German tragedy of destiny

Aachen

 

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The big city on the Dutch-Belgian border which, during its history, never experienced the destruction of war, was attacked rather early, in the spring of 1940.

 

The bombings became more and more intense in the following months and years.

 

The most serious attacks took place on

 

8 December 1941,

14 July 1943,

24 December 1943 (Christmas eve) and

12 April 1944.

 

Especially heavy were the attacks of July 1943 with 374 bombers resulting in nearly 300 dead and the attacks of December 1943 and April/May 1944.

 

    Australian military newspaper on bombing of Aachen

 

On 12 April 1944 42,800 fire and 4,047 explosive bombs destroyed the city of Aachen, killing 1,525 people, including 212 children.

 

The Cathedral, the Imparial Palace and many other cultural monuments were destroyed. Together with the suburbs 65 percent of the city was razed to the ground.

 

In the conquest of the city in October 1944 the ruins were once again strafed by massive air and artillery attacks.

 

U.S. newsreel showing the capture of Aachen