Bombing of Cologne in World War II

Bombing Of Cologne In World War II

Bombing of Cologne in World War II

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The City of Cologne was bombed in 262 separate air raids by the Allies during World War II, including 31 times by the Royal Air Force (RAF). Air raid alarms went off in the winter/spring of 1940 as enemy bombers passed overhead. However, the first actual bombing took place on 12 May 1940. The most notable attack on Cologne was the first Allied 1,000 bomber raid on 30/31 May 1942.

First 1,000 bomber raid

The first 1,000 bomber raid by the RAF was codenamed Operation Millennium, Cologne was chosen as the target and the raid took place on the night of 30/31 May 1942. The Thousand bomber raid was launched for several reasons:
  • It was expected that the devastation from such raids might be enough to knock Germany out of the war or at least severely damage German morale.
  • The raids were useful propaganda for the Allies and particularly for Sir Arthur Harris, 1st Baronet, and the concept of a Strategic Bombing Offensive. Bomber Command's poor performance in bombing accuracy during 1941 had led to calls for the force to be split up and diverted to other urgent theatres i.e. Battle of the Atlantic. A headline-grabbing heavy raid on Germany was a way for Bomber Command AOC Arthur "Bomber" Harris to demonstrate to the War Cabinet that given......
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