This Day in History: 1943-07-28
1943: US and British planes bomb Hamburg, Germany causing a firestorm that kills 42,000 German civilians in a few hours. The raids continued for days, with 240,000 civilian casualties alone, virtually destroying most of the city, including entire residential districts, schools, and hospitals where infants and pregnant mothers were housed. As in Dresden, the intense firebombing created a vortex and whirling updraft of super-heated air which created a 460 meter high tornado of fire. Approximately 3,000 aircraft were employed, 9,000 tons of bombs were dropped, and over 250,000 homes and houses were destroyed. A large number of those killed died seeking safety in bomb shelters and cellars, the firestorm consuming nearly all the oxygen in the burning city above. The furious winds created by the firestorm had the power to sweep people up off the streets like dry leaves. The tornadic fire created a huge inferno with winds of up to 240 kilometres per hour (150 mph) reaching temperatures of 800 °C (1,470 °F) and altitudes in excess of 300 metres (1,000 ft), incinerating more than 21 square kilometres (8 sq mi) of the city. Asphalt streets burst into flame, and fuel oil from damaged and destroyed ships, barges, and storage tanks spilled into the water of the canals and the harbour, causing them to ignite as well. The Jewish-dominated media cover up the atrocity in the US and UK, and it receives little mention to this day.