Germany bombs British towns and cities. July - August 1940 The Luftwaffe carried out raids on British urban targets for two months prior to the start of the Blitz, with the loss of over 1,000 civilian lives. Photo: Stukas in formation in April 1940. Stukas terrorised servicemen and civilians across Europe. They were withdrawn from the Battle of Britain in mid-August after being savaged by the RAF's Hawker Hurricanes.