Bombing of Duisburg in World War II

Bombing of Duisburg in World War II

Duisburg was bombed a number of times by the Allies during World War II. The most devastating air raids on Duisburg occurred during October 1944 when the city was bombed by the Royal Air Force (RAF).

A major logistical centre in the Ruhr 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.

Minor raids

* 1941 between 12/13 June British bombers drop a total of 445 tonnes of bombs
* 1943 577 British bombers destroy the old city on 12/13 May with 1599 tonnes of bombs: 96,000 people are made homeless.

After the main raids there were many other attacks.

Major raids

In October 1944 Duisburg became the main target in Operation Hurricane a joint RAF Bomber Command and the USAAF VIII Bomber Command operationReferences Campaign diary: October 1944]

On 14 October 1944 in a daylight operation 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. Later the same day, during the night 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.

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.Fact|date=February 2007


[ RAF: Bomber Command: Campaign diary: October 1944]


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