Bombing of Naples in World War II

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Naples was the most bombed Italian city in World War II. There were about 200 air strikes between 1940 and 1944 by Allied forces, with 180 raids on the city in 1943. Estimates of civilian casualties vary between 20,000 and 25,000 killed.[1][2]

In Naples, the primary targets were the port facilities at the extreme eastern end of the Port of Naples as well as the rail, industrial and petroleum facilities in the eastern part of the city and the steel mill to the west, in Bagnoli.[1]

The largest raid was on 4 August 1943 by 400 B-17 planes of the Northwest African Strategic Air Force (NASAF) which targeted Axis submarine base at Naples.[1][3] The Church of Santa Chiara was destroyed in this raid[1] but was later rebuilt. The Santa Maria di Loreto hospital was also destroyed in the bombing of Naples.


Many ships at the harbour were sunk, yet it became functional in just one week after the city's liberation.


  1. ^ a b c d Air Raids on Naples in WWII Archived 2011-06-11 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Lucia Monda - Napoli durante la II guerra mondiale ovvero: i 100 bombardamenti di Napoli. - Relazione convegno I.S.S.E.S Istituto di Studi Storici Economici e Sociali del 5 marzo 2005 Napoli durante la II guerra mondiale (in Italian)
  3. ^ Combat chronology US Army Air Forces Mediterranean - 1943

Further reading[edit]

  • Aldo Stefanile. I cento bombardamenti di Napoli (Naples: Marotta, 1968)
  • Norman Lewis. Naples '44 ( London : Eland, 2002 – 1st ed. Collins 1978)
  • Gastone Mazzanti. Obiettivo Napoli (Rome: Teos, 2004). (About World War II)
  • Gabriella Gribaudi. Guerra totale: tra bombe alleate e violenze naziste. Napoli e il fronte meridionale, 1940-1944 (Turin: Bollati Boringhieri, 2005)

External links[edit]