The Historical Development of Aerial Bombardment from Guernica (1937) to Hiroshima (1945)


Korean Minjok Leadership Academy
KHK



Table of Contents


Chapter 7 : Comparison
Chapter 2 : Possible Bias
Appendix : Articles on the Bombing of Guernica, Rotterdam, Coventry, Belfast
Appendix : Articles on the Bombing of Guernica and Rotterdam
Hamburg
Rotterdam
Guernica 3rd Draft
Dresden
Coventry
Belfast
Guernica 2nd Draft
Guernica
Working Table of Contents, 1st Update
Bibliography 1st Update
Working Table of Contents
Appendix : New York Times Articles on the Bombing of Warsaw
Bibliography



Chapter 7 : Comparison (as of Oct. 23rd 2009) . . . go to Teacher's comment

II) Modern Statistics

a) The Chart

Guernica Rotterdam Coventry Belfast Hamburg Dresden
Days of Bombing 1 1 1 1 10 1
Number of Airplanes (all added up) 29 57 1000 180 3695 1300
Total Tonnage 40 97 500 203 9,000 2,6598.3
Incendiary Bombs a few used 30,000 - 36,000 9,600 10,000 20,000
Casualties 200 - 350 800 - 900 570 - 600 900 - 1000 40,000 - 50,000 30,000
Homeless n/a 80,000 1,000,000 100,000 1,500,000 600,000
Population 7,000 - 10,000 almost 600,000 2,384,000 under 450,000 2,000,000 much larger 650,000
City Damage 3/4 of town n/a 80 % 22 % n/a 23 % (industrial) 56 % (non-industrial)
Buildings Destroyed n/a 25,000 60,000 35,000 250,000 78,000
Firestorm Created no no no no yes yes
Major Technological Advance carpet bombing none X-Gerät-System none window firestorm none
Morale yes yes maybe yes yes yes
Recovery no no fast unknown fast fast


 : : : : : : : : Although these numbers do show some things, I will rather use proportional statistics to compare the bombings, and use these numbers only as a backup reference. There are three reasons for doing this. First, these numbers are not fair. There are both large and medium sized bombings, so it would be unfair the compare the numbers straight up front. Instead, it would be better to see the statistics which would be fairer. I used proportional statistics, which would be fairer. Secondly, there are many holes where the numbers could not be found. By using selective proportional statistics, this could be avoided. Finally, there were some trends that were not present in the absolute statistics but found in proportional statistics.

b) British-German Difference

CHART 1 Guernica Rotterdam Coventry Belfast Hamburg Dresden
Houses / Ton n/a 257.7 120 172 27.7 29


 : : : : : : : : The house per ton shows how much bombings were destroyed with one bomb. While the Germans destroyed well over 100 houses for a single ton of bombing, the British could only destroy less than 30. Especially in cities like Rotterdam, over 257.7 houses were destroyed in one ton of bombs.
 : : : : : : : : There are three explanations for this. First is the high number of incendiaries used by the Germans. The chart below shows that incendiary weapons used per ton was much higher for the Germans, using close or more than 47 incendiaries per ton, while the British used under 10 per ton (Chart 2). With the comparison of the absolute number of incendiaries of Chart 1, and the percentage of the incendiary in Chart 2 we can maybe speculate that the German incendiary bombings were the reason for this record.
 : : : : : : : : However, this explanation has its flaws. The bombings of Hamburg and Dresden were famous for having firestorms. Even with the low percentage of incendiary bombs, the British did know how to destruct cities with fire-storming techniques. So although from the statistics we can speculate that the incendiary weapons and their fires contributed to the number of houses destroyed per ton by German bombings, the firestorms discredit this theory.
 : : : : : : : : Secondly, it may be that the weights of the bombs were different. The heavier, but less effective bombs would have driven the numbers up, yet did not destroy the houses. For example, the heaviest German bomb that I could find was 250 kg (1), while the British infamously used their blockbuster, or cookies bombs, which weighed from 8,000 to 12,000 pounds or 1,800 to 5,400 kg (2). The British used over 380,000 of them just in 1944 (3). Also, the Germans used mines which were much lighter, but just as destructive.
 : : : : : : : : However, it should also be noted that the blockbuster bombs were extremely destructive. Due to their sheer size, they exploded even when they did not directly hit the target, dealing great damage. Also, more than 50% of the blockbuster bombs were sheer explosives- giving them power to wipe out whole blocks, and therefore, destroy more buildings.
 : : : : : : : : Thirdly, we cannot always trust the numbers. The numbers, although they are modern, may still be incorrect. I got the numbers from many different sources, but most of them English. It may be the case that the numbers were exaggerated to show how destructives the Germans were. Also, I used only a small number of sample, so this might have attributed to the bias. However, to see all of the cities in the similar high numbers, although this is a small number of samples, do suggest that the numbers are believable to a point.
 : : : : : : : : From Chart 1, it can be concluded that the bombings by Germany destroyed more buildings per ton than did by the bombings of the British, and that they used more firebombs. The fact that the Germans used more firebombs and used lighter bombs could support the idea that the Germans were better at destroying buildings. However, it could also be that the numbers are distorted.
 : : : : : : : : However, the simplest explanation may be concerned with the weight of the bombs. Although the blockbuster bombs could be more destructive, this means that the bombs couldn¡¯t be spread as far. Smaller and lighter bombs mean more area that the bombs could cover.

CHART 2 Guernica Rotterdam Coventry Belfast Hamburg Dresden
Incendiary / Ton n/a n/a 60-72 47 1.1 7.52


 : : : : : : : : In this chart, we can find another difference between the two countries. Disregarding Guernica and Rotterdam where the numbers could not be found, incendiary usage was much higher for the bombings conducted by Germans, using close or more than 47 incendiaries per ton, while the British used under 10 per ton. This shows that although the British bombings were more famous for being firestorms, the numbers show that the Germans used more Incendiary bombings.
 : : : : : : : : The first explanation for this can be the difference of bombing tactics. The British preferred to unload everything in one wave, while Germany preferred to drop loads over 3-4 waves. However, this also meant that the defenders had a chance to turn off the fire between the waves, so there had to be incendiary weapons used for every wave for the German bombings.
 : : : : : : : : However, that would account for 3 to 4 times the bombing for the bombings, but the numbers are abnormally high, at least 8 times more high. Also, the Hamburg bombings were done over 10 days, so it was one time where the British did a bombing in a similar fashion to that of the Germans, but this would have lowered the differences. Also, this explanation would also show that the Germans used more tons of bombings, as they attacked in multiple waves but the absolute numbers show that the British used much more bombings that the Germans.
 : : : : : : : : Also, there are various other reasons such as blockbuster bombs. The blockbuster bombs of the British were very heavy, and they were mostly explosives. The addition of the few bombs that weighed up to 5 tons but had no incendiaries would drop the Incendiary/Ton statistics severely. Also, as the first difference, we cannot always trust the numbers, and the four cities that were observed also could be outliers. Lastly, this statistics can be very deceptive as since incendiary bombings do not weigh much, it did not have much influence on the weight of the bombings. So this might not accurately reflect the fact that Germany used incendiaries more frequently.
 : : : : : : : : There appears not to be a single reason for the reason that Germans used more incendiaries per ton, but rather a combination of many reasons.

c) British-German Common

CHART 3 Guernica Rotterdam Coventry Belfast Hamburg Dresden
Morale yes yes maybe yes yes yes
Recovery no no fast unknown fast fast


 : : : : : : : : First common quality that can be found is the effect on the morale. Of the six bombings, there were demoralizing effects that were on record for at least five of them. Guernica seriously demoralizes the rallying point for the Spanish socialists, and Rotterdam drew the Netherlands to surrender. Actually, the Netherlands surrendered when Nazi Germany threatened to make Utrecht, another main city, to suffer the same fate as Rotterdam. The bombing of Coventry created a new language for the city - Coventrized, and Belfast was a bombshell to Northern Irish who thought that they were safe from war. Goebbels wrote in his diary that the bombing of Hamburg made him think that ¡°a few more of these and Germany might have to call for peace.¡± (4) Dresden was an obvious blow as well.
 : : : : : : : : However, there are some points that must be considered. First, these are major bombings, so it is obvious that these bombings had more effect in dropping morale than other bombings. So from these 6 cities, the generalization that all bombings are like this can be quite dangerous. Secondly, although the bombings dropped morale, they raised morale as well. The bombings made the defenders to be more determined to beat the other side. There are opinions like this in many different sources (5). Lastly, this is all subjective and depends on records. Unlike numbers, there are no real ways to gauge this, so it may be deceptive as well.
 : : : : : : : : The second is the recovery rate. Coventry, Belfast, Hamburg, and Dresden all displayed exceptionally fast recovery rate. In Coventry the production rate was down only by a fifteen percent, and this soon recovered in a few months (6). Belfast¡¯s ports were hard hit, but the recovery was ¡°very fast.¡± (7) Hamburg¡¯s shipyard was back to normal in just two months (8), and in Dresden the Minister of Armaments and War Production of Germany later admitted that the industrial recovery were ¡°rapid.¡± (9)
 : : : : : : : : For Guernica and Rotterdam, there are two explanations. First, they were the one of the first places to be bombed on a large scale, so the technology to recover from the bombings may not have been developed enough yet. Secondly, these places were soon overrun by the attackers in few days. This overrun made more destruction and made the recovery even harder. Thirdly, it is the modern sources. By emphasizing the recovery rate was slow for the two cities, it just shows that Germans did not allow recovery to the city that they had already conquered. Since the sources that I have used are almost all British sources, this may have played a role as well.

d) Abnormalities

CHART 4 Guernica Rotterdam Coventry Belfast Hamburg Dresden
Houses / Incendiary n/a 3.2 1.66-2 3.64 25 3.9
Homeless / Buildings n/a n/a 16.7 2.85 6 7.69


 : : : : : : : : Lastly, there are some abnormalities that must be observed. We can observe from Chart4 that the numbers skyrocketed for the number of houses destroyed by incendiary bombs for Hamburg, and the homeless created per building for Coventry were abnormally high.
 : : : : : : : : For Hamburg, we can first think of the firestorm for destroying many buildings. This firestorm was the first of its kinds, and it was very destructive. However, the Dresden bombings also had firestorm yet the numbers are similar to Belfast. Secondly, the number¡¯s reason maybe that the firefighting was not adequate. Fires destroy houses, but with a sufficient force to fight it, it can be prevented. Belfast for example, had firefighters from Ireland to aid it. It may not have been the case for Hamburg. Thirdly, it may be attributed to the fact that this statistics may not amount to much. Incendiaries did not directly destroyed buildings- they created fires that destroyed the buildings next to them as well. The normal bombs also had the same effect. Also, as state above, incendiary numbers can be misleading since they are only a small part of the whole raid, and take up very little amount of tons of bombing which were done.
 : : : : : : : : However, for Coventry, there are no real explanations for this abnormal number. It might be that there were factory houses where many workers worked in the same place, but with the effect of the evacuation, where children and woman would have to leave home, the numbers would have been similar. Also, more than 80% of the houses were destroyed, so almost everything was destroyed. The numbers show that for each building destroyed in Coventry, 16 people lost their homes. However, the Belfast number confirms that the average house for the British had 3-4 people. Also, the evacuation would have made the number even less. Hamburg and Dresden numbers were higher because refugees fled to their cities, cramping the city quarters. However, we cannot find any logical explanation for how Coventry could make 16 person homeless for every house destroyed. This number probably one still exaggerated by the British. 1,000,000 looks like a nice number to throw around, and this was probably repeated. The real number, to my guess, would be at least 1/4 the number, 250,000 or even fewer.



Chapter 2 : On selection and possible bias (as of Sept. 21st 2009) . . . go to Teacher's comment


 : : : : : : : : A unique feature of this paper is that it does not deal with all of the bombings of World War 2. This paper deals with only a few selected cases. There are two reasons for doing this.
 : : : : : : : : First is the resource at hand. As a high school student living in South Korea, there is a limit to the resources that I have at hand. To get more accurate information, there needs to be a lot of resources to cross-check. As I was writing this paper, I was surprised at the discrepancies between resources. If I had opted to write even smaller cases, I would have only one or two sources, which might be incorrect.
 : : : : : : : : Secondly, it is the significance that these cities held. I believe that these cities were one way or another significant of the kind of bombing that they received. Guernica, Rotterdam, Coventry, and Dresden are all major examples of their bombing. Hamburg and Belfast shows two cities that were neglected but are excellent follow up examples- and as they are about a year or two apart from each other, they show a progress of time as well.
 : : : : : : : : However, it is not to say that this method was the best method, as there are several problems with this.
 : : : : : : : : First and foremost, they are the large ones. Small bombings were neglected, and the difference may be vast. So not all bombings were horrific as I described- some of them were relatively harmless, a squadron of four destroying a factory, but these cases were not dealt.
 : : : : : : : : Secondly, they are the one that succeeded. All were considered a great success by the bombers, as they caused massive destruction and chaos on the other side. The reason that these cases are famous is because they succeeded. This creates a huge bias as the anti-air defense being inadequate, as many of these cases succeeded because the anti-air defense was insufficient. However, there are numerous other cases where the defense worked fine, and the bombers retreated without doing much damage.
 : : : : : : : : Thirdly, even though I choose the cities, there are many major cases that I ignored. London and Berlin were the two most heavily bombed places. However, I did not enter them as they were bombed over a long period of time. The V-1 and V-2 attacks were also excluded as they do not concern air technology. Bombings of Warsaw, Hull, Birmingham, Bremen and Cologne were all major bombings, but they were not written. That is because there were not enough resources or they were similar with other cases.
 : : : : : : : : Lastly, I cannot read German, Spanish, or Dutch as well as I can in English. I tried to utilize translation engines, but they became horrible when I needed precise information- so most sources are in the viewpoint of British. There are two biases. First, the German damages might have been exaggerated and Allies damage minimized. Also there are much information on how the German bombings were planned, and the casualties of the British side, but not vice versa.



Appendix : Articles on the Bombing of Guernica, Rotterdam, Coventry, Belfast (as of Sept. 16th 2008) . . . go to Teacher's comment

Typed Guernica April 26th - May 11th (15 days)

List of relevant Times of London Articles (total : 32)
Articles on the result of the bombing: 4
The Tragedy Of Guernica 1. April 28, 1937 page 1
Guernica 2. April 28, 1937 p.1
Royal Oak At St. Jean De Luz 3. April 28, 1937 p.1
Germany and Bombing of Guernica 4. April 29, 1937 p.1
Bombing Of Guernica 5. April 29, 1937 p.1
Destruction Of Guernica 6. April 29, 1937 p.1
The Ordeal Of Guernica 7. April 29, 1937 p.2
To The Editor Of The Times 8. April 29, 1937 p.2
.Guernica And After 9. April 30, 1937 p.2
"Massacre From The Air" 10. April 30, 1937 p.2
The Bombing Of Guernica 11. April 30, 1937 p.2
The Destruction Of Guernica 12. April 30, 1937 p.3
To The Editor Of The Times 13. May 1, 1937 p.3
Bombing Of Guernica 14. May 1, 1937 p.3
"Crime Without Excuse" 15. May 3, 1937 p.3
Bombing Of Guernica 16. May 3, 1937 p.4
Nationalists And Guernica 17. May 4, 1937 p.4
Mayor Of Guernica Replies 18. May 5, 1937 page 5
'The Times' Bombs Guernica 19. May 5, 1937 page 5
To The Editor Of The Times 20. May 5, 1937 page 5
News in Brief 21. May 5, 1937 page 5
Guernica And Elsewhere 22. May 5, 1937 page 5
The German Version Of Guernica 23. May 5, 1937 page 5
The Ruins Of Guernica 24. May 5, 1937 page 5
Bombing Of Guernica 25. May 6, 1937 page 6

Articles on the repercussions of the bombing: 16
-House of Commons reaction, Refugee articles

Articles with only a mention of the city: 25
-Completely unrelated, Index, War in Spain(such as Madrid bombing)

Articles with only a mention of the city: 21
Completely unrelated, Index, War in Spain (such as Madrid bombing)

List of relevant NYT Articles (39)
Articles on the result of the bombing: 6
Historic Basque Town Wiped Out; Rebel Fliers Machine-Gun Civilians; Waves of German-Type Planes Fling Thousands of Bombs and Incendiary Projectiles on Guernica, Behind Lines, as Priests Bless Peasants Filling Town on Market Day 1. April 28, 1937, Wednesday, Page 1, 1273 words
MASS MURDER IN GUERNICA 2. April 29, 1937, Thursday Page 20, 272 words
REBELS LAY FIRES TO GUERNICA 'REDS'; Deny Their Planes Flew on the Day Town Was Destroyed Say They Respect Basques 3. April 30, 1937, Friday, Page 8, 960 words
No Air Raid Marks Seen By Newsmen in Guernica 4. May 2, 1937, Sunday, Page 1, 132 words
INQUIRER DOUBTFUL ON GUERNICA FIRE; No Evidence Is Found That Basque Town Was Set Aflame by Bombs From Planes 5. May 5, 1937, Wednesday, Page 1, 2905 words
GUERNICA INQUIRY FAVORED BY EDEN; He Says Britain Has Evidence Air Bombing Destroyed Spanish 'Holy Town' 6. May 7, 1937, Friday Page 10, 687 words

Articles on the repercussions of the bombing: 10
-German denial, Anti-bombing treaty

Articles with only a mention of the city: 17
-Completely unrelated, news of the week, War in Spain (such as Madrid bombing)

Typed Rotterdam April 14th~May 29th (15 days)

List of relevant Times of London Articles (total : 66)
Articles on the result of the bombing: 4
German Threat To Rotterdam 1. May 14, 1940 p.1
Surrender In Holland 2. May 15, 1940 p.1
The Bridges Of Rotterdam 3. May 15, 1940 p.2
The Fight In Rotterdam 4. May 15, 1940 p.2

Articles on the repercussions of the bombing: 7
The German War Technique 1. May 25, 1940 p.3

NYT : 52 articles
Articles on the result of the bombing: 2
Center of Rotterdam Devastated After its Commander Surrendered; Capitulation Received Too Late, Germans Say, to Halt Bombers Who Turned City Into Shambles in 9 Minutes 1. May 23, 1940, Thursday Page 5, 1372 words
NAZI NEWSREEL SHOWS ROTTERDAM IN FLAMES; Machine Guns, Dive Bombers and Fire Piled Up Horrors 2. May 23, 1940, Thursday, Page 5, 303 words

Articles on the repercussions of the bombing: 8
-Attacks on Rotterdam, Rotterdam after occupation

Articles with only a mention of the city: 42
-Completely unrelated, WW2, but not regarding Netherlands (such as French being confident) Netherlands, but not regarding Rotterdam

Typed Coventry Nov 14th-Nov 29th (15 days)

List of relevant Times of London Articles (total : 66)
Articles on the result of the bombing: 5
Big Attack On Coventry 1. November 16, 1940 p.1
A Martyred City 2. November 18, 1940 p.1
The Butchery At Coventry 3. November 18, 1940 p.2
250 Killed At Coventry (Note- the modern death toll is 2-2.5times) 4. November 18, 1940 p.2
Coventry Spire 5. November 20, 1940 p.3
Impressions Of Coventry 6. November 20, 1940 p.6
Sir,-When Coventry was bombed 7. November 28, 1940 p.6

Articles on the repercussions of the bombing: 15
The king visitng, need for medical supplies, cathedral

Articles with only a mention of the city: 42
Food supplies at conventry, other bombings, sports

NYT: Total articles: 70 (5/17/48)
Articles on the result of the bombing: 5
COVENTRY PLANTS RAZED, NAZIS SAY; BRITISH INDUSTRIAL CENTER WHERE HAVOC WAS WROUGHT BY GERMANS 1. November 16, 1940 p.3
BOMBS ON CONVENTRY 2. November 16, 1940 p.8
'REVENGE' BY NAZIS; Industrial City Bombed All Night in 'Reply' to R.A.F. Raid on Munich CATHEDRAL IS DESTROYED Homes and Shops Bear Brunt of Mass Assault--Military Damage Is Minimized 3. November 16, 1940 p.1
Coventry, Known as 'City of Three Spires', Is in Heart of England's Industrial Area Minimized 4. November 16, 1940 p.3
Time Bombs Rock Coventry Anew; Many Dead Are Found in Shelters; City's Toll Mounts to 250 as the Search Goes On--Water, Gas and Light Services Off --Industries to Resume Today 5. November 18, 1940 p.3

Articles on the repercussions of the bombing: 17
German threats to bomb them back

Articles with only a mention of the city: 47
Completely unrelated, WW2, Birmingham Bombings

Typed Belfast Apr 8th-Apr 23rd (15 days)

Times of London: Total Articles: 18 (1/2/15)
Articles on the result of the bombing: 1
Heavy Attacks On Belfast 1. April 17, 1941 p.1

Articles on the repercussions of the bombing: 1
Belfast Back to Normal

Articles with only a mention of the city: 18
obituaries, death, others

NYT : Total articles: 9 (1/3/5)
Articles on the result of the bombing: 2
Harbor Blasted, Nazis Say 1. April 17, 1941 p.7

Articles on the repercussions of the bombing: 3
On bombing, zoo killings THE PATTERN OF BOMBING

Articles with only a mention of the city: 5
Completely unrelated, earlier bombings




Appendix : Articles on the Bombing of Guernica and Rotterdam (as of Sept. 14th 2009) . . . go to Teacher's comment

Typed Guernica April 26th - May 11th (15 days)

List of relevant Times of London Articles (total : 66)
Articles on the result of the bombing: 4
German Threat To Rotterdam 1. May 14, 1940 p.1
Surrender In Holland 2. May 15, 1940 p.1
The Bridges Of Rotterdam 3. May 15, 1940 p.2
The Fight In Rotterdam 4. May 15, 1940 p.2

Articles on the repercussions of the bombing: 7
The German War Technique 1. May 25, 1940 p.3

Articles with only a mention of the city: 21
Completely unrelated, Index, War in Spain (such as Madrid bombing)

List of relevant NYT Articles (39)
Articles on the result of the bombing: 6
Historic Basque Town Wiped Out; Rebel Fliers Machine-Gun Civilians; Waves of German-Type Planes Fling Thousands of Bombs and Incendiary Projectiles on Guernica, Behind Lines, as Priests Bless Peasants Filling Town on Market Day 1. April 28, 1937, Wednesday, Page 1, 1273 words
MASS MURDER IN GUERNICA 2. April 29, 1937, Thursday Page 20, 272 words
REBELS LAY FIRES TO GUERNICA 'REDS'; Deny Their Planes Flew on the Day Town Was Destroyed Say They Respect Basques 3. April 30, 1937, Friday, Page 8, 960 words
No Air Raid Marks Seen By Newsmen in Guernica 4. May 2, 1937, Sunday, Page 1, 132 words
INQUIRER DOUBTFUL ON GUERNICA FIRE; No Evidence Is Found That Basque Town Was Set Aflame by Bombs From Planes 5. May 5, 1937, Wednesday, Page 1, 2905 words
GUERNICA INQUIRY FAVORED BY EDEN; He Says Britain Has Evidence Air Bombing Destroyed Spanish 'Holy Town' 6. May 7, 1937, Friday Page 10, 687 words

Articles on the repercussions of the bombing: 10
-German denial, Anti-bombing treaty

Articles with only a mention of the city: 17
-Completely unrelated, news of the week, War in Spain (such as Madrid bombing)

Typed Rotterdam April 14th~May 29th (15 days)

List of relevant Times of London Articles (total : 32)
Articles on the result of the bombing: 4
The Tragedy Of Guernica 1. April 28, 1937 page 1
Guernica 2. April 28, 1937 p.1
Royal Oak At St. Jean De Luz 3. April 28, 1937 p.1
Germany and Bombing of Guernica 4. April 29, 1937 p.1
Bombing Of Guernica 5. April 29, 1937 p.1
Destruction Of Guernica 6. April 29, 1937 p.1
The Ordeal Of Guernica 7. April 29, 1937 p.2
To The Editor Of The Times 8. April 29, 1937 p.2
.Guernica And After 9. April 30, 1937 p.2
"Massacre From The Air" 10. April 30, 1937 p.2
The Bombing Of Guernica 11. April 30, 1937 p.2
The Destruction Of Guernica 12. April 30, 1937 p.3
To The Editor Of The Times 13. May 1, 1937 p.3
Bombing Of Guernica 14. May 1, 1937 p.3
"Crime Without Excuse" 15. May 3, 1937 p.3
Bombing Of Guernica 16. May 3, 1937 p.4
Nationalists And Guernica 17. May 4, 1937 p.4
Mayor Of Guernica Replies 18. May 5, 1937 page 5
'The Times' Bombs Guernica 19. May 5, 1937 page 5
To The Editor Of The Times 20. May 5, 1937 page 5
News in Brief 21. May 5, 1937 page 5
Guernica And Elsewhere 22. May 5, 1937 page 5
The German Version Of Guernica 23. May 5, 1937 page 5
The Ruins Of Guernica 24. May 5, 1937 page 5
Bombing Of Guernica 25. May 6, 1937 page 6

Articles on the repercussions of the bombing: 16
-House of Commons reaction, Refugee articles

Articles with only a mention of the city: 25
-Completely unrelated, Index, War in Spain(such as Madrid bombing)

NYT : 52 articles
Articles on the result of the bombing: 2
Center of Rotterdam Devastated After its Commander Surrendered; Capitulation Received Too Late, Germans Say, to Halt Bombers Who Turned City Into Shambles in 9 Minutes 1. May 23, 1940, Thursday Page 5, 1372 words
NAZI NEWSREEL SHOWS ROTTERDAM IN FLAMES; Machine Guns, Dive Bombers and Fire Piled Up Horrors 2. May 23, 1940, Thursday, Page 5, 303 words

Articles on the repercussions of the bombing: 8
-Attacks on Rotterdam, Rotterdam after occupation

Articles with only a mention of the city: 42
-Completely unrelated, WW2, but not regarding Netherlands (such as French being confident) Netherlands, but not regarding Rotterdam




Hamburg (as of August 20th 2009) . . . go to Teacher's comment

Hamburg (July24-August 3 1943)

1) Prelude
           From the September of 1939, Hamburg had been a constant target for diversion and nuisance raiding. Hamburg was a strategically important point, as it was an industrial center with a port (1). It was also the second largest city of Germany with 1.5 million inhabitants (2). However, on July of 1943, the city still was pouring out equipments for the Germans.
           Outside the city, the Germans were being pushed out of Russia and North Africa, and there once large empire was shrinking. However, the German propaganda was able to keep the morale of the German people high ? people still thought that they were going to win the war. (3)
           This prompted the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the head of the Bomber command Arthur "Bomber" Harris to come up with Operation Gomorrah, to use the "1000 bombers" tactic as used in Cologne (4). There is a letter from Harris at May 27th of 1943, which effectively shows his intentions for the mission. The letter reads "The total destruction of this city would achieve immeasurable results in reducing the industrial capacity of the enemy's war machine ¡¦ together with the effect on German morale." (5) According, to the letter, the intention was not to debilitate the factories, but to "destroy Hamburg." (6)

2) Operations Carried Out
           The city was not lightly defended. The city had well-formed anti-aircraft defenses, over 1,700 shelters for 230,000 citizens, or 1/6 of the whole population, and radars that could pick up bombers from 100 miles away. (7)
           However, the Bomber command had more tricks up their sleeves. The main new technology used was the predecessor of modern chaffs which was known as "Window" which was thin strips of aluminum (other sources say this was tin) (8) foils thrown out of the rear door (9). This system wrecked havoc with the radar system that the Germans developed. The H2S radar system provided the bombers with a TV-like of the areas that they were going to bomb (10). The bombings would continue day and night- British at night and Americans at noon.
           Although the numbers from different sources differ, it is clear that over 720~750 bombers from England started bombing on the night of the July 24th. The one hour of ceaseless bombing dropped over 2,300 tons of bomb, with over 350,000 incendiary bombs (11). The incendiary bombs were not pathfinders - bombs to illuminate target areas (12), but intended to destroy most of the city. The combination with the high-explosive or "blockbuster" and "cookie" bombs made them extremely deadly. Only 12 bombers were lost.
           The morning of July 25th followed with 68-109 (again, the sources differ) American B-17s attacking the Shipyards. However, they failed because of the heavy smokes from fire that were still burning from the attack of the night. The bombers suffered around 15 losses.
           Karl Kaufmann, the Gaulieter of the city, decided to not let anyone leaves the city, because he thought that more manpower was needed to fight the fires. This action might have caused the large loss of civilians lives. (14)
           American bombers attacked again on July 25th and 26th, and unlike the British Bombings, their targets were industrial targets and power station and did not cause many civilian deaths. The British night raids at 26th and 27th also did not cause major death tolls as they were nuisance raids, designed to deprive sleep, not lives.
           July 29th was the second major bombing, with over 720 planes participating in the raid. Over 2300 tons were dropped once again in less than an hour, and about a tenth of them being incendiary bombs, far more than the usual rate (15). This created a "Feuersurm." (16) Leonard Cooper, an engineer, recalled that smokes reached up to 20,000 feet (17), while Trevor Timperely recalled it as "a sea of flames." Without radars being effective, the German defenses had to rely on conventional weapons and shooting down which was effective only to point (18). The creep-back method was also used, which meant the city was destroyed systemically destroyed from the outside (19). This killed over 30,000-42,600 (these numbers are again, widely disputed) people and destroyed over 16,000 buildings (20).
           After another two more nights of nuisance raiding, 750~780 aircrafts once again went for Hamburg on the night of the 29th and August 2nd. However, they did not do much as the damages of the firestorm on July 29th due to electrical storm and thunderstorm respectively. Both raids lost about 30 planes. (21)

3) Damages Suffered
           There were three kinds of damages that were suffered. First was the loss of civilian lives. The second was the destruction of the city as a whole. The third was the destruction of the war capacity that the city had. Although the numbers vary at different points, all sources agree to one conclusion: the city was effectively reduced to ashes in the 10 days of incessant bombing.
           The first and the most difficult to find out are the damages that the civilians suffered. Wikipedia argues for over 50,000 deaths while the History Learning claims over 30,000. Military History gives a specific number of 42,600 for the July 27th raid, and the Century of Flight quotes an unnamed German source for the number of 40,000.
           The numbers were not the only point of conflicts. Bomber command Harris claimed that "no proof that most causalities were women and children," (22) while the same unnamed German source from the Century of Flight claims that for every 100 men, 160 women were killed, and more than 8,000 kids perished.
           Judging from the fact that a) the British forces did attack residential buildings, causing fire in those buildings, b) even though there were shelters, the firestorm would have caused people to suffocate in the bunkers, c) the fact that the city was sealed off after the first night of bombing and people were not allowed to leave, the number of casualties would have been probably more than 40,000, and even up to 50,000. The difference would come from who to view as direct death from the bombing - as the fires would have made people suffer long, painful death.
           Second damage, the destruction of the city, is clearer. "Other attacks¡¦ were a tenth as destructive as the effects of a firestorm," (23) by British general Dyson (24) "reduced ..to ashes" and "utterly destroyed," (25) the consensus is pretty clear that the city was literally burnt down. Over 250,000 houses were destroyed (26), and the residential district of Hammerbrook and Rothenburgshot was completely destroyed, and was transformed into commercial districts because virtually no buildings survived. Many sources agree that over one million of the 1.5 million residents lost their homes, so the extent of the damage is an effective destruction of the whole city.
           Thirdly, there was the damage to the war making capability of this city. This can also be divided into two parts: the actual and the morale. The examination of this clearly shows the main reason of bombing. It is undeniable that the war industries were put into halt. However, by end of 1943, the airplane industry was back to its pre-bombing productions. The chemistry industry, which most of it had been gone up in flames, were returned more than 70% rate. The shipyards, which were repeatedly bombed by the Americans, showed "no signs of damage," (27) and another submarine was launched in September (28). The numbers show that the effect to the German war industry can be called only a temporary halt. Also, the fact that the Germans developed a radar that could see through the Window system show that the technology part was not really damaged. However, the real damage came in the morale part. Goebbels wrote in his diary that the bombing of Hamburg was the first time when he thought Nazi Germany might have to call for peace (29). Hitler refused to visit the city afterwards.(30)
           All in all, the city of Hamburg was utterly destroyed. Possibly up to 50,000 citizens would have died from the bombing, and more than 2/3 of the inhabitants were left homeless. The Nazi party's dreams of winning the war were severely shaken and the propaganda began to lessen. However, the effect on the war industry was not as severe. The main target, the shipyards, was in full force in two months. The bombing had a severe effect on the mind, but a minor one on the war capabilities.

4) Aftermath
           There can be two main effects which need to be evaluated. The first is the development of the technology and the second is the effect on the whole war.
           As in the matters of technology, there were notable improvements by both the attackers and the defenders. British found out that firestorms were the most effective way to destroy the city: the combination of incendiary bombs and high explosive, coupled with the destruction of the fire-fighting system made it impossible for the city to fight back. However, they also realized that firestorms created electrical storms and smokes which made further targeting harder. Secondly, they developed the Window system which made the anti-air guns of the Germans almost useless. Lastly, they reaffirmed the effect of massive bombing on the morale - devastating. However, the Germans also became better defenders as they developed radars to penetrate the Window system, and developed effective fire-fighting systems against firebombing. As an effect, the only other firestorm that was caused in the war was the one in Dresden.
           On war, it is almost a reiteration of the part above. The war capability was halted, but it was not a fatal blow. However, the Nazi high-ranker¡¯s belief that they could only win the war began to shake; the Allies began to believe that these massive bombings could force a shorter war.

(1)       Wiki
(2)       www.century-of-flight.net/Aviantion%20history/Ww2/hamburg.htm
(3)       www.historylearningsite.co.uk/hamburg_bombing-1943.htm
(4)       ibid.
(5)       www.century-of-flight.net/Aviantion%20history/Ww2/hamburg.htm
(6)       ibid.
(7)       www.historylearningsite.co.uk/hamburg_bombing-1943.htm
(8)       ibid.
(9)       www.century-of-flight.net/Aviantion%20history/Ww2/hamburg.htm
(10)       http:militaryhistory.about.cim/od/aerialcampaigns/p/Gomorrah.htm
(11)       ibid.
(12)       The Wikipedia claims they were pathfinders, but 350,000 seems an excessive amount to "illuminate" the area, also, the bombs caused a firestorm
(13)       wwedb.com/battle_spec.php?battle_id=55
(14)       ibid.
(15)       www.historylearningsite.co.uk/hamburg_bombing-1943.htm
(16)       Wiki
(17)       wwedb.com/battle_spec.php?battle_id=55
(18)       ibid.
(19)       ibid.
(20)       ibid.
(21)       ibid.
(22)       www.century-of-flight.net/Aviantion%20history/Ww2/hamburg.htm
(23)       ibid.
(24)       ibid.
(25)       http:militaryhistory.about.cim/od/aerialcampaigns/p/Gomorrah.htm
(26)       Wiki
(27)       wwedb.com/battle_spec.php?battle_id=55
(28)       ibid.
(29)       www.historylearningsite.co.uk/hamburg_bombing-1943.htm
(30)       ibid.



Rotterdam (as of August 20th 2009) . . . go to Teacher's comment

Rotterdam (May 14th 1940)

1) Prelude
           Although Netherlands had adhered to strict neutrality during the Phony War (19), Germany nevertheless started attacking the country on May 10th, 1940. Germany decided this attack as to bypass the Maginot line of the French by attacking through Belgium, Netherlands and the Luxemburg. This war was a certain German victory, regarding the strength of the armies. The only question was how long would Netherlands hold off the German attack (20).
           The initial push was fast for the Germans, as they had the superior equipment. The Dutch army had just over 100 tanks, and there were not enough airplanes to call them a separate division - they were still considered as part of the army (21). However, the Dutch managed to hold their ground at the Fortress Holland (22).
           Germany wanted to end this front as soon as possible and divert their full resources on the French front (23). The "Weisung" Nr. 11. Issued by Hitler fully summarizes the
           "The resistance capability of the Dutch army has proved to be stronger than expected. Political as well as military reasons demand that this resistance is broken as soon as possible."

2) Operations Carried Out
           Generals Schmidt and?Student requested for tactical bombing, and decided that the army could not win without large losses; they needed air support to lessen their losses (24). The Germans had already tried out large-scale bombing in Guernica and Warsaw, and Rotterdam would be the thirds city which would be obliterated by the Luftwaffe. The German Air Force Luftwaffe had lost already 400 planes in Netherlands, much higher number than expected, so Göring, the top commander of Luftwaffe viewed this attack as a chance to up-grade the status.
           The air-defense was almost non-existent. There were very few anti-air plane guns, and technologies like the barrage balloons have not been deployed yet. The main anti-bomber defense, the Dutch Air force, had been largely reduced in the early stage of the war (25). Rotterdam was to be bombed with almost no resistance. The best defense that they could take was evacuate the city, but the Dutch had choose to defend the city (26).
           General Schmidt then sent an ultimatum to the Dutch:
           "This may well result in the complete destruction of the city¡¦. I petition you - as a man of responsibility - to endeavour everything within your powers to prevent the town of having to bear such a huge price ¡¦ two hours after the hand-over of this ultimatum no official reply be received, I will be forced to execute the most extreme measures of destruction." (27)
           The colonel who sent the message also threatened to destroy other cities like Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Haarlem if the Dutch did not surrender (28), although this in question. However, looking at the fact that Germany sent an ultimatum later to bomb Utrecht, this threat has a high chance of actually been made. This was sent at 10:00, setting the guillotine time to 12:00
           Colonel Scharroo, the mayor of Rotterdam, and other members of the Dutch command was disturbed by the fact that the ultimatum before had no signature, rank, or anything to verify it (29). The German command also realized that the 2 hours were too short - the messenger needed time to actually go through the defenses and hand out the message. So the command sent a telegram back to Germany, asking to postpone the attack. Meanwhile, the Dutch asked for the verification at 11:45 and the second ultimatum which asked more specific terms such as surrendering the city, not destroying the supplies, and laying down the arms (30). This was given at 1:15.
           The bombers struck at 1:20. (32)
           Although the German Command had asked for postponement, the planes already had taken off. It is still unknown why the planes still bombed Rotterdam. There was the radio system to convey the message midway, and the flare system as a back-up method. The German records show that the telegram from General Schmidt was received, as well as the fact that flares were fired just in case. (33)
           Even General Schmidt cried out: "My God, this is a catastrophe!" (34)
           Two different bomber groups approached, and one of them luckily saw the flares and only 3 planes dropped the bombs. However, the other group unleashed its 97 tons of bombs at Rotterdam. In all, 57 of the 90 He-111P bombers dropped their loads, and fires began burning buildings and civilians alike. Unlike other bombardments, there was only one wave, which lessened the damage to the city. The Dutch surrendered quickly after the bombing, and the German forces occupied the city in few hours. It was later found that Göring was planned to bomb at 7:00 once again, but only stopped by a telegram by Schmidt that he had already occupied the city - interestingly, the bombers were turned around in time. (36)

3) Damages Suffered
           Although the exact numbers are not sure, most records agree that 800 to 900 people (37) were killed in the bombing. The city was destroyed to a large extent, and 24,978 homes, 24 churches, 2,320 stores, 775 warehouses and 62 schools was destroyed (38). Of the city with almost 600,000 people (39), 80,000 were left homeless. (40)
           The first-hand account shows how horrific the sight was:
           "As we moved through the burning city streets, every street we walked through was burning ... This is something you don't want to write or talk about, but within me this death walk will never leave my mind." (41)
           Rotterdam lost its war capacity and was turned into a strategic point for the German military.

4) Aftermath
           This bombing had many different after effects. One of them was the surrender of the Netherlands. When the Netherlands were threatened once again with similar conditions with the city of Utrecht (42), the Dutch quickly complied. The British also started bombing civilian workers and industries that was related to war (43). Göring later was condemned as a war criminal for this act (44).
           Technologically, the move showed the effectiveness and the destructiveness of the air force - and maybe the communication system by the Germans was not as good as they previously thought. All in all, the bombardment showed a new fact about war: the war cannot be won without the control of the skies.

(19)       http://www.waroverholland.nl/index.php?page=rotterdam-4
(20)       http://www.scientificpsychic.com/etc/jeff/Jeff-Noordermeer-Rotterdam001.html
(21)       http://www.waroverholland.nl/index.php?page=rotterdam-4
(22)       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotterdam_Blitz
(23)       ibid.
(24)       http://www.waroverholland.nl/index.php?page=rotterdam-4
(25)       ibid.
(26)       ibid.
(27)       ibid.
(28)       ibid.
(29)       ibid.
(30)       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotterdam_Blitz
(31)       http://www.waroverholland.nl/index.php?page=rotterdam-4
(32)       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotterdam_Blitz
(33)       http://www.waroverholland.nl/index.php?page=rotterdam-4
(34)       ibid.
(35)       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotterdam_Blitz
(36)       ibid.
(37)       http://www.waroverholland.nl/index.php?page=rotterdam-4
(38)       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotterdam_Blitz
(39)       http://www.scientificpsychic.com/etc/jeff/Jeff-Noordermeer-Rotterdam001.html
(40)       http://www.waroverholland.nl/index.php?page=rotterdam-4
(41)       http://www.scientificpsychic.com/etc/jeff/Jeff-Noordermeer-Rotterdam001.html
(42)       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotterdam_Blitz
(43)       ibid.
(44)       http://www.waroverholland.nl/index.php?page=rotterdam-4



Guernica (as of August 20th 2009) . . . go to Teacher's comment

Guernica (April 26th 1937)

1) Prelude
           Guernica, a city of about 5000 in Northern Spain, was a city of the Basque region. On April 1937, the city of Guernica was in a peculiar situation. The city was under control of the Basque Government, which was an autonomous regional government. The Government, made of leftist and Basque Nationalist (different from Franco's Nationalist) was more inclined toward the leftist than Franco, and decided to protect their region (1).
           Outside Guernica, the Republicans were fighting a losing battle. The Nationalist forces led by Franco were marching within the Republican territory. Franco¡¯s forces were directed toward Bilbao, which was thought to be the key city to end the front in Northern Spain (2). Guernica was in between the front and Bilbao, and many Republican refugees were using Guernica as a rally point (3).
           On April 26th, 1937, Guernica is estimated to have a population of more than 5,000 (4), mainly because the large number of refugees gathered there. The estimated number is 7,000 to 10,000 (5). Also, 26th was the Monday, which means that it was market day. This market day would have also brought many more people into the area. There is a small debate whether the market day took place or not (6). The Basque government had prevented a holding of large markets like such, but it is still likely the market would have been held (7). There is also an eyewitness account by Jose Monasterio, eyewitness to the bombing which states, ¡°Every Monday was a fair in Guernica. They attacked when there were a lot of people there. And they knew when their bombing would kill the most. When there are more people, more people would die." (8)

2) Operations Carried Out
           The bombing was done by the Condor Legion of the German air force. The squadron delegated two Heinkel (9) He 111s, one Dornier Do 17, eighteen Ju 52 Behelfsbomber, and three Italian SM.79s were assigned for the mission (10). These were armed with medium high explosive bombs (250 kg), light explosive bombs (50 kg) and incendiaries (1 kg) (11). The commanding officer of the Condor Legion was Oberstleutnant Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen, but he turned his command over to the Spanish Nationalist forces (12). The bombing started with a single fighter plane. It was identified some as a Heinkel He-111 and Do-17E by others. The pilot is conjectured to be Major Rudolf von Moreau, the most accomplished flier of the squadron. Pg26 This plane stooped down low and dropped 6 to 12 bombs. (Guernica states 6, while the Wikipedia states 12), Times This series of bombs turned out to be just the start of the fiasco.
           Then came the second wave of bombings which was done by the three Italian SM.79s (13). They were given orders to destroy explicitly bomb the bridges, as so to block the path that the villagers could run. They dropped around 36 bombs, but not at the village. Waves kept coming, and wave 5 ended around 1800. The third wave consisted of Heinkel He 111 escorted by five Aviazione Legionaria Fiat fighters. Waves four and five were carried out by German twin-engined planes (14). Until this time, there was only a prelude of bombing and a bombing to block off the path - the damage to the town was relatively small (15).
           The real beating came in a few hours From 1630s the 1st and the 2nd squadrons of the condor legions began its real attack. The 3rd squadron left just a few minutes later. More than 29 planes bombed the area, with the Ju52s bombing out the buildings and Bf 109Bs and Heinkel 51 biplanes swept the roads, deliberately aiming at the civilians. Also, another civilian atrocity happened at Mugica, a little group of houses at the head of the Guernica. Machine-gunned raged at the civilian houses, without any protection, provocation or military purposes for 15 minutes (16).
           The part about the 29 planes are often disputed, as the officials records themselves crash, some citing 29 planes but at the very start of the record, there are less than 29 planes. This might be explained if more planes were added as the raid went on.

3) Damages Suffered
           First, the number of civilian casualties is debated. The Basque forces counted more than 1500 dead (Gerard Brey, La destruccion de Guernica, Tiempo de Historia no. 29, April 1977,) The Nationalists, however, said that the destruction was caused by the republicans as they were fleeing the town, and even claimed that there were only 12 deaths. (Arriba, 1/30/1970) Ramos states in this book La Region Condor en La Guerra Civil and Villaroya and Sabte in their book Esapana en Lamas, La Guerra Civil desde el 200-350. However, the best possible way to put this is the report on Timesonline : "It is impossible to state yet the number of victims." (17)
           There are three main reasons that the casualty numbers are different. One, there was a large number of refugee populations, so no one really knows how many people were there. Second, there were also a lot of people killed as they were escaping the town by the machine guns of the passing planes. Lastly, the Nationalist forces who took this town three days later made no real effort to count the number.
           Also, more the three quarters of the town was destroyed and the city Guernica was taken by Franco in three days. However, intrestingly, arms factories Unceta and Company and Talleres de Guernica along with the Assembly House Casa de Juntas was not destroyed.

4) Aftermath
           The aftermath can be divided in three main parts
           First, technologically, carpet bombing was thought to be developed during this raid. It is true that Carpet bombing was done during this campaign. However, it is not sure that this was the very first place. To give a brief look, the Timesonline reports:
           "First, small parties of aeroplanes threw heavy bombs and hand grenades all over the town, choosing area after area in orderly fashion. Next came fighting machines which swooped low to machine-gun those who ran in panic from dugouts, some of which had already been penetrated by 1,000 lb bombs, which make a hole 25 ft. deep. Many of these people were killed as they ran. A large herd of sheep being brought in to the market was also wiped out. The object of this move was apparently to drive the population underground again, for next as many as 12 bombers appeared at a time dropping heavy and incendiary bombs upon the ruins. The rhythm of this bombing of an open town was, therefore, a logical one: first, hand grenades and heavy bombs to stampede the population, then machine-gunning to drive them below, next heavy and incendiary bombs to wreck the houses and burn them on top of their victims." (18)
           This article also interestingly notes that the best defense that the Guernica could employ was the prayer of the clerks
           However, the first official development on carpet bombing was on 1937 Asturias campaign in September. Therefore, it can be logically concluded that Guernica, along with few other bombings such as fighting in Barcelona help develop the strategy of carpet bombing. The Carpet bombing became the most effective and popular way to destroy and incinerate buildings and towns.
           The second is the effect on the Spanish Civil War. As aforementioned, Franco took the town rather easily. Also, the attack on the city had a demoralizing effect on the town as well as the whole of Basque community. The threats to end the war in North quickly became more real and the Nationalists managed to strike fear into the Republican's enemy's hearts. Cities like Bilbao were taken shortly afterwards, applying the same strategies as Guernica.
           Lastly, this bombing had a lasting effect, and almost a unique effect on the media. The Times ,reported the story by George Steer in two days, who was within the country and was therefore able to cover the story firsthand the quickest. His stern attack against the German attacks set the tone and made the media more hostile against the Germans. He also discovered bomb cases with German marks made the official German position of neutrality in the Civil War and the signing of a Non-Intervention Pact a hypcirisy. The report spread the New York Times and other media. Newspapers like the Times and the New York Times ran the story every day for over a week.
           Also there was the effort from Picasso which helped this incident to be famous. The exiled Republican worked at Paris for this job. He was asked to paint a picture for the Republican cause but was unable to produce one. The bombing enraged him and inspired him to makes this masterpiece, which created a huge astonishment at the world fair 1917. The painting became the symbol of the Basque and the Republican cause, and it was later placed at the United Nations Security Council room.

(1)       http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bombing_of_Guernica&printable=yes
(2)       ibid.
(3)       ibid.
(4)       http://www.pbs.org/treasuresoftheworld/guernica/glevel_1/1_bombing.html
(5)       Guernica, p.26
(6)       http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bombing_of_Guernica&printable=yes
(7)       Guernica, p.25
(8)       http://www.pbs.org/treasuresoftheworld/guernica/glevel_1/1_bombing.html
(9)       Also may be spelled Heinckel
(10)       http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/guernica.htm
(11)       http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bombing_of_Guernica&printable=yes
(12)       http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bombing_of_Guernica&printable=yes
(13)       http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/guernica.htm
(14)       Guernica, p.32
(15)       http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bombing_of_Guernica&printable=yes
(16)       http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bombing_of_Guernica&printable=yes
(17)       http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article709301.ece
(18)       http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article709301.ece



Dresden (as of August 17th 2009) . . . go to Teacher's comment

Dresden (February 14th 1945)

1) Prelude
           Dresden, the capital of Saxony, was the seventh largest in Germany and one of the least touched cities (1). It was a beautiful city, even during the war, and was called the "Florence of Elba," and remained a cultural hub (2). Many historians argue that it was only a cultural hub, and had no military significance (3). However, but it is undeniable that it was a communication hub, as the cities around it had been bombed fequently and were unsafe. Also, the United States Air Force report shows that there were more than 110 factories, including poison gas and optical goods factories (4).
           By 1945, the Soviets were advancing from the East, and Churchill received a report called German Strategy and Capacity to Resist which simply said that Germany will fall faster if the Soviet Army ran them over (5). Having devoted quite a lot of resources into Strategic Bombing force, the British had room to help the Soviets by area bombing. The head of the Bomber Command, "Bomber" Harris was for this idea, and it the once ignored Operation Thunderclap, which called for bombing of Eastern Germany including Berlin and Dresden was looked over once again (6).
           The targets were talked over with the Soviets at the Yalta conference (7), and Dresden, along with other objectives were decided. Attacking Dresden would also serve to halt a war factory, but there was a bigger objective. The bombing of Dresden would paralyze the communication and transportation of Germany. Germany was pulling its troops from the west to the east. The attack on communication and transportation would put the troops in middle of Germany, not on the borders where they were needed. Dresden, the beautiful untouched city (it was first bombed at October 1944), was to be bombed, just a few months before the end of the war.

2) Operations Carried Out
           The operation should have started in the daytime by the 8th bomber command of the US Air Force but the bad weather prevented them from doing so. The four waves carried out by the British Air Force did not have any specific targets, but the bombs were designed for total destruction. A letter to The Guardian shows this clearly.

           "My father was one of the anonymous RAF meteorological officers (who) finally sealed Dresden¡¯s fate ¡¦ Normally crews were given a strategic aiming point - anything from a major factory ¡¦ to a small but significant railway junction ¡¦ Only at the Dresden briefing, my father told me, were the crews given no strategic aiming point. They were simply told that anywhere within the built-up area of the city would serve." (8)

           This mindset would lead to huge chaos and destruction - just the thing that the Allies were looking for - which would clog up the traffic and slow down German troop movements.
           The attack went as planned. The first wave of bombers was to burn the old part of the town, where there were many wooden buildings. The pathfinder planes dropped flares then the second set of airplanes set off target indicators at the Alstadt (9). 254 Heavy bombers took off caring 975 tons of bombs and 200,000 fire bombs, much more than the usual amount. The incendiaries would start the fire and the heavy explosives called "Cookies" and "Blockbusters" would damage the water pipes and create an air flow for the fire (10). The fire roared. Roy Akehurst, a wireless operator who was in the bomber made the following comment:

           "We seemed to fly for hours over a sheet of fire ? a terrific red glow with a thin haze over it. I found myself making comments to the crew: "Oh god those poor people." ¡¦ You can't justify it." (11)

           The anti-air defense was very light, if existent. The bombers bombed with such ease and little resistance that it was thought that there were no anti-air defense at the city (12). However, later USAF reports (13) that there were light anti-air guns in the city, although it is not sure whether they were fired at all. The city was totally underprepared and not ready for an attack of such a large scale.
           The second wave of bombers flew in three hours later, targeted to start the bombing when the rescue and the fire-fighting would start (14). The bombers dropped over 1,800 tons of bombs. After this second wave of bombing, the city was filled with smoke, which is a good defense in most cases. In most cases, a city obscured by smoke meant that the targets were hard to distinguish. In this case, it meant that the bombs were dropped inaccurately and randomly all over the city.
           The American Bombers managed to drop bombs until the afternoon, and total of 2659.3 tons of bombs were dropped on the city (15). They were dropped to a point that it was not really sure where the main target was anymore - the center of the city or somewhere nearby, and the smoke told the planes where the city used to be, not the debris. (16)

3) Damages Suffered
           The damages were serious - whether to the civilians, to the city, or the war-making capability. However, there is a dispute on the first and third kind of damage. The first dispute is a classical one that is in almost every city - how many people had died from the bombing ? The dispute in the third one is rather unique. Was the drop in supply due to the bombing or due to the lack of oil ?
           Firstly, it is almost impossible to know the number of the people who had died in the Dresden raid. Some of the early reports said up to high as 250,000, while the more conservative reports say the toll was around 18,000 (17). The fact that many people hid under an underground shelter and suffocated to death makes it even harder to correctly figure out the death count. The city of Dresden confirmed around 18,000 victims that they could identify (18). However, based on the fact that the refugees almost doubled the population (20), the number would have been significantly higher. By assuming that the number of refugees killed were similar to the number of denizens killed(although the number of refugees killed would have been higher considering their accommodation to bombing shelters) and about 1/3 of the refugees being identified by their relatives, the best estimate that I have is around 30,000.
           The damage to the city is much easier to agree. About 90% of the city was center was destroyed, mainly in the residential section (21). An RAF assessment revealed that 23 percent of the industrial buildings and 56% of the non-industrial buildings were destroyed by the bombing or fire (22). It states that 78,000 dwellings were completely destroyed. The most of the city center was destroyed, and the rest of the city took a heavy tool as well.
           The war-making capability was one of the main reasons that the USAF report stated for attacking the city of Dresden (23). Other reports confirm that the output was dropped. However, this is probably not due to the bombing of Dresden. Although more than 100 factories were destroyed (24), the factories were quickly rebuilt. What was the problem was the lack of raw supplies and oil, which the Nazi Germany simply could not get anymore. The Minister of Armaments and War Production during the time later admitted that the industrial recovery from the bombings were rapid (25). This again shows the common truth: the bombings do not really destroy the war-making capability: It is rebuilt sooner or later.

4) Aftermath
           The aftermath can be divided into four parts: technological, on the war as a whole, on media, and on law.
           The technological techniques for developing the firestorm were almost perfected with the bombings. The combination of old wooden buildings, fire bombs with the similar percentage as high explosive, marking ahead by pathfinders and picking out the right weather would create a firestorm which is most destructive and most deadly.
           On the war as a whole, this would serve as another blow to the Nazi Germany. The troop movements were halted, the production never reached its levels before, and the Soviets had a much easier time closing in upon them. Not only Germany but also the Great Britain was shaken by this incident. Although Churchill had authorized and spearheaded this attack, he later tried to distance himself from it.
           In the media, this incident was used multiple times as propaganda machinery, both by the Germans and the Soviets. Both used this as an example of a ruthless western bombing that killed thousands of innocent civilians. Even British used this as propaganda, claiming that Stalin himself had asked for the bombing of the city in this manner.
           Lastly, this horrific act has been cited numerous times as a war crime, an act of murdering innocent civilians without any provocation or real reason. This started an international law movement for peace.

(1)       http://news.bbc.co.ul/2/hi/uk_news/4257253.stm
(2)       www.century-of-flight.net/Aviantion%20history/Ww2/dresden.htm
(3)       ibid.
(4)       http://www.airforcehistory.hq.af.mil/PopTopics/dresden.htm
(5)       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Dresden_in_World_War_II
(6)       ibid.
(7)       ibid.
(8)       http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/bombing_of_dresden.htm
(9)       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Dresden_in_World_War_II
(10)       ibid.
(11)       http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/2WWdresden.htm
(12)       Http://www.hatford-hwp.com/archives/61/001.html
(13)       http://www.airforcehistory.hq.af.mil/PopTopics/dresden.htm
(14)       www.century-of-flight.net/Aviantion%20history/Ww2/dresden.htm
(15)       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Dresden_in_World_War_II
(16)       http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/2WWdresden.htm
(17)       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Dresden_in_World_War_II
(18)       ibid.
(19)       Even this number is disputed, www.century-of-flight.net/Aviantion%20history/ww2/dresden.htm Claims that this number is 21,271 however, I have not managed to find the unnamed ¡°official¡± German report, while I have found the number 18,000 in other sources, so I have used that number
(20)       ibid.
(21)       ibid.
(22)       ibid.
(23)       http://www.airforcehistory.hq.af.mil/PopTopics/dresden.htm
(24)       www.century-of-flight.net/Aviantion%20history/Ww2/dresden.htm
(25)       http://www.airforcehistory.hq.af.mil/PopTopics/dresden.htm



Coventry (as of August 16th 2009) . . . go to Teacher's comment

Coventry (November 14th 1940)

1) Prelude
           Coventry was an industrial city that was critical for the British (1). As early as summer of 1940 the German air force acknowledged Coventry and Birmingham as the two cities which were essential for the airplane industries. After the fall of the watch-making industry, the city transformed herself into a production center of cars and airplanes - two vital industries for war. (2)
           The bombs started dropping from July and August- but they were minor bombings which killed around a dozen people- including one on the Rex Cinema, which was to play "Gone with the Wind" the day after the bombing (3). There were many more raids in October which left 176 dead, but all of these were nothing compared to the large raid on November.
           Hitler was angered that the Royal Air Force had bombed Berlin while he was talking with the Russian Foreign Minister Molotov, and he ordered a "crippling reprisal" raid to Coventry (4). Other sources state that Hitler was angered at the bombing at Munich, the birthplace of the Nazi Party (5). It is clear, however, that Hitler ordered a blow that was devastating.

2) Operations Carried Out
           Since there were more than 41 raids on Coventry before this one, the city was prepared to fight against the bombing. The barrage balloons, which were implemented in the city beforehand, were floating around (6) preventing the enemy bombers from bombing near the ground as they did in Rotterdam and Guernica. However, they were insufficient against the size of the German bombings.
           Germany had amassed over 500 bombers for this attack (7), which was a size that was unprecedented except in cases like London. Also, the German Air Force utilized the Pathfinder technique - a plane like Kampfgeschwader 100 flying ahead firing flares to light up the path for the other bombers to follow. However, the biggest advantage that the bombers had was the (then) ground-breaking X-Ger?t system, which was a beam system like a crude computer system (8). This system was carried by the pathfinder planes and shot radio beams at the targets. As the bomber squadron passed, their system notified them when the planes crossed the radio signals, and therefore told them when to drop the bombs. As the operation name (Moonlight Sonata) suggests, the full moon was shining, showing more of the city than a dark night.
           Although the main object of the mission was to attack the industries of Coventry (9), other sources cite that many of the bombs fell at the center of the city, including the Coventry Cathedral not the industrial part of the city (10). Based on the knowledge that a) the X-Gerät system, the top technology of the time was being used (11) b) the raid, at least partly, was out of vengeance of Hitler, c) the amount of incendiaries used, d) the high explosive were used on the water maims, e) the gloating of Goebbels to use to the term "Coventriert," it could be sufficiently argued that the object of the bombing was to terrorize the Britons.
           More than 500 tons of high explosive was dropped by the bombers, and 30,000-36,000 incendiaries were scattered throughout the city (12). 50 land mines and 20 oil mines were added to the chaos of the city. Because of these mines, the cracked water maims, and the phosphorus containing firebombs (13), the fire was not put out till very late. The only reason there was not a firestorm like Hamburg or Dresden was because the German air force preferred to attack in several waves for an extended period of time (11 hours) (14), instead of one large wave as the British preferred. This maneuver kept the bombing long, but it did not have a concentration of the bombs that was necessary to start a firestorm.

3) Damages Suffered
           Again, this part will be divided to the damage on the civilian, on the city, and on the military. Coventry is especially hard to figure out the damage on the civilian because one mortuary itself was bombed (15), so it is possible than more than the numbers stated here were killed due to the bombing.
           A number of sources confirm the number of civilian death is 568 (16), however many estimate this to be higher than this. There are many people who claim that they had relatives in Coventry and never heard again. Also, the long duration of the actual bombing made it hard for the people to properly identify and find out of the body. In some cases, the entire shelter was blown by mines, so it is even harder to find out. However, even the most extreme numbers go barely over 1000. Considering that the actual bombing went over 6 hours and the fire created, the total death toll is probably still under 600, though not by a lot.
           The city however, was utterly destroyed. 60,000 out of 75,000 buildings (17) were damaged or burnt, which is pretty much most of Coventry. Again, the 11 hour of bombing was useful in destroying much of the city, but it also allowed time for the civilians to run from their hiding places to the country, where they were safer.
           However, the war factories took only a halt. It is true that 21 factories were hit (18) but the industry soon recovered. It was down only by a fifteen percent, but this was due to lack of gas and water (19).(which could be argued as a result of the bombing) The fast recovery can be accounted to the fact that the German Air force did not bomb this place again in large scale until April of 1941(where around 500 people were killed) (20) and the fact that the roads were left undamaged. This allowed a quick recovery of the war industry and therefore the bombing did not have its original intent.

4) Aftermath
           This was the first large-scale bombing on a city outside for Britain (21), and this had a technological and a psychological effect
           For the technological part, this raid showed the ineffectiveness of the British air defense system. Although Coventry was one of the better defended city of England, it still suffered massive amount of damage. This prompted the British to step up on the air defense system, especially with public shelters and spotlights. The British also learned that the most devastating part of the bombing was the destruction of the housing system - a lesson that they used against the Germans few years later. The Germans recognized the usefulness of the X-Gerät system and the use of pathfinders. Also, the combination of incendiary bombs and high explosives were used for the first time, to a great effect. This tactic was also used backward. Also, both sides began to realize the importance to re-bomb the place that they had thought they had obliterated.
           The damage done to Dresden was not more devastating than those of other cities after the war. However, the fact that it was the first city to do so and the psychological shock, combined with the effective propaganda by the Nazis made the psychological impact. This bombing was the starting point for many research on intensive bombing, and was like Guernica - a testing ground for new tactics.


(1)       www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid16005
(2)       www.cwn.org.uk/heritage/blitz/index.html
(3)       www.familyresearcher.co.uk/CoventryRaids.htm
(4)       www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid16005
(5)       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coventry_Blitz
(6)       ibid.
(7)       Many sources cite over 500, Wikipedia 515, and British History 569 (60 did not reach target)
(8)       www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid16005
(9)       www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid16005
(10)       www.cwn.org.uk/heritage/blitz/index.html, www.familyresearcher.co.uk/CoventryRaids.htm
(11)       However, this fact also may work the other way around. This was the first time that a large raid had taken place using X-Gerät system, so the bombers might not have been accustomed to using this system
(12)       www.familyresearcher.co.uk/CoventryRaids.htm
(13)       ibid.
(14)       www.cwn.org.uk/heritage/blitz/index.html, www.familyresearcher.co.uk/CoventryRaids.htm
(15)       ibid.
(16)       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coventry_Blitz
(17)       http://www.bletchleypark.org.uk/news/docview.rhtm/497230/article.html
(18)       ibid.
(19)       www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid16005
(20)       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coventry_Blitz
(21)       www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid16005
(22)       ibid.



Belfast (as of August 16th 2009) . . . go to Teacher's comment

Belfast (April 15th 1941)

1) Prelude
           Belfast was the capital of Northern Ireland, was part of the Great Britain, so it was an Allied city, unlike its southern counterpart Dublin of Eire. It was untouched till 1940s, and it was a major port and had many factories and shipyards.
           From 1940, after Dunkirk, the war steadily moved westward and began to approach the British Isles. The situation was so bad that Churchill even offered Ireland its reunification for the use of treaty ports, which was declined (1). The Blitz began in September 1940 and began to bomb major British cities. First, it targeted large population, hoping to draw British into submission, and then it switched targets to large industries like Coventry (2). By 1941, the third phase began to target large ports - like Belfast.
           Belfast was one of the major targets still not yet touched. As early as 1940 the RAF recognized Belfast as a major target (3), as there was one of the largest shipbuilding yards in the world like Harland and Wolff, which built over 3000 vessels and repaired over 22,000 (4).

2) Operations Carried Out
           However, Belfast was seriously underprepared for the fate that it was going to face. The Ulster government never made any major preparations for air raids despite the warnings, which prompted officials like John Edmond Warnock, the Parliamentary secretary at Ministry of Home Affairs, and Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Gisborne Gordon to resign (5). Gordon even stated that the government was "quite unfit to sustain the people in the ordeal we have to face." (6) There were only four public air-raid centers, and they were made of sand bags (7). The city canceled their new orders for fire equipment (8), and there were total of 21 anti-aircraft guns (9).
           There was a small squadron that bombed Belfast on the night of the 7th, which destroyed a major timber yard and damaged the docks (10). Although this signaled an attack that was imminent, the government had yet made any perpetration nor bulked up their security.
           On the evening of the ending days of Easter holidays, the Northern Irish were still enjoying, not really prepared for what came for them ahead. Although the German propaganda specialist William Joyce (Lord Haw-Haw) had announced "Easter eggs for Belfast," and the crowd watching the soccer match had sighted a lone Junkers Ju-88 circling overhead, there was no military response. (11)
           The bombing started on the evening. With no searchlights, little or no barrage balloons (12), and just a few anti-air guns, the city was a sitting duck. Flares lighted the targets, then incendiaries started burning the buildings, then the high explosive bombs wiped out the fire-fighting capabilities (13). Landmines were also used, which were particularly destructive (14). The telephone exchange was bombed, cutting off the connection with the mainland, and the city gas pipes burst into flames, setting the whole city on fire (15).
           Firefighting was made almost impossible as the water pipes had been damaged in the bombing and the landmines were a threat to the firefighters, inhibiting their mobility. The bombardment of the telephone center made it hard to get firefighters from other countries.
           Using all the communication that they could muster, including motorcycle riders to other cities and old telegraph lines, they called everyone, even the Eire government, which responded with immediate squadrons to help fight the fire on the other side of the border.
           Overall, 203 tons of high explosive bombs, about 75-80 landmines, and 96,000 incendiary bombs were dropped on the city (16).
           An Air Raid Precautions observer from Dublin, Major Sean O¡¯Sullivan stated:
           "In the Antrim Road [North Belfast] and vicinity the attack was of a particularly concentrated character and in many instances bombs from successive waves of bombers fell within 15-20 yards of one another ... In this general area, scores of houses were completely wrecked, either by explosion, fire or blast, while hundreds were damaged so badly as to be uninhabitable ... In suburban areas, many were allowed to burn themselves out and during the day wooden beams were still burning" (17)

3) Damages Suffered
           We can divide the damages into three categories. The first kind of damage was the civilians killed. The second would be the destruction of the city, and the third would be on the war-making capability.
           There were approximately 438,100 citizens in Belfast in 1938 (18). Since the evacuation had only resulted in mere 4,000 people evacuating, it would be safe to assume that there were more than 425,000, and maybe up to 450,000 people in Belfast. Over 900 lost their lives, another 1,500 injured, and of them, more than 400 were seriously injured (19). This was largely due to the inadequate defense that the government provided and the firebombs being dropped on housing centers.
           As for houses, there were approximately 106,000 houses in the city (20), of which 35,000 were destroyed (21). That would amount to over 33% of the houses being destroyed. Also, as the city only had plans for 100,000 homeless (22), (22-23% of the population) a serious housing problem arose. It took almost 11 years to recover from the bombing.
           For the war equipments, the docks were seriously damaged, and the dock Harland and Wolff was one of the hardest hit of all England ports (23). However, as many of the bombs were headed toward the living quarters, and there were only 3 minor follow-up bombings, (the three totaled would amount to about 1/4th the casualties of the first major one) the reparation was quickly made.

4) Aftermath
           Regarding technology, there were no new methods used, as there the poor defense of the city required none. However, this did signify the need for rudimentary anti-air defenses, such as air-barrage balloons, spotlights, Hurricane Fighters to knock out the bombers, and air shelters that were adequate. (One of the four public air shelters actually was destroyed by the bombing, causing much death)
           On the whole course of the war, the Germans succeeded in seriously damaging one of the biggest ports. However, this incident made the neutral Eire even more unfriendly toward the Germans. The Irish firefighters rushed to help their fellows up north. Irish Prime Minister De Valera formally forested to Berlin and stated :
           "They are our people - we are one and the same- and their sorrows in the present instance are also our sorrows;" (24)
           William Joyce stated before, gloated over the bombing, but stopped because the bombing drew sympathies from the Irish politicians of the United States, which had not yet entered the war. (25)


(1)       Belfast Blitz, 1941, Jonathan Bardon(Notes from a Lecture)
(2)       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blitz
(3)       ibid.
(4)       ibid.
(5)       Belfast Blitz
(6)       ibid.
(7)       ibid.
(8)       http;//news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/1269206.stm
(9)       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blitz
(10)       Belfast Blitz
(11)       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blitz
(12)       Wikipedia claims there were some, the Belfast Blitz lecture claims there were none
(13)       Belfast Blitz
(14)       ibid.
(15)       http;//news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/1269206.stm
(16)       Belfast Blitz
(17)       http://multitext.ucc.ie/d/The_BlitzBelfast_during_the_second_World_War
(18)       http://www.populstat.info/Europe/unkingdt.htm 1937
(19)       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blitz
(20)       http://multitext.ucc.ie/d/The_BlitzBelfast_during_the_second_World_War
(21)       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blitz
(22)       http://multitext.ucc.ie/d/The_BlitzBelfast_during_the_second_World_War
(23)       ibid.
(24)       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blitz
(25)       ibid.



Guernica (as of December 21st 2008) . . . go to Teacher's comment

I.1) Practice : Spanish Civil War : Guernica 1937

I.1.1) Prelude
           Guernica, a city of about 5000 in Northern Spain, was the most ancient and the central city of the Basque region. On April 1937, the city of Guernica was in a peculiar situation. The city was under control of the Basque Government, which was an autonomous regional government. The Government, made of leftist and Basque Nationalist (different from Franco¡¯s Nationalist) was more inclined toward the leftist than Franco, and decided to protect their region.W
           Outside Guernica, the Republicans were fighting a losing battle. The Nationalist forces led by Franco were marching within the Republican territory. Franco¡¯s forces were directed toward Bilbao, which was thought to be the key city to end the front in Northern Spain.W Guernica was in between the forces and Bilbao, and many Republican refugees were using Guernica as a rally point.W
           On April 26th, 1937, Guernica is estimated to have a population of more than 5,000, mainly because the large number of refugees gathered there.P, pg26 The estimated number is 7,000 to 10,000.pg26 Also, 26th was the Monday, which means that it was market day. This market day would have also brought many more people into the area. There is a small debate whether the market day took place or not.W The Basque government had prevented a holding of large markets like such, but it is still likely the market would have been held.pg25 There is also an eyewitness account by Jos? Monasterio, eyewitness to the bombing which states, ¡°Every Monday was a fair in Guernica. They attacked when there were a lot of people there. And they knew when their bombing would kill the most. When there are more people, more people would die.¡±P

I.1.2) Operations Carried Out
           The bombing was done by the Condor Legion of the German army. The squadron delegated two Heinkel He 111s, one Dornier Do 17, eighteen Ju 52 Behelfsbombers, and three Italian SM.79s were assigned for the mission. These were armed with medium high explosive bombs (250kg), light explosive bombs (50kg) and incendiaries (1kg). W The Condor Legion¡¯s commanding officer was Oberstleutnant Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen, but he turned his command over to the Spanish Nationalist forces.W The bombing started with a single fighter plane. It was identified some as a Heinkel He-111 and Do-17E by others. The flier is conjectured to be Major Rudlof von Moreau, the most accomplished flier of the squadron. Pg26 This plane stooped down low and dropped 6 to 12 bombs. (the book states 6, and the wikipedia states 12) Pg26, Times This series of bombs turned out to be just the start of the fiasco.
           Then came the second wave of bombings which was done by the three Italian SM.79s. They were given orders to destroy explicitly bomb the bridges, as so to block the path that the villagers could run. They dropped around 36 bombs, but not at the village. Waves kept coming, and wave 5 ended around 1800. The third wave consisted of Heinkel He 111 escorted by five Aviazione Legionaria Fiat fighters. Waves four and five were carried out by German twin-engined planes. Until this time, there was only a prelude of bombing and a bombing to block off the path- the damage to the town was relatively small.
           The real beating came in a few hours From 1630s the 1st and the 2nd squadrons of the condor legions began its real attack. The 3rd squadron left just a few minutes later. More than 29 planes bombed the area, with the Ju52s bombing out the buildings and Bf 109Bs and Heinkel 51 biplanes swept the roads, deliberately aiming at the civilians. Also, another civilian atrocity happened at Mugica, a little group of houses at the head of the Guernica. Machine-gunned raged at the civilian houses, without any protection, provocation or military purposes for 15 minutes.
           The part about the 29 planes are often disputed, as the officials records themselves crash, some citing 29 planes but at the very start of the record, there are less than 29 planes. This might be explained if more planes were added as the raid went on.

I.1.3) Damages suffered
           First, the number of civilian casualties is debated. The Basque forces counted more than 1500 dead (G?rard Brey, La destrucci?n de Guernica, Tiempo de Historia n¨¬ 29, April 1977,) The Nationalists, however, said that the destruction was caused by the republicans as they were fleeing the town, and even claimed that there were only 12 deaths.(arriba, 1/30/1970) Ramos states in this book La Region Condor en La Guerra Civil and Villaroya and Sabte in their book Esapana en Lamas, La Guerra Civil desde el Aire( I cited like this because I didn¡¯t read the book but saw if from another source) 200-350. However, the best possible way to put this is the report on timesonline : ¡±It is impossible to state yet the number of victims.¡±
           There are three main reasons that the casualty numbers are different. One, there was a large number of refugee populations, so no one really knows how many people were there. Second, there were also a lot of people killed as they were escaping the town by the machine guns of the passing planes. Lastly, the Nationalist forces who took this town three days later made no real effort to count the number.
           Also, more the three quarters of the town was destroyed and the city Guernica was taken by Franco in three days. However, intrestingly, arms factories Unceta and Company and Talleres de Guernica along with the Assembly House Casa de Juntas was not destroyed.

I.1.4) Aftermath
           The aftermath can be divided in three main parts
           First, carpet bombing was thought to be developed during this raid. It is true that Carpet bombing was done during this campaign. However, it is not sure that this was the very first place. To give a brief look, the timesonline reports:

           "First, small parties of aeroplanes threw heavy bombs and hand grenades all over the town, choosing area after area in orderly fashion. Next came fighting machines which swooped low to machine-gun those who ran in panic from dugouts, some of which had already been penetrated by 1,000 lb bombs, which make a hole 25 ft. deep. Many of these people were killed as they ran. A large herd of sheep being brought in to the market was also wiped out. The object of this move was apparently to drive the population under ground again, for next as many as 12 bombers appeared at a time dropping heavy and incendiary bombs upon the ruins. The rhythm of this bombing of an open town was, therefore, a logical one: first, hand grenades and heavy bombs to stampede the population, then machine-gunning to drive them below, next heavy and incendiary bombs to wreck the houses and burn them on top of their victims."

           This article also interestingly notes that the best defense that the Guernica could employ was the prayer of the clerks
           However, the first official development on carpet bombing was on 1937 Asturias campaign in September. Therefore, it can be logically concluded that Guernica, along with few other bombings such as fighting in Barcelona help develop the strategy of carpet bombing. The Carpet bombing became the most effective and popular way to destroy and incinerate buildings and towns.
           The second is the effect on the Spanish Civil War. As aforementioned, Franco took the town rather easily. Also, the attack on the city had a demoralizing effect on the town as well as the whole of Basque community. The threats to end the war in North quickly became more real and the Nationalists managed to strike fear into the Republican¡¯s enemy¡¯s hearts. Cities like Bilbao were taken shortly afterwards, applying the same strategies as Guernica.
           Lastly, this bombing had a lasting effect on the media.
           The Times ,reported the story by George Steer in two days, who was within the country and was therefore able to cover the story firsthand the quickest. His stern attack against the German attacks set the tone and made the media more hostile against the Germans. He also discovered bomb cases with German marks made the official German position of neutrality in the Civil War and the signing of a Non-Intervention Pact a hypcirisy. The report spread the New York Times and other media. Newspapers like the Times and the New York Times ran the story every day for over a week.
           Also there was the effort from Picasso which helped this incident to be famous. The exiled Republican worked at Paris for this job. He was asked to paint a picture for the Republican cause but was unable to produce one. The bombing enraged him and inspired him to makes this masterpiece, which created a huge astonishment at the world fair 1917. The painting became the symbol of the Basque and the Republican cause, and it was later placed at the United Nations Security Council room.



Guernica (as of October 16th 2008) . . . go to Teacher's comment

I.1) Practice : Spanish Civil War : Guernica 1937

I.1.1) Prelude
           Guernica, a city of about 5000 in Northern Spain, was the most ancient and the central city of the Basque region. On April 1937, the city of Guernica was in a peculiar situation. The city was under control of the Basque Government, which was an autonomous regional government. The Government, made of leftist and Basque Nationalist (different from Franco's Nationalist) was more inclined toward the leftist than Franco, and decided to protect their region.W
           Outside Guernica, the Republicans were fighting a losing battle. The Nationalist forces led by Franco were marching within the Republican territory. Franco's forces were directed toward Bilbao, which was thought to be the key city to end the front in Northern Spain.W Guernica was in between the forces and Bilbao, and many Republican refugees were using Guernica as a rally point.W
           On April 26th, 1937, Guernica is estimated to have a population of more than 5,000, mainly because the large number of refugees gathered there.P, pg26 The estimated number is 7,000 to 10,000.pg26 Also, 26th was the Monday, which means that it was market day. This market day would have also brought many more people into the area. There is a small debate whether the market day took place or not.W The Basque government had prevented a holding of large markets like such, but it is still likely the market would have been held.pg25 There is also an eyewitness account by Jos? Monasterio, eyewitness to the bombing which states, ¡°Every Monday was a fair in Guernica. They attacked when there were a lot of people there. And they knew when their bombing would kill the most. When there are more people, more people would die.¡±P

I.1.2) Operations Carried Out
           The bombing was done by the Condor Legion of the German army. The squadron delegated two Heinkel He 111s, one Dornier Do 17, eighteen Ju 52 Behelfsbombers, and three Italian SM.79s were assigned for the mission. These were armed with medium high explosive bombs (250kg), light explosive bombs (50kg) and incendiaries (1kg). W The Condor Legion¡¯s commanding officer was Oberstleutnant Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen, but he turned his command over to the Spanish Nationalist forces.W The bombing started with a single fighter plane. It was identified some as a Heinkel He-111 and Do-17E by others. The flier is conjectured to be Major Rudlof von Moreau, the most accomplished flier of the squadron. Pg26 This plane stooped down low and dropped 6 to 12 bombs. (the book states 6, and the wikipedia states 12) Pg26, Times This series of bombs turned out to be just the start of the fiasco.



Working Table of Contents, 1st Update (as of June 14th 2008) . . . go to Teacher's comment

Objective: To observe trends in aerial bombardment in a) their damage ability, b) reasons of their bombardment

I. German Blitz (1937-1940)
     1.) Practice : Spanish Civil War : Guernica 1937
     2.) War on Poland : Warsaw 1939
     3.) Battle of the Low Countries & France : Rotterdam 1940
     4.) Battle of Britain : Coventry 1940
III. Allied Advance
     1.) Invasion of Italy (1943-1945)
          Napoli ? Roma ?
     2.) Invasion of Normandy and Allied Advance into Germany (1944-1945)
          Dresden
     3.) Bombing of the Balkans
          Sofia, Bucharest, Ploesti, Prague ?
     4.) Excluded Wars

For each city
I. History of the Bombing
     1.) Prelude
     2.) Operations Carried Out
     3.) Damages Suffered
     4.) Aftermath

II. Offensive developments
     1.) Classifications of Aerial Bombardments by purpose (short-term, medium- or long-term)
     2.) Development of Destructiveness of Bombs and of Precision Bombing
     3.) How did airplane technology affect the ability to bomb enemy
     4.) By what criteria did the perpetrators select their targets ?
     5.) By what critieria did the perpetrators decide the destructiveness of the bombs they used ?
III. Defender's developments
     1.) What could the defenders of the city do to prevent being bombed, and to minimize damage in case they were (as it developed over time)
     2.) What information did the perpetrating side have about the impact of their respective bombing raids ? How accurate were their reports ?
     3.) How did the bombing raids, even the possibility of bombing raids, affect society ?



Bibliography, 1st Update (as of June 14th 2008) . . . go to Teacher's comment

I. General
1.      To Destroy a City: Strategic Bombing and Its Human Consequences in World War II (Hardcover) - Herman Knell
A German point of view, this gives first hand account on Würzburg and general history
2.      Role of Bombing, from Centennial of Flight http://www.centennialofflight.gov/essay/Air_Power/Bombing/AP27.htm
3.      Strategic Bombing, from Spartacus Schoolnet, http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/2WWstrategic.htm
4.      air warfare, from Historyofwaronline.com http://www.historyofwaronline.com/WW2-2.html

II. Guernica

III. Warsaw
5.      Article : Bombing of Warsaw in World War II, from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Warsaw_in_World_War_II
6.      Bombing of Warsaw, by W. Green
7.      Dispatches from Warsaw to London 1944, posted by Warsaw Uprising.com http://www.warsawuprising.com/doc/dispatches_print2.htm
8.      In the Ruins of Warsaw Streets - by Severin Gabriel
Although about uprising, some firsthand accounts on the effects of bombing
9.      Destroy Warsaw!: Hitler's Punishment, Stalin's Revenge by Andrew Borowiec

IV. Rotterdam

V. Coventry
10.      Article Coventry Blitz, from Wikipedia
11.      David McGrory, The Coventry Blitz, posted by CWN http://www.cwn.org.uk/heritage/blitz/
12.      Perkypameia, Bombing of Coventry, firsthand account postyed by BBC WW2 People's War, an archive of WW II memories, http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/20/a3817820.shtml
13.      The Sky Glowed Crimson the Night Coventry was Bombed, from Worcester News
14.      Peter J. McIver, Winston Churchill and the Bombing of Coventry (1981), posted by The Churchill Centre http://www.winstonchurchill.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=690
15.      Air raid: The bombing of Coventry, 1940 Norman Longsmate
16.      The City of Coventry: A Twentieth Century Icon by Adrian Smith

VI. Dresden
17.      Article : Bombing of Dresden in World War II, from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Dresden_in_World_War_II
18.      Bombing of Dresden, from Spartacus Schoolnet, http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/2WWdresden.htm
19.      Bombing of Dresden, from History Learning Site, http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/bombing_of_dresden.htm
Why Dresden was chosen
20.      Dresden, from Air Force History (USAF) http://www.airforcehistory.hq.af.mil/PopTopics/dresden.htm comprehensive
21.      Firestorm: The Bombing of Dresden, 1945 - Paul Addision An American point of view, probably not needed
22.      Dresden: Tuesday, February 13, 1945 - Fredrick Taylot Another American point of view, but more preferred then Firestrom
23.      Dresden: Paradoxes of Memory and History (Studies in History and Anthropology)by Elizab Ten Dyke

VII. Naples
24.      Jeff Matthews, Air raids on Naples in WW2, posted by Around Naples Encyclopedia, http://faculty.ed.umuc.edu/~jmatthew/naples/Naples%20bombing.htm
25.      Ronald Russell, Life in World War II Naples Italy, Don Carina Website http://www.doncarina.com/naples.html
26.      Article Naples Foggia 1943-1944 CMH Online, http://www.history.army.mil/brochures/naples/72-17.htm

VIII. Rome
27.      Article Rome-Areno 1944 CMH Online, http://www.history.army.mil/brochures/naples/72-20.htm

IX. RAF
28.      Gordon and Eve Hampton, Royal Airforce, firshand account posted by by BBC WW2 People's War, http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/09/a8070509.shtml, an archive of WW II memories



Appendix : Working Table of Contents (as of May 27th 2008) . . . go to Teacher's comment

Objective: To observe trends in aerial bombardment in a) their damage ability, b) reasons of their bombardment

Historical Background: Dividing the World War II to 3 periods:

I. German Blitz (1937-1940)
     1.) Spanish Civil War : Guernica 1937
     2.) War on Poland : Warsaw 1939
     3.) Winter War : Helsinki 1939
     4.) Battle of the Low Countries & France : Rotterdam 1940
II. Battle of Britain and Allied Resistance (1940-1943)
     1.) Battle of Britain : Coventry 1940
III. Allied Advance
     1.) Invasion of Italy (1943-1945)
          Napoli ? Roma ? Frascati ?
     2.) Invasion of Normandy and Allied Advance into Germany (1944-1945)
          Dresden
     3.) Bombing of the Balkans
          Sofia, Bucharest, Ploesti, Prague ?
     4.) Excluded Wars
          1.) Invasion of Denmark & Norway
          2.) Phoney War
          3.) Russian Front 1940-1945
               Minsk ?
          4.) Wars in North Africa, the Middle East, Asia

For each city
I. History of the Bombing
     1.) Prelude
     2.) Operations Carried Out
     3.) Damages Suffered
     4.) Aftermath
II. Significance of the Bombing
     1.) to the city
     2.) to the campaign
     3.) to the war



Appendix : New York Times Articles on the Bombing of Warsaw (as of May 21st 2008) . . . go to Teacher's comment

List of relevant NYT Articles

Mayor of Warsaw Describes Slaughter Of Civilians and Destruction of Capital; MAYOR OF WARSAW DESCRIBES DEATHS September 22/23, 1939
WARSAW NEUTRALS ESCAPE FROM CITY; 1,400 Are Now in Koenigsberg After Trip Through German Lines Under Escort 50 AMERICANS IN GROUP Their Future Is a Puzzle Since Many Have Lost All Their Possessions in Bombings September 23/24, 1939
POLES FIGHTING ON; Report City 'Practically in Ruins'--Hospitals and Churches Hit ELEVEN AIR RAIDS IN DAY Soviet Forces March Toward the Capital--They Parade in Brest-Litovsk With Nazis September 24/25, 1939
BIDDLE SAYS NAZIS USED 5,000 PLANES; U.S. Envoy Describes Attacks on Open Towns, Villages Far From Front and Convoys TELLS OF RAID ON VILLA Eleven Bombs Dropped Near His House Outside Warsaw --Flag Attracted Fliers September 24/25, 1939
REFUGEES INCLUDE MANY TITLED POLES; Old and Wealthy Families Have Been Broken Up--Princes Get to Border on Foot SOME OFFICIALS REMAIN Former Ambassador to U.S. Has Refused to Leave Warsaw --Several Notables Captured Escaped Under Bombing Hiked Across Country September 23/24, 1939
20-DAY SIEGE ENDS; Polish Defenders Yield Last Stronghold to Nazi Invaders 3,000 SLAIN IN 24 HOURS Blazing Capital Faced Famine and Pestilence--Occupation Is Set for Tomorrow 500 Fires Sweep City Formal Surrender Delayed Poles Proposed Surrender BATTERED WARSAW GIVES UP TO NAZIS City Entirely in Ruins" Bodies Left in Streets Defenders' Courage Praised City Under Attack 27 Days Tells of Last Hours of Siege Guns' Roar Heard on Radio September 27/28, 1939
LAST WARSAW FORT YIELDS TO GERMANS; Modlin Surrenders and Nazis Achieve War Aims in East--Distrust of Soviet Seen Consolation for the Conquered LAST WARSAW FORT YIELDS TO GERMANS Armistice Briefly Broken Dead Still Lie by Front Lines Officers Formed New Regiments Surrender by Moonlight Munitions Roll West Again 36,000 in City Wounded 100,000 Troops in Capitol Russian Troops on German Border GERMAN AND POLISH OFFICERS NEGOTIATE THE SURRENDER OF WARSAW September 28/29, 1939
CONSUL DESCRIBES WARSAW BOMBING; V.J. Podoski, Here on Way to Canada, Says Civilians Were Attacked on First Day LAUDS BIDDLE AND WIFE Tells of Seeing Them Together in Dugouts--Asserts Poland Is Still in the War October 3/4, 1939
WARSAW RAIDS CITED AGAINST HOOVER PLAN; General O'Ryan Holds Poles Needed Planes, Not Guns October 22/23 1939
30 U.S. POLES BACK WITH TALES OF WAR; Witnesses of Invasion Return on Soanyork--Dancer Tells of Flight Through Woods WAS ARRESTED AS A SPY Woman Under Fire So Much She Felt She Could 'Pick Shrapnel Out of Teeth' November 13/14, 1939




Bibliography (as of May 21st 2008) . . . go to Teacher's comment

I. General
1.      To Destroy a City: Strategic Bombing and Its Human Consequences in World War II (Hardcover) - Herman Knell
A German point of view, this gives first hand account on Würzburg and general history
2.      Role of Bombing, from Centennial of Flight http://www.centennialofflight.gov/essay/Air_Power/Bombing/AP27.htm
3.      Strategic Bombing, from Spartacus Schoolnet, http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/2WWstrategic.htm

II. Guernica

III. Warsaw
4.      Article : Bombing of Warsaw in World War II, from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Warsaw_in_World_War_II
5.      Bombing of Warsaw, by W. Green
6.      Dispatches from Warsaw to London 1944, posted by Warsaw Uprising.com http://www.warsawuprising.com/doc/dispatches_print2.htm
7.      In the Ruins of Warsaw Streets - by Severin Gabriel
Although about uprising, some firsthand accounts on the effects of bombing
8.      Destroy Warsaw!: Hitler's Punishment, Stalin's Revenge by Andrew Borowiec

IV. Rotterdam

V. Coventry
9.      Article Coventry Blitz, from Wikipedia
10.      David McGrory, The Coventry Blitz, posted by CWN http://www.cwn.org.uk/heritage/blitz/
11.      Perkypameia, Bombing of Coventry, firsthand account postyed by BBC WW2 People's War, an archive of WW II memories, http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/20/a3817820.shtml
12.      The Sky Glowed Crimson the Night Coventry was Bombed, from Worcester News
13.      Peter J. McIver, Winston Churchill and the Bombing of Coventry (1981), posted by The Churchill Centre http://www.winstonchurchill.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=690
14.      Air raid: The bombing of Coventry, 1940 Norman Longsmate
15.      The City of Coventry: A Twentieth Century Icon by Adrian Smith

VI. Dresden
16.      Article : Bombing of Dresden in World War II, from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Dresden_in_World_War_II
17.      Bombing of Dresden, from Spartacus Schoolnet, http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/2WWdresden.htm
18.      Bombing of Dresden, from History Learning Site, http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/bombing_of_dresden.htm
Why Dresden was chosen
19.      Dresden, from Air Force History (USAF) http://www.airforcehistory.hq.af.mil/PopTopics/dresden.htm comprehensive
20.      Firestorm: The Bombing of Dresden, 1945 - Paul Addision An American point of view, probably not needed
21.      Dresden: Tuesday, February 13, 1945 - Fredrick Taylot Another American point of view, but more preferred then Firestrom
22.      Dresden: Paradoxes of Memory and History (Studies in History and Anthropology)by Elizab Ten Dyke