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Fritz

Bombing raids on German Cities "Warning Graphic content"

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From Aachen to Zerbst - full scale bombing from A to Z by the allies in World War 2.

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The leather helmet worn till about 1936 by the volunteer fire brigades, until replaced with light steel helmet

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No fire brigade could cope with these conditions - Hamburg-Eilbek after the raids in July 1943. Most of the entire city was devastated, estimated casualties around 45.000

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Post-war fire brigades.

 

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Here are some photo impressions of the damage to Hamburg and some other cities:

https://www.google.com/search?q=feuersturm+hamburger+feuerwehr+feuerschutzpolizei&client=firefox-b-d&tbm=isch&tbs=rimg:Cd1u_1axqVvioImBhwY7KZ0gHyBa79Z0cTgoR7B3DVK9pDpCmYSFw4_19U-cD9cf8Si44CNcDmd6agpJw2jcBUf1AcT8w_1grwQmYasoNDG68TnbfN2VtesMNbmMLDz9m6q_127XfGjJZrGo8-oqEglhwY7KZ0gHyBETsqMpTDYNsyoSCRa79Z0cTgoREZJQ67RkgICNKhIJ7B3DVK9pDpARfH-fRWfEBsAqEgmmYSFw4_19U-RHrbhvw6mJATioSCcD9cf8Si44CEZ5-AJPvTXndKhIJNcDmd6agpJwRqDzPIaUAyuAqEgk2jcBUf1AcTxFueG5f57DKByoSCcw_1grwQmYasEQ6_1wHt7QM7fKhIJoNDG68TnbfMRgSYW2XpKUHAqEgl2VtesMNbmMBEJNacEfwpnLSoSCbDz9m6q_127XEfABUzN3TjBcKhIJfGjJZrGo8-oR3EmVrenWje0&tbo=u&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjmr46C6sbkAhXR3KQKHf7_DjQQuIIBegQIARAs&biw=1366&bih=654&dpr=1

The Firefighters and Luftschutz had a very difficult time - there was one raid after another for nearly 2 weeks, day and night, first of all the high explosives and then the incendiaries - and the water mains were destroyed. The entire city centre was engulfed in a raging firestorm, which sucked everything and everyone into it's path like a firey whirlwind... ash and debris rained from the sky, there was a dense cloud of black smoke for several kilometres over Hamburg. People in the cellars and air raid shelters simply shrivelled to dust.

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I have read several stories about similar bombing raids in Japan, unfortunately they lived in very flammable structures, which only added to the chaos. It is hard to imagine today that level of destruction on cities and population centers. Good link to the photos! 

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Dresden after February 1945

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The city centre with royal palace before the war.

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Dresdner Zwinger, the former Royal Palace.

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Dresden, Alter Markt. It is estimated that over 250.000 died, most were not registered or reported as missing, as many of them were refugees from further East, as trainloads of them had been arriving between December 1944 and February 1945.

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Half charred, half mumified remains were later found in cellars and former air raid shelters several years after the war.

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Victims of Allied air raids, Berlin, Autumn 1944

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Defences were insufficient in every way, one of the flak towers in Hamburg-Heiligengeistfeld

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The centre of the city and Hammerbrook were fenced off for months, Hammerbrook for several years after the war, until the dead were recovered and the rubble cleared, there was a danger of an epidemic.

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Signs of solidarity and the will to carry on...

 

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Wow, powerful images...When I lived in Germany from 2009-2012, my counterpart in leading the section I was in charge of, was a German. Very nice man, he was a Flak Helper in WW2, he said his job was to bring ammunition for the guns to fire. Since he was young, small and fast, he was a good choice. He didn't like to talk about it very much, understandably. 

In the Kaiserslautern area, you can still see carved out tunnels in the cliffs, these were used as shelters during and after air raids. They are barred up now, and sealed up. I lived in this area for many years. I also remember seeing the Flak mounts along the Autobahn in the area when I was younger, huge concrete slabs with metal rings for the guns. They have been removed now. 

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It all began with helmets, Feuerwehr and then the bombing, you never know where this might end....good idea

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