Homes were destroyed, dozens of lives lost and hundreds of people were injured.
But the Germans lost the battle of the skies so badly, they never returned in the same numbers again.
The archives of the Sunderland Echo and Hartlepool Mail contain these photographs of the damage caused to our neighbourhoods in those days – and how the people of the North East fought on through it all.
1. They escaped injury
The seven occupants of the Sunderland house pictured escaped injury by taking cover under the stairs when a bomb fell on August 13, 1940.
Photo: Sunderland Echo
2. The aftermath of an air raid
Locals examine the wheels of a German bomber which crashed in a back lane in Sunderland.
3. The morning after an attack
It's August 1940 in Hartlepool and these people are surveying the scene of an air raid in Faulder Road . A family of seven whose home was partly demolished crawled out without a scratch.
Photo: Hartlepool Mail
4. Only a door remains
The scene of a Sunderland air raid on August 12, 1940. It seems that all that is left standing is this door.