city of Hamburg already had good conditions for the
rapid spread of fire.A heat wave from
the summer of 1943 heat wave had dried out much of the city and surrounding
plant growth.Hamburg was Germanys most important industrial center, as
well as the largest seaport in Europe.
allies used the Window to bomb Hamburg without counterattack or anti-aircraft
losses.This technique consisted of
dropping foil strips out of the window of the planes, which would confuse the
Germans early radar.
July 24, the allies bombed Hamburg with high explosive, incendiary,
phosphorous and napalm bombs.The
resulting firestorm was so powerful that buildings would have flames reaching
over 20 feet high.
With hurricane force, 150 mile per-hour winds
were sucked into the oxygen vacuum created by the fire, ripping trees out by
their roots, collapsing buildings, pulling children out of their mothers' arms.
Twenty square miles of the city centre burned in an inferno that would rage for
nine full days. … The temperature in the firestorm reached 1,400 degrees
Fahrenheit. There was no oxygen to breathe; whatever was flammable burst
spontaneously into flame.
Air Force alone sent 3,000 bombers in 4 raids on Hamburg, dropping
9,000 tons of bombs.
sq km, 8.5 sq m
estimated 44,600 civilians, 800 servicemen(60k-100k according to the US bomber
city ruined (some accounts over 60%), 2/3 remaining population evacuated
almost 1 million homeless
civilian population, nonetheless 580 industrial centers damaged/destroyed
1.8 months of the citys output.Normal output was never fully recovered, at best output recovered
to 80% five months later.
(obviously) helplessHamburg Before the
No air defense
because of WINDOW
The Aftermath of Hamburg
bombing of Hamburg was hugely
successful according to the BritishNone of our other attacks had produced
effects that were a tenth as destructive as the effects of a firestorm.
Vice Marshall Harris stated, In spite of all that
happened at Hamburg, bombing proved
a relatively humane method … there is no proof that most casualties were women
and children.German records indicate,
however, that 29,000 of those killed were women (21k) and children (8k), the other
13,000 were men.