Hamburg from above: Aerial view after Allied air raids in World War II

Hamburg from above: Aerial view after Allied air raids in World War II

February 24, 2020

During the Second World War, Hamburg suffered a series of Allied air raids and which devastated much of the city and the harbor. Then it was the most important port of continental Europe, and the largest shipping center in the world. There were tremendous ship building yards and vast oil storage installations. The oil refineries on south side of the Elbe were targets of the 392nd Bombardment Group. On 23 July 1943, Royal Air Force and United States Army Air Force firebombing created a firestorm which spread from the main railway station and quickly moved south-east, completely destroying entire boroughs.

Thousands of people perished in these densely populated working class boroughs. The raids, codenamed “Operation Gomorrah” by the Royal Air Force, killed at least 42,600 civilians. About one million civilians were evacuated. While some of the boroughs destroyed were rebuilt as residential districts after the war, others were entirely developed into office, retail and limited residential or industrial districts.

Hamburg from above: Aerial view after Allied air raids in World War II

Hamburg from above: Aerial view after Allied air raids in World War II

Hamburg from above: Aerial view after Allied air raids in World War II

Hamburg from above: Aerial view after Allied air raids in World War II

Hamburg from above: Aerial view after Allied air raids in World War II

Hamburg from above: Aerial view after Allied air raids in World War II

Hamburg from above: Aerial view after Allied air raids in World War II

Hamburg from above: Aerial view after Allied air raids in World War II

Hamburg from above: Aerial view after Allied air raids in World War II

Hamburg from above: Aerial view after Allied air raids in World War II

Hamburg from above: Aerial view after Allied air raids in World War II

Hamburg from above: Aerial view after Allied air raids in World War II

Trolley Mission

This website tells the story of an extraordinary sightseeing tour of Germany at the end of the European War (Second World War). These “Trolley Missions” were low-level flights over Germany between 7 May 1945 and 12 May 1945. Sometimes these missions are also called “Low Level Mission”, “Low Level Tours” or “Cook’s Tours”. During these flights across Europe and Germany aerial photographs were taken showing the destruction of German cities.