Labour History Review

Bombing and Rural Society in Württemberg

Labour History Review (2012), 77, (1), 93–112.

Abstract

The Allied bombing of the German countryside was much less frequent and less damaging than the bombing of German towns and cities. Yet bombs did fall on rural areas, causing death and destruction. Before 1944, most of the bombing of the countryside was inadvertent, but nonetheless fatal for individuals - including foreign workers and urban evacuees - and destructive of land, buildings, and animals. Villages might suffer collateral damage when a nearby town was targeted, or they might be the recipients of jettisoned bombs from aircraft returning to base. There was also intentional bombing. Some villages were forced to play host to a decoy installation which became a target, and some were a target as the location of a communications link or the relocation of an industrial concern. In 1944 and 1945, villages, which tended to have neither anti-aircraft defences nor air-raid shelters, increasingly became easy targets. Thus agricultural work was disrupted, with the killing of farm workers and damage to fields, farm buildings, and animals.

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Author details

Stephenson, Jill