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Luftwaffe leadership appeared to be backing two overall strategies. Its round the clock bombing of London was an immediate attempt to force the British government to capitulate, but it was also striking at Britain's vital sea communications to achieve a victory through siege. Although weather was poor that week, heavy raids took place that afternoon on the London suburbs and the RAF airfield at Farnborough.
Late in the evening of 7 September, Albert Kesselring’s Luftflotte 2 (Air Fleet 2) launched a tactical bombing raid on St Katharine Docks and the Tower of London. A total of 34 bombers and 67 fighters including Junkers Ju 88, Heinkel He 111s, Messerschmitt Bf 109s and several Messerschmitt Bf 110s took part in the attack. Another 20 fighters and 47 bombers from Hugo Sperrle's Luftflotte 3 (Air Fleet 3) attacked that night. Hermann Göring had been interested in a more tactical approve to the London Blitz for quite a while and Albert Kesselring's plan was exactly what he was looking for. The Tower of London was considered a prestigious target, so destroying would demoralise the people of Britain.
During the raid, the Germans dropped about 50 tonnes of high explosives, including 5 parachute air-mines, of which 2 were incendiary petroleum mines, and 3,650 incendiary bombs. The dock was also considered of strategic value, as was the shipping in the Thames Estuary.
Initially, the change in strategy caught the RAF's command off-guard and caused extensive damage and civilian casualties. Some (45,100t) of shipping was damaged in the Thames Estuary and ant the docks. 4,600 civilians were casualties. Two Canadian grain ships were also sunk, with the loss of 16 lives. The dock was wrecked and remained so for the next four years, whilst the Tower of London was also heavily damaged.
The city's defences were rapidly re-organised by General Sir Frederick Pile, the Commander-in-Chief of Anti-Aircraft Command. The Boulton Paul Defiant night fighter was also put in to full production by early 1941 thus supporting the night operations and the nocturnally inadequate Bristol Blenheim night fighter, which was being replaced by a small, add-hock amount the powerful Beaufighters with No. 219 Squadron RAF, stationed at at RAF Kenley airfield.
Causes of the conflict
Hermann Göring had noticed the London Blitz was not going according to plan, so he asked Albert Kesselring to create a new, more tactical astute plan.
The Tower of London was considered a prestigious target and heavily damaging it did help demoralise the people of Britain. The dock was also considered of strategic value, due to the vital shipping using it.
A German victory.
The people of London were heavily demoralised for the time being, but their spirits later recovered. The raid would also see German and Vichy French moral rise quit considerably. All this would be reflected in the peoples' opinions on the various regimes they lived under. Non the less Germany had got the tactical upper hand by the time the UK was starting to feel more confident about the war.