The air-bombing of Berlin
The city of Berlin was bombed more than 350 times during Second World War (1939-1945). This personal blog tells the history of the German capital and its people before, during and after the Allied bombing campaign, and on the other hand, the war effort made by all those young British RAF and American USAAF crews and their aircraft to defeat Hitler.
Bremen, Hamburg, Leipzig, Vienna, Berlin… These names were the nightmare for thousands of British and Americans young men who daily had to overfly these cities to do their duty with their country. For millions of German civilians, the nightmare were, on the contrary, those airmen. Some would call them ‘Murderers’, to others would be ‘Liberators’.
Air power has been the great weapon in the wars waged in the Twentieth Century, being World War Two the peakest moment of its development and practice. A war that will see, for the first time, the exclusive use of aviation as a means to win the battles; and it will be the skies of Occupied Europe, flying at 25,000 feet high, the stage of the biggest aerial battle ever seen. No other campaign in this war has had such a wide resources (as well as number of people involved) nor as much controversy and doubts as the Bombing Offensive carried out by the Allies against the Third Reich. To carry that destruction to the heart of the Germans was a must for London and Washington, and of course, Moscow.
Around 26 million of German people lost their home during the war, just in Berlin 600,000 apartments were destroyed, half of all houses were damaged and around a third uninhabitable, as much as 16 km² of the city was simply rubble consequence of the mixed effect of the angloamerican bombs and the Soviet 1945 final offensive. When the war come to an end in May 1945, the ‘Big City’ had become a sea of destruction, death and debris. The Allies´ bombing enterprise was not a costless operation: more than 55,000 Bomber Command and 25,000 US airmen were killed during the air campaign.
“ (...) dort wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen.”
(... where they burn books, they will in the end also burn people)
— Heinrich Heine
“The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”
— Winston Churchill
• • •
We are a group of historians and researchers focused on the study of Berlin during the war, with studies in Contemporary History at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
Our work focus on the Allied bombing campaign against the Third Reich during the 1939-45 war analyzing military, economic and social consequences of the raids in the German capital.
Collaborate with Us
Do you have photographs of Berlin during the war and the bombing raids? We would be very glad to collaborate with you!