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476 tons of bombs were dropped on the city by the Luftwaffe.
Southampton was a prime target because of its general strategic importance as a major port and industrial area, and particularly because the Supermarine Spitfire was designed, developed and built in Southampton.
The Maritime museum in the old Wool House included an exhibition related to the vessel but this has since been moved and incorporated into Sea City Museum. In 1920, Bitterne Parish Council and Itchen Urban District Council, which collectively covered the districts of Bitterne, Bitterne Manor, Bitterne Park, Woolston, Peartree Green, Sholing and Weston, were incorporated into the borough of Southampton.
The period between the two World Wars saw an increase in the volume of traffic, as the motor car and Southampton Corporation Tramways evolved.
The Second World War hit Southampton particularly hard.
Pockets of Georgian architecture remain, but much of the city was levelled during the Blitz of November 1940.
The town became a county borough under the Local Government Act 1888.One building that survived the bombing was Southampton's oldest, St. The spire was an important navigational aid for the German pilots and consequently they were ordered to avoid hitting it.Other buildings in Southampton were found to be used as aids to navigation; Elmfield flats in Millbrook had a flat concrete roof which was clearly visible from the air until it was grassed over.There were 1,605 air raid warnings specifically with D-Day in mind.Besides the embarkation of troops, Southampton was used for other purposes in the preparations for the Invasion of Europe.
That plan was tested in May 1944, In 1967, Southampton took in part of the Nursling and Rownhams parishes. Southampton lost its County Borough status under the Local Government Act 1972.