The German bombing of Coventry during the night of 14 November and morning of 15 November 1940 was so devastating, the Nazis coined a word for it.
That term of propaganda was “coventrieren”, meaning to raze a city to the ground.
That night, the single most concentrated attack on a British city during the Second World War left hundreds dead and thousands of homes destroyed.
And yet Coventry bounced back.
Read more: The World War II Blitz in colour
Unbowed by the Blitz, the city’s people rose up, and within weeks the city’s factories were back producing the aircraft parts which had made it a German target.
And when the war was over, Coventry reached out to its enemies.
In 1947, it adopted its first German twin city Kiel, followed in 1956 by Dresden, two cities on the opposing side in the war that had also suffered huge destruction and loss of life.
In Coventry, almost 600 people were killed on 14/15 November, while 4,300 homes were destroyed.
Bombings were nothing new to the city’s people during the Second World War – there had been 17 raids by Germany’s Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain between August and October 1940 – but not on this scale.
A total of 515 German bombers carried out the raid, codenamed 'Moonlight Sonata', which was designed to strike at Coventry’s aeroplane and munitions factories.
The Germans dropped both high explosive and incendiary bombs, the former to obstruct Coventry’s fire brigade and damage the roofs, the latter to fall into those buildings and ignite them.
At about 8pm on 14 November, Coventry Cathedral was set on fire by incendiary bombs for the first time.
While volunteer firefighters put out the first blaze, more bombs followed and fires broke out in the cathedral and the flames spread out of control.
At the same time, more than 200 other fires started across the city. The Germans took out the city’s water mains, meaning there was not enough water to fight the fires.
While the raid ended sometime around midnight, the all clear wasn’t sounded until 6.15am on 15 November.
When daylight arrived, the citizens of Coventry surveyed a scene of total devastation. Most of the city centre was destroyed, while two-thirds of the buildings were damaged. A third of the city’s factories were either destroyed or severely damaged, while another third were badly damaged.
An estimated 568 people were believed to have been killed, with another 863 badly injured and 393 left with minor injuries.
The death toll wasn’t higher because large numbers had gone to nearby towns and villages following earlier air raids. And of the 79 public air raid shelters in the city, which held about 33,000 people, very few were destroyed.
The Germans dropped about 500 tonnes of high explosives in the raid and 36,000 incendiary bombs. Their attack was spread over several hours as the Luftwaffe returned to France to rearm after dropping their bombs.
It wasn’t the last large air raid on Coventry.
The Germans returned the following April, killing about 451 people and injuring more than 700 in two raids just two days apart.
The final air raid on the city, on 3 August 1942, resulted in six people being killed in the Stoke Heath area.
More than 1,200 people were killed in Coventry as a result of German air raids during the war, and 808 people were laid to rest in the city’s London Road Cemetery.
King George VI visited the city in the days after the November 1940 raid, and the plan to rebuild got underway.
A new cathedral was built alongside the ruin of the old one, which was kept as a garden of remembrance.
The Queen laid the foundation stone of the new cathedral on 23 March 1956 and it was consecrated on 25 May 1962, with Her Majesty again in attendance.
Immediately after the bombing, Provost Richard Howard wrote the words “Father Forgive” in chalk on the wall behind the altar of the ruined cathedral, a gesture that would eventually inspire the city to twin with the cities of Kiel and Dresden.
Watch: Remembering the bombing of Parliament during the Blitz