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Aerial images blitz on Belfast are brought to life

By Adrian Rutherford

They are haunting images of the devastating aerial assault unleashed on Belfast by the German Luftwaffe during World War Two.

Now the Blitz of April and May 1941 has been dramatically brought to life through modern technology. Photographs from government files from the time capture the terrible aftermath of the air raid attacks on the city.

Staff at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) have digitally enhanced the photographs with animation.

They now include features such as 'moving' plumes of smoke from ruined buildings.

Digitisation officer Joy Carey said: "These photographs, which were included in a report compiled by the Ministry of Public Security on the air raids on Belfast and their aftermath, illustrate the devastation caused to Belfast city centre during heavy attacks during the nights of the May 4 and 5 in 1941."

The blitz devastated a city that up until 1941 had remained unscathed from the horrors of war.

Over two nights 150 people were killed and more than half of the city's housing stock was rendered uninhabitable.

The photographs are from the Cabinet Secretariat Official War History of Northern Ireland archive at PRONI.

It contains hundreds of photographs illustrating the devastation caused by the air raids.

The graphically animated images are available to view on PRONI's Flickr site at

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