German tragedy of destiny

Lübeck

 

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At the end of February 1942 Sir Arthur Harris was appointed as chief of the Bomber Command of the Royal Air Force. He immediately put into practice the instruction of the War Cabinet issued on 14 February concerning the bombing campaign against Germany "without limitation". This included the new strategy of destroying urban centers with high population density through a "maximum use of fire".

 

The historic Hanseatic city with its valuable buildings and cultural heritage was the first the Royal Air Force tested the effect of carpet-raid.

 

On 28/29 March 1942 234 British bombers dropped first explosive than incendiary bombs at a weight of 304 tons on a large area.

 

The desired effect was a firestorm which covered 1,425 buildings in flames. About 62 percent of the houses were destroyed or damaged.

 

320 civilians were killed, mainly by burning and choking.

 

Irreplaceable cultural assets went up in flames.

 

This bombing tactics with explosive and incendiary bombs were perfected to a terrible destruction method later in Hamburg, Dresden and other cities.

     

German newsreel on the terror bombing of the city