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TOPIC: Christmas Day at Anfield, in the shadow of war

Christmas Day at Anfield, in the shadow of war 20 Dec 2017 08:04 #5380

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History’s most remarkable Merseyside derby? – Christmas Day at Anfield, in the shadow of war

Jeff Goulding: 9 December 2017

While war raged across Europe in the 1930s and ’40s, the Merseyside derby lived on, bringing Liverpool’s most remarkable win over Everton in history.

In 1939, Britain went to war with Germany. What followed was unimaginable carnage, and with many players drafted into the armed services, the Football League was suspended.

However, those left behind would continue to play games, and were even organised into local divisions in order to compete with each other, as Britons tried to maintain a sense of normality.

In 1940 their efforts were severely tested, as Hitler and the Luftwaffe launched their Blitzkrieg on English towns and cities.

Liverpool, being a hugely significant port, suffered the heaviest bombardment of any English city outside London.

The city centre, Bootle and Wallasey sustained catastrophic damage and 4,000 people lost their lives between August 1940 and May 1941.

During this period, an air raid shelter in Durning Road suffered a direct hit, killing 166 people. It was described as the single worst incident of the war.

The arrival of Christmas and the perils of winter did little to deter the German air force. Between December 20 and 22 a further 365 Liverpudlians lost their lives in a series of raids

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