The Three Nights Blitz on Swansea, from Wednesday to Friday, 19th to 21st February, 1941 was not a battle in the air war; the Luftwaffe had lost the Battle of Britain some months before, and there were no Hurricanes from Fairwood to take on until June 1941.' While Swansea was important as a port, for oil and for metals, this was not strategic bombing. It was the town centre which perished, and the target was civilian morale. This was the first large war in which ordinary people, German or Japanese as well as English or Welsh, in homes far from the fighting fronts, might expect to meet sudden death. The awful experiences of those who lived through the bombing of, for example, Teilo Crescent on Mayhill, must make any careful study of these events seem cold if anything written here does seem insensitive, I apologise. While Mayhill, Danygraig and Port Tennant, Hafod, Winch Wen and many of the town's other 'districts and villages' certainly suffered, the whole focus here is on the town itself. In 1942, the Daily Express published a photograph of Swansea, one of Britain's battered towns now energetically 'cleaning up' .2 The wide angle shot showed the eastside of Castle Street, (the arched block which now reaches from the castle ruins to the Argos store), itself a burnt out shell, as a backdrop to a sea of nothing. There was no obstacle between the police station in Orchard Street, its brickwork pock-marked by the destruction of Weavers the contractors opposite, and the shell of St. Mary's Church. And the wind might whistle unhindered from the Empire Theatre in Oxford Street (next to our Waterstone's store) as far as the castle. Until the rebuilding of the fifties and sixties, and later, parking space was not a problem those with cars who wanted to avail themselves of the decimated shopping facilities bumped on to a bombsite. The town which disappeared is almost always remembered with affection it was friendly, intimate and safe. It is usually contrasted in architecture and in spirit with what replaced it the magnificent ornamented stonework of Ben Evans with the brick and concrete 'shoeboxes' of the Kingsway. A living organism which had evolved over centuries gave way to a planner's blueprint lacking humanity. People certainly felt, and feel, like this, and there is a lot of truth in their feelings. But there is more to it. Let us look at one little area. The main entrance to Ben Evans's magnificent store was on Castle Bailey Street. A few steps in one direction took you to John Taylor's, HOW THE BLITZ CHANGED SWANSEA: AND SOME THOUGHTS ON WHAT MIGHT HAVE HAPPENED GERALD GABB