Introduction
in French children under the Allied bombs, 1940–45
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The Allied bombing of France is little discussed in France, and it is no better known in Britain or America. During the Second World War in France, children comprised just over a quarter of the population. The twentieth century's total wars thrust their way into the domestic space, affecting children as never before. Bombing is just one potentially traumatising trigger in war. This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book compares three French towns with different experiences of bombing: Boulogne-Billancourt, Brest, and Lille. These towns had different histories, different characters, different administrative systems and different bombing experiences. The comparative analysis is across events with different chronologies. For some, the first Allied air raid was in July 1940, for others, April 1944. Four years of war separated those experiences.

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