Dover in the Second World War - Bombing and Shelling
The first bombs fell on the town on 6th July 1940 and the first shell, fired from the long-range guns built by the Germans on the cliffs of Calais, fell on 12th August. Many of the remaining civilians took shelter in caves deep within the cliffs.Between July 1940 and September 1944 2,226 shells landed on the town and 686 in the surrounding areas. Hundreds more burst in the air or landed in the harbour. 464 high explosive bombs and three parachute mines fell on the town.3,059 air raid alerts were sounded in the town. A total of 10,056 buildings were damaged, of which 957 were destroyed and 2,914 severely damaged. 216 civilians were killed, 344 severely injured and 416 slightly injured. The last shell fell on Dover at 7:15pm on 26th September 1944, after which the guns at Calais were captured by the advancing Allies and finally fell silent. On 18th October King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited the town to pay tribute to Dover's fortitude throughout more than four years of shelling and bombing.