Cofnod o brofiadau Abertawe yn ystod yr Ail Ryfel Byd, sydd hefyd yn deyrnged i'r sawl a gadwodd ysbryd a dycnwch y dref yn gadarn drwy'r cyfnod anodd. Plethir ynghyd brofiadau personol a hanes y bomio erchyll a ddioddefwyd gan y ddinas - bomio a ddaeth i'w anterth ym 1941 adeg y Blits Tair Noson.
An account of Swansea's experiences during the Second World War, as well as a tribute to all those in the town who kept Swansea's spirit alive through those bleak days. It weaves together many personal accounts of the war years, together with a history of the bombing suffered by the city, culminating in the 1941 Three Nights' Blitz.
For most of us who were children living in South or parts of West Wales during the Second World War, one indelible memory is the red glow in the distant sky over Swansea during the nights of the heavy blitz on that city. Swansea at War is a collection of personal reminiscences, many contemporary photographs, pictures of war memorabilia and detailed archive notes about how Swansea survived the war.
Swansea was targeted early by the enemy because of its busy Docks and heavy industries, many of which were involved in the production and/or distribution of weapons and aviation fluids. Swansea also dealt with troop reinforcements and had many other businesses including a large bakery which distributed bread over a wide area. It was a busy, bustling, flourishing town and a prime target for enemy bombers and also for those unloading bombs after a raid further inland.
The author details the preparations for Swansea’s defence when the war started, the development of the ARP (Air Raid Precautions) and the AFS (Auxiliary Fire Service) and the Home Guard, including poignant personal memories of businesses being requisitioned for army use and devastating bomb damage to other businesses and homes. Gas masks, rationing and the ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign are all discussed, but the main part of the book is about the appalling, destructive Three Nights’ Blitz on Swansea on the nights of 1921 February 1941. It is hard to read about, and see the photographs of, the obliteration of such Swansea landmarks as Ben Evans’s department store, and to learn of the loss of over 200 lives when the Wesley Chapel suffered a direct hit.
Over half of the book is personal recollections from Swansea people who were firsthand witnesses of the events, with their photographs, and their graphic, moving stories bring home to the reader the terrible effects of war on the lives of ordinary people.
Wartime memories are fading and books such as this, written by Sally Bowler, who at the time of the blitz was a baby taking cover with her mother and aunt in a garden air raid shelter, are important because they are factual, detailed, personal and easy to read. Lest we forget.
It is possible to use this review for promotional purposes, but the following acknowledgment should be included: A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council.
Gellir defnyddio'r adolygiad hwn at bwrpas hybu, ond gofynnir i chi gynnwys y gydnabyddiaeth ganlynol: Adolygiad oddi ar www.gwales.com, trwy ganiatâd Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru.