During World War II the steelworks were expected to be a target for German bombers. In the event there were only a few bombs dropped by solitary planes and no casualties. Possibly because the whole area was blanketed in dense black clouds created by the burning of oil and latex to hide the glowing furnaces from German bomber crews.
The Corby steelworks made a notable contribution to the war effort by manufacturing the steel tubes used in Operation Pluto (Pipe Line Under the Ocean) to supply fuel to Allied forces on the European continent.
In 1950, with a population of 18,000, Corby was designated a New Town. By 1951, a development plan with a car-friendly layout and many areas of open space and woodland was put forward. In 1952, the town centre plan was presented and in 1954 the layout for the first 500 houses. The town now underwent its second wave of expansion, mainly from Scotland.