Entering Germany 1945: The Trolley Mission - A sightseeing tour at the end of World War II

Published: February 27, 2020
Entering Germany 1945: The Trolley Mission - A sightseeing tour at the end of World War II

This video tells the story of an extraordinary sightseeing tour of Germany at the end of the European War. Thousands of men, who had in countless ways played a part in the aerial attack on Germany, received their first opportunity to see the fruits of their labors while participating in the so-called “Trolley Missions”. These “Trolley Missions” were low-level flights over Germany in May 1945. During these flights across Europe and Germany, aerial photographs were taken showing the destruction of German cities. This video is a visual collection of reconnaissance photo aerial views and images, documenting the Second World War.

 


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

Published: February 27, 2020
Dortmund from above: Aerial view after Allied air raids in World War II

The city of Dortmund is the largest city of the Ruhr Area. It lies in the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region. Bombing targets in Dortmund were not only of the oil refineries, but also coal mines. The bombings destroyed about 66 % of Dortmund homes. The devastating bombing raids of 12 March 1945 with 1,108 aircraft - including 748 Lancasters, 292 Halifaxes and 68 Mosquitos - destroyed 98 % of buildings in the inner city center. In total 4,851 tonnes of bombs were dropped through Dortmund city. This was a record to a single target in the whole of World War II. The Allied ground advance into Germany reached Dortmund in April 1945. The US 95th Infantry Division attacked the city on 12 April 1945 against the German defense. The division advanced through the ruins in urban combat and completed its capture on 13 April 1945.

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

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

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

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


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

Published: February 27, 2020
Hanover from above: Aerial view after Allied air raids in World War II

As an important railroad and road junction and production center, Hanover was a major target for strategic bombing during World War II. Targets included also the large oil refineries at Misburg, the Continental plants and the Hanomag factory. Residential areas were also targeted, and more than 6,000 civilians were killed by the Allied bombing raids. More than 90 % of the city center was destroyed in a total of 88 bombing raids. The Allied ground advance into Germany reached Hanover in April 1945. The US 84th Infantry Division captured the city on 10 April 1945. After the war, Hanover was in the British zone of occupation of Germany.

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

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

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

Hanover 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.