Thursday, April 4, 2013

April 4, 1942 - Germans make plans for Baedeker raids

The bombing raids were in retaliation for the British bombings of Lübeck March 28 and March 29, 1942.  Lübeck was not a large industrial city, but did contain submarine building yards.  However at the time, the British command were focused on the morale of the enemy population as much as vital military targets.  The city of Lübeck had many wooden medieval buildings which would be easy work for the incendiaries that were planned to drop.   The city was considered a cultural center and only lightly defended. The target infuriated German command and revenge raids were ordered.

The Baedeker raids were conducted by the German Luftwaffe Luftflotte 3 in two periods between April and June 1942. They targeted strategically relatively unimportant but picturesque cities in England. The cities were reputedly selected from the German Baedeker Tourist Guide to Britain, meeting the criterion of having been awarded three stars (for their historical significance), hence the English name for the raids. 
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