The reason Hitler didn't do the decent thing and order his Luftwaffe to reduce Blackpool to smouldering rubble has now been revealed: The Fuhrer wanted the resort as his "personal playground", as the Daily Mail puts it.
Adolf's chilling plan to watch triumphant troops goosestep down the Golden Mile before hoisting a swastika flag atop the Blackpool Tower is explained in documents recovered from an old German military base.
The papers also include details of how paratroopers would take the town from the air, descending en masse into Blackpool's Stanley Park, chosen because "the layout of paths in its ornate Italian Gardens was unmistakable from the air".
As the Daily Mail notes, the scheme made little military sense since Blackpool was a centre of Wellington bomber production and a favourite haunt of soldiers on leave. It was furthermore, as anyone who's ever stayed there can attest, the main garrison for legendarily obstreperous B'n'B landlords and ladies who, had Operation Sealion gone ahead, would surely have given even crack Panzer divisions a run for their money.
Elaine Smith, chairman of Blackpool's Civic Trust, said: "These maps will be the source of much interest in the town, particularly to those who lived here through the Second World War. It had been known that Hitler intended to use Blackpool as his personal playground after what he hoped would be a successful invasion on England and the end of war.
"We did escape a lot of the bombing, despite the fact so many troops spent time in the town and there were major aircraft manufacturing factories here. He probably wanted to keep the resort exactly as it was so he could enjoy it as Chancellor of Britain."
The documents were salvaged from Germany by publisher Michael Cole. He told the Mail: "They have immense historical significance as they are some of the last surviving remnants of invasion material." ®