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Encyclopedia > Bombing of Rotterdam

The bombing of Rotterdam was a terror bombardment by German forces on 14 May 1940, in the initial phases of World War II, when they invaded the Netherlands. Terror bombing is a strategy of deliberately bombing civilian targets and strafing civilians in order to break the morale of the enemy and make the civilian population of the enemy panic. ... May 14 is the 134th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (135th in leap years). ... 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1940 calendar). ... Combatants Allies: Poland, British Commonwealth, France/Free France, Soviet Union, United States, China, and others Axis Powers: Germany, Italy, Japan, and others Casualties Military dead: 17 million Civilian dead: 33 million Total dead: 50 million Military dead: 8 million Civilian dead: 4 million Total dead: 12 million World War II...

Contents


The situation on the ground

The situation in Rotterdam on the morning of 13 May 1940, was one of stalemate. The Dutch garrison forces under the command of Colonel Scharroo securely held the north bank of the Nieuwe Maas River, which runs through the city. On the south bank were the remnants of the German airborne forces of General Student, who had been facing the Dutch since 10 May, and the newly arrived ground forces under General Schmidt (based on the 9th Panzer Division and the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, a motorized SS regiment). A Dutch counterattack led by the marine regiment had failed to re-capture the Willemsbrug road bridge, the key crossing over the Nieuwe Maas River. A last gasp effort by the Dutch air force to destroy the bridge had also failed. Schmidt had planned for a combined assault the next day, 14 May. The tanks of the 9th Panzer would attempt to drive right over the Willemsbrug and an adjacent rail bridge, supported by flame throwers and combat engineers. The SS were to make an amphibious crossing of the river farther upstream and then make a flank attack through the Kralingen district. The attack was to be preceded by a massive artillery bombardment, while Schmidt had secured the support of the Luftwaffe in the form of a gruppe (about 25 aircraft) of Ju-87 Stuka dive-bombers. Rotterdam Location Flag Country The Netherlands Province South Holland Population 604,819 (2005) Coordinates 51° 55 N.; 4° 30 E. Website www. ... May 13 is the 133rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (134th in leap years). ... 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1940 calendar). ... Satellite image of the northwest part of the Rhine-Meuse delta showing river Nieuwe Maas (n). ... Kurt Student Kurt Student (May 12, 1890-July 1, 1978) was a German Luftwaffe General who fought as a pilot on the Eastern Front during the First World War and as the commander of the German parachute troops during the Second World War. ... May 10 is the 130th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (131st in leap years). ... German 9th Panzer Division, sometimes simply called as 9th Panzer Division came into existence after 4th Light Division was reorganized in January 1940. ... The Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler started life in the early days of the NSDAP as Adolf Hitlers personal elite bodyguard. ... Satellite image of the northwest part of the Rhine-Meuse delta showing river Nieuwe Maas (n). ... May 14 is the 134th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (135th in leap years). ... German troops use a flamethrower on the Eastern Front during the Second World War A flamethrower is a mechanical device designed to throw flames or, more correctly, project an ignited stream of liquid. ... Waffen-SS recruitment poster: Volunteer for the Waffen-SS The Waffen-SS (Arms SS) was the combat arm of the Schutzstaffel (SS,Protective Squadron of the NSDAP ). Headed by Heinrich Himmler who was ranked Reichsführer-SS (Imperial Leader-SS), the Waffen-SS saw action throughout the Second World War. ... The Deutsche Luftwaffe or (German: Air Arm, IPA: [luftvafə]) is the commonly used term for the German air force. ... Junkers Ju 87 Dive-Bombers The Junkers Ju 87 or Stuka was the best known Sturzkampfflugzeug (German dive bomber) in World War II, instantly recognisable by its inverted gull wings, fixed undercarriage and siren. ...


The command situation

The command situation in the German HQ on May 13 was confused. Schmidt's newly established XXXIX Corps was to control all ground operations, but Student remained in overall command, and also controlled all air operations. Schmidt's request for air support had to go through Student's HQ. On the evening of May 13 Student met with a Luftwaffe officer who had flown out to his HQ at Rijsoord to settle the details of the air bombardment the next day. There are no surviving documents to indicate what those details were. After the war, Lackner indicated that Student had requested a Bombenteppich, or a carpet bombing attack. Instead of the pin-point tactical support delivered by the Stukas, a massed attack by He-111 medium bombers was put in place. This change could only have from the top levels of the Luftwaffe command, possibly by Student himself in conjunction with Goering, and thus bypassing General Kesselring, Student's rival, but technically superior commander. Kesselring, however, was not shy of using massed bombing attacks against cities as shown during the Battle of Britain. The phrases area bombing and carpet bombing refer to the use of very large numbers of unguided gravity bombs, often with high proportion of incendiary bombs, to attempt the complete destruction of a target region, either to destroy personnel and materiel, or as a means to demoralize the enemy (see... He 111K The Heinkel He 111 was the primary Luftwaffe medium bomber during the early stages of World War II, and is perhaps the most famous symbol of the German side of the Battle of Britain. ... Hermann Göring Hermann Wilhelm Göring (also spelled Hermann Goering in English) (January 12, 1893–October 15, 1946) was a prominent and early member of the Nazi party, founder of the Gestapo, and one of the main architects of Nazi Germany. ... Albert Kesselring Albert Kesselring (August 8, 1881 - July 16, 1960) was a German Generalfeldmarschall who commanded Army Group C during World War II. One of the most respected and skillful German generals, he was nicknamed Smiling Albert or smiling Kesselring. Biography Kesselring was born in Marktsteft, Germany, in 1881. ... Combatants United Kingdom Germany Commanders Hugh Dowding Hermann Göring Strength Approx. ...


The bombing

Before launching his attack, Schmidt attempted to get Scharroo to surrender the city without a fight. Scharroo saw no immediate reason to surrender, and stretched out negotiations. The original start time for the attack had been set for 13:20. Schmidt postponed this to 16:20 and requested a delay in the aerial attack. However, just as the Dutch negotiator was crossing over the Willemsbrug to relay this information, the drone of many heavy bombers was heard. A total of 90 bombers from squadron KG54 arrived over the city at the old start time and at least 57 dropped their full load of bombs (according to German sources, consisting of 158×250 kg and 1150×50 kg bombs). Why the formation had not received the abort mission order sooner remains controversial.


At Ground Zero

Although exact numbers are not known, it is estimated that between 800 and 900 people were killed in the raid and some 70,000 people were made homeless. Around 642 acres of the city were almost completely leveled. 24,978 homes, 24 churches, 2,320 stores, 775 warehouses and 62 schools were destroyed.



edit World War II city bombing a survivor
Area bombardmentTerror bombing

AugsburgBerlinBelfastBelgradeBirminghamBraunschweigChongqingCologne
CoventryDarwinDresdenFrampolGreenockHamburgKasselKobeLondonLiverpool
ManchesterMinskPforzheimPragueRotterdam • Sheffield • TokyoWarsaw • Wieluń • Würzburg Strategic Bombing during World War II was unlike anything the world had previously witnessed. ... Survivor of German aerial bombardment of Warsaw This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Aerial area bombardment is the policy of indiscriminate bombing of an enemys cities, for the purpose of destroying the enemys means of producing military materiel, communications, government centres and civilian morale. ... Terror bombing is a strategy of deliberately bombing civilian targets and strafing civilians in order to break the morale of the enemy and make the civilian population of the enemy panic. ... The Bavarian city of Augsburg, Germany, was bombed twice by the RAF during World War II 1942 The Augsburg air raid on 17 April 1942 was one of the most daring of World War II. The first squadron to take delivery of the 4-engined Avro Lancaster was No. ... The term Battle of Berlin is sometimes restricted to the Royal Air Force for a bombing campaign on Berlin and other cities between the night of November 18 1943 and March 1944. ... The Belfast Blitz was an event that occurred on Easter Tuesday, April 15, 1941, when 200 German Luftwaffe bombers attacked Belfast, Northern Ireland. ... he bombing of Belgrade occurred in the initial phases of World War II when German forces bombed the city in preperation for the invasion of Yugoslavia. ... The Birmingham Blitz was the heavy bombing of the city of Birmingham in the United Kingdom during the Second World War. ... The Bombing of Braunschweig (or Brunswick) in World War II on 15 October 1944 by the Royal Air Forces No. ... The Bombing of Chongqing (February 18, 1938 - August 23, 1943) was a Japanese strategic bombing campaign against the Chinese provisional capital of Chongqing that lasted 5 1/2 years. ... Cologne in 1945 The City of Cologne was bombed in 262 separate air raids by the Allies during World War II. During the war the Royal Air Force (RAF) bombed Cologne more than thirty one times. ... Two of Coventrys three spires This article is about the history of Coventry, England. ... Combatants Australia; United States Japan Commanders David V. J. Blake Chuichi Nagumo Strength 30 planes 242 planes Casualties At least 243 killed; (possibly 1,100 dead in total) 23 planes destroyed 10 ships sunk 1 killed  ? missing; 6 POW Four planes destroyed in Australian airspace; ? failed to return. ... The bombing of Dresden by the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) between February 13 and February 15, 1945 remains one of the more controversial events of World War II. Historian Frederick Taylor says: The destruction of Dresden has an epically tragic quality... The Bombing of Frampol happened during the Polish Defence War of 1939. ... The Greenock Blitz is the name given to two nights of intensive bombing of the town of Greenock by the Luftwaffe in May 1941. ... Firestorm in Hamburg Operation Gomorrah was the military codename for a series of air raids conducted by the Royal Air Force on the city of Hamburg beginning in the end of July 1943. ... The city of Kassel in Germany was severely bombed during World War II. More than 10. ... On March 17th, 1945, three hundred and thirty-one American B-29 bombers launched a firebombing attack against the city of Kobe, Japan. ... German bomber over the Surrey Docks, Southwark, London The Blitz was the bombing of the United Kingdom by Nazi Germany between 7 September 1940 and 16 May 1941, during World War II. It was carried out by the Luftwaffe across the UK, but their attack was concentrated on London. ... The Liverpool Blitz was the heavy and sustained bombing of the city of Liverpool in the United Kingdom during the Second World War. ... The Manchester Blitz was the heavy bombing of the city of Manchester in the United Kingdom during the Second World War. ... The Minsk Blitz was the heavy bombing of the city of Minsk (population was 270 000) in the USSR during the Second World War. ... During the latter stages of World War II Pforzheim, a town in south west Germany was bombed on a number of times. ... Bombing of Prague was a controversial event during the end of World War II (On February 14, 1945) when American Air Force carried out an air raid over Prague. ... The Sheffield Blitz is the name given to the worst nights of bombing in Sheffield, England during the Second World War. ... The U.S. bombing of Tokyo during World War II took place between 1942 and 1945. ... The Bombing of Warsaw in World War II refers both to the terror bombing campaign on Warsaw by Luftwaffe during the September Campaign (siege of Warsaw and to the German bombing raids during the Warsaw Uprising. ... Bombing of WieluÅ„ in World War II refers to the German bomb raid on a Polish city of WieluÅ„ at the outbreak of World War II. On September 1, 1939 at 4. ... During World War II, on March 16, 1945, 89% of the city was laid to ruins by a British Royal Air Force bombing raid. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Rotterdam - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2417 words)
The Nieuwe Waterweg was dug from Rotterdam to the North Sea, a canal to disembogue the shallow Rhine and Meuse.
Rotterdam, Amsterdam, The Hague and a number of smaller cities in the west of the country are expanding towards each other to the extent that the entire area is sometimes denoted as a single metropole known as Randstad.
Rotterdam is currently going through somewhat of a renaissance, with some urban renewal projects featuring ambitious architecture, an increasingly sparkling nightlife, and a host of summer festivals celebrating the city's multicultural population and identity, such as the Caribbean-inspired 'Summer Carnival', the Dance Parade, Rotterdam 666, the Metropolis popfestival and the World Port days.
Bombing of Rotterdam - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (710 words)
The bombing of Rotterdam was a terror bombardment by German forces on 14 May 1940, in the initial phases of World War II, when they invaded the Netherlands.
The situation in Rotterdam on the morning of 13 May 1940, was one of stalemate.
Kesselring, however, was not shy of using massed bombing attacks against cities as shown during the Battle of Britain.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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