The so-called “Reichswerke Hermann Göring” was an industrial conglomerate of Nazi Germany. Demand for iron ores and steel rose in line with the rise in military spending. So the domestic ore reserves in the city of Salzgitter were badly needed. Therefore, Göring announced that the Reichswerke would begin mining and processing Salzgitter ores and that the government would take over privately held ore deposits. A large mining factory was established in Salzgitter to extract and process iron ores, which often was a target of the Royal Air Force and United States Army Air Force. However, the conglomerate was dismembered by the Allies in 1945.
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.
The city of Bremen has the second largest German port. Allied bombing destroyed the majority of the historical Hanseatic city as well as 60 % of the built up area of Bremen during World War II. Most important areas were the docks. To the north of the city were aircraft factories and engineering plant while to the south was the airport. The British 3rd Infantry Division under General Whistler captured Bremen in late April 1945.