This Day in History: 1942-05-30
1942: One thousand Royal Air Force bombers drop over 1,400 tons of bombs, most of them incendiaries, on the civilian population of Cologne, Germany. The use of incendiaries was chosen specifically to “overwhelm local fire brigades” and cause the maximum number of deaths of unarmed women and children in order to “break the morale” of the population. More than 40,000 private homes and 12,840 buildings were destroyed, including nine hospitals, 17 churches, 16 schools, four university buildings, ten postal and railway buildings, ten buildings of historic interest, two newspaper offices, four hotels, two movie theatres, and six department stores — all in one night. The only military installation damaged was the flak barracks. There would be 262 such bombing raids on Cologne alone, as part of perhaps the most brutal and inhumane war campaign in all human history, ordered by Jews on a nation that simply wanted to be free of their depradations.