Bombing of Wesel in World War II


Bombing of Wesel in World War II

The German town of Wesel was devastated in Allied air raids during World War II.

Wesel became a target of the Allies, particularly in its strategic position as a depot with bridges on the Rhine. On the 16, 17, 18 and 19 February 1945, [ [http://www.raf.mod.uk/bombercommand/feb45.html RAF campaign diary February 1945] ] the town was attacked by the Royal Air Force (RAF) with impact and air-burst weapons and almost entirely destroyed. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/88/a5314088.shtml Bombing of Wesel - WW2 People's War] BBC] The Rhine and Lippe bridges were blown by the Wehrmacht; among others, on 10 March, the 1,950m long railway bridge, the last Rhine bridge remaining in German hands. [ [http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/inhaltsverzeichnisKasernen.htm Lexikon der Wehrmacht] - see Standort Wesel] Fact|date=June 2007

On 23 March, Wesel came under the fire of over 3,000 guns when it was bombarded anew, in preparation for Operation Plunder. [ [http://www.islandnet.com/~kpolsson/ww2hist/ww21945mar.htm Chronology of World War II] Ken Polsson] On then night of 23/44 March, 195 Lancasters and 23 Mosquitos of RAF Bomber Command No. 5 Group aided in the softening up of the German defenders. 97% of the town was destroyed before it was finally taken by Allied troops and the population had fallen from almost 25,000 in 1939 to 1,900 in May 1945. [ [http://www.raf.mod.uk/bombercommand/mar45.html Lexikon der Wehrmacht] ]

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