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they came just after dark - shortly after the sirens wailed you could hear the planes grinding overhead - in my room, with its black curtains drawn across the windows - you could feel the shake from the guns - the motors seemed to grind rather than roar - and to have an angry pulsation - like a bee buzzing in blind fury - as we stepped out onto the balcony a vast inner excitement came over all of us - an excitement that had neither fear nor horror in it - because it was too full of awe - the whole horizon of a city lined with great fires - scores of them - perhaps hundreds - there was something inspiring just in the awful savagery of it - into the dark shadowed spaces below us - while we watched - whole batches of incendiary bombs fell - then quickly simmered down to pin points of dazzling white - burning ferociously - all around below were the shadows - the dark shadows of buildings and bridges that formed the base of this dreadful masterpiece - these things all went together to make the most hateful - most beautiful single scene i have ever known - (correspondence of the london blitz by ernie pyle)