German tragedy of destiny

Duisburg

 

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Duisburg, with the largest inland port in Europe, was particularly important to the arms industry for raw material supply. In consequence, it was heavily bombed. The attacks were not limited to the port, also the downtown and the residential area were targeted with the aim to kill as many people as possible.

 

A total of 299 bomber sorties were flown against Duisburg.

Particularly heavy attacks were made on:

 

13 June 1941

2 June 1942 - 726 bombers

27 March 1943 - 455 bombers = 11 dead

9 April 1943 - 392 bombers = 36 dead

10 April 1943 - 109 bombers = 27 dead

13 March 1943 - 572 bombers = 272 dead

27 April 1943 - 557 bombers = 207 dead

21 May 1944

15 Oktober 1944

1 December 1944

8 December 1944

18 December 1944

22 February 1945

 

The entire old city of Duisburg and about 50 percent of the remaining parts of the city were destroyed in the attacks. Alone the Operation "Hurricane" of 15 October 1944 called for 3,000 lives.

 

On 21 March 1945 Eisenhower in a radio speech declared different cities of the Ruhr area to "death zone" which had to be left immediately. Also Duisburg was mentioned. In the following days low-flying aircraft strafed the ruins with guns and gave chase to anything that moved on the roads.

 

The number of bombing victims in Duisburg amounted to 5,730.