During 1944, Southampton played a crucial role as a staging area for forces preparing for the invasion of Normandy. A mural on Hamtun Street marks the role of the town in Operation OVERLORD.
On 30th November 1940, the Luftwaffe attacked Southampton as part of the ongoing blitz raids on the United Kingdom. The ruins of Holy Rood Church on High Street are a reminder of the events.
Next to the old historic gates, stands a commemorative stone that marks the role played by Southampton and the surrounding area during the course of the Second World War.
Southampton in the Second World War 1939-1945.
During the 1939-1945 war, Southampton suffered great damage from repeated air attacks. The worst raids were on the nights of 30th November and 1st December 1940. The town centre was virtually destroyed. 630 citizens died. Nearly 1,900 were injured. 3589 buildings were destroyed and over 40,000 damaged. 2,631 high explosive bombs and 30,652 incendiary bombs were recorded.
More than 3.5 million members of the Allied Forces including over 2 million United States troops embarked from Southampton in 1944-45 for the invasion of occupied Europe.