blitz / blits/ •
n. an intensive or sudden military attack. ∎ inf. a sudden, energetic, and concerted effort, typically on a specific task: a major press blitz. ∎ Football a charge of the passer by the defensive linebackers just after the ball is snapped. ∎ (the Blitz) the German air raids on Britain in 1940.•
v. [tr.] (often be blitzed) attack or damage (a place or building) in a blitz: news came that Rotterdam had been blitzed fig. organizations blitzed Capitol Hill with mailgrams and postcards. ∎ Football attack (the passer) in a blitz.
British colloquialism for air attacks on UK towns, particularly at night in 1940–1, especially on London, derived from Blitzkrieg
, lightning war, said to be the preferred German method. Night air attacks meant, however, German acceptance of slow attrition. Towns important for war, like Belfast
, Manchester, Sheffield, Glasgow
, Hull, Plymouth, Coventry, suffered but the main ‘Blitz’ descended on London, which was bombed every night but one for over two months. Human casualties were less than feared; damage to buildings greater. The indirect effect of homelessness on war production was greater than the destruction of factories. Death, injury, and homelessness lowered morale; survivors drew strength from self-esteem and comradeship. This was especially true in London where size enabled effective concentration of help for victims. In 1940–1, before the attack on the USSR
diverted the German air force, about 42,000 were killed in the UK and more than 50,000 seriously wounded.
R. A. C. Parker
Blitz ★½ Killing Cars 1985 (R)
A German car designer's pet project, a car that runs without gas, is halted by the influence of an Arab conglomerate. He nevertheless tries to complete it, and is hunted down. 104m/C VHS, DVD . Jurgen Prochnow, Senta Berger, William Conrad, Agnes Soral; D: Michael Verhoeven; W: Michael Verhoeven; C: Jacques Steyn; M: Michael Landau.