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Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities

28 Mar 1942 - 3 Apr 1945


ww2dbaseAerial bombing against civilian cities was not a new phenomenon; the British had already experienced such raids in WW1 conducted by German Zeppelins. However, the advance in aircraft technology brought bombing to a new level. Even Prime Minister Winston Churchill said "our supreme effort must be to gain overwhelming mastery in the air. The fighters are our salvation, but the bombers alone can provide the means to victory." As the war progressed heavy bombers such as the British Avro Lancaster bombers made their entrances in the war and carpet bombing entire industrial cities with their great payloads. The lack of accuracy for these bombing missions often inflicted damage to non-military areas; the Allies knew it, but felt it was an inevitable part of war. Some precisely used this tactic against Germany, such as Royal Air Force Bomber Command's Air Marshal Arthur Harris. His area bombing campaigns were meant to demoralize the German population, but it became a matter of controversy immediately following the war as his campaigns were accused of being terror bombing.

ww2dbaseBombing of M├╝nster

ww2dbaseM├╝nster, Germany saw its first large scale bombing on 5 Jul 1941 when 63 British Wellington bombers arrived shortly after midnight with 396 500-pound bombs, 50 250-pound bombs, and almost 6,000 4-pound incendiary bombs. The city was caught unprepared, with anti-aircraft weapons not arriving until 8 Jul. Prior to the bombing, historian Dr. Franz Weimers was hired by the city to chronicle the war, and he was given permission to wonder the streets to make observations and take photographs even during air raids. On 9 Jul, he wrote of what he had witnessed that morning after the British bombers had already left.

The poor people who stood at corners and in the squares with their few retrieved belongings but did not know where to go were a pitiful sight to behold. The authorities responsible for providing accommodation, such as the Red Cross, the security service, and deployed battalions, were all working at it at full speed, and consequently all homeless people could be accommodated in the evening, even if some of the solutions were only provisional.

ww2dbaseThe city continued to receive bombings throughout the war. By the end of the war, more than 90% of the Old City and more than half of the city overall were destroyed.

ww2dbaseBombing of L├╝beck
28-29 Mar 1942

ww2dbaseThe first major bombing by the Royal Air Force Bomber Command was conducted against the port city of L├╝beck. The city dated back to the Hanseatic days, thus many buildings were made of wood; Harris said that L├╝beck was built "more like a fire-lighter than a human habitation". 234 Wellington and Stirling bombers dropped about 400 tons of bombs. Though German defenses were light, 12 of the RAF bombers were still lost in the attack. The damage inflicted was heavy. The first of three waves of bombers used the new "blockbuster" bombs to blast over the building roofs and windows, allowing subsequent bombers and their incendiary bombs to contents inside of buildings on fire. 1,468 buildings were destroyed, 2,180 were seriously damaged, and 9,103 were lightly damaged; together, this represented 62% of all buildings in L├╝beck. Initial German reports showed 301 killed, 3 were missing, and 783 were wounded, but actual deaths might be as high as 1,000; 15,000 people, or 10% of the city's population, was displaced. After seeing footage of the destruction, German Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels wrote in his diary "[t]he damage is really enormous, I have been shown a newsreel of the destruction. It is horrible. One can well imagine how such a bombardment affects the population".

ww2dbaseSmaller scale raids were conducted against L├╝beck subsequently. On 16 Jul 1942, 21 Stirling bombers were dispatched to bomb L├╝beck; 8 aircraft reached the city and 2 were lost. On 24-25 Jul 1943, 13 Mosquito aircraft bombed L├╝beck as diversion for the main target of Hamburg (see Bombing of Hamburg later in this article). On 15-16 Sep 1943, 9 Mosquito aircraft bombed L├╝beck as diversion for the main target of Kiel. On 2-3 Apr 1945, L├╝beck was hit by RAF bombers manned by training crews.

ww2dbaseBombing of Augsburg
17 Apr 1942

ww2dbaseSection Contributor: Alan Chanter

ww2dbaseAt 1400 hours on the 17th of April, twelve Lancaster bombers, six each from the RAF's Nos. 44 (Rhodesian) and 97 Squadrons in four sections of three aircraft, took off from their bases at Woodhall Spa and Waddington for a daring low-level attack on the MAN diesel engine factory at Augsburg deep in the heart of Bavaria, Germany. The Squadrons involved had only recently re-equipped with the new four engine bomber (in December 1941 and January 1942 respectively) and this raid was to be one of Sir Arthur Harris' early trials with the type prior to commencing his night bombing campaign against the Third Reich.

ww2dbaseLed by experienced South African Squadron Leader John Nettleton, the aircrews had practiced extensively, in the days prior to the attack, on low level flying training (part of which included a simulated raid on Inverness, Scotland, United Kingdom) which led many to speculate that their target would be the German naval facility at Kiel. They were therefore more than a little astonished to learn that their target was actually a single building the size of a football pitch located within a larger complex more than 500 miles beyond the French coast.

ww2dbaseThe operational plan was for the bombers to be over the target in the last light of day, thus allowing them to return under the cover of darkness. Further assistance was to be provided by a diversionary raid by thirty Boston bombers and more than 700 fighter sorties over north-eastern France with the intention of keeping the Luftwaffe's fighters occupied whilst Nettleton's force sped towards Augsburg. Unknown to the Lancaster bombers' crews however, the Boston bombers' raid had been brought forward by twenty minutes with the result that as they withdrew the German fighters were returning to base just as the Lancaster force appeared in the vicinity. Disaster struck when a Messerschmitt pilot spotted the low-flying formation. In a few minutes four of No. 44 Squadron's aircraft were shot down; a third of the force had been lost and the remainder still had 300 miles to fly to reach their target area.

ww2dbaseRegardless, Nettleton refused to turn back and the eight surviving aircraft pressed on. Over the target the two remaining No. 44 Squadron aircraft dropped their bombs, but only Nettleton's aircraft escaped the heavy flak to return home. When the two sections of No. 97 aircraft arrived over the factory heavy anti-aircraft fire quickly claimed one machine and, as the last section dropped its bombs, a second Lancaster bomber was seen to explode in mid-air. The five surviving aircraft now had to make the perilous return flight across an enemy territory patrolled by Luftwaffe night fighters. Fortunately none appeared and the Lancaster bombers landed in England at 2300 hours that night.

ww2dbaseA reconnaissance flight on the following day revealed that serious damage had indeed been done to the factory, but on closer examination it was noted that of the seventeen bombs that had hit the important engine assembly shop within the factory complex, only twelve had exploded. The cost had been extremely heavy. Of the 85 aircrew involved 37 men had been killed and 12 taken prisoner by the Germans. Eight aircraft had been lost (seven during the raid and one so badly damaged that it had to be written off on returning).

ww2dbaseAlthough the operation had great propaganda value to the British public (having proved that bomber command could reach distant targets within Germany) the implications were serious. Lord Selborne, the Minister of Economic Warfare wrote angrily to Sir Arthur Harris, furious that the target had not been one of those specified by his Ministry for attack. Harris replied that Augsburg had been on an approved list drawn up by the Chiefs of Staff, and there the matter ended. Harris himself had considerable doubts about the wisdom of further daylight attacks. Courageous men and valuable aircraft had been lost even though Bomber Command had already learned not to send unescorted bombers on such sorties. Another lesson was that the Lancaster bomber's rifle-calibre machine guns had proved quite inadequate against enemy fighters that were fitted with self sealing fuel tanks.

ww2dbaseFor his outstanding determination and leadership Squadron Leader Nettleton, who had nursed his crippled Lancaster aircraft back to England, would be awarded the Victoria Cross, only to be killed during a raid in the July of the following year. Many of the other officers and men who had survived the mission received recognition with the award of Distinguished Service Orders, Distinguished Flying Crosses and Distinguished Flying Medals.

ww2dbaseBombing of K├Âln
30-31 May 1942

ww2dbaseThe techniques for the carpet bombing strategy was probably perfected at K├Âln (commonly Anglicized as Cologne) on 30-31 May 1942 when 2,000 tons of high explosives were delivered by 1,046 bombers in a small 90-minute window The original target was supposed to be Hamburg, the that city was saved as it was shrouded in bad weather. Post-action reports claimed that 250 factories were destroyed, marking the mission a success. What the British report left out was the destruction to downtown K├Âln, which was clearly the center of the target; countless civilians died, and 45,000 were left homeless. Official German reports noted the destruction of only 36 factories, while 3,300 residences; German reports noted only 469 deaths.

ww2dbaseLuftwaffe commander Hermann G├Âring refused to believe such figures; "[i]t's impossible! That many bombs cannot be dropped in a single night!" Author Daniel Swift noted that "Cologne was perfect ruin, and what survived, like the front of the great cathedral, stood only to mark the loss."

ww2dbaseWith the bombing of K├Âln, the RAF achieved a great propaganda success. With the magic number of 1,000 bombers on this raid, the RAF proved that the United Kingdom was able to put more bombers in the air against Germany than the Germany could against the United Kingdom.

ww2dbaseBombing of Bremen
25-26 Jun 1942

ww2dbaseThe British launched the third Thousand Bomber Raid against the German city of Bremen during the night of 25-26 Jun 1942. 1,067 aircraft, most of which from the Bomber Command but also with participation from Coastal Command and Army Cooperation Command, were launched against Bremen. Although only 696 successfully reached the city, they were able to damage the capacity of the Focke-Wulf factory and destroy 572 houses. 85 were killed on the ground, with a further 497 wounded, at a cost of 48 Bomber Command and 5 Coastal Command aircraft.

ww2dbaseBombing of the Ruhr Industrial Region

ww2dbaseEssen, the center of the Krupp enterprise in the heart of the industrious Ruhr region, received their share of bombing as well. A Belgian chaplain who had been imprisoned there recalled the effect of British bombing on the region's women and children as "completely chaotic". In Essen, too, the target was the residential districts of the workers, not the factories themselves. Nearby cities of Dortmund, Bochum, Duisburg, D├╝sseldorf, and Hamm all received similar waves of destruction.

ww2dbaseBombing of Berlin

ww2dbaseBerlin did not escape bombing, either. On 1 Mar 1943, Harris noted to his bomber crews that "[y]ou have an opportunity to light a fire in the belly of the enemy and burn his Black Heart out" and sent 302 aircraft, over half Lancaster bombers, over Berlin. Press officer Hans-Georg von Studnitz noted in his diary: [W]e came upon places through which it was impossible to pass by car. Craters filled with water, heaps of rubble, firehoses, ... and convoys of lorries blocked the streets, where thousands of those rendered homeless were searching the ruins, trying to rescue some of their possessions, or were squatting on the pavements and being fed from field kitchens.

ww2dbaseOn 22 Nov, a major RAF raid struck Berlin again, sending 764 bombers that destroyed 3,000 buildings and killed 2,000; only 26 bombers were lost in the action. Total deaths due to bombings on Berlin in the month of Nov 1943 amounted to over 4,000. Just as the citizens of Berlin thought they had seen the worst, by the beginning of 1944 the Americans were able to send long range fighters to escort bombers all the way to Berlin. The German propaganda machine continuously denounced such attacks on German cities as terror bombing.

ww2dbaseBombing of Hamburg
24 Jul-2 Aug 1943

ww2dbaseDuring the night of 23 Jul 1943, British bombers took off for the German city of Hamburg, which delivered 2,300 tons of bombs to the city between 0100 and 0200 in the early morning of 24 Jul. This began Operation Gomorrah, a bombing campaign against Hamburg. Once again, 8,000-pound "blockbuster" and 4,000-pound "cookie" bombs, both explosive bombs, knocked out roofs and windows, and subsequent waves of bombers dropped 350,412 incendiary bombs to start fires. Crews of the Halifax bombers of the RAF 6 Group, which were among the latter waves, reported "a mass of raging fires with black smoke rising to 19,000 feet".

ww2dbaseRAF bombing practice called for lead bombers to drop markers so that the following bombers would know where to release bombs in the dark. Hamburg resident Johann Johannsen, who manned a flak battery that night, recalled being directly underneath one such marker.

High above us we could hear the drone of the enemy machines. Suddenly countless flares were above us, so that the whole city was lit up in a magically bright light.... With incredible swiftness the disaster was suddenly upon us. Before and behind our battery heavy chunks of metal were striking. Howling and hissing, fire and iron were falling from the sky. The whole city was lit up in a sea of flames!

ww2dbasePaul Elingshausen, the deputy air raid warden of his block, remembered the frustration of not being able to fight the massive fires.

There was no running water, the Tommies had smashed the waterworks first... we had to abandon house after house. Finally Dr. Wilm's house caught fire, and I, as deputy air-raid warden, stopped fighting the fire since there was neither sand or water, and the flames were already licking the side of our roof. We started to save what could be saved.... I had all of fourteen minutes to rescue the most important things, some clothes and other stuff.... One cannot imagine how fast fire is, and how easily it can cut off your escape route; this is why I also gave up, no matter how much I would have liked to have this or that. And so I stood below with what little stuff I had, and was forced to watch, full of impotent anger, as our beloved building burned.

ww2dbaseThe RAF bombers' entrance over German air was aided by "Window", code name for strips of paper coated with foil on one side, which successfully blinded German short-range radar and the anti-aircraft flak weapons that depended on radar. Once they completed their attack on Hamburg, however, German night fighters arrived in response and shot down a number of British bombers.

ww2dbaseOnly 12 aircraft were lost during the raid of 24 Jul 1943.

ww2dbaseAt 1440 in the afternoon on the next day, 25 Jul, United States Army Air Force bombers arrived during daylight. The Americans, operating under a separate command, chose to follow up the British bombing for military reasons. Top American commanders noted Hamburg's aircraft parts factories and submarine builders, and the chaos caused by the British bombing the day before might increase the rate of success for the raid. Brigadier General Frederick L. Anderson, Jr. gave the order that day to launch his B-17 Flying Fortress bombers, with the Blohm & Vo├č shipyards and the Kl├Âckner aircraft engine factories as the primary objectives. When 109 bombers arrived at Hamburg, crews reported that the smoke rising from fires were so heavy that they were having trouble locating their targets. They thought the fires were caused by the first wave of American bombers; little did they know, the fires had actually been burning since the first British raid.

ww2dbaseGerman fighters inflicted a heavy toll on the American bombers. Even as the bombers were fleeing after unloading the bombs, fighters hovered on the edges of the flight groups, looking for bombers that were unable to stay with the group. German fighters were typically afraid of flying into a group of B-17 Flying Fortress bombers, as the high concentration of defensive guns meant certain death. However, there were reports of fighters directly challenging bombers, with the most of them employing the strategy of flying from the direction of the sun to mask their attacks. The American bombers returned to Britain around 1930 in the evening, finding that they had lost 15 aircraft.

ww2dbaseIn the afternoon of Sunday, 25 Jul, Gauleiter of Hamburg Karl Kaufmann decided to seal the city. As the city continued to burn, he announced no one would be allowed leave, reasoning that it would maintain the manpower needed to fight fires and to help survivors. Little did he know that it was only the start of an entire bombing campaign on the city. Keeping the population in the city "ensured the deaths of thousands in the coming days", said Keith Lowe.

ww2dbaseAt dawn on 26 Jul, USAAF bomber crews gathered again for another mission. To their surprise, they found themselves staring at a map of Hamburg once again. They took off around 0900 that morning. When they arrived at Hamburg at noon time, they were once again blinded by smoke, but this time, the smoke was generated by German efforts to mask areas of the city. The attacking bombers released their 126 tons of bombs in a short one-minute window, scoring direct hits on the Blohm & Vo├č shipyards and MAN diesel engine works. Neuhof power station was hit by the 303rd Bomber Group, which disabled the power station for the coming two weeks. This precision bombing killed few civilians outside the intended military and infrastructure targets. Only two American bombers were lost on this raid.

ww2dbaseThe American bombings on 25 and 26 Jul did serious damage to the Blohm & Vo├č shipyards. Construction shops, ship fitters shops, engine shops, boiler house, power station, foundry, and tool stores were all seriously damaged, while two of the dry docks were also considerably damaged. The Howaldtswerke factory lost several furnaces, shipbuilding and machinery sheds, and the diesel engine shops. Oil stores near the Rosshafen rail station were hit. Putting the Neuhof power station out of commission was probably the most important achievement.

ww2dbaseDuring the night of 26-27 Jul, 6 British Mosquito aircraft conducted a nuisance raid on Hamburg, just like the night before. They were not meant to cause much damage to the city. Instead, they were sent to keep the Hamburg residents on their toes. By depriving them of sleep, the RAF Bomber Commanded intended on destroying their morale bit by bit.

ww2dbaseDuring the night of 27-28 Jul, 787 British bombers attacked Hamburg from the northeast. The direction was chosen so that creep-back would cause damage to a totally different part of town, thus systematically destroying the area from city center outwards. "Creep back" was the term used to describe the fact that, as subsequent bomber crews saw explosions and fires near the target caused by the first waves, they would grow more excited, which led them to release their bomb slightly early. Thus as each subsequent waves released their bombs earlier and earlier, the area of impact crept toward the direction that the bombers were coming from. As city center buildings were already damaged, the British Lancaster, Halifax, and Stirling bombers carried far more incendiary bombs tonight, instead of explosives. The 722 aircraft that reached Hamburg dropped more than 2,313 tons of bombs on Hamburg in the span of 50 minutes. The resulting fire destroyed 16,000 buildings and killed thousands of people. Trevor Timperley of 156 Squadron RAF, who flew two missions over Hamburg, recalled the city being "a sea of flames" on this night. Leonard Cooper, a British flight engineer aboard a 7 Squadron RAF Lancaster bomber, recalled smoke rising to the altitude of 20,000 feet, carrying the stink of burning human flesh. "It's not a thing I'd like to talk about", he told his interviewer emotionally. On the ground, the scene of destruction exactly mirrored what the RAF bomber crews imagined. Erich Titschak recalled his entire neighborhood engulfed in "one enormous sea of fire", while Hans Jedlicka expressed a similar experience, noting "[t]he whole of Hammerbrook was burning!" A 40-year-old survivor gave the following account, which without a doubt contributed to some of the awful smell that the RAF bomber crews took note of high above.

The stretch of road upon which we now travelled brought ever worsening scenes of horror. I saw many women with their children held in their arms running, burning and then falling and not getting back up. We passed masses of people made up of four or five corpses, each probably a family, visible only as a pile of burned substance no larger than a small child. Many men and women fell over suddenly without having caught fire.... Silently and with the last of their force, women tried to save their children. They carried them pressed close. Many of these children were already dead, without their mothers knowing.

ww2dbaseThe British bombers that flew over Hamburg on the night of 27-28 Jul met a tougher defense. Realizing that "Window" took away their ability to use radar to direct flak, more stress was put on the use of night fighters. Particularly, Major Hajo Herrmann's Wilde Sau, or "Wild Boar", tactics were deployed; Wilde Sau tactics called for flak to explode at a the particular altitude that enemy bombers traveled, while night fighters hovered at a safe distance higher above. As the fighters flew high above, the fires on the ground easily contrasted the outlines of bombers, and Wilde Sau fighters would sweep down against targets of opportunity. Over Hamburg and on the British bombers' return journey, Wilde Sau and conventional fighters claimed many hits.

ww2dbaseThe 27-28 Jul raid killed about 42,600 people and destroyed over 16,000 residential buildings. Goebbels called this raid "the greatest crisis of the war" in his diary a few days later. British newspaper The Daily Express published, on the front page, the headline "RAF blitz to wipe Hamburg off the war map".

ww2dbaseDuring the night of 28-29 Jul, four Mosquito aircraft performed a nuisance raid on Hamburg.

ww2dbaseOn the following night, 29-30 Jul, 777 British aircraft attacked the northern areas of Hamburg. En route, the bombers flew straight into a huge storm, and almost all crew members who participated in this raid reported the St. Elmo's fire phenomenon as their aircraft became electrified. Pilot J. K. Christie of a Lancaster bomber of the 35 Squadron noted his "spectacular experience" in his diary:

There were huge luminous rings around the propellers, blue flames out of the wing-tips, gun muzzles and also everywhere else on the aircraft where its surface is pointed. For instance, the de-icing tube in front of my window had a blue flame around it. Electrical flowers were dancing on the windows all the time until they got iced up, when the flowers disappeared. The wireless operator told me afterwards that sparks were shooting across his equipment all the time and that his aerials were luminous throughout the lengths. I didn't feel a bit happy and tried to go down below the clouds.

ww2dbaseThe unexpected electrical storm was not the only danger the British bombers faced. With additional anti-aircraft weapons brought into the city, the density of flak at and below 4,500 meters altitude were far greater than during previous raids; above that altitude, aside from the dangerous storm clouds, Wilde Sau fighters continued to sweep down from above on unsuspecting bombers. 28 aircraft were lost during this raid. They caused damage, but did not start another firestorm.

ww2dbaseThe final large scale raid conducted on Hamburg took place on the night of 2-3 Aug, where 740 aircraft launched for Hamburg, but bad weather prevented many of the bombers from reaching the target; many of them were diverted to bomb secondary targets instead. 30 of the 740 bombers were lost.

ww2dbaseIn the mere ten days, Hamburg was utterly destroyed. Perhaps a personal correspondence from German Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel to his wife dated 3 Aug 1943 captured the fear instilled in the German people after the bombings on the city:

Hamburg has been a catastrophe for us, and last night there was yet another heavy air raid on it. The same must be expected for Berlin as soon as the nights are long enough for the longer flying time involved. That is why I want you to leave Berlin as soon as possible in view of the enormous danger there now is of fires breaking out; fires are far more dangerous than high explosive.... I am afraid of vast conflagrations consuming whole districts, streams of burning oil flowing into the basements and shelters, phosphorus, and the like. It will be difficult to escape from the shelters then, and there is the danger of tremendous heat being generated. This will not be cowardice, but the sheer realization that in face of phenomena like these one is completely powerless; in the heart of the city you will be quite powerless.

ww2dbaseAlthough the bombings put a halt on Hamburg's war industries, production was recovered relatively quickly. By the end of 1943, the aircraft industry was operating at 91% of pre-bombing levels, while electrical goods, optics, and precision tools either returned or surpassed pre-bombing levels. The chemical industry, which suffered greatly during the ten days, returned to 71% of pre-bombing capacity by end of 1943 as well. Most importantly, the submarine-building industry, which the Allies targeted, returned to near pre-bombing capacity within two months. Ren├ę Ratouis, a French worker who witness the destruction of the shipyards, recalled his surprise when he returned in Sep and saw nearly no sign of any attack; by 28 Sep, submarine Wa 201 was completed and launched from the Blohm & Vo├č shipyards.

ww2dbaseBombing of Dresden
13-14 Feb 1945

ww2dbaseEarly in 1945, Allied commanders gathered to plan Thunderclap, a new plan to strategically bomb Germany, particularly to aid the advance of Soviet troops. They argued that carpet bombing of large cities in eastern Germany would allow Soviet troops to exploit the confusion that would ensue, hampering movement of German troops from west of the target cities. On 27 Jan 1945, Given the Allied Joint Intelligence Command's conclusion that the Germans could reinforce the Eastern Front with half a million men (up to 42 divisions), Sir Archibald Sinclair of the RAF sent Churchill the recommendation of bombing Berlin, Dresden, Chemnitz, Leipzig, or other large cities with available resources, in order to hinder efficient enemy movement should such a reinforcement be ordered by Berlin. Interception of Enigma-coded messages confirmed that such movements were likely. Documents dated 4 Feb revealed that RAF bombing priority list were, in specific order:

  1. Cities with oil production facilities, such as Politz, Ruhland, and Vienna
  2. Cities that were considered transportation hubs or with considerable industrial facilities, such as Berlin and Dresden.
  3. Cities with factories capable of producing tanks, self-propelled guns, and jet engines.

ww2dbaseIn sum, the official documents as well as the Yalta Conference discussions noted the goal of the strategic bombings was to disrupt enemy communications and other military or industrial goals, not to kill evacuees. However, rumors of "off the record" discussions ran rampant. For example, British Air Commodore Grierson was accused in saying that the (after the bombing of Dresden) that the aim of Thunderclap was the bomb large population centers to disrupt the logistics of relief supplies.

ww2dbaseDresden was the capital of the state of Saxony, situated on the Elbe River. It was a cultural center, containing famous landmarks as the Frauenkirche, and was dubbed the Florence of the Elbe. Population of the city was largely anyone's guess as refugees flooded into the city shortly prior to the bombing as Soviet troops advanced to the city's east, however common estimates put the population at the time of bombings at greater than 650,000.

ww2dbaseThe attacks were originally planned to start with a raid by the US Eighth Air Force, but weather prevented the American bombers from taking off. During the night of 13-14 Feb, 796 British Lancaster and 9 Mosquito aircraft were dispatched and dropped 1478 tons of high explosive and 1182 tons of incendiary bombs on the first bombing run and 800 tons of bombs on the second run. The incendiary bombs contained combustible chemicals such as magnesium, phosphorus, or petroleum jelly/napalm. There were claims that due to the extreme temperatures inside buildings caused by the tremendous fires, air currents were formed where people fleeing would be sucked into the burning buildings. 3 hours later, 529 Lancaster bombers dropped 1800 tons of bombs. On the next day, 311 American B-17 bombers dropped 771 tons of bombs while the escort Mustang fighters strafed traffic (no distinction between military and civilian) on the streets to cause further havoc. Some reports indicate that civilians fleeing the bombing were strafed by American fighter pilots, but these reports are largely without solid evidence. Margaret Freyer, a Dresden resident, recalled:

The firestorm is incredible, there are calls for help and screams from somewhere but all around is one single inferno. To my left I suddenly see a woman. I can see her to this day and shall never forget it. She carries a bundle in her arms, it is her baby. She runs, she falls, and the child flies in an arc into the fire.... Insane fear grips me and from then on I repeat one simple sentence to myself, 'I don't want to burn to death'.

ww2dbaseLothar Metzger, another Dresden resident who was only nine years old at the time, recalled:

We did not recognize our street anymore. Fire, only fire wherever we looked. Our 4th floor did not exist anymore. The broken remains of our house were burning. On the streets there were burning vehicles and carts with refugees, people, horses, all of them screaming and shouting in fear of death. I saw hurt women, children, old people searching a way through ruins and flames.... (A)ll the time the hot wind of the firestorm threw people back into the burning houses they were trying to escape from. I cannot forget these terrible details. I can never forget them.

ww2dbasePrior to this bombing, Allied bombers had already bombed Dresden railways twice (7 Oct 1944 and 16 Jan 1945). After the massive bombings on 13-14 Feb 1945, American bombers once again bombed Dresden on 2 Mar 1945.

ww2dbaseThe bombing methods used by the Allied were to encourage total destruction of buildings: the high explosive bombs first expose the wood frames of buildings, then the incendiary bombs ignite the wood, and finally followed by various explosives to hamper the firefighting efforts. The results were devastating. 24,866 out of 28,410 houses in the inner city of Dresden were destroyed, many of them schools, hospitals, and churches. Estimate of deaths range from 25,000 to more than 60,000 (the official German report stated 25,000 estimated with 21,271 registered burials). Roy Akehurst, a wireless operator in a RAF bomber crew, was struck by the destruction that he had help caused.

It struck me at the time, the thought of the women and children down there. We seemed to fly for hours over a sheet of fire, a terrific red glow with thin haze over it. I found myself making comments to the crew 'Oh God, those poor people'. It was completely uncalled for. You can't justify it.

ww2dbaseThe civilian deaths at Dresden would be used by two political machines as propaganda. First, the Nazi Propaganda Ministry would attempt to use this to stir public resentment against the Allied invaders. Then during the Cold War, Soviet propaganda would describe this bombing as western cruelty, alienating the East Germans with the British and Americans. Churchill, too, started to feel guilty of the widespread destruction the western Allies had caused in Germany, even though he was an early proponent of bombing German cities. In a memorandum sent to Harris, Churchill noted that

It seems to me that the moment has come when the question of bombing of German cities simply for the sake of increasing terror, should be reviewed.... I feel the need for more precise concentration upon military objectives..., rather than on mere acts of terror and wanton destruction.

ww2dbaseAlthough Dresden did not see particularly more attacks when compared to other German cities, the ideal weather conditions and the common usage of wooden structure made the destruction more widespread. The lack of anti-aircraft fire also contributed to the higher level of destruction, as Germany did not defend her with anti-aircraft guns as Dresden was far from Allied bomber bases, at least earlier in the war. However, contrary to that statement, a study conducted by the United States Air Force indicated that Dresden was indeed defended by anti-aircraft guns, operated by the Combined Dresden and Berlin Luftwaffe Administration Commands.

ww2dbaseIn recent history German historian Joerg Freidrich suggested that the Dresden bombings might be considered a war crime. German sources often suggest Dresden, even during war time, was nothing more than a cultural center. However, Allied reports indicated the presence of the Zeiss-Ikon optical factory and Siemans glass factory (which produced gun sights), and other factories building radar, anti-aircraft shell fuses, gas masks, fighter engines, and various fighter parts. The proponents of the war crimes argument claimed that Dresden was bombed as a part of Allied terror bombing strategy, meanwhile prominent military historians such as B. H. Liddell Hart compared the bombing to the methods of the 13th century Mongols. For years to come, Air Marshal Arthur Harris was repeatedly challenged to justify the attacks; he held fast to the belief that although it was near the end of the war, the military needs at that time warranted the bombing of this communications hub.

ww2dbaseIn 1969 Kurt Vonnegut, who witnessed the Dresden bombing, published the fictional work Slaughterhouse Five with this event as the backdrop. A film version of the work was released three years later.

United States Air Force History Support Office
Walter G├Ârlitz, In the Service of the Reich
Keith Lowe, Inferno
William Manchester, The Arms of Krupp
Anthony Read and David Fisher, The Fall of Berlin
Daniel Swift, Bomber County

Last Major Update: May 2008

Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities Interactive Map

Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities Timeline

21 Jun 1938 The British Minister of Parliament for Derby P. J. Noel-Baker spoke at the House of Commons against aerial bombing of German cities based on moral grounds. "The only way to prevent atrocities from the air is to abolish air warfare and national air forces altogether."
4 Sep 1939 30 RAF bombers attacked the German Navy at Wilhelmshaven, Cuxhaven, and Shillig Roads in Germany. Seven of thirty aircraft were shot down and the handful of bombs that hit their targets failed to explode. No.107 Squadron from Wattisham lost four out of five Blenheim bombers, which was the RAF's first fatalities.
9 Sep 1939 Two Wellington bombers from No. 99 (Madras Presidency) Squadron RAF based at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk, England, United Kingdom recorded the first operational mission to Germany when they undertook a "Nickel" (leaflet dropping) sortie over Hannover.
5 Apr 1940 British RAF aircraft attacked German shipping at Wilhelmshaven.
15 May 1940 The British War Cabinet decided to attack the German oil industry, communications centers, and forests and crops; attacks on industrial areas were to focus on the Ruhr region. Also, due to the costly daylight bombings, attacks were to be launched at nights. On the same day these directives were issued, the RAF began attacking industrial targets in the Ruhr, with 99 bombers flying the first mission. The decision to begin bombing civilian property outside of combat zones was the direct result of the German bombing of Rotterdam on the previous day.
17 May 1940 German oil storage facilities in Bremen and Hamburg were destroyed by the RAF.
7 Jun 1940 A French Navy NC.223 aircraft became the first Allied bomber to bomb Berlin, Germany.
10 Jun 1940 A French Navy NC.223 aircraft bombed Berlin, Germany.
5 Jul 1940 RAF launched night bombing raids on Kiel and Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
14 Jul 1940 British RAF Bomber Command launched raids against two Luftwaffe bases in Germany, with 9 Whitley bombers of No. 102 Squadron hitting Paderborn and 12 Whitley bombers of No. 10 Squadron and No. 51 Squadron hitting Diepholz.
18 Jul 1940 British bombers attacked the Dortmund-Ems Canal in Germany.
19 Jul 1940 British bombers attacked Bremen, Gelsenkirchen, Kassel in Germany.
20 Jul 1940 British bombers attacked D├╝sseldorf and Wismar, Germany.
21 Jul 1940 3 bombers of No. 51 Squadron RAF attacked Hamm, Germany; the rail marshalling yard was the primary target. 10 bombers of No. 77 Squadron RAF and 10 bombers of No. 102 Squadron RAF attacked Kassel, Germany; the aircraft factory was the primary target. Finally, 5 bombers of No. 78 Squadron RAF attacked Soest, Germany; the rail marshalling yard was the primary target.
22 Jul 1940 Whitley bombers of 4 Group of British RAF Bomber Command attacked various targets in Germany; 8 bombers of No. 10 Squadron and 8 bombers of No. 58 Squadron attacked the aircraft factory at Bremen (3 of No. 58 Squadron attacked alternate targets), and 7 bombers of No. 51 Squadron attacked industrial targets in the Ruhr region.
1 Aug 1940 RAF bombers attacked the Krupp factory in Essen, Germany.
23 Aug 1940 The British RAF flew a retaliation strike against Berlin, Germany.
25 Aug 1940 81 British Hampden bombers of No. 49 and No. 50 Squadrons attacked Berlin, Germany in the first retaliation attack for the raid on London, England. Clouds led to bombs falling largely in suburban lawns and gardens, killing only 6. Nevertheles, Luftwaffe chief Hermann G├Âring was shocked and embarrassed that the British bombers were able to get through in such great numbers.
26 Aug 1940 The British RAF bombed Leipzig, Leuna, Hanover, Nordhausen in Germany.
28 Aug 1940 Overnight, British bombers attacked Berlin, Germany, damaging G├Ârlitzer railway station, killing 8 and wounding 21.
30 Aug 1940 RAF Bomber Command aircraft attacked Berlin, Germany.
31 Aug 1940 RAF bombers attacked targets in Berlin, Cologne, Hanover, and Emden, Germany.
23 Sep 1940 The British RAF Bomber Command sent 129 bombers for a night raid against Berlin, Germany, causing minimal damage.
25 Oct 1940 British bombers attacked Hamburg and Berlin in Germany, causing heavy casualties.
29 Oct 1940 The British RAF conducted the 25th raid on Berlin, Germany.
8 Nov 1940 RAF bombed Munich, Germany, narrowly missing Hitler.
15 Nov 1940 A heavy British air raid on Hamburg, Germany caused extensive damage.
16 Nov 1940 RAF bombers attacked Hamburg, Germany again for the second day in a row.
17 Nov 1940 Overnight, RAF bombers raided Hamburg, Germany for the second consecutive night.
18 Nov 1940 Overnight, RAF bombers raided Gelsenkirchen in the Ruhr region of Germany, bombing the Scholven/Buer hydrogenation plant, which made aviation fuel, and Gelsenberg-Benzin-AG plant, which converted bituminous coal to synthetic oil.
16 Dec 1940 134 RAF bombers attacked Mannheim, Germany in retaliation for German raids on British cities; 34 civilians were killed, 81 were injured, and 1,266 homes destroyed by 100 tons of high explosive bombs and 14,000 incendiary bombs. This was the first Allied area bombing raid of the war against a populated target, as opposed to targets of military or industrial value.
21 Dec 1940 Berlin, Germany suffered minor damage from a British RAF bombing raid.
31 Dec 1940 RAF bombers attacked the bridge over the Rhine River at Emmerich, Germany and K├Âln, Germany.
3 Jan 1941 RAF bombers attacked Bremen and the Kiel Canal in Germany. The Kiel Canal Bridge suffered a direct hit and collapsed on Finnish ship Yrsa.
15 Jan 1941 Overnight, Wellington bombers of No. 57 Squadron RAF attacked Emden, Germany while 76 RAF bombers attacked Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
4 Feb 1941 British bombers attacked D├╝sseldorf, Germany.
10 Feb 1941 222 British aircraft attacked Hannover, Germany.
11 Feb 1941 British RAF bombed Hannover, Germany.
24 Mar 1941 The RAF conducted its first bombing raid on Berlin, Germany for the year.
10 Apr 1941 Overnight, RAF aircraft attacked Berlin, Germany, destroying the historical Opera House. It would be restored by 1943, but would again be bombed in Feb 1945.
28 Apr 1941 British Stirling bombers of No. 7 Squadron RAF attacked Emden, Germany during the day.
8 May 1941 359 British RAF bombers attacked Hamburg and Bremen in Germany.
10 May 1941 RAF bombers conducted a raid on Hamburg, Germany.
11 May 1941 RAF bombers attacked Hamburg and Bremen in Germany.
15 May 1941 RAF aircraft conducted raids on Berlin, Cuxhaven, and Hannover in Germany.
16 May 1941 RAF aircraft conducted raids on K├Âln (Cologne) and Bramsfield in Germany; at the latter target the Atlantik rubber works was damaged.
17 May 1941 British bombers attacked Bramsfeld, 12 kilometers northwest of K├Âln, Germany; the Atlantik rubber plant was hit with 2 high explosive and 44 incendiary bombs.
11 Jun 1941 After dark, British bombers conducted the first of 20 consecutive nightly raids on the Ruhr and Rhineland industrial areas in Germany. Several German port cities such as Hamburg and Bremen were also hit.
24 Jun 1941 British bombers attacked D├╝sseldorf, Germany.
27 Jun 1941 British bombers attacked Bremen, Germany.
3 Jul 1941 British bombers attacked Essen, Germany.
5 Jul 1941 63 British Wellington bombers attacked M├╝nster, Germany at between about 0050 hours and 0250 hours local time with 396 500-pound bombs, 50 250-pound bombs, and almost 6,000 4-pound incendiary bombs. The railway station was the intended main target. German authorities at M├╝nster estimated 240 high explosive bombs and 3,000 incendiary bombs were dropped. 21 were killed and several fires were started. It was the first time M├╝nster was subjected to large scale bombing.
7 Jul 1941 British bombers attacked M├╝nster, Germany.
8 Jul 1941 Before dawn, British bombers attacked M├╝nster, Germany. During the day, German anti-aircraft guns began arriving at the city in response to the recent successive night bombings.
9 Jul 1941 The British Air Ministry instructed Bomber Command to concentrate its efforts against the German transportation system and breaking the morale of the civilian population. At about 0130 hours, British bombers attacked M├╝nster, Germany; the reading room of the state archive, warehouse of the state theater, the post office at the Domplatz, and the eastern wall of the cathedral were destroyed.
25 Jul 1941 British bombers took off at 2230 hours on the previous day, reaching Kiel, Germany at about 0145 hours on this date; bombs were dropped on the Deutsche Werke shipyard facilities; surviving attacks landed at their bases in Britain at about 0600 hours. On the same day, Bombers of British No. 102 Squadron RAF attacked Hanover, Germany after sundown.
7 Aug 1941 After dark, 84 British aircraft were launched to attack Essen, Germany (108 tons of high explosive bombs and 5,720 incendiary bombs were dropped, damaging the Krupp coke oven batteries), 31 launched against Hamm (damaging rail marshalling yard), 32 launched against Dortmund, 88 launched against Kiel (104 tons of high explosive bombs and 4,836 incendiary bombs were dropped, damaging Deutsche Werke Shipyards), and a number of bombers were launched against Hamburg (poor visibility and results were not observed).
8 Aug 1941 During the night, the first Soviet air attack was made on Berlin, Germany by naval Ilyushin Il-4 twin-engine bombers.
12 Aug 1941 Before dawn, British bombers attacked railway yards at Hanover, Germany. After sundown, 78 British bombers, escorted by 485 fighters, conducted the heaviest daylight attack against Germany to date, targeting the powerplants near K├Âln (Fortuna Power Station in Knapsack and Goldenburg Power Station in Quadrath) and other targets in a wide area. The Germans were only able to scramble few fighters, but anti-aircraft fire was heavy. The Germans suffered four fighters shot down (plus five likely shot down) and heavy damage to both powerplants; the British suffered 12 British Blenheim bombers shot down and 10 British fighters shot down.
14 Aug 1941 Overnight, British bombers attacked railway yards at Hanover, Germany.
17 Aug 1941 Overnight, British bombers attacked the rail station at Duisburg, Germany. Air crews reported poor visibility due to bad weather.
18 Aug 1941 British War Cabinet member Mr. Butt wrote a report to the RAF Bomber Command, noting "[o]f those aircraft recorded as attacking their target, only one in three got within five miles" of the intended targets. The conclusion was reached after studying post-bombing reconnaissance photos taken between 2 Jun and 25 Jul 1941.
5 Sep 1941 British bombers attacked chemical works at H├╝ls, Germany.
15 Sep 1941 British bombers attacked the rail station at Hamburg, Germany.
29 Sep 1941 After sundown, 10 bombers of British No. 102 Squadron were launched from RAF Topcliffe, North Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom for an attack on Stettin, Germany; the anti-aircraft fire was reported to be heavy. Another group of bombers took off to attack Hamburg, Germany.
30 Sep 1941 British bombers attacked Stettin and Hamburg in Germany after sundown for the second consecutive night.
12 Oct 1941 After dark, 118 British bombers took off to attack H├╝ls and Bremen, Germany.
7 Nov 1941 After dark, 160 British RAF bombers attacked Berlin, Germany. 20 bombers were shot down. The Germans reported minimal damage.
13 Nov 1941 The British Air Ministry instructed Sir Richard Pierse, the Commander-in-Chief Bomber Command, to curtail drastically the scale of sorties against Germany, especially in bad weather. The War Cabinet stated the instruction "having stressed the necessity to conserve our resources in order to built a strong force to be available by the spring of next year".
10 Jan 1942 Wilhelmshaven, Germany was bombed for the first time by main force aircraft of British RAF Bomber Command; the raid would last through the early hours of the next date. Wilhelmshaven would ultimately be bombed on nine occasions, destroying 13% of the city.
14 Jan 1942 Hamburg, Germany was bombed for the first time by mainforce aircraft of RAF Bomber Command; this raid conducted by aircraft of No. 207 Squadron would last until the early hours of the next date. Altona railway station and other targets were hit. Hamburg would ultimately be bombed on seventeen occasions, destroying 75% of the city.
28 Jan 1942 M├╝nster, Germany was bombed for the first time during the night of 28-29 Jan 1942 by mainforce aircraft of RAF Bomber Command. It would ultimately be bombed on six occasions, destroying 65% of the city.
14 Feb 1942 British Deputy Chief of Air Staff informed the RAF Bomber Command that "the primary object of your operations should be focused on the morale of the enemy civilian population."
25 Feb 1942 A two-day debate in British House of Commons ended with many being critical of the policy of bombing German cities.
8 Mar 1942 The British Royal Air Force dispatched 211 bombers to attack Essen, Germany, some equipped with the new GEE navigational system. The results were less than hoped for as only a few homes and a church were destroyed, killing 29 civilians, while the industrial centers, the primary targets, were untouched.
9 Mar 1942 A second British air raid to Essen, Germany, again using the new GEE navigational system, had similar dismal results as the first raid on the previous day, as the haze made the target difficult to spot.
10 Mar 1942 Overnight, 62 RAF bombers attacked Essen, Germany, damaging railways leading to Krupp factories, killing 6 civilians and wounding 12.
13 Mar 1942 Overnight, 135 RAF bombers attacked K├Âln, Germany, killing 62 and wounding 84.
24 Mar 1942 The British House of Commons began a two-day debate on the conduct of the war in Germany; bombing of German cities was to be a focal point.
25 Mar 1942 254 RAF Bomber Command aircraft (192 Wellington, 26 Stirling, 20 Manchester, 9 Hampden, and 7 Lancaster aircraft) attacked Krupp iron works and factories at Essen, Germany; 5 civilians were killed, 11 were wounded. The British lost 5 Manchester, 3 Wellington, and 1 Hampden aircraft.
26 Mar 1942 British bombers (104 Wellington and 11 Stirling) attacked Essen, Germany, destroying two homes and killing six civilians; 11 bombers were lost in this attack.
29 Mar 1942 Between 2318 hours on the previous date until about 0300 hours on this date, 234 RAF bombers attacked L├╝beck, Germany, killing 320, injuring 784, and destroying 30% of the city. The L├╝beck Cathedral, among other buildings, were destroyed in the city's historical center.The new "Gee" navigation systems were used by the British bombers on this attack. 12 bombers were shot down by German anti-aircraft defenses.
5 Apr 1942 263 British bombers (179 Wellington, 44 Hampden, 29 Stirling, and 11 Manchester aircraft) attacked the Humboldt Engineering Works Company at Kalk near K├Âln, Germany; most of the bombs fell far from the Humboldt factories. The British lost 5 aircraft; one of the aircraft shot down crashed in K├Âln, killing 16 and wounding 30.
6 Apr 1942 157 British bombers (110 Wellington, 19 Stirling, 18 Hampden, and 10 Manchester aircraft) attacked Essen, Germany; most of them were turned back by a storm. 5 aircraft were lost in this mission.
8 Apr 1942 272 RAF bombers (177 Wellington, 41 Hampden, 22 Stirling, 13 Manchester, 12 Halifax, and 7 Lancaster aircraft) conducted a raid on Hamburg, Germany; 4 Wellington and 1 Manchester aircraft were lost in this attack.
10 Apr 1942 254 British bombers (167 Wellington, 43 Hampden, 18 Stirling, 10 Manchester, 8 Halifax, and 8 Lancaster) attacked Essen, Germany; most bombs fell on the nearby residential areas instead, destroying 12 houses, killing 7 civilians, and wounding a further 30. During this attack, an 8,000-pound bomb was used for the first time, dropped by a Halifax bomber of No. 76 Squadron. 7 Wellington, 5 Hampden, 1 Halifax, and 1 Manchester aircraft were lost.
12 Apr 1942 251 British bombers (171 Wellington, 31 Hampden, 27 Stirling, 13 Halifax, and 9 Manchester) attacked Essen, Germany, damaging the Krupp factory and destroying 28 homes; 36 civilians were killed, 36 were injured. The British lost 10 bombers on this attack.
14 Apr 1942 208 British bombers (142 Wellington, 34 Hampden, 20 Stirling, 8 Halifax, and 4 Manchester) attacked Dortmund, Germany, damaging 6 buildings and killing 4 civilians. 9 bombers were lost in this attack.
15 Apr 1942 152 British bombers (111 Wellington, 19 Hampden, 15 Stirling, and 7 Manchester) attacked Dortmund, Germany for a second night in a row, destroying 1 home and killing 1 civilian. 4 bombers were lost on this attack.
17 Apr 1942 12 Lancaster bombers from No. 44 Squadron RAF and No. 76 Squadron RAF attempted a low level daylight attack on the MAN diesel engine factory in Augsburg, Germany. 7 of the 12 aircraft were shot down by German fighters, while the remaining 5 accurately dropped the bombs on the target, though the damage caused was smaller than desired. This costly raid reinforced British Air Marshal Arthur Harris' feelings that daylight missions should be avoided. Elsewhere, 173 British bombers (134 Wellington, 23 Stirling, 11 Halifax, and 5 Manchester) attacked Hamburg, Germany; 23 civilians were killed, 66 were wounded; 8 bombers were lost during this attack.
22 Apr 1942 64 British Wellington bombers and 5 Stirling bombers attacked K├Âln (Cologne), Germany using the new Gee radio transmitter system for blind navigation and bombing. About 15 aircraft were able to bomb accurately, killing 4 civilians and wounding 8, while a few bombers released their bombs as far as 10 miles from K├Âln. Two Wellington bombers were lost during this raid.
23 Apr 1942 161 RAF aircraft (93 Wellington, 31 Stirling, 19 Whitley, 11 Hampden, 6 Manchester, and 1 Lancaster bombers) conducted a raid on Rostock, Germany; 143 of them attacked the town while 18 attacked the nearby Heinkel aircraft factory, both with extremely poor results. Four bombers were lost during this attack.
24 Apr 1942 91 British bombers attacked Rostock, Germany for the second night in a row, causing damage in the town, but the aircraft attacking the nearby Heinkel aircraft factory again failed to do much damage. One Hampden bomber was lost during this attack.
25 Apr 1942 110 British bombers attacked Rostock, Germany for the third night in a row, causing damage in the town and the nearby Heinkel aircraft factory.
26 Apr 1942 106 British bombers attacked Rostock, Germany for the fourth and final night in a row, causing damage in the town and the nearby Heinkel aircraft factory. 1 Stirling, 1 Wellington, and 1 Whitley bombers were lost during this attack. At the end of the four-day attack, Rostock suffered 1,765 buildings destroyed, 204 civilians killed, and 89 civilians injured.
27 Apr 1942 RAF conducted a 100-bomber raid on Rostock, Germany; it was the fourth consecutive nightly raid on Rostock. Over K├Âln (Cologne), 97 British bombers (76 Wellington, 19 Stirling, 2 Halifax) dropped bombs and damaged 1,520 homes and killed 11; 7 bombers were lost.
28 Apr 1942 88 British bombers (62 Wellington, 15 Stirling, 10 Hampden, 1 Halifax) attacked Kiel, Germany, destroying all three main shipyard facilities and killing 15; 6 bombers were destroyed in his mission.
3 May 1942 81 British bombers (43 Wellington, 20 Halifax, 13 Stirling, 5 Hampden) attacked Hamburg, Germany. The attack killed 77 civilians and wounded 243 at the cost of 5 bombers destroyed.
4 May 1942 121 British bombers (69 Wellington, 19 Hampden, 14 Lancaster, 12 Stirling, 7 Halifax) attacked Stuttgart, Germany, targeting the Bosch factory. All bombs missed the factory buildings but killed 13 civilians and wounded 37. One Stirling bomber was lost during the attack.
5 May 1942 British bombers attacked Stuttgart, Germany for the second consecutive night.
6 May 1942 British bombers attacked Stuttgart, Germany for the third consecutive night.
8 May 1942 193 British bombers (98 Wellington, 27 Stirling, 21 Lancaster, 19 Halifax, 19 Hampden, 9 Manchester) attacked Warnem├╝nde, Rostock, Germany; the primary target was the nearby Heinkel aircraft factory; 19 British bombers were destroyed during this attack.
18 May 1942 RAF bombers conducted a raid on Mannheim, Germany.
19 May 1942 198 British bombers (105 Wellington, 31 Stirling, 29 Halifax, 15 Hampden, 13 Lancaster, and 4 Manchester aircraft) attacked Mannheim, Germany; most bombs would miss the target. 11 bombers were lost on this attack.
30 May 1942 By adding 367 training aircraft, British Air Marshal Harris managed to mount the first thousand-plane raid against Germany (the actual count was 1,046), Operation Millennium. Originally targeted for Hamburg, it was switched to K├Âln due to weather. Over 1,400 tons of explosives were dropped on that city during the night of 30-31 May 1942, killing 500, injuring 5,000, and making nearly 60,000 homeless. 40 British bombers failed to return. The German government estimated that K├Âln received 900 tons of high explosive and 110,000 incendiary bombs, and about 400 were killed.
1 Jun 1942 956 British bombers (545 Wellington, 127 Halifax, 77 Stirling, 74 Lancaster, 71 Hampden, 33 Manchester, 29 Whitley) attacked Essen, Germany, causing little damage; 31 bombers were lost on this attack. This attack was billed as a 1,000-bomber raid.
2 Jun 1942 195 British bombers (97 Wellington, 38 Halifax, 27 Lancaster, 21 Stirling, 12 Hampden) attacked Essen, Germany, causig little damage; 14 bombers were lost on this attack.
3 Jun 1942 170 British bombers attacked Bremen, Germany, killing 83 at the cost of 11 bombers lost.
6 Jun 1942 233 British bombers (124 Wellington, 40 Stirling, 27 Halifax, 20 Lancaster, 15 Hampden, 7 Manchester) attacked Emden, Germany, destroying 300 houses, killing 17 civilians, and wounding 49; 9 bombers were lost on this mission.
8 Jun 1942 170 British bombers (92 Wellington, 42 Halifax, 14 Stirling, 13 Lancaster, 9 Hampden) attacked Essen, Germany, killing 13 and wounding 42; 19 bombers were lost on this mission.
16 Jun 1942 106 British bombers (40 Wellington, 39 Halifax, 15 Lancaster, and 12 Stirling) were launched to bomb Germany; 16 attacked Essen, 45 attacked Bonn, and others attacked other targets; 8 British bombers were lost on this night.
19 Jun 1942 194 British bombers (112 Wellington, 37 Halifax, 25 Stirling, 11 Hampden, and 9 Lancaster) attacked Emden and Osnabr├╝ck in Germany; 9 bombers were lost.
20 Jun 1942 185 British bombers attacked Emden, Germany, causing little damage; 7 bombers were lost.
22 Jun 1942 227 British RAF aircraft (144 Wellington, 38 Stirling, 26 Halifax, 11 Lancaster, and 8 Hampden) attacked Emden, Germany, destroying 50 houses, damaging harbor facilities, and killing 6 civilians (further 40 were injured); 6 bombers were lost on this mission.
25 Jun 1942 Sir Arthur Harris of the RAF Bomber Command launched the third Thousand Bomber Raid, this time sending 1,067 aircraft (including some aircraft from Coastal Command and Army Cooperation Command) to attack Bremen, Germany; only 696 reported successfully reaching the city. The RAF Bomber Command lost 48 aircraft, half of which had inexperienced crews recruited from training squadrons flying worn out aircraft; the RAF Coastal Command lost 5 aircraft. 572 houses were destroyed, 6,108 were damaged. 85 were killed, while 497 were wounded and 2,378 were made homeless. An assembly shop at the Focke-Wulf factory was destroyed, while the Bremer Vulkan shipyard and nearby docks and warehouses were also damaged.
27 Jun 1942 144 British bombers (55 Wellington, 39 Halifax, 26 Stirling, 24 Lancaster) attacked Bremen, Germany, damaging the Atlas Werke and the Korff refinery, killing 7, and wounding 80; 9 bombers were lost on this mission.
29 Jun 1942 253 British bombers (108 Wellington, 64 Lancaster, 47 Stirling, and 34 Halifax) attacked Bremen, Germany, damaging the Focke-Wulf aircraft factory and the A. G. Weser submarine shipyard; 11 bombers were lost on this mission.
2 Jul 1942 325 British bombers (175 Wellington, 53 Lancaster, 35 Halifax, 34 Stirling, and 28 Hampden) attacked Bremen, Germany, damaging 1,000 houses and 4 small industrial facilities, damaging 3 cranes in the port area, damaging 7 ships, and sinking transport ship Marieborg. The Germans suffered 5 deaths and 4 wounded while the British lost 13 bombers.
4 Jul 1942 British RAF's third 1,000-plane raid targeted Bremen, Germany, causing considerable damage to the city and the Focke-Wulf plant.
8 Jul 1942 285 British bombers (137 Wellington, 52 Lancaster, 38 Halifax, 34 Stirling, 24 Hampden) attacked the docks at Wilhelmshaven, Germany, causing little or no damage to the docks, killing 25 civilians, and wounding 170; 5 bombers were lost on this mission.
11 Jul 1942 24 British Lancaster bombers (of 44 launched for this mission) bombed the German submarine yards at Danzig, Germany, losing two aircraft in the attack; this was the longest mission by British bombers to date.
13 Jul 1942 194 British bombers (139 Wellington, 33 Halifax, 13 Lancaster, and 9 Stirling aircraft) attacked Duisburg, Germany, destroying 11 houses and killing 17 without causing damage to the intended industrial targets; 6 bombers were lost on this mission.
16 Jul 1942 8 (of 21 launched) British Stirling bombers attacked L├╝beck, Germany at dusk; 2 were lost on this mission. Elsewhere, small groups of bombers attacked various targets in the Ruhr region in Germany.
19 Jul 1942 99 British bombers (40 Halifax, 31 Stirling, and 28 Lancaster) were launched to attack the Vulkan submarine yard at Vegesack district of Bremen, Germany; most bombs missed the shipyard; 3 bombers were lost on this mission.
26 Jul 1942 403 British bombers (181 Wellington, 77 Lancaster, 73 Halifax, 39 Stirling, and 33 Hampden) attacked Hamburg, Germany, destroying 823 houses, damaging 5,000 houses, killing 337, wounding 1,027, and making 14,000 homeless; 14 bombers were lost on this mission.
28 Jul 1942 256 British bombers (161 Wellington, 71 Stirling, and 24 Whitley) were launched to attack Hamburg, Germany, but bad weather forced most of them to turn back before reaching the city; the 68 aircraft that reached Hamburg killed 13 and wounded 48 at the cost of about 30 bombers shot down.
29 Jul 1942 291 British bombers attacked Saarbr├╝cken, Germany, destroying 396 buildings, damaging 324 buildings, and killing 155 civilians; 9 bombers were lost on this attack.
31 Jul 1942 630 British bombers (308 Wellington, 113 Lancaster, 70 Halifax, 61 Stirling, 54 Hampden, and 24 Whitley) attacked D├╝sseldorf, Germany with 900 tons of bombs, destroying 453 buildings, damaging 15,000 buildings, killing 276 civilians, and wounding 1,018 civilians; 29 bombers were lost on this attack.
6 Aug 1942 216 British bombers attacked Duisburg, Germany, destroying 18 buildings and killing 24 civilians; 5 bombers were lost on this mission.
9 Aug 1942 192 British bombers (91 Wellington, 42 Lancaster, 40 Stirling, and 19 Halifax) attacked Osnabr├╝ck, Germany, destroying 206 houses, killing 62, and wounding 107; 6 bombers were lost on this mission.
11 Aug 1942 154 British bombers (68 Wellington, 33 Lancaster, 28 Stirling, and 25 Halifax) attacked Mainz, Germany, killing 162 and destroying many buildings in the city center; 6 bombers were lost on this mission.
12 Aug 1942 138 British bombers attacked Mainz, Germany, hitting the rail station, industrial areas (at least 40 were killed), and the nearby villages of Kempten (130 houses were damaged) and Gaulsheim (97 houses were damaged); 5 bombers were lost on this mission.
15 Aug 1942 131 British bombers attacked D├╝sseldorf, Germany in poor weather; one stray 4,000-pound bomb hit the town of Neuss, killing 1 civiliand and wounding 13; 4 bombers were lost on this mission.
17 Aug 1942 139 British bombers attacked Osnabr├╝ck, Germany, destroying 77 houses and 4 military buildings, killing 7 people, and wounding 15 people; 5 bombers were lost on this mission.
18 Aug 1942 31 bombers of the British Path Finder Force conducted their first combat operation since the unit's formation on 15 Aug, dropping flares over Flensburg in Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein in Germany for the 87 bombers following behind them; most of the bombers targeting Flensburg missed and hit the towns of S├Şnderborg and Abenra to the north, destroying 26 houses, damaging 660 houses, and wounding 4 Danish civilians; 4 bombers were lost on this mission.
24 Aug 1942 226 British bombers (104 Wellington, 61 Lancaster, 53 Stirling, and 8 Halifax) attacked Frankfurt, Germany; most bombs missed their targets and fell on the villages of Schwalbach and Eschborn; 16 bombers were lost on this mission.
27 Aug 1942 306 British bombers attacked Kassel, Germany, destroying 144 buildings, damaging 3 Henschel aircraft factories, killing 28 military personnel and 15 civilians, and wounding 64 military personnel and 187 civilians; 31 bombers were lost on this mission. On the same day, Soviet bombers attacked K├Ânigsberg, East Prussia, Germany (now Kaliningrad, Russia).
28 Aug 1942 159 British RAF bombers attacked N├╝rnberg, Germany; another group of 113 bombers attacked Saarbr├╝cken, Germany.
29 Aug 1942 In Germany, 100 Soviet Pe-8, Il-4, and Yer-2 bombers attacked Berlin while 7 Pe-8 bombers attacked K├Ânigsberg (now Kaliningrad, Russia).
1 Sep 1942 231 British bombers launched to attack Saarbr├╝cken, Germany but instead hit Saarlouis 13 miles to the northwest by mistake, killing 52 civilians; 4 bombers were lost on this mission.
2 Sep 1942 200 British bombers attacked Karlsruhe, Germany, destroying many buildings and killing 73 civilians; 8 bombers were lost on this mission.
4 Sep 1942 251 British bombers (98 Wellington, 76 Lancaster, 41 Halifax, and 36 Stirling) attacked Bremen, Germany, damaging or destroying 71 industrial buildings and 1,821 houses; 12 bombers were lost on this mission.
8 Sep 1942 249 British bombers attacked Frankfurt, Germany; most bombs missed and fell in R├╝sselsheim 15 miles southwest of the city; 7 bombers were lost on this mission.
11 Sep 1942 479 British bombers (242 Wellington, 89 Lancaster, 59 Halifax, 47 Stirling, 28 Hampden, and 14 Whitley) attacked D├╝sseldorf and Neuss in Germany, damaging or destroying 52 industrial targets and 2,417 houses; 148 civilians were killed; 33 bombers were lost on this mission.
13 Sep 1942 446 British bombers attacked Bremen, Germany, damaging Lloyd dynamo works, Focke-Wulf factory, 7 historical buildings, 6 schools, and 2 hospitals; 70 civilians were killed; 21 bombers were lost on this mission.
14 Sep 1942 202 British bombers attacked Wilhelmshaven, Germany; 77 civilians were killed.
16 Sep 1942 369 British bombers attacked the Ruhr industrial region of Germany, damaging buildings in Essen (damaging a Krupp factory in Essen; 47 civilians killed), Bochum, Wuppertal, Heme, and Cochem; 39 bombers were lost during this night.
19 Sep 1942 118 British bombers (72 Wellington, 41 Halifax, 5 Stirling) attacked Saarbr├╝cken, Germany, generally missing military targets and instead destroying 13 houses and killing 1 civilian; 5 bombers were lost on this mission. 68 Lancaster bombers and 21 Stirling bombers attacked M├╝nchen, Germany; 6 bombers were lost on this mission.
21 Sep 1942 RAF bombers conducted a raid on M├╝nchen, Germany.
23 Sep 1942 In northern Germany, 83 British Lancaster bombers attacked Wismar (4 were lost), 28 Halifax bombers attacked Flensburg (5 were lost), and 24 Stirling bombers attacked Vegesack (1 was lost).
16 Jan 1943 British bombers attacked Berlin, Germany.
17 Jan 1943 Journalist Richard Dimbleby flew in a British No. 106 Squadron Lancaster bomber over Berlin, Germany during a raid to record a live report, which was broadcast by the BBC on the following day.
21 Jan 1943 Allied leadership issued the directive to RAF and USAAF commanders "[y]our primary objective will be the progressive destruction and dislocation of the German military, industrial and economic system, and the undermining of the morale of the German people to a point where their capacity for armed resistance is fatally wounded."
27 Jan 1943 The USAAF struck Germany proper for the first time as B-17 and B-24 bombers attacked Emden and Wilhelmshaven.
30 Jan 1943 The British RAF's first daylight raid on Berlin, Germany was completed by No. 105 and No. 139 Squadrons' Mosquito aircraft.
26 Feb 1943 USAAF heavy bombers made a daylight attack on Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
28 Feb 1943 712 RAF aircraft (457 Lancaster, 252 Halifax, and 3 Mosquito) attacked Berlin, Germany; 20 aircraft were lost.
5 Mar 1943 British bombers attacked Krupp works at Essen, Germany; this was the Allies' first attack on this industrial region, which started what the Allies called the Battle of the Ruhr. This attack also saw the first successful use of Oboe, an aerial blind bombing targeting system.
11 Mar 1943 British Secretary of State for Air Sir Archibald Sinclair spoke at the House of Commons, noting that "[t]he past 12 months have been marked by striking changes in the conduct and effectiveness of... the pulverising offensive of Bomber Command.... The monster raids saturating the enemy's active and passive systems of defence is one example. A second example is the success achieved in finding, marking and illuminating targets which has contributed enormously to the recent triumphs of Bomber Command.... Praise the men who are striking these hammer blows at German might... fearless young men flying through storm and cold and darkness higher than Mont Blanc, through the flak, hunted by the night fighters, but coolly and skillfully identifying and bombing these targets." Some Members of Parliament, such as Mr. Montague, representing West Islington, voiced concerns for the "wanton destruction" delivered by the Bomber Command.
12 Mar 1943 RAF bombers attacked Krupp steel plants in Essen, Germany, causing heavy damage.
14 Mar 1943 Aircraft of the US 8th Air Force bombed Kiel, Germany.
18 Mar 1943 USAAF aircraft bombed the Vegesack district of Bremen, Germany. Most of the bombs missed the Bremer Vulkan shipyard, striking civilian facilities instead. 108 were killed and over 100 were wounded.
23 Mar 1943 In its heaviest bombing raid to date, the British RAF Bomber Command attacked Dortmund, Germany with 2,000 tons of explosives.
24 Mar 1943 The British RAF Bomber Command had by this date dropped 100,000 tons of explosives on Germany.
31 Mar 1943 Replying to a question from Member of Parliament Richard Stokes, the Air Minister, Sir Archibald Sinclair, told the British House of Commons that Bomber Command's targets were always of a military nature, but that bombing of military targets would necessarily involve bombing areas in which they were situated.
1 Apr 1943 12 British Mosquito aircraft destroyed a power station and a railways yard at Trier, Germany without any losses; local reports recorded 21 deaths. On the same date, RAF Squadron Leader C. O'Donoghue of 103 Squadron commanded a lone Lancaster bomber on a bombing attack on Emmerich, Germany; the aircraft was shot down, killing the entire crew.
4 Apr 1943 RAF bombers conducted a raid on Kiel, Germany during the night.
12 Apr 1943 Joseph Stalin informed Winston Churchill his delight to see German industry in shambles.
26 Apr 1943 RAF bombers conducted a raid against Duisburg, Germany.
2 May 1943 The RAF Bomber Command reported to the British Air Ministry that it currently had 725 ready crews for operations; the number included 129 crews of Wellington bombers and 250 crews for Lancaster bombers.
4 May 1943 RAF bombers conducted a raid on Dortmund, Germany late in the night and into the next day, killing almost 700. Log book of pilot J. H. Searby noted there were "considerable flak" and that he "took cin├ę (35mm) film hoping to get pictures to convince the 'public' that we do bomb Germany."
13 May 1943 26 B-24s of USAAF 44th Bomb Group launched from Benina Airfield in Libya at 0400 hours. 20 of them reached their target, the Wiener Neustadter Air Frame Works in occupied Austria. They encountered 40% cloud coverage. They dropped 159 500-pound bombs between 8,000 to 15,000 feet in altitude. The rear flight observed flame and smoke in the target area, with large buildings on fire accompanied by large explosions. The Germans had 16 anti-aircraft guns at the target area, and the firing was reported to be inaccurate. 5 to 10 Fw 190 fighters and 10 to 15 Me 109 fighters attempted to intercept during the bombers' flight back to Libya, to little effect. The bombers experienced anti-aircraft fire at Bokaloloraska in Yugoslavia and at the west end of Lake Balaton in Hungary. 1 B-24 bomber became missing, and the Germans lost 1 Me 109 and 1 Fw 190 aircraft from this action. 21 of the surviving US bombers landed at Tunis in Tunisia, and 5 landed in Sicily, Italy, all without damage. B-24 "Wing and a Prayer" piloted by 1st Lieutenant Robert J. Lehnhausen of US 68th Squadron ran out of fuel and successfully landed his B-24 on a small landing strip with many craters in Sicily, causing only minor damage to his aircraft.
16 May 1943 Joseph Goebbels noted in his diary that Kiel, Germany was heavily damaged in an Allied bombing.
24 May 1943 British bombers attacked East Frisian Islands (Ostfriesische Inseln) in northwestern Germany.
25 May 1943 Joseph Goebbels noted in his diary that the industrial and residential districts in Dortmund, Germany were heavily damaged by Allied bombing.
26 May 1943 759 British heavy bombers attacked D├╝sseldorf, Germany starting at about 0200 hours.
27 May 1943 Fourteen Mosquito bombers from RAF Marham led by Wing Commander R. Reynolds DSO, DFC conducted a daylight raid on the Zeiss optical instrument plant at Jena, some 45 miles from Leipzig, Germany. Despite losing three aircraft over the target and two others written off whilst attempting to land on their return, the operation had caused serious damage to the works.
29 May 1943 RAF bombers attacked Wuppertal, Germany with 1,900 tons of explosives. The Ruhr region city housed an I. G. Farben chemical plant and a G. & J. Jaeger ball-bearing factory.
10 Jun 1943 USAAF and RAF began a coordinated air offensive with the RAF over Europe, conducting area bombing at night and the USAAF flying precision bombing raids by day. The British Assistant Chief of the Air Staff noted that the primary objective of bombing campaign was "the destruction of German air-frame, engine and component factories and the ball-bearing industry on which the strength of the German fighter force depend" and the secondary objective was "the general disorganization of those industrial areas associated with the above industries".
11 Jun 1943 In Germany, 200 B-17 bombers of US 8th Air Force bomb Wilhelmshaven, while RAF aircraft bombed M├╝nster and D├╝sseldorf.
11 Jun 1943 Roberts Dunstan flew his first mission as a rear gunner aboard a Lancaster bomber out of RAF Binbrook in Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom, attacking D├╝sseldorf, Germany.
12 Jun 1943 RAF aircraft bombed Bochum, Germany.
20 Jun 1943 The RAF initiated shuttle bombing, where planes departed home fields to bomb Germany, re-armed in Africa, then bomb Italian targets en route back to Britain. The first of these raids targeted Friedrichshafen, Germany.
21 Jun 1943 RAF bombers attacked Krefeld in the Ruhr region of Germany.
24 Jun 1943 RAF bombers attacked Elberfeld in the Ruhr region of Germany.
28 Jun 1943 K├Âln, Germany was bombed by British aircraft, heavily damaging the cathedral. About 4,000 were killed and 1,500 were wounded.
3 Jul 1943 K├Âln, Germany suffered a heavy air raid.
22 Jul 1943 British Joint Intelligence Committee reported that the Allied Combined Bomber Offensive had successfully prevented the Germans from deploying more than half of its fighter strength to other fronts of the European War.
24 Jul 1943 The first operational use of "Window" radar jamming took place during Operation Gomorrah when 746 RAF planes drop 2,300 tons of explosive on Hamburg, Germany, losing 12 aircraft. Hamburg burned in a major firestorm that killed a significant number of civilians.
25 Jul 1943 109 USAAF bombers attacked Hamburg, Germany in the afternoon as a follow up to the night raid by British bombers on the previous day; 15 bombers were lost. German passenger ship Weissesee was sunk in the harbor, the incomplete passenger liner Vaterland was heavily damaged at the Blohm und Voss shipyard, and the incomplete submarine U-1011 was also damaged at the Blohm und Voss shipyard.
25 Jul 1943 Essen, Germany was bombed by Allied aircraft; 2,000 tons of bombs were expended.
27 Jul 1943 After nightfall, a repeated bombing of Hamburg, Germany by 787 RAF aircraft created a fire storm in which an estimated 42,000 people perished, most of them by carbon monoxide poisoning when all the air was drawn out of their basement shelters. The fire storm, in which the heat and humidity of the summer night was a contributory factor, raged for three hours until there was nothing left to burn.
29 Jul 1943 Joseph Goebbels' diary entry of this date noted that Hamburg, Germany had been devastated and about 800,000 were made homeless.
30 Jul 1943 Hamburg, Germany was bombed again before dawn by 777 RAF bombers.
2 Aug 1943 Overnight, Hamburg, Germany suffered its ninth and final raid in eight days as 740 RAF bombers attacked; 30 of the bombers were shot down. By this time Hamburg had lost as many civilians as Britain had in the entire air war.
13 Aug 1943 US 9th Air Force bombed the Messerschmitt factory at Wiener Neustadt, Austria. Planners of the attack thought they were conducting a strike on a factory producing fighter aircraft, but in actuality it was manufacturing parts for V-2 rockets.
17 Aug 1943 The US 8th Army Air Force lost 59 heavy bombers during daylight raids upon Regenburg and Schweinfurt, Germany, which was about 25% of the attacking force.
17 Aug 1943 British bombers launched to attack German rocket research site at Peenem├╝nde at 2100 hours London time. At 2230 hours London time or 2330 hours Berlin time, air raid sirens went off at Peenem├╝nde, but many ignored it, thinking it was to be yet another false warning as Allied bombers flew over the region to bomb German cities further inland. At 2317 hours London time or 0017 hours Berlin time on the next day, the first of the British bombers struck Peenem├╝nde.
18 Aug 1943 Between 0017 and 0043 hours Berlin time (2317 and 2343 hours London time, on 17 Aug 1943), three waves of British Lancaster, Halifax, and Stirling bombers (227, 113, and 180 aircraft, respectively) struck the German rocket research site at Peenem├╝nde, dropping a total of 1,600 tons of high explosive bombs and 250 tons of incendiary bombs. Initially the damage appeared to be extensive, especially considering that 180 German scientists and engineers were killed, but the site returned to operation within four to six weeks. Strategically, however, this attack did retarded the eventual rocket attack on Britain by some months. Many buildings would remain unrepaired and craters unfilled in order to trick the British into thinking that the site was abandoned after the raid. The British Royal Air Force lost 40 bombers during this successful mission. Over 500 Polish forced laborers were also killed during this attack.
23 Aug 1943 727 RAF bombers dropped 1,700 tons of explosives on Berlin, Germany.
31 Aug 1943 British RAF aircraft attacked Berlin, Germany.
15 Sep 1943 To combat the growing strength of Allied bombing attacks the Luftwaffe reorganised its air defences into two territorial fighter commands; one in then Reich and the other in western occupied territories.
22 Sep 1943 To outwit the German Luftwaffe's fighter reaction, British RAF Bomber Command launched its first "spoof raid"; the main force attacked Hannover, while a feint heads for Osnabr├╝ck.
23 Sep 1943 Air Marshal Arthur Harris despatched a bomber raid to Berlin, Germany to test the effectiveness of the H2S navigation system over the city and to probe German defences before the first major operation was undertaken.
2 Oct 1943 RAF aircraft bombed M├╝nchen, Germany.
7 Oct 1943 RAF aircraft bombed Stuttgart, Germany.
8 Oct 1943 17 US bombers attacked Vegesack, Bremen, Germany. Two B-24 bombers were lost, with pilot William Clifford's crew lost entirely and pilot John Buschman's crew mostly captured.
9 Oct 1943 US bombers attacked Mariensburg, Germany.
14 Oct 1943 US 8th Air Force launched 291 B-17 bombers and 60 B-24 bombers to attack the Schweinfurt ball bearing plants in Germany; the 60 B-24 bombers were diverted to another target. 77 American bombers and 1 escorting fighter were lost, while 38 Luftwaffe fighters were shot down the defense. 122 American bombers returned to base in bad condition but they were able to be repaired.
22 Oct 1943 During an RAF raid on Kassel, Germany, the RAF began Operation Corona to jam German night-fighter communications.
22 Oct 1943 Over Kassel, Germany, the Lancaster bomber aboard which Roberts Dunstan was a crew member was damaged by two incendiary bombs dropped by a friendly Lancaster bomber flying higher above; although the bomber was further damaged by German nightfighters, it was able to return to Britain, crash landing at Bisham, Berkshire, England, United Kingdom.
26 Oct 1943 RAF bombers attacked Stuttgart, Germany before dawn; during the day, USAAF bombers bombed Bremen, Germany.
2 Nov 1943 The US 15th Air Force made its operational debut when 139 B-17 and B-24 bombers operating from Tunisian bases (and escorted on part of the route by P-38 Lightning aircraft) attacked the Messerschmitt subsidiary at Wiener-Neustadt in occupied Austria. The attack caused heavy damage to the plant and deprived the Luftwaffe of an estimated 250 Bf 109G-6 deliveries over the next two months.
3 Nov 1943 Overnight, 400 US bombers, escorted by 600 fighters, bombed Wilhelmshaven, Germany. Later in the same night, the RAF bombed D├╝sseldorf, Germany.
7 Nov 1943 Alfred Jodl met with Nazi party Gauleiters in Munich, Germany; he noted that the Allied terror raids on German cities must be stopped, otherwise morale of the German people would be overly damaged, and it would be fertile grounds for subversive activities.
18 Nov 1943 RAF Bomber Command launched a concerted series of attacks on the Berlin, Germany dubbed "Operation Berlin". During the first attack, more than 700 tons of bombs were dropped. Over a five-month period, Berlin is attacked 32 times and hit by 25,000 tons of bombs, killing more than 6,000 and leaving 1.5 million homeless; RAF lost 1,047 aircraft during the five-month bombing campaign.
22 Nov 1943 Berlin, Germany was heavily bombed by 764 RAF aircraft (469 Lancaster, 234 Halifax, 50 Stirling, and 11 Mosquito), dropping over 2,300 tons of explosives; 26 bombers were lost. 175,000 Germans were made homeless and the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church was destroyed.
22 Nov 1943 The Kroll Opera House in Berlin, Germany was damaged by British bombers.
23 Nov 1943 383 RAF aircraft (365 Lancaster, 10 Halifax, and 8 Mosquito) attacked Berlin, Germany.
24 Nov 1943 6 RAF Mosquito aircraft attacked Berlin, Germany; one aircraft was lost.
25 Nov 1943 RAF bombers attacked Frankfurt, Germany; 3 Mosquito aircraft attacked Berlin, Germany as diversion.
26 Nov 1943 USAAF launched its heaviest raid on Bremen, Germany, while the RAF hit Berlin, Germany for the fifth night in a row with 443 Lancaster and 7 Mosquito aircraft. Stuttgart, Germany was attacked in diversion by 84 aircraft. 34 RAF aircraft were lost during this night.
28 Nov 1943 10 RAF Mosquito aircraft attacked Essen, Germany.
29 Nov 1943 21 RAF Mosquito aircraft attacked Bochum, Cologne, and D├╝sseldorf in Germany.
30 Nov 1943 4 RAF Mosquito aircraft attacked Essen, Germany.
2 Dec 1943 458 RAF aircraft (425 Lancaster, 15 Halifax, and 18 Mosquito) attacked Berlin, Germany, dropping 1,500 tons of bombs; 40 bombers were lost (37 Lancaster, 2 Halifax, and 1 Mosquito). Two Siemens factories, a ball-bearing factory, and several railway installations were damaged.
3 Dec 1943 527 RAF aircraft (307 Lancaster and 220 Halifax) attacked Leipzig, Germany.
4 Dec 1943 9 RAF Mosquito aircraft attacked Duisburg, Germany.
10 Dec 1943 25 RAF Mosquito aircraft attacked Leverkusen, Germany.
11 Dec 1943 The USAAF bombed Emden, Germany, while 18 RAF Mosquito aircraft attacked Duisburg, Germany.
12 Dec 1943 18 RAF Mosquito aircraft attacked Essen, Germany while 9 RAF Mosquito aircraft attacked D├╝sseldorf, Germany.
15 Dec 1943 16 RAF Mosquito aircraft attacked D├╝sseldorf, Germany.
16 Dec 1943 498 RAF aircraft (483 Lancaster and 15 Mosquito) attacked Berlin, Germany; 25 Lancaster bombers were lost in combat and 29 more were lost while landing in bad weather. Berlin rail system was disrupted heavily, while the National Theater and the national archives buildings were destroyed.
20 Dec 1943 RAF made the heaviest raid of the war on Frankfurt, Germany, with 650 aircraft (390 Lancaster, 257 Halifax, and 3 Mosquito) dropping over 2,000 tons of explosives; less than an hour later, RAF Mosquito aircraft followed up in order to hamper firefighting efforts. 14 Lancaster and 27 Halifax bombers were lost.
21 Dec 1943 9 RAF Mosquito aircraft attacked the Mannesmann factory at D├╝sseldorf, Germany.
22 Dec 1943 A small number of RAF Mosquito bombers attacked Frankfurt and Bonn in Germany.
23 Dec 1943 379 RAF aircraft (364 Lancaster, 7 Halifax, and 8 Mosquito) attacked Berlin, Germany; 16 Lancaster bombers were lost.
29 Dec 1943 British RAF dropped 2,000 tons of bombs on Berlin, Germany.
1 Jan 1944 421 RAF Lancaster bombers attacked Berlin, Germany; 28 aircraft were lost. 15 Mosquito aircraft attacked Hamburg in diversion.
2 Jan 1944 383 RAF aircraft (362 Lancaster, 9 Halifax, and 12 Mosquito) attacked Berlin, Germany; 27 aircraft were lost.
3 Jan 1944 8 RAF Mosquito aircraft attacked Solingen and Essen in Germany.
4 Jan 1944 13 British Mosquito aircraft attacked Berlin, Germany.
5 Jan 1944 358 RAF aircraft (348 Lancaster and 10 Halifax) attacked Stettin, Germany, while 28 Mosquito aircraft attacked five other cities (13 against Berlin) in diversion; 16 aircraft were lost.
6 Jan 1944 19 RAF Mosquito aircraft attacked Duisburg, Bristillerie, Dortmund, and Solingen in Germany.
7 Jan 1944 11 RAF Mosquito aircraft attacked Krefeld and Duisburg in Germany.
8 Jan 1944 23 RAF Mosquito aircraft attacked Frankfurt, Solingen, Aachen, and Dortmund in Germany; 2 aircraft were lost.
10 Jan 1944 20 RAF Mosquito aircraft attacked Berlin, Solingen, Koblenz, and Krefeld in Germany.
11 Jan 1944 US 8th Air Force launched over 600 bombers against Ascherleben, Braunschweig, and Magdeburg in Germany.
13 Jan 1944 25 RAF Mosquito aircraft attacked Essen, Duisburg, Aachen, and Koblenz in Germany; 1 aircraft was lost.
14 Jan 1944 498 RAF aircraft (496 Lancaster and 2 Halifax) attacked Braunschweig, Germany, with 49 aircraft lost; German reports noted only 10 homes destroyed and 14 killed. As a diversion, 17 RAF Mosquito aircraft attacked Magdeburg and Berlin.
16 Jan 1944 Returning from a raid on Oschersleben, Germany on two engines, a severely damaged USAAF B-17 Flying Fortress bomber of the 322nd Squadron of the 91st Bomber Group piloted by 1st Lieutenant Eldridged V. Greer flew as low as possible and flew over towns and villages using trees as cover from pursuing enemy fighters, whilst the gunners strafed the houses and any troops they saw. On reaching the coast Greer said he was so low that German flak towers were firing down at them and enemy fighters were not engaging as they would be strafing their own towns. The bomber "Spirit of '44" was credited with ten enemy fighters destroyed. When they landed in England the ship's nose had been shot to pieces and gaping holes were all over the fuselage and wings. Somehow none of the crew were injured. The enemy fighters were shot down on the way to the target in what was thought to be the greatest air battle of the war.
20 Jan 1944 The heaviest RAF raid on Berlin to date was launched, with 769 aircraft (495 Lancaster, 264 Halifax, 10 Mosquito) dropping over 2,300 tons of explosives on the German capital. 13 Lancaster and 22 Halifax bombers were lost. Damage on Berlin was thought to be extensive, but this could not be confirmed due to bad weather on the next day.
21 Jan 1944 648 RAF aircraft attacked Magdeburg, Germany; 55 British aircraft and 4 German fighters were destroyed during the engagement. It was the first time Magdeburg was raided by the Allies.
27 Jan 1944 515 Lancaster and 15 Mosquito aircraft of the RAF attacked Berlin, Germany; 33 Lancaster bombers were lost.
28 Jan 1944 677 RAF aircraft (432 Lancaster, 241 Halifax, and 4 Mosquito) attacked Berlin, Germany; 46 aircraft were lost.
29 Jan 1944 In Germany, the Duisburg and Herbouville flying bomb site were bombed by 22 Mosquito aircraft of the RAF. Meanwhile, RAF bombers attacked Berlin and USAAF bombers attacked Frankfurt am Main and Ludwigshafen.
30 Jan 1944 534 RAF aircraft (440 Lancaster, 82 Halifax, and 12 Mosquito) attacked Berlin, Germany; 33 aircraft were lost.
9 Feb 1944 George Bell, Bishop of Chichester, in a speech in the House of Lords in Britain openly criticised the Government over the bombing of German cities.
15 Feb 1944 891 RAF aircraft (561 Lancaster, 314 Halifax, and 16 Mosquito) attacked Berlin, Germany, dropping over 2,500 tons of bombs in what was the heaviest raid to date. The industrial Siemensstadt area was damaged. 26 Lancaster and 17 Halifax bombers were lost.
19 Feb 1944 RAF bombers attacked Leipzig, Germany.
20 Feb 1944 USAAF launched the "Big Week", sending 970 bombers against Braunschweig, Hamburg, and Leipzig in Germany. The RAF followed through by hitting Stuttgart.
24 Feb 1944 USAAF (day) and RAF (night) bombings were conducted on the ball bearing plants at Schweinfurt, Germany.
24 Feb 1944 USAAF 453rd Bomber Group based at Old Buckenham Airfield (US Station 144) in Norfolk, England, United Kingdom attacked aircraft factories at Gotha in central Germany without losses.
3 Mar 1944 29 USAAF bombers attacked Berlin, Germany; the attack was "accidental", as it was actually called off, but the aircraft failed to receive the order.
4 Mar 1944 USAAF launched its first major bombing raid on Berlin, Germany.
6 Mar 1944 The US 8th Army Air Force journeyed all the way to Berlin, Germany for the first time. In all 474 bombers and their Mustang escort fighters flew to the German capital, facing a barrage of heavy flak and many Luftwaffe fighters. A total of 53 B-17 bombers and 16 fighters were lost.
8 Mar 1944 USAAF bombers attacked Berlin, Germany.
15 Mar 1944 RAF bombers attacked Stuttgart, Germany, dropping over 3,000 tons of bombs from 863 bombers, of which 36 were lost.
18 Mar 1944 RAF bombers attacked Hamburg, Germany with approximately 3,000 tons of bombs.
18 Mar 1944 USAAF 453rd Bomber Group based at Old Buckenham Airfield (US Station 144) in Norfolk, England, United Kingdom attacked Friedrichshafen in southern Germany.
22 Mar 1944 RAF bombers attacked Frankfurt, Germany, killing 948 and leaving 120,000 homeless.
24 Mar 1944 810 RAF aircraft attacked Berlin, Germany; 72 aircraft were lost. After sundown, Frankfurt was bombed by the RAF for the third time in four nights.
25 Mar 1944 811 RAF bombers raided Berlin, Germany; 122 aircraft were lost.
30 Mar 1944 A 795-plane air raid (572 Lancaster, 214 Halifax, and 9 Mosquito) against N├╝rnberg, Germany; 82 aircraft were lost on the way to the attack, and a further 12 were lost on the return flight; nearly 700 lives were lost by the RAF. This was Bomber Command's heaviest single loss of the war. German casualties included 69 civilians and 59 foreign slave laborers.
1 Apr 1944 US bombers unintentionally hit Schaffhausen, Switzerland, leading to official protests and reparation payments.
8 Apr 1944 USAAF bombers attacked a Volkswagen factory near Hannover, Germany.
8 Apr 1944 USAAF 453rd Bomber Group based at Old Buckenham Airfield (US Station 144) in Norfolk, England, United Kingdom lost 7 B-24 bombers around Braunschweig in central Germany.
18 Apr 1944 Aircraft of No. 466 Squadron RAAF conducted bombing operations against Helgoland, Germany.
21 Apr 1944 Operation Chattanooga: Allied aircraft destroyed German rail and other transportation targets.
22 Apr 1944 The RAF used of the new liquid incendiary device, J-Bomb, for the first time against Brunswick, Germany.
24 Apr 1944 British bombers attacked M├╝nchen, Germany. During this attack, the Spinosaurus fossil specimen BSP 1912 VIII 19 was destroyed at the Pal├Ąontologische Staatssammlung M├╝nchen (Bavarian State Collection of Paleontology).
7 May 1944 1,500 bombers of the US 8th Air Force attacked Berlin, Germany.
12 May 1944 The German synthetic fuel plants at Br├╝x in southern Germany (post-war Most, Czechoslovakia) and L├╝na-Merseburg, L├╝tzkendorf, and Zeitz in eastern Germany were hit by 800 US bombers.
19 May 1944 The 492nd Bomber Group of USAAF 8th Air Force were part of the 2nd Air Division's raid on Waggum airfield and its attached assembly plant in Braunschweig, Germany. Twenty-six B-24 Liberator bombers were dispatched from their base at North Pickenham in Norfolk County on England's east coast. In all 888 bombers assembled for the raid being protected by 700 fighters. As the separate wings flew into the bombing zone some had to circle to avoid missing the target with the result that many bombers had to leave the target to avoid colliding with each other. Marshalling yards of Braunschweig were targeted instead. With the scattering of the various wings the 492nd lost fighter protection and in all lost eight aircraft. The B-24J Liberator bomber "Lucky Lass" flown by Lieutenant Wyman Bridges had its tail severely damaged in collision with an enemy fighter that lost a wing and crashed. Bridges managed to get the aircraft back to base, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He and his crew completed their tour of 31 missions. The results of the raid were classed as fair.
28 May 1944 USAAF again bombed the synthetic oil plant at L├╝ne-Merseburg in eastern Germany.
29 May 1944 Taking advantage of their range, US bombers began hitting Marienburg and Posen in eastern Germany.
21 Jun 1944 More than 1,300 US 8th Air Force bombers took off from airfields in Britain to attack Berlin, L├╝ne-Merseburg, and the hydrogenation plant at Ruhland in the Gau of Mark Brandenburg. The 163 that attacked Ruhland went on to Ukraine instead of returning to Britain, and this was noticed by the German Luftwaffe, which had plans to counter such an attempt for a shuttle bombing operation. He 111 bombers from various units of KG 4 (pathfinders), KG 53, and KG 55 took off for Poltava and Mirgorod (Myrhorod) Airfields in Ukraine.
7 Jul 1944 A large raid to attack targets in the Leipzig, Germany area by the US 8th Air Force with 1,129 B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator bombers and more than 700 escorts was met by a Gefechtsverband, led by Major Walther Dahl. Among the total of about ninety Luftwaffe fighters committed was the newly raised IV (Sturm)/JG3, an elite unit of volunteer pilots flying Fw 190A-8 aircraft armed with 30mm cannon, firing high explosive shells, and with additional armour protection to enable them to get within close range of their target. The Fw 190 fighters would attack the rear of the bomber bomber stream while two Bf 109 Gruppen kept the American fighters at bay. The tactic proved successful with eleven B-24 bombers of the low squadron destroyed within a minute and, by the end of the day, the 2nd Air Division had suffered 28 Liberators lost at a cost of nine IV/JG3 fighters shot down and three damaged.
16 Jul 1944 A total of 1,087 B-17 Flying Fortress bombers USAAF Eighth Air Force attacked Germany in three waves (407, 238, and 407 bombers, respectively), escorted by 240, 214, and 169 fighters, respectively, with most of the bombers targeting Munich, Stuggart, Augsburg, and Saarbrucken; a total of 11 bombers and 3 fighters were lost.
18 Jul 1944 In Germany, 291 American B-17 bombers, escorted by 48 P-38 and 84 P-51 fighters, attacked the port facilities at Kiel and oil refineries at Cuxhaven. To the east, 377 American B-17 bombers, escorted by 294 fighters, attacked Peenem├╝nde, Zinnowitz, and Stralsund. In southern Germany, B-17 and B-24 bombers of US Fifteenth Air Force attacked Memmingen Airfield and the Dornier factories at Manzell; 20 aircraft were lost.
18 Jul 1944 US Eighth Air Force attacked Peenem├╝nde Army Research Center in Germany to counter suspected hydrogen peroxide production.
19 Jul 1944 1,082 B-17 and B-24 bombers, escorted by 670 P-38, P-47, and P-51 fighters attacked factories (hydrogen peroxide, chemical, aircraft, and ball bearing), six rail marshalling yards, a dam, and four airfields in western and southwestern Germany; 17 bombers and 7 fighters were lost. From Italy, US 15th Air Force launched 400 B-17 and B-24 bombers attacked an ordnance depot, an aircraft factory, an automobile factory, and an airfield in the M├╝nchen (Munich) area; 16 US aircraft were lost.
20 Jul 1944 Bombers of US 8th Air Force in Britain and US 15th Air Force in Italy attacked Dessau, Kothen, Leipzig, Nordhuasen, Rudolstadt, Merseburg, Bad Nauheim, Koblenz, and many other targets across Germany.
21 Jul 1944 1,110 bombers of US 8th Air Force were launched from England, United Kingdom against Germany, hitting M├╝nchen (Munich), Saarbr├╝cken (targeting rail marshalling yards), Oberpfeffenhofen, Walldrun (targeting rail marshalling yards), Regensburg, Stuttgart, Schweinfurt, and other locations; a total of 31 bombers and 8 escorting fighters were lost.
23 Jul 1944 After dark, a large group of British bombers attacked Kiel, Germany; the attack lasted through midnight into the next date. The German fighters summoned to intercept went after the decoy force rather than the main force.
24 Jul 1944 The British bombing of Kiel, Germany that began on the previous date ended before dawn. The damage was extensive, causing the city to have no running water for 3 days, the trains and buses were out of commission for 8 days, and gas service was out for nearly 3 weeks.
4 Aug 1944 US Eighth Air Force attacked Peenem├╝nde Army Research Center in Germany to counter suspected hydrogen peroxide production.
25 Aug 1944 US Eighth Air Force attacked Peenem├╝nde Army Research Center in Germany to counter suspected hydrogen peroxide production.
29 Aug 1944 11 B-17 Flying Fortress bombers and 34 B-24 Liberator bombers attacked Helgoland, Germany, escorted by 169 P-38 Lightning and P-51 Mustang fighters; 3 Liberator bombers were damaged.
3 Sep 1944 A B-17 Flying Fortress bomber was mistakenly directed to D├╝ne Island, Helgoland, Germany; its original target was a German submarine pen.
11 Sep 1944 Carl Spaatz ordered large raids on German synthetic oil plants, dispatching 1,136 aircraft; the German Luftwaffe lost heavily in air battles.
11 Sep 1944 36 B-17 bombers of 100th Bomber Group of US 8th Air Force, en route to attack the Schwarzheide synthetic fuel factory in eastern Germany, were intercepted by 60 Fw 190A and Bf 109 fighters of German Jagdgeschwader 4. In the first attack wave, 14 US bombers were shot down uncontested by American fighter escort, which had not yet arrived. In the second attack wave, US fighters were able to shoot down 32 German fighters (29 pilots killed). The air battle took place roughly over the village of Oberwiesenthal in southern Germany. Surviving bombers were able to drop 53 tons of bombs on the Schwarzheide synthetic fuel factory.
12 Sep 1944 Carl Spaatz ordered large raids on German synthetic oil plants, dispatching 888 aircraft; the German Luftwaffe lost heavily in air battles.
13 Sep 1944 Carl Spaatz ordered large raids on German synthetic oil plants, dispatching 748 aircraft; the German Luftwaffe lost heavily in air battles.
28 Sep 1944 RAF bombers dropped 909 tons of bombs on Kaiserslautern, Germany, destroying 36% of the town.
29 Oct 1944 The K├Âln, Germany archive noted that, overnight, British bombers dropped about 4,000 high explosive bombs and 200,000 incendiary bombs on the city.
2 Nov 1944 Bombers of the No. 550 Squadron RAF attacked D├╝sseldorf, Germany.
4 Nov 1944 Bombers of the No. 550 Squadron RAF attacked Bochum, Germany. Airman John Riley Bryne noted in his diary that "the target was a blazing inferno".
6 Nov 1944 Bombers of the No. 550 Squadron RAF attacked Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Airman John Riley Bryne noted in his diary that "[i]t was really wonderful experience to see hundreds of kite's [sic] attacking the hun".
17 Dec 1944 British bombers attacked Ulm, Germany.
29 Dec 1944 USAAF 453rd Bomber Group based at Old Buckenham Airfield (US Station 144) in Norfolk, England, United Kingdom was tasked with destroying the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen, Germany, but poor weather caused the mission to be a failure.
31 Dec 1944 One B-17 Flying Fortress bomber of USAAF 8th Air Force attacked Helgoland, Germany.
2 Jan 1945 British bombers attacked N├╝rnberg, Germany.
17 Jan 1945 H. C. St├╝lcken Sohn shipyard in Hamburg, Germany was heavily damaged by Allied bombing.
13 Feb 1945 Allied firebombing raid started massive firestorms in Dresden, Germany.
23 Feb 1945 A raid of 379 British bombers attacked the German town of Pforzheim, killing 17,000 people and destroying 80% of the town's buildings.
2 Mar 1945 The RAF conducted its last major raid on K├Âln (Cologne), Germany with 858 aircraft; also on this date, one USAAF B-17 bomber attacked K├Âln as a target of opportunity.
8 Mar 1945 1,200 Allied heavy bombers struck 6 benzol plants in Germany.
11 Mar 1945 H. C. St├╝lcken Sohn shipyard in Hamburg, Germany was heavily damaged by Allied bombing.
12 Mar 1945 1,108 RAF bombers attacked Dortmund, Germany, dropping 4,851 tons of bombs.
14 Mar 1945 A British No. 617 Squadron RAF Lancaster bomber commanded by Squadron Leader C. C. Calder dropped a 22,000-pound Grand Slam bomb on the Bielefeld viaduct, breaking two spans. It was the first time the Grand Slam bomb was used in combat.
17 Mar 1945 1,260 Allied heavy bombers hit 2 synthetic oil plants in Germany while 650 medium bombers attacked the rail system.
22 Mar 1945 Four aircraft from No. 617 Squadron RAF (one carrying a "Grand Slam" bomb) attacked and destroyed the Nienburg Bridge in Germany.
30 Mar 1945 Over 1,250 heavy bombers of US 8th Air Force bombed German ports of Hamburg, Bremen, and Wilhelmshaven. Submarines U-96, U-429, and U-3308, as well as schnellboote S-186, S-194, and S-224 were destroyed at Wilhelmshaven. U-72, U-230, U-430, U-870, U-884, and U-886 were destroyed at Bremen. U-2340, U-348, U-350, and U-1167 were destroyed at Hamburg.
12 Apr 1945 USAAF 453rd Bomber Group based at Old Buckenham Airfield (US Station 144) in Norfolk, England, United Kingdom flew its final mission before returning to the United States for re-equipping with B-29 bombers.
16 Apr 1945 The Allied Chiefs of Staff formally decreed the ending of the area bombing campaign against Germany. In one of British Bomber Command's last major operations of the war, 900 bombers were despatched to attack the German island fortress of Helgoland.
17 Apr 1945 Thirty three British Lancaster bombers of 5 Group, six carrying Grand Slam bombs and the remainder carrying Tall Boy bombs attacked Helgoland, Germany; they reported that the centre of the island was still ablaze from the previous day's attack.
19 Apr 1945 617 Lancaster, 332 Halifax, and 20 Mosquito aircraft attacked Helgoland, Germany; 3 Halifax bombers were lost. The attack prompted Germany to evacuate civilians from the island to the mainland.
21 Apr 1945 During the night (with the Red army already entering the suburbs) RAF Bomber Command attacked Berlin, Germany for the last time during the war.
23 Apr 1945 British bombers attacked L├╝beck, Germany.
25 Apr 1945 British bombers attacked Berchtesgaden, Germany. The US 8th Air Force conducted its last heavy bomber raid on Germany.
12 Mar 1946 Regarding the countless German civilian deaths as the result of Allied bombing, Wing Commander Millington, MP of Chelmsford, said at the House of Commons "We want - that is, the people who served in Bomber Command of the Royal Air Force and their next-of-kin - a categorical assurance that the work we did was militarily and strategically justified."


Lancaster bomber of No 1 Group, RAF Bomber Command over Hamburg, Germany, night of 30-31 Jan 1943B-17F Flying Fortress bombers in flight over Schweinfurt, Germany, 17 Aug 1943
See all 34 photographs of Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities


B-17 Flying Fortress bombers attacking Dresden, Germany; Lancaster bombers preparing to takeoff to attack Dresden; Feb 1945

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Oliver says:
27 Feb 2006 03:24:18 AM

The bombing of Dresden with its 650k refugees was cruel and unnecessary. It was nearly as bad as the deaths in som KZ as it wasnt directed at the military but as the civilians! Strangely enough though, that Bomber Harris wasnt tried for war crimes ...
2. Sarah Boyer says:
7 Jan 2009 07:47:30 AM

May I use the photo, "Dresden, Germany, in ruins, February 14, 1945, from the website, for an oral history of World War II and the Home Front in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I am the author.
3. Denis says:
26 Mar 2009 04:19:36 PM

don't sow the wind!
4. Pops says:
18 Jul 2009 02:58:29 PM

Exactly, Denis as Harris famously said, ÔÇťThey sowed the wind and now they are going to reap the whirlwind.ÔÇŁ And a good thing it was too. The war had to be won at any cost. The hand-wringing politically-correct world we live in now would have been a walkover for Hitler. HeÔÇÖd win without firing a shot. About this article I think it smacks of revisionism. Everyone is wise after the event, but can you imagine what the world would be like today if the likes of Harris had not had the guts to do what was needed? No? Well, for a start, if the internet had ever come about in HitlerÔÇÖs brave new world, you wouldnÔÇÖt be reading anything unless the censor had passed it first. Zieg Heil!
5. Anonymous says:
20 Jul 2009 03:14:10 PM

hey oliver they started it we finished it
6. Anonymous says:
17 Nov 2009 02:35:11 PM

Anonymouse, i am not surprised you don't even have the guts to publish your nonsense under your real name. Is that British spirit, to praise your warcrimes and British atrocities?

You clearly told a lie - "they started it".
The children in Dresden, lacerated alive with NAPALM by your evil Grandfathers, "started it"? So what did they start? The war? That's news to me.

Britain started two world wars with Germany - not the other way round, no matter how much you British people lie about it. Also it was Britain who started bombing German cities in 1939 - the Germans retaliated in 1940. If you dont want war, dont start bombing innocent women and children, you British people.

It has been British tradition since the Middle Ages, to not tolerate successful Nations next to her and always to destroy the biggest power on the continent - regardless of who it is. Britain wanted to rule the world all by herself. First it was the Spanish (remember the "Armada"?), the it was France, and since 1871 Germany happened to be unlucky enough, to commit the "crime" and producing better goods, more goods, and more quality goods than your little Island did.

The British Empire tried to destroy not the Nazis, but the German people , due to Jealousy. That is why she made up the rumours of "Germans spearing children" since 1914, or "Germans wanting to dominate the world". Look at the map, and you will see who actually ruthlessly tried to dominate the world.

No matter how much you British people keep lying about your crimes and atrocities - it is a fact that "helping Poland" was a lie, and England's pretext to destroy her biggest competitor, who had surpassed her in manufacturing already during Queen Victoria's rule. (a German Queen, by the way).

You British people waged war under a pack of lies, so if you wanted to "help Poland", why do you hide the fact in your schools, on your TV, in your newspapers, that Poland had occupied German territory? And not vice versa? If anyone needed "Help" it was the 2.0 Million Germans and 6 Million Ukrainians living under Polish tyranny, a situation created by the wicked British in their Versailles crime 1919.

The only reason why Britain waged this war, was to destroy the German people, to stop the Germans from peacefully trading, and to kill as many German women and children as possible. All this British Hollywood-Propaganda "we saved the Jews", we brought democracy" etc ist just the same Angloamerican lies like in the Iraq war, in the Vietnam war and all other crimes commited by the "good" Allies. Hitler played no role, Britain would have destroyed Germany under anybody's rule. And in spite of British Hollywood-style propaganda, "saving the Jews" was the last thing the British childkillers ever intended.

"We do not merely fight the Nazis - we fight the whole German nation".

(Quote Lord Robert Vansittart, notorious British German-hater and Chief Advisor in the British Foreign Ministry to Lord Halifax 1942)

Funnily enough, the evil hate-speech publications of warmonger Lord Robert Vansittart are nowhere to be found in Britain - not a single British school book contains them. I am not surprised at all.
7. Lancelot says:
28 Dec 2009 07:10:41 PM

Dear Anonymous 17 Nov 2009,
I am a Disabled War Veteran, a Naval Officer who flew 118 combat missions. I am have studied war "a lot", that was my career including hours on end studying at the war college. I am afraid that you have a single-sided view of the events that led to WWI and WWII, it is not as simple as you are making it.
To focus on WWII, the invasion of Poland 1 Sept '39 did not happen in a vacuum. Deals were made with Stalin for the partition of Poland and Hitler was convinced that the free world (i.e France & England) would not intervene just like the taking over of Austria and Czechoslovakia... I am not even mentioning the fate of what Nazis considered "lesser humans" such as the German Jews, Roman, Gays, sick... I worked with Germans, British (NATO). I was liaison officer with the French Navy as well. I met many people who fought in WWII from all sides.
Think about the V-Weapons (i.e. Vengeance), no strategic value, just blindly sent as retaliation.
Read or talk to Russians about the agony and the atrocities of the Eastern Front. Ask Germans about not getting war supplies because the ammo train got diverted to carry Jews to the slaughterhouse while Hitlers' entourage was well protected against bombers.
Before Cologne, Hamburg, etc there was Rotterdam who was probably the first firestorm.
After the fall of France, before the involvement of the US, England stood alone (with reinforcement mostly from Canada) against the Nazis. If you can express your opinion freely on this website, you can thank them. You would not have that option in a totalitarian state - talk to older Germans.
Finally, Germany turned against its former ally (USSR), think about all their soldiers that made the ultimate sacrifice in unbelievable conditions because Hitler did not accept retreat! Disengaging in combat is part of warfare science, possibly more than a corporal dictator knows about total war.
I do not agree with city bombing but the war had to stop - there is no second place trophy for the loser. Goering bombed London for six months, blindly - he just did not have the means that the RAF and USAF would develop later. Ask the average German of that era how he enjoyed the fact that anyone could turn you in to the Gestapo.
Read how Hitler redirected his bombers to London, the story is well known. Hitler broke all the promises (about peace) he made with French and British authorities. By the time he invaded Poland, the Allies knew that they were next and that appeasement would not work hence the ultimatum that war would start on the 3rd of Sept (after Germany was way into Poland already).
Nazis committed their share of atrocities - a lot against their own people.
Please pay respect to all the people (military and civilian) who died regardless of race, nationality or creed and thank your higher power that you did not have to suffer their agony.
I am an American by the way.
Lancelot (my call sign from my flying days)
8. John says:
9 Feb 2010 07:24:09 AM

I recently met a sweet beautiful blond girl named Ines from Dresden. I knew nothing about her city until I started to read into the bombing of this great city and the unnecessary loss of great number of lives. I felt sick in the stomach. At almost midnight I find it hard to sleep! I am a Malaysian. I feel sorry for your country men and women at that time, Ines. Take care u.Ines. I love you
9. tamino says:
1 Mar 2010 02:37:30 PM

Dear Lancelot,

It's funny to hear an AMERICAN of all people using the word "one-sided".

The Germans have admited all their crimes long time ago. In Berlin there are Holocaust-museums, Holocaust memorials, the Germans have payed billions to the Jews and apologized 1000 times.

So now an American comes up to me, whose country has never apologized for their Bombing-holocaust on the defenseless city of Dresden, and talks to me about "one-sided"?

Wow, you Americans really are hypocrites, arent you? You do not seem to know any official history, do you? History was writetn by YOUR country, it is a history of fraud and cover-up. And as soon as somebody dares to mention facts like Allied warcrimes, you talk about "one-sided"?

Boy, you really are an honourless nation, I am glad i am NOT American or British. You should be deeply ashamed of yourself. Neither the victims of the Dresden-Terrorbombing, nor the victims of Hiroshima have ever received an apology from you "innocent" American and British people. But only the Germans are "collectively guilty", right?

The Germans have never attacked America, never killed children or women there or bombed cities. But you Americans thought you have the right to brutally slaughter 600 000 children and women, deliberately, in Germany?
And, no, it was not "necessary". Neither Dresden nor Hiroshima. The aim was to satisfy pervers American-British bloodlust.

The Germans have all admitted their warcrimes long time ago, so what the hell do you want from me? But YOU honourless American-British people not only failed to apologize for your massmurder on innocents, you even do no officially admit you commited warcrimes.

Even though the whole world knows it!

Be ashamed to stem from a nation who lies about their warcrimes.



And remember, your British-American forefathers exterminaated the Red Indians - biggest holocaust in history. No memorial, no reparations, no apology. And YOU dare talk to me about "one-sided"?

10. Jack Proud American says:
19 Mar 2010 01:16:45 PM

I have no idea who the hell is teaching you people the history of WW1 and WW2. 6 million people were slaughtered by the Nazi's for no reason other than their race.that should be all that needs to be said. that doesnt evan hold a freakin candle to 600,000 (if that is evan a real estimate of the fatalities in Dresden) and the treaty of versailles was a crime? HA Germany was fortunate they were allowed to exhist! throughout history conquering nations didnt simply take away the defeated nations army and a bit of land. they slaughtered its people and plundered it riches. Germany should have greatfully accepted the treaty and been glad to continue as a self ruling nation. you think if Hitler or Japan would have taken America they would have given it back with nothing but a slap on the wrist? WE (americans) didnt start the war! WE were forced into Both wars. most americans were pro isolationist until we were attacked. ww1 german Uboats openly attacked american merchant ships killing hundreds of people.our nations security was at risk and ww2 we were atacked on Dec7 PEARL HARBOR we lost more men on that day than all of WW1. i am also of Native American Descent or your "red indian" and that was a terrible time in the history of america but most of those people were not (starved, shot or burned) Most died off due to desease because they had no immunities to the viruses brought to america. you need to look at Real History sometime. How do you think that British started WW2? oh by looking the other way when Germany took austria? or Czechislovacia? or maybe when they sterted building up a massive arsinol of war supplies? oh ya it must have been when they did nothing to stop Germany from remilitarised the Rhineland. Ya the British definatly started that war because they were jealous... (in fact the allies bent over backwards in a campeign of appeasing hitler to avoid war.) thats all im gonna say here.
11. Anonymous says:
19 Mar 2010 06:13:13 PM

There is no denying that the bombings of German cities such as dresden were wrong. But anyone who would argue that Germany should not take responsibility for WW1 and WW2 is simply living in denial. anyone who would call the Allied powers massmurderers or bloodlusty is simply ignorant to the facts of those wars. Germany ws always the agressor nation. Tamino your the one who needs to check up on your history. Germans did infact attack american ships (Cavilian Ships) and germany also supported Japan in its Sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. Germany declared war on america as soon as Japan did.
12. Anonymous says:
24 Mar 2010 08:13:28 AM

i guess living in reality makes americans hypocrites and honourless. because we know the true reality of what happened in the war. just because *** hit the fan in Germany when the war finally got back to them means the allies were "massmurderers". at least the allies didnt take all the germans outside the towns after they were taken and shot them as the Nazi SS did.
13. A Cooke says:
2 May 2010 07:53:19 PM

Great to see so many exercising their right to free speech. Remind me how that came about ?

Wow, some scary stuff here. Britain started the war and 600,000 dead in Dresden ! Bombing of German cities was wrong ! British American blood lust ! Thank god America joined the war. They tried to stay out of it for how long ? The Brits bent over backwards not to have a war with Hitler. "I have in my hand this day a peace of paper signed by Heir Hitler." Poor Nev first he gets it in the neck for being a fool to be duped by Hitler that his signature was not his bond and now Tamino and pals accuse him of going to war to satisfy his "blood-lust". Just no luck is there Nev.

As Harris stated in his famous speech about area bombing, the solution for it to end straight away, lay in the hands of the Germans. Sadly not in the hands of any Germans, because they lived in a dictatorship, but at least the hands of one German, but he lived in a bunker and was not keen on listening to reasoned argument or people exercising their right of self-expression.

Current estimates are that earlier figures from Soviet occupation times of 60 to 70,000 dead were well exaggerated. From those sources who have made a study, which I have read, post the collapse of communism, put the figure at more like 30,000. Which is 30,000 too many but sadly wars are unfair and cruel and should only be embarked upon for the very best of reasons. In that regard, GB and her Commonwealth cousins went to war for the very noblest of reasons - on behalf of the freedom of somebody else.

The "revisionists" play down the massive toll on life and military production caused by the bombing. Glib account is made of the thousands of 88mm guns and aircraft diverted to deal with the threat. That all avoids the issue of contemplating quite how much longer the war would have gone on if Germany had a more productive armaments program. As it was, an oil-less and enfeebled Germany managed to inflict 361,000 casualties (81,000 dead) on the Soviets in the battle for Berlin alone. Blood-thirsty Ike let Uncle Joe take all the glory. Just what was he thinking about ? Calls himself a General?

On the basis that by the end of the war in Europe only 1 of the 2 European, mass murders of his own people was dead, there needed to be some way of deterring the second. (Ukrainian famines of the 1930's and other self inflicted cruelties caused greater loss of life amongst the Soviets than their unfriendly neighbour managed to inflict.) Would Uncle Joe have stopped when he did, if he thought an easy World domination beckoned ? Well one theory is that totally lacking a large, long range bomber force and seeing quite what it could do to a previously unmarked city was a good deterrent to stop his imagination running away. Certainly, it would last until August, that year when he would most clearly understand he was in the "little league" until he got "one of those" and must not attack US or GB or their democratic allies.

Was it Speer or Geobels who stated that 5 more cities destroyed like Hamburg would have brought an end to the war in weeks ? Harris was defeated in the air battle for Berlin. He had to withdraw the bombers when the losses became too great. The US air force did not join in for that one. Would the war have ended more quickly with less casualties in sum, had the allied bombing campaign been more effective? I doubt it. With a fruitcake in control, living in a bunker, who had no sympathy with his own people perishing, because they had (according to him) let him down, I doubt he could have been encouraged to surrender. The solution for the German people then lay in assassinating Hitler. Sadly, the German military, whilst they obviously had the means and motive, did not have the physche for the job.

Maybe come the next World War, they will have sorted out technology so that only the nasty people get killed. You know the ones that ignore fact based history and just go with rant and delusion. They are usually the ones that start them.

Next theme - did Kennedy and Khrushchev pull back from the brink because this time, technology had advanced so that when somebody shouted "go", they, along with their families, would get an early visit to see their makers, along with all the young and innocent who are usually killed in conflicts and whilst Heaven (hopefully it exists - but not entirely confident) sounds great, perhaps it would be best not to get there early and with so many others at the gate at the same time?
14. Uffe Lindum says:
13 Jul 2010 08:17:10 AM

How is it possible that anonymous persons, who are even ignorant, can comment here at all???????
15. Harley says:
18 Jul 2010 07:22:51 PM

"How is it possible that anonymous persons, who are even ignorant, can comment here at all???????"

Well, the United States Constitution guarantees all citizens equal rights. And, even though the Constitution didn't get it quite right on the first go around, the Amendments do set things a bit straighter - even free speech. Those "good ol' boys" set up the beginning of something that only the United States has. Our country is VERY unique!
16. Anonymous says:
18 Jul 2010 10:16:27 PM

All War is Unjust, and a lot of americans were forced into service without a question as were many germans, the soldiers aren't the ones to blame it's the guys up top who give the orders and once you are thrust into a kill or be killed situation you see what you do, you won't be so high and mighty then, some of us feel agony for all involved you should try it, feels good, I am not however saying that someone didn't need to stop hitler because in truth it needed to be done but some of our methods were faulty, well a lot of our methods were faulty, during the battle of the bulge a tiny village was carpet bombed out of existence along with 2 Platoons worth of American soldiers who were ordered to push too far into enemy territory so they ended up surrounded by enemies, instead of allowing capture their staff sgt. (Highest Ranking surviving officer) Called down a carpet bombing on their coordinates and the US Army covered it up altering records to make them match what they needed them too, but don't even think for a second that Hitler didn't do similarly stupid $h!+
17. Dutch girl says:
1 Aug 2010 09:16:43 AM

Churchill and Roosevelt, two zionist Banksters and members of a sick pervert Satanic cult (both 33┬░ degree masonic) , deliberately killed millions of innocents in Europe and Japan.

The massmurderer and warcriminal Churchill should have been tried and hanged for warcrimes and genocide.

The fact that this had not been done, and the fact that the sick British people even errect monuments to worship their satanist sick massmurderers disgusts me and casts a bad light on England.

Dresden was a Holocaust. Never forget!
18. A Cooke says:
2 Aug 2010 08:43:31 AM

Dutch Girl - again, I am delighted to observe you are exercising your right of free speech. Please continue to do so. The only risk to you losing that right is if some crazed loonies come to power. Let me just describe some of their traits so you can make sure to do something if you come across any.
Typically they hold very strident views. These views are not troubled by being related to facts, in many cases the less they are related to facts the better, that way they can change over time and not be held to account later - how did somebody sum it up - ah yes, 4 legs good, 2 legs better.
Whole populations will be castigated against the seeming injustices of invented slights. (Basically the loonies are wanting a fight and don't mind who they accuse or what they accuse them of - it is just a "control" thing.)
They invent deviant religions and accuse people of belonging to them and practising all sorts of crazy stuff. This deflects from the paradox of reflective thought and what it might tell them about themselves. Far easier to forgive the sins of oneself if they pale by comparison and anyway, "one was only doing it to rid the World of a far greater sin" - e.g. The Spanish Inquisition purging the World of Satanism and all its manifest and evil forms. Watch out for anyone pedaling this nonsense in the 21st century.

Sadly Dutch girl, freedom of speech cuts both ways. I find your comments highly ignorant, very rude and you have insulted me personally as a Brit, with your wild unfounded generalisation. I have a massive amount of time for the Dutch and have many Dutch friends. Members of my family have frequently stayed with them for extended periods. The Ann Frank story is a legacy for the whole of mankind that stands without time limit. Many of the Dutch people I admire talk about the winter of 44/45 and how much Bomber Command did for them dropping food parcels. The last time I stayed in Holland at the hotel there was a brass plaque. It commemorated the hosting of Bomber Command crews by the local citizenry in respect of the things they did and the loss they took trying to help starving Dutch people in that winter.
Dutch Girl you have an awful lot of growing up to do before you take your place as an acceptable member of the World Community, let alone amongst those of your home nationality that you use as a badge to hide your anonymity behind. Start by taking a long hard look in the mirror.

19. oldbill says:
10 Sep 2010 06:30:50 PM

Should you bother to consult your history books you will find that the war started with the battle for Poland and proceeded on to the battle for France by way of Belgium and neutral Holland. Throughout both these campaigns the strategy of blitzkieg was used.This involved the close co-operation of the German airforce and army and consisted of rapid movement on the ground by way of tanks supported by motorized infantry with air cover softening up or destroying dug in opposition c.f. schwerpunkt. (This is what the Stuka was designed for.) The roads were cleared of irritating refugees by straffing them. Occupants of towns were demoralised or permanently removed by bombing the towns and cities. (You might be aware of what happened to Guernica in the practice run for WW2 or what happened to Warsaw, Rotterdam, etc.etc.etc.) As Hitler said on August 22 1939 (that is prior to the start of the war) "I have mobilised my Skull Squads with the command to unpityingly and mercilessly send men, women and children to their death. Who is still talking today about the extinction of the Armenians?".
Having conquered mainland Europe and, unable to get his army to walk on water, he used his airforce to bomb the British towns in the German tourist Baedecker guidebook. (These were not military targets but tourist towns, the object being again to demoralise.)
Imagine the shock when Britain had the cheek to retaliate, although in the case of Dresden it was bombed because it was an SS H.Q. (c.f Gunter Grasse ). The German airaids used equal numbers of aircraft but the reason why more damage was inflicted by the RAF was that our aircraft were bigger and were designed to operate independantly of the army.
ps. Dutch girl, I can understand why you look up to the Germans, after all they were so good to you and even tried to relieve you of the bother of living by blowing up the dykes and teaching you to swim and eat water. Incidentaly, my father was one of the idiots who risked his life dropping your grandparents food parcels. I really don't know why he bothered after all you were so well provided for by your friends the Germans. Are you really Dutch or really doubledutch? Can you be so ignorant of the history of your own country?
20. Anonymous says:
17 Oct 2010 12:41:00 PM

the area bombing campaign was unfortunate, the RAF were only acting on orders when they bombed dresden, as were the germans when they bombed coventry, as for churchhill a lot of british people dont like him, and regard him as a war criminal, but hitler and the nazis were evil and were threatening britain. The NAZI party had to be stopped for everyones sake.
21. Mike says:
5 Nov 2010 09:22:24 PM

"I have mobilised my Skull Squads with the command to unpityingly and mercilessly send men, women and children to their death. Who is still talking today about the extinction of the Armenians?"
Oldbill, can you please tell me your source for this quote? In studying WWII for over twenty years I have never heard this before. "Skull squads" certainly does not sound like something Hitler would say. It sounds more like something that would come out of the mouth of a skinhead.
22. badur says:
19 Nov 2010 02:35:11 AM

It makes me laugh, when someone is talking about "German land occupied by Poland before the war"
All the lands eastwards from the Oder-Neisse lane are pure, generic and original Polish, which have been stolen by Germans, part after part during the centuries.
After IIWW, which was started by hordes of barbarians calling themselvs "Germans" who turned Poland into the pile of rumble, those stolen lands, fortunatelly came back to the Polish Fatherland. And will remain Polish forever
23. Anonymous says:
20 Nov 2010 06:11:26 AM

All very sad as war is, given the apathy of the German people on their fearless leaders extermination of millions. I have no sympathy for those who died horrible deaths,. They just turned their heads to the horrors of their mass murders in a cruel fashion. Too bad we didn't nuke them!
24. Anonymous says:
12 Dec 2010 01:07:13 PM

"All the lands eastwards from the Oder-Neisse lane are pure, generic and original Polish". Land on the east bank of the Oder was known as New Jerusalem due to the nature of its population. The large land owners were German speaking slavs who had brought in many Low Germans from near present day Netherlands to work their fields. On both sides of the Oder were historically Slavic i.e. Sorbian, not Polish.
25. Bob says:
19 Dec 2010 07:07:50 AM

Follow the source of the money and you will be able to determine who has the most to gain from armed conflicts and who is most able to influence peoples' minds.
26. Bob says:
24 Dec 2010 07:48:18 AM

Reply to badur's Nov. 19th comment:I won't comment on most of your misinformed diatribe except for one. When Poland "stole" German land after WWII which had been settled by Germans for a thousand years, that's not really stealing because it was done by Poles? My relatives are from Breslau!
27. Bob says:
2 Jan 2011 04:57:49 PM

Response to Nov. 20th "anonymous" who said "too bad we didn't nuke them". "Them" would be all of the civilian citzens of "Nazi Germany". This bit of diatribe could only be uttered if a) one believes all of the evils Nazi Germany is "credited" with and b) one naively believes that citizens of nations actually know what their governments do- especially during times of war and c) that one believes in the concept of collective guilt, and of course d)that one is completely deranged!
28. Jimmy says:
13 Feb 2011 03:17:21 PM

Unfortunately War is not a fun thing. Atrocities happen on both sides. It amazes me when people try to rationalize War from both sides.
29. Bob says:
17 Feb 2011 04:11:46 PM

What insight "war is not a fun thing" "atrocities happen on both sides", but, we usually are only made aware of one side's. And that's not a rationalization, but a cold matter of fact.How many people know about the Allied Air War against Germany other than Dresden? In fact there were over a hundred "Dresdens", most of them subjected to repeated fire bombings with hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths.And if you believe most of those bombs were destined for military targets you're doing some serious rationalizing.
30. Anonymous says:
30 Mar 2011 10:47:32 AM

Serves them right. Shouldn't have started two world wars
31. Fernando says:
12 Jun 2011 10:31:13 AM

Lancelot: Like an "americano" I'm (but a "little soutward") I endorse your comments. Our oil fueled allied war machinery to defeat Axis. I'm proud of. By the way, my grandfather was german, but I'm not.Up the USA!
32. HamburgerFrank says:
17 Jun 2011 12:49:57 PM

i'm looking for information on the RAF's H2S targeting errors on 7/29-30/43 that spared hamburg's northern suburbs such as alsterdorf, where my german/american parents and brother lived. i'm also wondering whether the same northern suburbs were targeted in the 8/2-3/43 attack that was largely foiled by foul weather over hamburg. leads and counsel very welcome!
33. Bob says:
12 Jul 2011 09:07:56 AM

Interesting how vehement people get when their commonly held beliefs in historical "facts" are challenged. Why would anyone be so naive as to believe any "history" written about armed conflicts has any more than a tiny fraction of objectvity to it. One needs to look no further than the relatively recent events in Iraq and Afghanistan. Which "facts" would you like to believe?
34. Shawn says:
20 Sep 2011 05:48:16 AM

All this makes the world trade centre towers attacks in NYC seem so trivial.
35. Jim Cyr says:
14 Jan 2012 04:24:08 PM

I believe the bombing of Berlin, at the end of WWII where Hitler was in Nazi headquarters, was unnecessary because the only fuel supply for Germany was already cot off. I believe these civilians were all killed, many engineers and science that were useful people, to make sure they got Hitler quickly so he didn't escape. 3 days after bombing they got Hitlers half burnt body. It was the wrong thing for america to do. A real hit to Pratt & Whitney who did it.
Jim Cyr --internal Pratt
36. cfpSydney says:
31 Jan 2012 05:52:07 PM


Try finding a copy of a book called "Bomber Boys. The Ruhr, the Dambusters and bloody Berlin" by Kevin Wilson, published by Cassell Military Classics (www.orionbooks.com.uk). I am reading this at the minute and it is full of very detailed information about all of the Allied bombing raids carried out during 1943.
In regards to the raid of 2 August 1943, it states
"Planners of the last of the Hamburg raids had intended that the first four waves would use the northerly point of the Alster lake as their aiming point, which should concentrate bombing in the wealthy Harvesthude and Rotherbaum areas and the city centre. The aiming point for the final two waves would be the middle of Hamburg 8 miles to the south. As it was, the weather conditions resulted in bombs being scattered all over Hamburg and the countryside around."
37. Mike says:
14 Feb 2012 04:09:14 AM

Who wanted war?

"Poland wants war with Germany and Germany will not be able to avoid it even if she wants to." (Polish Marshal Rydz-Smigly as reported in the Daily Mail, August 6th, 1939)

Most real scholars of World War Two are aware of the reasons that Adolf Hitler sent the Wehrmacht into Poland. When we look back on what we now know, it was easy to understand why England and France threatened Hitler not to invade Poland. They all knew it was inevitable and they all knew why. Most governments knew of it; but the well-spun propaganda and controlled press made it appear that a power-crazed Adolf Hitler only wanted to kill Jews and rule the world. Even today, this same false propaganda is taught in schools.

Simply put - not only was Germany herself under attack from the World Jewish community (the call to boycott all German made goods in the early 1930's) but worse yet, the Polish authorities were engaged is mass murder, rape and robbery of Volksdeutscher (ethnic Germans) living in Poland. It reached such massive proportions that Hitler, as leader of the German people, could not ignore it. He had to send in the Wehrmacht.

The German invasion was Sep 1939, but it's important to understand that many of the outrages had preceded the German invasion. This was proved by the amount of decomposition of the bodies. Thus, these atrocities cannot be excused simply as reprisals for the German invasion (which would be wrong anyway). They included 19 year-old girls with their faces smashed, amputations, disembowelments, shot thru' the eye, death-trauma births, you name it. Poles had been merrily slaughtering anything or anybody German since at least as early as April 1939, with smaller incidents stretching back to the close of WW I -- you haven't been told that by the Mass Media, or the fact that these atrocities were one of the main causes for the German invasion of Poland, something that was meant by the Germans to be a local solution to a local problem. Germany had already done the "right thing" by protesting in writing to the League of Nations literally dozens of times. The League of Nations did nothing, yet the problem had to be solved.

Here are some books for the well-informed to google and buy:

The Czech Conspiracy: a Phase in the World-War Plot by George Henry Lane-Fox Pitt-Rivers. This book is a Captain of the Royal Dragoons' 1938 account of the situation in Czechoslovakia and the Sudetenland, addressing the questions of who wanted war; why; who would profit by it; and how was England concerned? This is the expos├ę which might have triggered popular resistance in England to British involvement in the War - if only more Englishmen and -women had read it!

Death in Poland: the Fate of the Ethnic Germans by Edwin Erich Dwinger. The expulsion, persecution and mass murder of the ethnic Germans before and at the start of World War Two in Poland was by no means restricted to the Bloody Sunday of Bromberg, a massacre that is all too often downplayed or even denied outright today. This book, dating from 1940 lets the reader experience almost first-hand the terrible fate of tens of thousands of ethnic Germans in Poland in September 1939. A shameful blot on the pages of Polish history, for all Polish post-War generations to bear for all time!

Stalin's Secret War Plans: Why Hitler Invaded the Soviet Union. Richard Tedor. When the German armed forces invaded the USSR on June 22, 1941, Berlin described the offensive as preemptive in the face of imminent Soviet aggression. The claim was generally dismissed as Nazi propaganda. Recently disclosed evidence from Soviet sources, however, indicate that Moscow's foreign policy was indeed anything but governed by neutrality when Europe went to war in 1939

What the World Rejected: Hitler's Peace Offers 1933-1939. Dr. Friedrich Stieve. As early as 1933 (and to this very day) Germany's enemies have maintained that Adolf Hitler was the greatest disturber of peace known to history. Having assumed power in 1933 in a defendless, disarmered, economically and culturally runied Germany, and bound to an unjust 'Treaty of Versailles', Hitler attempts to induce the governments of other states to collaborate with him in a reconstruction of Europe in an ever-recurring pattern of his conduct. These attempts were wrecked every time because nowhere was there any willingness to give them due consideration. This synopsis from 1940 gives a brief overview of Hitler's various peace plans from the early days of the Third Reich until after WW2 had already broken out - and it also shows how these efforts at preserving peace were thwarted by those who... simply did not want peace.

The Jews are always portrayed as the victims of sudden, out-of-nowhere bursts of irrational hatred and aggression, but are never shown as the initiators of actions which in turn produce a general expulsion Jews as a group. We see this phenomenon in relation to the Nazi expulsions and exclusion of Jews in Germany, beginning with the decreeing of the Nuremberg Laws on September 15, 1935 by the German Reichstag. What "mainstream" historians always neglect to add to this narrative is that the German people by 1935 had found out about the 'Balfour Declaration' which had prolonged WWI after Germany had already won the war; that the hand of British Zionism was highly influential in the post-war imposition of massive, economically crippling reparations on Germany through the Treaty of Versailles; that this sent Germany into a financial depression which allowed wealthy Jewish interests to essentially buy German industry and infrastructure at a deep, desperate discount; that German Jews working on behalf of international Bolshevism sought to wage a communist revolution against the German state, ie Barvarian revolution; and that on top of all this, these "mainstream" historians always conveniently leave out the part of the story where, on March 24, 1933 the World Zionist Congress in Geneva and the militant, right-wing Revisionist Zionists, headed by the Russian Vladimir Jabotinsky, declared on the front pages of European newspapers world Jewry's war on Germany and her people, accompanied, of course, by an international boycott against German exports (so that Germany would not be able to pay its imposed reparations and essentially go bankrupt). These "historians" always leave out passages from newspapers of the time such as London's The Daily Express or the Jewish newspaper Natscha Retsch which proclaimed at the beginning of 1933:

"The war against Germany will be waged by all Jewish communities, conferences, congresses...by every individual Jew. Thereby the war against Germany will ideologically enliven and promote our interests, which require that Germany be wholly destroyed... The danger for us Jews lies in the whole German people, in Germany as a whole as well as individually. It must be rendered harmless for all time. . . .In this war we Jews have to participate, and this with all the strength and might we have at our disposal."

The March 24, 1933 issue of The Daily Express of London described how Jewish leaders, in combination with powerful international Jewish financial interests, had launched a boycott of Germany for the express purpose of crippling her already precarious economy in the hope of bringing down the new Hitler regime. It was only then that Germany struck back in response. Thus, if truth be told, it was the worldwide Jewish leadership - not the Third Reich - that effectively fired the first shot in the Second World War. Prominent New York attorney Samuel Untermyer was one of the leading agitators in the war against Germany, describing the Jewish campaign as nothing less than a "holy war."
38. Anonymous says:
3 Mar 2012 01:05:17 PM

All of you must check your research! Germany provoked WWII, I am not sure about WWI, and if you talk about someone being mass-murderers, go check your countries history. Almost every country has committed something that is greedy, hypocritical, or killed massive amounts of people. So stop!
39. Anonymous says:
21 Mar 2012 09:03:35 PM

The germans are lucky that us Americans let any geman to live.. It was OK starve a entire russian city, bomb London, Amsterdam and Wasrsaw. When you got fed some of the same medicine you cry. German got what it deserved. My uncle an american soldier was shot don by german soldiers when he tried to surrender during the Battle of the Bulge, he was 22 years old. Germany started the was and America finished it. We were at War with Germany, Yes, Germany declared war on us first. So that met we could bomb any city that was german. It's a bunch of crap tired of hearing you guys cry. Yes was is terrible more needs to be writtn about how the Rusiian people suffered at the hands of the germans As the innocent children I quess their parents whould have been concerned with that, they put Hitler in office and they celebrated all of the victories.
40. RICKY says:
21 Apr 2012 10:50:43 AM

41. Jason says:
23 Apr 2012 07:41:43 PM

I really love that all of the useless comments were made by "anonymous". If you want to speak of your beloved democracy (which has nothing to do with the Greek original), then do you really believe that you would have fared better under the imminent communist takeover of all of Europe in pre-WWII? You would have been mowed down like the kulaks were in Russia or starved like the Ukranians were. The only reason that you are allowed to spout your crap now, is because of all of those gallant axis soldiers, be they German, Dutch, French, Danish, Finnish, etc... who fought against the communists.
If there was an award for the ignoble, then that honour should fall to churchill. Hitler did let 330,000 allied soldiers escape back to Britain at Dunkirk.
Anne Frank's diary is a post-war fabrication anyway.
42. Vanth says:
10 Jul 2012 11:31:07 AM

I think a lot of people here should read "History of bombardments" by Sven Lindqvist (Swedish and really impartial).

I every war, every side make atrocities and that's something we couldn't forget. Ok, Germans killed millions of people and they were punished for that after the 2 world wars. But hey! British, American or French are NO ANGELS (please, look for the British raids against their colonies. Spanish and French were the first ones using biological weapons in Morocco (War of Rif)).And don't make me write about the USA (you've got lots of good things, believe me when I say that because I really think so, but guys, in some wars you should have been send into The Hague Court because of war crimes...)

I think we all should be very careful talking about war because it's a very serious topic. Not every German was a Nazy (the White Rose or Die wei├če Rose resistance group) and British also have their own war criminal (Arthur Harris) who was not condemned for their murders (he bombed thousands of civilians in British colonies before WWII).

So please, this is very serious. I've read some really disgusting and worrying comments here from both sides.

The ones who really suffered wars are the civilians murdered by "strategic bombings".

And one more thing, for those of you who don't bother the people killed in Dresden: do you REALLY think that children were guilty of WWII (or Hitler's mental insanity) to be deserved for being bombed or burned with Napalm???? In that case, I do think that you must go to a shrink, dudes...

P.d.: I'm Norwegian and I don't have patriotical feelings with any sides. The only thing I believe is what Hobbes said: "The Man is a wolf for the man"
43. A commentator says:
18 Jul 2012 04:50:37 PM

How much did the 'terror bombing' interrupt the gassing of Jews and others in the concentration camps?
44. Lou says:
23 Jul 2012 10:16:27 AM

I was hoping that Duren District would be noted. Are there any town or village lists of civilian (names) casualities? I need to find the Nov. 1944 death of Sibilla "MeMe" Schmitz. Many thanks to you.
45. Bob says:
29 Jul 2012 12:41:35 PM

Most nations have comitted grievous acts of mass murder and barbarism against other nations and/or their own people. The level of brutality was raised many fold by the German and Japanese war machines - hideous mass-murdring and mass-raping monstrosities. American atrocities in Vietnam and the unnecessary and immoral Iraq War demonstrate how easily a nation can slip from justifiable defense to mass murder. The lack of morality and courage to stand up to authority, combined with the outright stupidity and selfishness, of most human beings would seem to be a more probable cause for all of these tragic wars than particular ideologies and social systems. Stupid, mean-spirited, immoral and ammoral people of many nations gleefully support mass murder on patriotic and nationalistic grounds, but quickly adopt the role of outraged victims when things don't work out.
46. A Cooke says:
17 Aug 2012 01:38:04 PM

In Response to Jason 23 April " Anne Frank's diary is a post-war fabrication anyway."
From Yahoo answers -
"It is very real. Like others have said, many Holocaust deniers, Neo-nazis and the like have been the forerunners of those who challenge it's authenticity. The truth is, yes Otto Frank edited Anne's diary. He corrected "Germanisms", some grammar and removed sensitive passages about her sexuality and her sometimes very harsh opinions of her mother. There are three versions of Anne's diary: the original one she kept while in hiding, the one she herself revised after hearing about interest in wartime diaries, and the edited version that Otto Frank had published. All 3 versions are available in a side by side "critical edition". This version also includes the investigation into the authenticity of Anne's diary done by the Dutch government which includes handwriting and chemical analysis. The conclusion was that Anne's diary was written by her (the handwriting matches) and that the materials used to write the diary are from the 1940's. Recently a new definitive edition was published that includes all of the "left out" passages. So between these two versions, you can read all of Anne's diary.
Anne Frank scholar."
47. Commenter identity confirmed Alan says:
19 Aug 2012 12:27:34 AM

You would think the fury of aerial bombardment
Would rouse God to relent; the infinite spaces
Are still silent. He looks on shock pried faces
History, even, does not know what is meant

Richard Eberhart (1904-2005) ÔÇô American Poet
48. Anonymous says:
15 Nov 2012 08:05:04 AM

this was really helpful to me and my partner because we are doing a study on the war and this is basically all about that!
49. Anonymous says:
17 Jan 2013 05:31:04 PM

I am stunned by the number of holocaust deniers and nazi sympathizers posting here. So let us cut to the chase, as we say in America.

Germany, during the Nazi era, was the most vicious and murderous nation in the history of man. Tens of millions were murdered, mostly in Eastern Europe and Russia to make room for German expansion. This includes millions of my Jewish brethren in ways that defy description. There was no limit to the evil that Germany was willing to commit.

The fact that Germany had to be almost completely destroyed is a testament to their insanity and the understanding by the allies that Germany had to be defeated at any cost. And millions of good allied soldiers died in this great cause. We should all thank god they were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for us. Even the monstrous fools posting drivel on this website.

And if you have any doubt as to the level of German cruelty and evil, I suggest you visit the Yad Vahem website.
50. Charlie says:
30 May 2013 11:20:14 AM

I am amazed at the number of comments about "war crimes." So, there are civilized rules for killing as many of the enemy (whichever enemy) as possible? Ludicrous. That is why war is to be avoided. Ancient warfare was no different. Cities were put to the sword and torch. Survivors were enslaved. But we now believe that we're more "civilized" and can kill each other in an orderly manner? One can see the on-going delusion in the passionate comments about events from 70 years ago.
51. WW II survivor says:
29 Jun 2013 09:46:56 PM

My 32 yr old (housewife) mother died because of the war, I was only 5...we were bombed..what exactly did we do to deserve that?....Unless you have lived through and survived war, none of you "experts" know what you are talking about. Some of the nasty comments show, that humanity has not learned ANYTHING from war and the suffering it produces! Millions killed on all sides, and nothing learned, how sad!!!
52. Ben says:
1 Aug 2013 07:35:26 AM

Quite some sick comments here.
Makes me back up all the more Bomber Harris : he was not a great guy, Dresden was in my opinion a war crime, both USAAF and RAF could have been used to better avail by bombing targeted industries (such as oil, bearings, rubber ...).
But Germany had to be crushed. And it was, and if too much force was applied, well it is sad, but in a conflict of about 30 millions (or is it much above) casualties, Dresden is a drop of water in the ocean. One unnecessary but you always know after. As for bombing, one can also remember that many french and belgian cities were bombed, to help get liberated... a heavy price to pay, but again, necessary.
53. Anonymous says:
21 Sep 2013 04:57:08 PM

So very British-phiel, starting the article with qualifyilng statement absolving Britain's responsibillities and blaming the Germans. The next paragraph proceeded trying to be seemed by readers as fair. On Polish bombing, the element of pity and little girl suffering was used. In this adticle, Bomber Harris' actions was seen as a necessary evil Bitain had no choice to do.
Comments from pro Allied are expexted snd very focus minded if not narrow minded. If Nazi German are so evil in bombing, compare the number of deaths caused by Luftwaffe bombing if Britain against the opposite. You will find the stats as disturbing and starting to question Britsin's motive.
Britain is guilty of war crimes. They started the war by declaring war against the Germans who wants back its lost territories (bigger part of Prussia until Mamel). British also refuse Hiler's peace intiTive many times over after the defeat of France. if it was not because support from its domIains like Australia and Canada, British sould have lost the war.
54. LESZEK says:
8 Nov 2013 08:56:07 AM

A o Warszawie nikt nie zapomniał? bez komentarza
55. galahad says:
8 Nov 2013 11:19:10 AM

But of course - Hitler was no more then just a good but misundertood uncle wanted all good for all of us and those evil Brits spitefully spread havoc...
Sorry man, but your comment is completely ridiculous...
To compare just death toll caused by Luftwaffe and by RAF is useless. Mentioned air forces worked on very different principles so they were differently equiped and so they had very different results in some types of missions. German Luftwaffe was tactical power designed primarily to support advancing ground troops. Doing this Luftwaffe did great job but when germans wanted to do some strategic air raids it does not work just because the aircraft could not carry necessary bombload. On the other hand Bomber Command RAF was strategic air force created to break the enemy - to take away the ability to fight and break the will to fight. Again - doing this results were good enough. But look at the disastrous use of light bombers in tactical role against advancing german troops in France in 1940...
Briefly - if you compare just numbers, you compare incomparable.
56. David Edwards says:
17 Jan 2014 05:45:04 PM

Thanks for the info guys. Hitler wanted peace, Churchill a war criminal. It`s a shame Germany was defeated then ?
ps Attempted assassination of Hitler, did I dream that ? And the tens of thousands British civillians killed by German bombers ?
I have grown up in a free Britain. What decent human would prefer a Fascist country. If you prefer that then I hope you find it while I am free and happy :) :) :) xxxx
57. Arne says:
8 May 2014 01:39:59 AM

I'm from Germany and I always was (and still am) interested in our history - especially history of WW1 und WW2. My grandfathers served in the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS. Very luckely, both survided somehow. Both were very likeable grandfathers (both are dead now), although I knew, that the grandfather, who served in Waffen-SS, was involved in horrible things... he didn't talked much about his war-"adventures", but at the end of war (while retreating from Bulgaria), he fired at an wrought-up crowd because he was in mortal fear.

So, why am I talking about my grandfathers? Because, they were just humans as you and me. Stupid, funny, naive, adorable humans. They just had bad luck to live in a terrible time. I think, only a very few people are really hot for war and killing each other. I don't know why, but it seems, that corrupted and power-obsessed men are able to come to power way too often - no matter, when and where.

I feel so sorry for every killed human in every country in any war. Most of them were totally innocent and were forced to do horrible things. I feel so sorry for the millions of Jews, who died in concentration camps. I feel sorry for the pilots, who died in their bombers and fighters and I'm sorry for the poor russian and german soldiers, who died in millions far away from their homes and families. I'm sorry for the mothers, fathers and children, who died in agony, because there're always some crazy, *** ed up psychopaths, who like to play war! I really hope, that the human race has learning something from the last wars, but I'm not sure...

I know only one thing: if there will be another war in Germany, I will run away as fast as I can. I'll try to hide myself and my familiy from this atrocity. I don't want to kill any human and I dont't want my family and myself killed by a poor, utilized human.
58. Robert Orr says:
30 May 2014 10:27:33 AM

Germany started a war that killed 50 million people. They spread terror and death across Europe. They also started the aeriel war against Britain. So, Britain was justified in using any means to defeat the Germans. Given how the Germans behaved on the Eastern front, and in occupied countries, and their attempted annihilation of the Jews of Europe, I have no sympathy for them. But, I do think that they have learned that starting wars of agression can have painful results for the agressor. It took the Germans close to a half century to absorb that lesson.

It's often said that German production was not affected by bombing. This is untrue. At the end of the war German production of aircraft was essentially unchanged. British production had increased many times.
59. Ssgt.bravo compy. says:
31 May 2014 08:04:40 PM

4 tours in iraq. Trillion doll. Later. They are begging us to come back to secure their country. Just like marshall plan. Nazis, blew up. Their own factorys. ,power station . Hydro. ,just so soviets wouldnt get hands on it . Usa. Spent trillions in todays money back then to rebuiild germany. .and little thing called berlin airlift ffor ;3 years. To feed. And heat a whole city by air. Dont ever say we are the agressor. , we are going broke being the world police and grocery store. And school , power station. Rail, dam builders, some one gave us money for aid,, usa, would *** themselfs!!!!amen!!!
60. Kathy says:
5 Jun 2014 12:07:54 PM

Talk about missing the point. The Battle of Waterloo, which involved most of Europe, took place in a single day. The entire First World War was waged for five years while life in Paris, Berlin and London carried on as usual, its residents virtually untouched. It was a traditional war, with only soldiers fighting and that within a restricted area. The Second World War was a war against civilians. The aim was to kill as many people as possible and, if that didn't succeed, to destroy every building, railway, dam, electricity and gas supply line so that those people suffered starvation, disease and homelessness. Counting bombs and arguing about who did what is irrelevant. It was a war to kill 60 million ordinary, innocent people. We should all keep a very close eye on our politicians, military, and armament manufacturers.
61. Anonymous says:
6 Jun 2014 05:50:01 PM

What kind of person willingly drops bombs on civilians ? what is their mind set ? whatever way you reason there is something not quite right in such a persons understanding of what humanity is about.
62. Tonyb says:
14 Oct 2014 11:14:03 AM

Anonymous, who hasn;t the guts to show his real name, seems to forget about the blitz, the V1 and V2 that Hitler threw at Great Britain.

Everything else has been said
63. spartanAnonymous says:
11 Nov 2014 12:40:37 AM

Wars are often started with little regard for outcome and course of action. Germany started the war. Dresden had approximately 125 functioning war plants. Goebbels even mentioned this in private conversation. My family was disrupted for 4 years and my uncle a POW of the Japanese. Don't start wars you cannot win. Bad things will happen.
64. KC says:
11 Nov 2014 12:47:32 AM

65. dutch man says:
14 Jan 2015 09:56:25 PM

American and British history books all misinform and leave out the truth. Their people are brainwashed about all foreign wars, and have continuously invaded innocent countries and carved them up with straight boundaries, ignoring the ethnicity of their inhabitants, putting puppets in place e g their puppet ally Saddam Hussein, blaming and murdering him and a million innocent Iraqis because of september 11, soon followed by attacking Afghanistan. All for economic gain. And those who think Germany bombed Amsterdam have to get a shock, Amsterdam, the Hague and most Dutch and 67 French cities were cruelly bombed by English and American fire. The beautiful centre of Nijmegen, allegedly by mistake as there were no German soldiers, but in reality to destroy Europe. As for Rotterdam May1940, the Brits had started the war by bombing 5 cities, starting with Wilhelmshaven bombed Sept 4 1939!! The Germans fairly and repeatedly told Rotterdam to capitulate so they would not have to bomb, but the yanks and brits said not to capitulate, they wanted them to be bombed to use as an excuse to exterminate the germans. Envy of their economic ability..Big surprise: Germans caused far fewer fatalities in Rotterdam than American bombings of Rotterdam. And the Brits and Allies declared war first, by boycotting all german goods in 1933 and bombing german ports, ignoring many german peace proposals for Europe. Germans seem kinder, there are numerous reports how they helped shelter and feed Dutch citizens, even saved American pilots and soldiers. No report of Brit or American helping Germans, instead they killed Belgian civilians, who protested when forced to hand over their hotel. Their much more horrific bombing massacres, after years of experimenting to create firestorms on civilians with napalm and phosphorous bombs, included preventing red cross from helping the wounded and chasing and murdering fleeing civilians. For years they prepared for war, also with biological weapons, Anthrax bombs against people and Anthrax to kill german livestock. After the war, Eisenhower still tortured, starved and mass murdered more than a million german prisoners in 200 concentration camps without water, latrines, while civilians who tried to feed starving men through barbed wire fence were shot. Russians were blamed for the "missing" soldiers, and his colleague who knew the evil act was soon after killed in a car crash. Who can ever trust American and British politicians? Like the guilty germans they should be tried too. Remember the USA syphilis experiments in Guatemala, no punishment for Elise Cutler who infected innocent girls to see how they would painfully die. America tolerates its own evil deeds and tortures its own people in prison. USA often fakes to start wars, e.g. blew up their own ship and blamed Korea, destroyed Koreas huge water reservoirs to wash away fertile soil, followed by starvation of the people. Disguised in Vietcong soldiers outfits they murdered thousands of innocent Vietnamese, and blamed the Vietcong to fool the world. They faked the weapons of mass destruction of Iraq to lay hands on its oil. Since Jewish presidents, Roosevelt, Ike and Truman, delivered you, and your nuclear bomb, in jewish hands, America will end up the slave of an apartheid state..If every country leaves other countries alone, content with their own possibilities, not stealing the prosperity of others, they may preserve what beauty there is left. But some don't appreciate their own land and like destruction, even if in the end we all suffer when the planet cannot cope anymore. We should vote for leaders who want peace, stay out of other countries and not force others to be like us because we changed since we were ignorant, (forced opium on the chinese) or were more tolerant(accepted our own bodies and nudity) and generous. No one is better in all aspects. It is good when religious texts say we should not kill each other. But we should not trust a god who paradoxically favors a tribe which in the bible is repeatedly told to settle near foreigners and kill their men, women and children, to obtain their wealth. Kindness and generosity is a valuable human trait that should be taught.
66. Proud American says:
10 Mar 2015 08:49:39 PM

I cry when I read posts from so many ignorant people here. All of you German and Dutch can't deny what happened in the Holocaust. All of you exaggerating about the American and British "mass-killings" of "innocent Germans". You need to face the truth: the holocaust is very real, and all of who deny that need to accept it
67. Jim G says:
22 Jun 2015 12:11:49 AM

Hello Dutch Man; your post on 14/1/2015 was one of the most myopic and distorted reviews on world history that I have ever read, does the word objectivity mean anything to you ? , whilst I'm at it let me do you a favour and introduce you to your ideal soul mate, Dutch Girl post 1/10/2010, or are you already entwined or morphed or are you one and the same ignorant person.
68. Norwegian says:
1 Oct 2015 01:04:42 PM

Comment to Proud American - The British shut down their last KZ camp in 1966 after pressure from amnisty international after reports were coming in, of the English burning prisoners alive there. Likewise they were responsible for killing 3.2 billion Indians and if you are going to talk about cruelty USA dwarfs everyone no nation has killed more people around the world than the USA you are the modern Nazis.
69. What is the truth says:
4 Dec 2015 03:53:16 PM

Did the british declare war on Germany or did Germany declare war on the british I think it was the british first and if the they had keep there nose out of the war and not help france who knows a lot of lives could had been saved Did the british bring it on them selves because they are stupid or did they want to destroy the german race because of pride and envy The british tried to exterminate the german people that's even worse than want the germans did to the jews
70. Mark says:
9 Dec 2015 10:26:38 AM

The UK declared war on Germany to preserve its empire. It was holding onto India by force while claiming it wanted to free Poland.

The RAF began bombing German cities on 11 May 1940, four months before Hitler finally retaliated by ordering the London Blitz.
71. mike says:
28 May 2016 12:37:59 PM

There are no rules in war. When someone is trying to kill you, you are allowed to do ANYTHING to survive.

Also, to condemn people who made the wrong decisions while under the duress of a knife to their throat is foolish. Were mistakes made? Surely. Was evil done? Surely. But, all of these mistakes and all this evil, regardless of who did it, is the responsibility of the aggressor. In WWII, the aggressors were clearly Germany, Italy, and Japan (and Russia vis-a-vis Finland). They are responsible for ALL the bad things that happened in that war, regardless of who actually did the wrong thing.
72. David says:
31 May 2016 08:21:40 AM

Wars are started by politicians/leaders/tyarnts and fought by ordinary people. There are no winners or losers, just the survivors who try to help the suffering and hope that the same mistakes are not made again.
73. Julian Hall says:
7 Aug 2016 09:00:13 AM

Great article. I'm not going to indulge in the 'discussion' - and I use the word very loosely - of who did what and whose fault it was. The only comment I would make is regarding the prewar discussion of bombing of civilians. In the article no mention is made of Guernica by the Condor Legion, or the attempts to outlaw it in the Hague Rules of Air Warfare in 1923, unfortunately unratified by the start of WWII.

Incidentally if those of you who clearly have no idea what you're talking about would like to actually educate yourselves - I won't hold my breath - I suggest you avail yourselves of the following:

Among The Dead Cities - A C Grayling
'Dresden 1945: Just Another Raid?' - P W Gray **
'The Gloves Will Have To Come Off: A Reappraisal of the Legitimacy of the RAF Bomber Offensive Against Germany' - P W Gray **

** Both of these are Air Power Review articles http://www.airpowerstudies.co.uk/id2.html Volumes (13) 3 and (4) 1
74. Mark Coffey says:
30 Dec 2016 06:25:37 PM

My late father was a B-24 pilot of the 890th BS, 467th BG, 2nd Air Div., of the US 8th AF in Rackheath, Norfolk.
As an American I can hardly imagine the terror of having my homeland bombed like the Nazi did to the UK. Yes, history is written by the victors, but the need to end the war as quickly as possible necessitated Dresden and other horrific bombing missions. Nuclear war was certainly NOT on the table, but could you imagine the outcome?
75. Cody says:
2 Mar 2017 07:41:14 PM

Mark Coffey:

Do you not see? The Allies were no better than the Axis Powers. And what does this article have to do with Nazis bombing the UK? Nothing: this has to do with the Allies and the terror bombing of Dresden and other German cities (which also happened earlier in the war). Did you know your country televised executions of some of the Nazis? Feel proud? Feel privileged? Feel great the Allies won only to have your nation do that? Did you know the Allies wanted to systematically exterminate the Germans? Yes it's true. And yet they dare execute people for involvement in the Holocaust (as if not enough lives were lost)? Extreme cowardice and hypocrisy is putting that kindly.

No. The terror bombing (or if you prefer fire bombing) of Germany cannot ever be justified. Neither can many other things the Allies did. And don't even get me started on Russia with their over 100k rapes in Berlin alone. Or their nailing women and children to doors (along with the rape and other crimes) in their so-called 'liberation'. Equally no crimes the Axis Powers were guilty of can be justified. The difference is the former usually is ignored or considered of little significance. Indeed the victors write history and it's a disgrace. They also determine how to punish (hypocrisy again) the losers. France on the other hand. Well, it's entirely their fault the Nazis could rise to power.
76. Leland says:
25 Jun 2017 08:23:13 AM

War is horrible. Warriors are the last to advocate it. Lawyers and ethicists and polititicians have failed when war is declared. Lawyers do not carry rifles. If it had not been for tjose in the Royal Air Force and allied air forces we would all be speaking German and Japanese. Our Jewish cousins would not be here. Only warriors may criticize. For those who have not served, you are welcome. And you don't rate an opinion as you habe no skin in the game.
77. Walter says:
18 Nov 2017 11:03:38 AM

All ÔÇťjust warÔÇŁ apologists are just as guilty as the war criminals they defend. They are only serving those who continue such atrocities.
78. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
19 Nov 2017 10:23:38 AM

Walter (above):
If it were only that simple.
Leland (above above) is right when he says that once war is declared, madness reigns and all sensible reason has failed. Conversations like these that take place decades removed from the events and focus on ÔÇťwouldÔÇÖa, couldÔÇÖa, shouldÔÇÖaÔÇŁ must start with an acknowledgment that the term ÔÇťRules of WarÔÇŁ borders on being oxymoronic. At its core, war is savagery and cruel. We can critique the decisions warriors make (like the bombing of Dresden, etc.) but the warriors are not the enemy ÔÇô it always comes back to the fact that war itself is the enemy.

That being said, I think you make a good point when you say excusing the wartime decision-makers for bad or questionable decisions only serves to encourage the bullies of today to do similar things. Oxymoronic or not, a civilized society needs Rules of War and those rules can only come from frank and honest conversations about past practices.
79. roys computer says:
19 Nov 2017 10:59:24 PM

War will always happen, the only way to stop it is, giving the people in power, the right to have one.

1st one started via the inner circle of the Royal Family "bickering" then assasination then World War 1.
2nd world war. Monster Hitler rose to power by killing even before he came to power and that turned to killing of millions of people from around the world. Where was the head of the chruch when needed?
"Vatican City pursued a policy of neutrality during World War II, under the leadership of Pope Pius XII. Although the city of Rome was occupied by Germany from 1942 and the Allies from 1944, Vatican City itself was not occupied"
Why was a priest who was an SS officer in world war 2 allowed to become a Bishop? The Vatican also helped some of the SS escape? Why didn't they help the people in need?
Thats world war 2, England and the Vatican get to retain their Crowns.
80. Anonymous says:
11 Aug 2018 09:35:00 AM

Countries don't go from immoral to moral. And the US and UK are some of the most historically immoral countries in the last 300 years of world history.

Does any of it surprise me? No, Americans blatantly murdered native Americans and thought they deserved to die for being on their own land.

The most annoying thing after war is that countries especially like the USA with their propaganda try to paint themselves as objective good guys and saviours of people. Yet the real history is brutal and cruel and they have spread hate everywhere they have gone and mass civilian death.

Some countries are indeed more immoral in world war. There are countries out there which in a world war will try to fight you head on and accept your surrender whenever you attempt to surrender.
Then there are other countries who will blatantly mass kill your civilians and even deny your first few surrender attempts just so they can kill even more of your people (US).

Then there are some psycho countries out there who literally want to genocide entire groups of people and never accept any surrender and just keep killing them until they are all gone (what the British did in many of it's earlier invasions of foreign lands).

And many humans are very sh*t to other humans. So when you lose a war you are then invaded by the country which won, which seeks to then destroy your culture and people systematically while turning the people into slaves. This is most readily apparent in British occupations of poorer countries.
For countries like Germany that were harder to turn into a slave colony, the main goal was to just occupy them after the war and destroy their culture and dignity as people and try to force them into being a subservient country to you.

It was hard at the time of course and mass death wasn't allowed after a war, but the US and UK would have readily if they had the means wiped out the entire German population and taken the land for themselves to form a new country. The only reason many Germans survived was that at the time military technology was very hard to wipe out an entire country of people.
But a world war in today's time will lead to entire countries of people (Especially smaller countries) being literally wiped out.
Take the TSAR bomb that Russia made, 10 of these would literally kill everything in every square metre of Switzerland.

Similarly 20 strategically dropped TSAR bombs would kill 90% of all German people.
A future world war is going to be horrible, you are going to see entire countries of people be literally exterminated.

I hope Germany and Japan don't get exterminated, since they aren't even doing anything. But I think that the US and Russia will try to attack them anyway.
The only countries which seem likely to survive are countries with large surface areas and population sizes.

For example, China and the USA and India and African countries.
But Russia even though large could be wiped out easily, the vast majority of their population exists just in western Russia in small areas.

It is going to be hell indeed.
81. Robin Clay says:
16 Aug 2018 02:05:28 AM

According to "The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare" Giles Milton p. 106, the RAF;s "heaviest bombardment to date" occurfed on 10th May 1941 on Hamburg & Bremen, during which 11 bombers were lost. Google sent me to your WebSite when I sought to find out "11 out of how many?"
82. JLF Lambert says:
8 Nov 2018 01:08:11 PM

Re. Osnabr├╝ck-Eversheide Dec. 6, 1944, you might check out RCAF's No. 6 Bomber Group's Daily Operations.
83. chris romero says:
1 May 2019 02:26:18 PM

My grandfather Jim Oakley was a 1st Lt. and B-17 Pilot in the 365th BG, 305th BS in the 8th Air Force. He completed 25 raids between June-October 1943.
84. Anonymous says:
18 Jan 2020 06:43:40 AM

Sir Arthur Harris said:
The Nazis entered the war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everyone else and no-one was going to bomb them. At Rotterdam, London, Warsaw and half a hundred other places they put that naive theory into operation. They sowed the wind and now they are going to reap the hurricane.
85. Mitch Champi says:
6 Apr 2020 09:02:25 AM

I've been looking for a book by RAF Pilot Myles Tripp. It's his account of the bombing of Dresden. Does it exist? If so, is it still in print? Availability? Thank you
86. Eric Shutek says:
24 Jul 2020 10:27:28 AM

My great great Uncle Robert McIntyre 149 east India squadron R9167 OJ-N was shot down and KIA 2 October 1942 on raid over Krefeld but mission not on bombing list just wanted to know why?
87. David Archibald says:
28 Jul 2020 01:04:17 AM

My father was shot down in a a raid on Stuttgart 29/7/44. He survived but his crew were all killed. All war is a crime, war crime; an oxymoron. Eighty years of peace earned by the deaths of millions making clear that war comes to the homes of all people

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