The Blitz

The Blitz was a German bombing campaign against the United Kingdom in 1940 and 1941, during the Second World War. The term was first used by the British press and is the German word for'lightning'; the Germans conducted mass air attacks against industrial targets and cities, beginning with raids on London towards the end of the Battle of Britain in 1940. By September 1940, the Luftwaffe had failed and the German air fleets were ordered to attack London, to draw RAF Fighter Command into a battle of annihilation. Adolf Hitler and Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe, ordered the new policy on 6 September 1940. From 7 September 1940, London was systematically bombed by the Luftwaffe for 56 of the following 57 days and nights. Most notable was a large daylight attack against London on 15 September; the Luftwaffe decreased daylight operations in favour of night attacks to evade attack by the RAF, the Blitz became a night bombing campaign after October 1940. The Luftwaffe attacked the main Atlantic sea port of Liverpool in the Liverpool Blitz.

The North Sea port of Hull, a convenient and found target or secondary target for bombers unable to locate their primary targets, suffered the Hull Blitz. Bristol, Portsmouth, Plymouth and Swansea were bombed, as were the industrial cities of Birmingham, Coventry, Glasgow and Sheffield. More than 40,000 civilians were killed by Luftwaffe bombing during the war half of them in the capital, where more than a million houses were destroyed or damaged. In early July 1940, the German High Command began planning Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union. Bombing failed to do much damage to the war economy; the greatest effect was to force the British to disperse the production of aircraft and spare parts. British wartime studies concluded that cities took 10 to 15 days to recover when hit but exceptions like Birmingham took three months; the German air offensive failed because the Luftwaffe High Command did not develop a methodical strategy for destroying British war industry. Poor intelligence about British industry and economic efficiency led to OKL concentrating on tactics rather than strategy.

The bombing effort was diluted by attacks against several sets of industries instead of constant pressure on the most vital. In the 1920s and 1930s, airpower theorists such as Giulio Douhet and Billy Mitchell claimed that air forces could win wars, obviating the need for land and sea combat, it was thought that bombers would always get through and could not be resisted at night. Industry, seats of government and communications could be destroyed, depriving an opponent of the means to make war. Bombing civilians would cause a collapse of morale and a loss of production in the remaining factories. Democracies, where public opinion was allowed, were thought vulnerable; the RAF and the United States Army Air Corps adopted much of this apocalyptic thinking. The policy of RAF Bomber Command became an attempt to achieve victory through the destruction of civilian will and industry; the Luftwaffe took a cautious view of strategic bombing and OKL did not oppose the strategic bombardment of industries or cities.

It believed it could affect the balance of power on the battlefield by disrupting production and damaging civilian morale. OKL did not believe air power alone could be decisive and the Luftwaffe did not have a policy of systematic "terror bombing"; the vital industries and transport centres that would be targeted for shutdown were valid military targets. It could be claimed civilians were not to be targeted directly, but the breakdown of production would affect their morale and will to fight. German legal scholars of the 1930s worked out guidelines for what type of bombing was permissible under international law. While direct attacks against civilians were ruled out as "terror bombing", the concept of attacking vital war industries—and probable heavy civilian casualties and breakdown of civilian morale—was ruled as acceptable. From the beginning of the National Socialist regime until 1939, there was a debate in German military journals over the role of strategic bombardment, with some contributors arguing along the lines of the British and Americans.

General Walter Wever championed strategic bombing and the building of suitable aircraft, although he emphasised the importance of aviation in operational and tactical terms. Wever outlined five points of air strategy: To destroy the enemy air force by bombing its bases and aircraft factories and defeat enemy air forces attacking German targets. To prevent the movement of large enemy ground forces to the decisive areas, by destroying railways and roads bridges and tunnels, which are indispensable for the movement and supply of forces To support the operations of the army formations, independent of railways, i.e. armoured forces and motorised forces, by impeding the enemy advance and participating directly in ground operations. To support naval operations by attacking naval bases, protecting German naval bases and participating directly in naval battles To paralyse the enemy armed forces by stopping production in armaments factories. Wever argued that OKL should not be educated in tactical and operational matters but in


Spliceman is an online genomic identification tool used to predict the likelihood that a mutation within a DNA sequence is linked with genetic disease. It was created in 2011 by a Brown University lab, has been used in several studies to identify disease-causing mutant alleles. Numerous sources cite that one-third of disease-causing mutations affect RNA splicing; such mutations affect Exonic splicing enhancers, regions of pre-mRNA that recruit the spliceosome to remove intron sequences and aid in the formation mature mRNA. Spliceman Co-Authors Kian Huat Lim and William Fairbrother write that "Spliceman takes a set of DNA sequences with point mutations and computes how these single nucleotide variants alter splicing phenotypes."The tool takes advantage of findings in 2011 on positional distribution analysis within DNA sequences. Each hexamer of DNA base pairs has a positional distribution near splice sites where it is most to occur. Point mutations that change one hexamer to another with large changes in positional distributions were shown to be more to cause splicing mutations than mutations with small changes to positional distributions.

Spliceman was created to apply those findings by predicting the likelihood of splicing mutations based on the distances in positional distributions between RNA sequences. Users enter a DNA sequence as input to the program with an indicated mutation. Spliceman isolates the changed hexamers and computes the L1-distance between the frequencies of each hexamer appearing at each location near the splice site to measure the differences in their positional distributions, they distances are assigned percentile ranks to estimate the likelihood of a splicing mutation. The Spliceman tool has applications in personalized genomic medicine, it has been used in several studies to identify disease-causing mutant alleles. Its applications so far include aid in the location of mutations related to neural tube defects, pustular psoriasis, chronic ear infection, hypercholesterolemia, several other genetic illnesses; the Spliceman tool is available for free online on the website for the Fairbrother Lab. A second version of the tool, Spliceman 2.0, has been developed to accept inputs in a wider array of file formats.

This makes the tool more compatible with other tools. It can handle many more variations than its precursor due to its ability to accept files of larger sizes. Spliceman 2.0 outputs a report. Spliceman Home Page


Walkergate is an area and electoral ward in the city of Newcastle upon Tyne in Tyne and Wear, England. It is in north of Walker proper, east of the Heaton area and west of Wallsend. Areas within the Walkergate ward include Daisy Hill, Eastfield and Walkerville. Walkergate Metro station, opened in 1982 serves the area; this replaced the previous railway station on the same site, known as Walker station from 1839 to 1889 when it was renamed Walker Gate station. Walkergate Hospital was built in 1888 as a hospital for Infectious Diseases - scarlet fever, typhoid and polio; the hospital was closed in 2011. In 2012 the Benfield Park Healthcare and Diagnostic Centre was opened on the site of the old Walkergate Hospital; the centre offers hospital clinics and a pharmacy. Schools within the Walkergate ward area include Walkergate Primary School, Benfield School and Walker Technology College. At the 2001 census, there were 9,745 people in Walkergate, reducing to 9,463 at the 2011 Census, making up 3.8% of the city's population.

Newcastle Council Ward Info: Walkergate