21 sad images of bombed out Cologne – you wouldn’t have seen many of these images before

The German 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.

During the 1939 to 1945 period the Royal Air Force dropped 34,711 long tons of bombs on the city.

A massive thank you to Dierk Lürbke who allowed us to use the images from his great website www.anicursor.com

View to the city districts Nippes, Riehl und Altstadt Nord. In background church St. Agnes and the square Ebertplatz, Riehler Strasse and Reichenspergerplatz with the building of the higher regional court.
Courtesy of David Foster

Cathedral and central station. Courtesy of Peter Dunn’s “Australia @ War” website at www.ozatwar.com, by permission of Peter Dunn
Destroyed Hohenzollern-Bridge. Courtesy of 1-377 FAR (AASLT) website
Pvt. Harry Roeder, 504th Military Police Battalion, took this photo showing the damages to the Cathedral. His son Bruce kindly allowed me to show the photo here and he maintains an interesting website about his father and his experiences during and after the war here: What did you do in the war dad? part 3.
Lt. Wick Goist at Cologne Cathedral. Courtesy of 1-377 FAR (AASLT) website

Photo copyright: Jimmy Wood. Courtesy of 75nzsquadron.com by Simon
Simon’s father Robert Douglas ‘Jock’ Sommerville from Scotland was a Bomb Aimer in 75(NZ) Squadron RAF and during WWII he flew several raids to German cities. This flights haunted him after the war. He was an honourable and a fair man. It was only after he had died that Simon learnt from one of Robert’s friends that on a summer holiday tour of Germany in the 80’s he touched the wall of the Cathedral and wept inconsolably.
Photo shows the damages to the Cathedral.

Courtesy of 303rd Bomb Group (H) Association, by permission of Gary Moncur

Courtesy of 100th Bomb Group Foundation, by  permission of Michael Faley
This photo was sent by David Foster too. Central station and destroyed bridge Hohenzollernbrücke

There’s no description about the picture on the web – excepted it’s Cologne – but it seems to be an air raid over Cologne’s eastern city districts Kalk, Humboldt-Gremberg and Vingst. There’s the Shunting yard Kalk-North and actually bomb explosions around a little train station within an industrial area. Courtesy of Issara Willenskomer via flickr-Website. Issara’s flickr website

On the right side a hospital called “Krankenhaus der Augustinerinnen” in Cologne called “Severins-Klösterchen” too. The church nearby is the church “Kartäuserkirche” and the Streets around are called “Jakobstrasse” and “Kartäusergasse”. The cologne city district is “Altstadt Süd”.
Courtesy of Kevin “The Rocketeer”. Kevin’s website

The destroyed bridge “Hohenzollernbrücke”. Photo sent by Bernd Fromader

Cologne, city district Mülheim, two heavy day attacks on October 14-15, 1944. One of destroyed the bridge “Mülheimer Brücke”

Cathedral and ruins

St. Aposteln at square Neumarkt

On the right side the old building is the “Gürzenich”, a historic hall for celebrations – today again a hall for celebrations. It’s the area around square Heumarkt. Courtesy of Norman Date. Norman’s website

Cathedral and in foreground the destroyed Hindenburg bridge. Courtesy of Norman Date. Norman’s website

Ruins and the cathedral. Courtesy of Norman Date. Norman’s website

Courtesy of 303rd Bomb Group (H) Association, by permission of Gary Moncur.
Another Recon photo, february 1945. Cologne center between Street Kaiser-Wilhelm-Ring and the buildings around Appellhofplatz. In the center of the photo church St. Gereon

Courtesy of Gordon Ross via flickr-Website. Gordon’s website.
Courtesy of Gordon Ross via flickr-Website. Gordon’s website.

Courtesy of Kevin “The Rocketeer”. Kevin’s website

Courtesy of Kevin “The Rocketeer”. Kevin’s website
Aerial view city district Deutz, background Cathedral, train station Deutz in the middle of the picture
Aerial view, area around building Dischhaus and church St. Kolumba. In background coming from left side to right side the street Hohe Strasse
A B-24 flying over the city.

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