Sixty-seventh day of the London Blitz.
At 19:15 on Wednesday 12 November 1940, a bomb outside Belsize Park Northern line station shattered glass in the ticket hall.
A 250kg bomb just south of Swiss Cottage Bakerloo line station cracked three tunnel segments at 20:05.
Services reversed at West Hampstead until through running resumed under a 5 mph speed restriction at 21:50.
Piccadilly line Up and Down tracks damaged by a bomb between Acton Town and South Ealing at 20:45.
At 21:50 a large calibre bomb scored a direct hit on Sloane Square station, causing extensive damage to the ticket hall and platforms. High-tension, signal, and lighting cables were also damaged. Two gas mains were severed and set on fire. Initial reports described the rear car of a train standing at the platform as being, "cut in two," that forty people had been killed, and twenty injured enough to require treatment on-site.
Northern line current off London Bridge to Clapham Common; restored London Bridge to Kennington at 22:20, and to Clapham Common at 20:48. District line services suspended between Earl's Court and Bow Road; resumed Mansion House to Bow Road at 00:09 on the 13th, and between St James Park and Mansion House at 10:05.
The following day the casualty figures were revised to 28 kill, and 40 to 50 injured.
At 22:35 three High Explosive bombs hit Wood Lane Hammersmith & City line station (situated just south of the new station of that name), partly demolishing one viaduct arch, and a platform. Gas mains were also broken.
At 00:15 on the 13th, windows at New Cross station were broken by a bomb explosion.
At 08:00 on the 11th, the following working conditions were reported:
Serious damage Sloane Square station 21:15 12/11. Lines completely blocked. Train partially caught under debris. Over 40 fatalities.
Some damage to tube tunnel on Bakerloo south of Swiss Cottage station. Segments cracked - trains passing under speed restriction.
Damage at Wood Lane (Hammersmith and City). Line already closed by UXB at Latimer Road.
District line - services suspended between South Kensington and St James's Park.
1. Latimer Road 21/10.
2. Morden Depot 10/11 between No. 13 and 14 roads. No interference with working.
Sloane Square Station
At 10:00 on the 13th, Lt-Col. AHL Mount, the Chief Inspecting Officer of Railways at the Ministry of Transport, visited the bomb site, along with the LPTB's Engineer-in-Chief, VAM Robertson, and other Board staff, and later reported:
"At 9.45 pm on 12/11, an H.E. bomb (250 kilo?) hit the booking hall and exploded on contact with the main girder supporting it and nearest to the tunnel. Three or four of the adjacent main girders were also damaged and a portion of the tunnel arch (5 rings) was blown away. The whole of the booking hall, a single storey building but of sufficient strength to carry a 10-storey building proposed for future erection, was demolished, the side walls of the station being blown outwards. The escalators on each side were wrecked, as also much of the station roof.
These works have only recently been completed at a cost of about £70,000 (verified later £72,000)."
He noted that the bomb exploded some 100 feet (30 metres) from an 8 foot (2.4 metres) main sewer, which could have potentially released five million cubic feet (1.4 billion litres) of water into the tunnel. This had not happened, but gas mains had been severed and set on fire, making rescue work so difficult that it had to be done via the tunnel to South Kensington, rather than directly through the station.
"The debris enveloped an outgoing 6-car west-bound train, completely wrecking it and killing passengers therein. A number of other passengers were also killed in the booking hall and possibly on both platforms, making a provisional total of 22. In addition, 9 of the Traffic Operating Staff and 9 of the Board's Bus Staff were apparently killed in the adjacent mess room, making a total of approximately 40 deaths; in addition, 14 persons are also reported as injured."
It was estimated that it would take some six days to clear the line to traffic, and the contractors - Mowlems - had already started the work, although they had requested additional manpower from the 691st Company, Pioneer Corps, as they were already overstretched clearing previous damage at Farringdon station.
On 28 November Mount reported that a 10-ton crane with a 100 foot reach had been brought in to remove the roof girders, escalators, and other debris. Although sagging, the cross girders were judge strong enough to support a temporary ticket hall, and staircases were to be provided from pavement level. It was anticipated that the station could re-open in a few more days, although some roof covering had yet to be provided. Mount detailed the work done thus far:
"The clearance of the track was effected by 25/11, namely in 12 working days, 7.30 am till 5.30 pm, 120 working hours, with a force of labour varying from a minimum of 60 to a maximum of 140 - equivalent to some 11,000 man hours."
It was later determined that rather than being a 250 kg device, it had actually been a 1,400 kg semi-armour piercing bomb - the same type that caused so much destruction at Balham a month previously.
The final death toll was 37 - details here
 Railway Executive Committee: Files: Form D2, 18:00 12/11/40 to 06:00 13/11/40, sheet 3 [Kew: National Archives, reference AN 2/1106]
 Railway Executive Committee: Files: Form RWD2, 18:00 12/11/40 to 06:00 13/11/40, sheet 1 [Kew: National Archives, reference AN 2/1106]
 Ministry of Home Security, Research and Experiments Department: Registered Papers: Damage to underground railways, drawing 25B [Kew: National Archives, reference HO 192/8]
 Ministry of Home Security, Key Points Intelligence Directorate: Reports and Papers, Daily Reports - November 1940: Damage Appreciation 12-13/11/40, page 6 [Kew: National Archives, reference HO 201/4]
 Railway Executive Committee: Files: Form D1, 06:00-18:00 13/11/40, page 2 [Kew: National Archives, reference AN 2/1106]
 Railway Executive Committee: Files: Form D2, 18:00 12/11/40 to 06:00 13/11/40, sheet 2 [Kew: National Archives, reference AN 2/1106]
 Ministry of Home Security, Key Points Intelligence Directorate: Reports and Papers, Daily Reports - November 1940: Railway Situation Report at 08:00 13/11/40, page 1 [Kew: National Archives, reference HO 201/4]
 Ministry of Home Security, Key Points Intelligence Directorate: Reports and Papers, Daily Reports - November 1940: Railway Situation Report at 08:00 13/11/40, page 3 [Kew: National Archives, reference HO 201/4]
 Ministry of Transport and successors, Railway Divisions: Correspondence and Papers, Air Raid Damage - Underground Railways, 1940-1941 [Kew: National Archives, reference MT 6/2759]Share
Labels: Blitz 70, London Underground, The London Underground at War