Bombing of Duisburg in World War II
|Bombing of Duisburg during World War II|
|Part of Strategic bombing during World War II|
"Window" (left) and incendiary and Blockbuster bombs (right) dropped from Avro Lancaster over Duisburg in 1944
|United Kingdom United States||Nazi Germany|
|229 bombing raids|
Duisburg was a major logistical centre in the Ruhr Area and location of chemical, steel and iron industries, Duisburg was a primary target of Allied bombers. Not only the industrial areas but also residential areas were attacked by Allied bombs. As an entry to the Ruhr, there were daily warnings of bombing raids in 1943.
Battle of the Ruhr
During the "Battle of the Ruhr" in 1943, 577 British bombers destroyed the old city on 12/13 May, with 1,599 tonnes of bombs: 96,000 people were made homeless.
On 14 October 1944 just after daybreak RAF Bomber Command sent 1,013 aircraft, with RAF fighters providing an escort, to bomb Duisburg. 957 bombers dropped 3,574 tonnes of high explosive and 820 tonnes of incendiaries on the city for a loss of 14 aircraft. The same day Eighth Air Force sent 1,251 heavy bombers escorted by 749 fighters to bomb targets in the area of Cologne. Later the same day, during the night of 14 October/15 October, 1,005 RAF bombers returned to Duisburg in 2 waves about 2 hours apart, and dropped a further 4,040 tonnes of high explosive and 500 tonnes of incendiaries for the loss of 7 aircraft. The same night a further 230 aircraft destroyed Brunswick.
During Operation Hurricane nearly 9,000 tonnes of bombs fell on Duisburg in less than 24 hours, but the damage to Duisburg is difficult to assess because much of the documentation including the final report (Endbericht), is not held by the Duisburg state archive (Stadtarchiv). However the documentation which is available mentions "Very serious property damage. A large number of people buried." and that at the Thyssen Mines III and IV 8 days production was lost.
Post war reconstruction
A total of 299 bombing raids had almost completely destroyed the historic cityscape. 80% of all residential buildings had been destroyed or partly damaged. Almost the whole of the city had to be rebuilt, and most historic landmarks had been lost.
|12/13 June 1941||RAF Bomber Command||445 tonnes of bombs dropped.|
|5/6 April 1942||RAF Bomber Command||263 aircraft.|
|1943||As an entry to the Ruhr, there were[who?] daily warnings of bombing raids in 1943.|
|26/27 March 1943||RAF Bomber Command||a "widely scattered raid" by 455 aircraft during the Battle of the Ruhr due to cloud cover and lack of Oboe marking|
|12/13 May 1943||RAF Bomber Command||With good marking and the Main Force delivering concentrated bombing, 577 bombers destroy the old city with 1,599 tonnes of bombs: 96,000 people are made homeless.|
|23 November 1944||U.S. Eighth Air Force||Over 140 B-17’s escorted by 2 fighter groups bombed the benzol manufacturing plant near Gelsenkirchen and Marshalling Yards at Duisburg.|
|14/15 October 1944||RAF Bomber Command||During the morning, 957 Operation Hurricane bombers dropped 3,574 tonnes of high explosive and 820 tonnes of incendiaries. In the subsequent night raid, 1,005 bombers in 2 waves about 2 hours apart, dropped a further 4,040 tonnes of high explosive and 500 tonnes of incendiaries.|
|5 March 1945||U.S. Ninth Air Force||Among other missions over German the Ninth flew armed reconnaissance sorties over the Hamm-Duisburg area.|
|12 April 1945||U.S. Ninth Air Force||Fighters of the Ninth the supported the XVI Corps as it continued fighting in the Duisburg and Dortmund areas during the destruction of the German armies of Army Group B surrounded and contained in the Ruhr pocket|
- Campaign Diary, October 1944
- Bomber Command Diary
- Campaign Diary, June 1941
- Campaign Diary, April 1942
- "Campaign Diary March 1943", Royal Air Force Bomber Command 60th Anniversary, 6 April 2005, archived from March 1943 the original on 2007
- Campaign Diary May 1943, archived from May 1943 the original on 2007
- Carter (1991), p. 550
- Carter (1991), p. 638
- Carter (1991), p. 673
- "Campaign Diary". Royal Air Force Bomber Command 60th Anniversary. UK Crown. Retrieved 2009-01-27.
- Carter, Kit C.; Mueller, Robert (1991). U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II: Combat Chronology 1941 - 1945, Center for Air Force History Washington, DC.