1944 Target Rugby!

Luftwaffe map showing Rugby's key sitess


To mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings this month we’ve chosen a Second World War map of Rugby for the object of the month.  

This map was found in an aerodrome by the donor’s husband who was air force ground staff following the D-Day landings.


The D-day operation took place on 6th June 1944 and saw over 150,000 Western Allies invading by sea and air on the Normandy coast of France with the aim to liberate Europe from Nazi Germany’s control. It was a key turning point in the war and gave the Allies a foothold in France.

This crumpled map entitled 'Special Edition' (Sonderausgabe!) shows key sites and infrastructures which would have been German Luftwaffe targets for a bombing raid in Rugby. Primary targets were outlined in red and secondary ones in purple.  They included: British Thompson-Houston, Willans Works, Hunters Wagon Works, the railways, gas works, hospitals and water supplies.  

Despite this Rugby suffered few attacks during the war. One lone intruder in 1941deposited all its bombs across New Bilton (demolishing part of the Willans Works office frontage), the main railway lines and almost hitting the water pumping station in Mill Road.  The German bomber reportedly crashed near Lilbourne. 

The map is currently on display as part of A History of Rugby in 50 Objects.