Allied second bombing of Caen (Operation Charnwood)

Survivors of the Allied bombing of Normandy
Leibstandarte SS Grenadier captured
The Germans ordered all remaining civilians to leave Caen on July 6 1944. By the time Caen was bombed again on the evening of July 7 1944, only 15,000 inhabitants remained. 467 Lancaster and Halifax bombers attacked the city in preparation for Operation Charnwood. Although their delayed-action bombs were aimed at the northern edge of Caen, massive damage was again inflicted on the city centre. The bombers missed virtually all the German positions on the edge of the city and instead reduced the centre of Caen to rubble. 350 civilians were killed in this raid. The southern part of Caen was not taken until July 18 1944, when the Canadian 3rd Infantry Division advanced through it as part of Operation Goodwood. Franklin D'Olier (chair man of United States Strategic Bombing Survey) quoted in 1949 the survey’s summary report: The German experience suggests that even a first class military power - rugged and resilient as the Wehrmacht was - cannot live long under full-scale and free exploitation of air weapons over the heart of its territory. Top image: A civilian couple walk through ruins of the heavily bombed Normandy 1944. Photo by LIFE photographer Frank Scherschel. Fair use. Bottom image: British Military Police Officers question a Leibstandarte SS Storm trooper on July 20 1944 in Normandie. The unidentified SS-Sturmmann was found to be carrying a large quantity of Soviet banknotes. Public domain.

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