Foggy wrote:Correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to recall that the British knew in advance that Coventry would be the target, but said nothing because they didn't want the Germans to know how good their intelligence was. A most unfortunate tragedy.
That appears to be a conspiracy myth. Coventry had been bombed before and had air defenses (both fighter planes and anti-aircraft guns) which were heavily used on the night but ineffective) but more to the point there doesn't appear to be solid evidence that Churchill and his intelligence people knew that (a) Coventry was the night's target, or (b) that the raid was planned to be so intense. Although the physical destruction was huge, the death toll was "only" in the hundreds - tragic, of course, but these things have their own scales of awfulness.
In general, although Churchill made huge decisions about horrible acts, I think he was always aware of the human consequences. Sacrificing Coventry does not ring true; had they known, his commanders would have looked for a way to act without making it too obvious that they had inside info.
Additionally, Coventry had lots of war factories; it was not somewhere that would be sacrificed lightly.