high above their physical suffering.” – Winston Churchill, Their Finest Hour

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