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
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.
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