Thunderclap plan

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In August 1944 plans were drawn for an operation code named Thunderclap, but it was shelved and never implemented. The plan envisaged a massive attack on Berlin that would cause 220,000 casualties with 110,000 killed, many of them key German personnel, which would shatter German morale. However on consideration it was decided that it was unlikely to work.[1]

The plan was reconsidered in early 1945, to be implemented in coordination with a Soviet advance, but was again rejected as impractical, and instead a number of coordinated smaller attacks against cities in the communications zone of the Eastern Front through which key routes to the east converged, were chosen.[2] The cities designated as choke points where the bombing would be most effective were Berlin, Dresden, Chemnitz and Leipzig. Intensive bombing of these targets was carried out with the intention of disrupting the rear areas of the German Eastern Front lines, to aid the Soviet advance, as had been requested by the Soviets at the Yalta Conference.[3] These raids were large ones but less massive than those proposed in the original Thunderclap plan.[2]


  1. ^ Taylor 2005, p. 207.
  2. ^ a b Taylor 2005, p. 214.
  3. ^ Taylor 2005, pp. 207–214.


  • Taylor, Frederick (2005), Dresden: Tuesday 13 February 1945, London: Bloomsbury, ISBN 0-7475-7084-1