Starry, Starry Night

     In the night of August 27-28, 1944, 647 Royal Air Force bombers took off from England. Their goal was to reach Nürnberg and bomb the living daylights out of the city. The night was clear but extremely dark because of the new moon. Even though there was a ‘Master Bomber’ flying over the target, trying to direct the other pilots, a few flew off course in the dark and crashed. 
     From their bunker, the people in Lonnerstadt watched as a German Nachjäger, a fighter aircraft used especially at night, chased and shot down a RAF Helifax DK 269 from Squadron 76. The burning plane tumbled in the air, barely missing the church steeple in Lonnerstadt, before it finally crashed in the forest by Sichardtshof.
     All seven of the English soldiers, aged 20-23, were killed in the crash.  A plaque still marks the spot where they died.
     And here’s what was left of the houses around the Nürnberg Market:

More pictures of Nürnberg after the war:

7 thoughts on “Starry, Starry Night

  1. Betsy

    Wow …

    Surely no one deserves this…war is way too sad…on all sides,I would never say So what?

    And the men who hold high places
    Must be the ones who start
    To mold a new reality
    Closer to the heart


  2. Laura Libricz

    I wouldn't say So what, either.

    Nürnberg was one city that decided to rebuild their beautiful old buildings. Other cities just rebuilt modern.

    If I was queen, I'd sit everyone down with a cookie and a nice cup of tea.


  3. Joseph Baran

    WW2 was the last war of its kind. It was the end of a warfare era where you killed your enemy – utterly. And then negotiated a surrender with whoever was left standing or breathing. Some German towns were bombed back to the stone age because of that kind of mentality back then. The mentality of a payback for all the evil that fell upon Europe, for the second time. And also because the German public didn’t have the consciousness or will to stop or oppose the Nazi war machine as it killed thousands and destroyed most of Europe, turning it to rubble.

    It’s important to remember that not all Germans were evil or Nazi. Many German soldiers were “people” and did the right thing in regards to civilians, making their mothers proud.

    I don’t think carpet bombings will ever happen again. Wars now are too political. Nonetheless, wars remain a dirty business and innocent lives will always be lost on both sides.

    I saw your comments yesterday on Rachelle Gardner’s blog and followed it to your blog. I was surprised to hear you say that you never showed your writing to anyone before. I am writing a WW2 novel as I begin to query my first story and try to set up my own page/blog.


  4. Laura Libricz

    Hi Joseph,
    Thanks for stopping by.
    I've always been facinated (not the right word, of course) with these old pictures of destruction probably because my generation (western civilization) can't even fathom that degree of appaling devastation. I've been researching the Thirty Years War for close to two years now and I must say the modern world is much more civilized, but there are so many similarities between the world today and 400 years ago that it's scary.

    Do set up a blog and send me the link! These are pretty easy to get started. I'm starting the NaNoWriMo today, but I want to post twice a week, too.

    Good luck with your query!


  5. Joseph Baran

    Hi Laura,

    Thanks. I too wish you much success with NaNoWriMo. I was going to participate in it, but don’t have the time. I’ll email you the link once the blog is ready.

    Sometimes, when I do have the time, I like to see wartime photographs listed on Ebay. Many sellers list them from all over the world. Photos vary in nature a lot but the stories they tell are beyond the words.


  6. Nick

    I've seen pictures like those of Nurnberg of many cities across Europe from WWII and I am still unable to give an answer to myself for it all. There are so very many strands involved that I think it will for ever be impossible to place a simple right or wrong on so much of it.
    A couple of things about war often come to mind.
    Some years ago I lived in Washwood Heath, Birmingham in a Victorian terrace house. Whenever I dug the small front garden I would find shards of glass in the earth. Enquiring I was told that during the war the windows of most of the houses in the road had been blown during the war when the railway works, opposite, had been bombed. Sometimes I would lie in bed, in the front room, wondering what it must have been like when that happened. Grim I suppose and very frightening.
    Until recently I travelled to work on the train from Lichfield to Birmingham. Near Lichfield is the barracks for the South Staffs Regiment where they had many new young recruits for training. I would often see and hear these young men on the train. They were all so gungho and full of it. Aching, it seemed to me, to be off to Afghanistan to shoot real guns at real people. I wonder still did the army train them that way or do many people actually quite like the whole notion of a bit of warfare and “our lads” up for The Queen. Probably both.
    The older I get the less I bother to read or watch the news. I cannot stomach any more news items about silly young boys, every one a “hero”, killed in Afghanistan. Dead is for all eternity.
    Not very cheerful this lot is it, so let's smile, it's an amazing world.



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