Taken in 1942, this photograph pictures the port city of Lübeck in northern Germany following air attacks by the Royal Air Force during the night of 28th March.
On the night of 28th March 1942, in just over 2 hours 234 Wellington, Stirling and Lancaster bombers dropped 304 tonnes of bombs, destroying nearly 50% of the medieval city and rendering over 15,000 people homeless, 800 wounded and 300 dead. During the attack 12 bombers were shot down by Lübeck's anti-aircraft defences. The raids demonstrated the immense power of incendiary attacks and the devastation that could be swiftly and efficiently wrought. "Built more like a fire-lighter than a human habitation," Lübeck was an ideal target and a perfect example to highlight the level of destruction that incendiary devices could cause.
If you'd like to find out more about the types of bombers employed by the RAF to undertake night raids why not take a look at Bf 110 vs Lancaster: 1942-45?
The original image can be viewed here.
Attribution: Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1977-047-16 / CC-BY-SA ©