1940-1949 | Bombing towns & cities | Germany | RAF crimes

RAF fire bombing destroys Hamburg, killing over 18,000

28 July 1943 At about 12.55 am on Wednesday 28 July 1943, RAF Pathfinder aircraft began to drop their target indicators, lighting up the German city of Hamburg.  791 aircraft had already bombed Hamburg three nights earlier [see 25 July 1943], and Bomber Command planners had been impressed with how well the city burned, killing…

1940-1949 | Bombing towns & cities | Churchill's crimes | Germany | RAF crimes

The first RAF fire bombing raid on Hamburg kills thousands

25 July 1943 At about 00.57 on 25 July 1943,  RAF bombers unleashed hundreds of bright red and yellow marker bombs, followed by thousands of incendiary bombs, on the densely populated German city of Hamburg. It was the first of four RAF fire bombing raids endured by the inhabitants over the following ten days, which…

1920-1939 | Bombing towns & cities | Collective punishments | Kurdistan | Punitive operations | RAF crimes

RAF drop 400 gallons of petrol and incendiaries on a Kurdish town

10 July 1922 On 10 July 1922, the small Kurdish town of Rowanduz was subjected to the first of a series of bombing raids by the RAF. Rowanduz was situated in northern Iraq, a country which was then under British military administration and a colony, in all but name. Group Captain Amyas Borton explained in…

1940-1949 | Bombing towns & cities | Germany | RAF crimes

The RAF obliterates the medieval town of Wurzburg

16 March 1945 On 16 March 1945, in the closing days of the Second World War, as Allied forces advanced ever deeper into Germany, 225 RAF Lancaster heavy bombers dropped a mixture of high explosives and 300,000 incendiary bombs on the medieval city of Wurzburg. Though the municipality lacked any heavy industry, it contained numerous half-timbered buildings in…

1920-1939 | Kurdistan | Livestock targeted | Punitive operations | RAF crimes

RAF bombing raids against flocks of grazing sheep

8 January 1925 On 8 January 1925, RAF headquarters in Baghdad ordered No 30 Squadron RAF to bomb and machine gun the grazing sheep flocks of the nomadic Jaff, who inhabited the Kurdish areas of Iraq and Iran. The official pretext given in a confidential Air Ministry report was that it was a ‘punishment for…

1920-1939 | Bombing villages | Civilians slaughtered | Collective punishments | Iraq | Punitive operations

30 NOVEMBER

HAWKINS SAILORS SACK CACHEU, TORTURING, KILLING AND SEIZING SLAVES [ 30 November 1567 ] Cacheu was a Portuguese trading and administrative town at the mouth of what was then called the Santo-Domingo River on the West African coast. R.A.F. DROP 8,600 INCENDIARY BOMBS ON TWO IRAQI VILLAGES FOR ‘DISOBEDIENCE’. [ 30 November 1923] On 30…