Posts Tagged ‘bombs’

Beautiful landmarks destroyed by Second World War bombs – and resurrected

February 16th, 2015

Frauenkirche (Dresden, Germany)

This weekend marks the 70th anniversary of the fire-bombing of Dresden (13-15 February 1945) – the concerted Allied air attack which effectively removed its target from the map of Europe. It remains one of the most controversial passages of the Second World War.

The assault left up to 25,000 dead (the figure is hard to quantify), and destroyed much of the Baroque centre of what was arguably Germany’s most beautiful city. Buildings lost to the flames included the glorious Frauenkirche – a huge-domed church, built in 1743, which withstood both nights (even acting as a bomb shelter) – but collapsed in the terrible heat caused by the sustained explosions, its dome falling at 10am on February 15.

It ‘stood’ as a ruin for five decades under the Communist authorities in the post-war German Democratic Republic – the image above shows the remnants of the church in January 1952. However, like all the buildings in this gallery, is also a resurrection tale…

By Chris Leadbeater

Picture: AFP/GETTY


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3,000 unexploded Second World War bombs may be buried in Berlin

January 5th, 2015

No one is really sure how much unexploded ordnance is buried under the German city, but a new estimate by the Berlin senate put the figure at 3,000, BZ, a local newspaper, reported.

And around 10,000 people had to be evacuated from the historic city of Postsdam, just outside Berlin, in December after a 550lb (250kg) bomb was found there.

The city’s main Tegel airport had to be closed to flights for half an hour after a bomb was found there last October.

It is not known where the remaining 3,000 bombs are, but airports, the railway network and factories were particularly targeted by the Allies, so those areas are thought to be at higher risk. There is also thought to be a lot of unexploded ordnance left over in Berlin’s extensive forests.


Bombed buildings in Berlin, 1945 (Alamy)

After such a long time, there is thought to be little risk of the bombs being detonated unless they are disturbed, a police source told BZ, although bombs with a chemical fuse are an exception.


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