Bombing of Romania in World War II


Bombing of Romania in World War II

The bombing of Romania in World War II comprised two series of events: until August 1944, Allied operations, and, following the disestablishment of Ion Antonescu's Fascist dictatorship, operations by Nazi Germany. Several of these were centered on Ploieşti, the major site of Romania's oil industry, and others on Bucharest, the country's capital.

Early bombings

:"Main article: Tidal Wave (1943)"The United States Army Air Force (USSAF) first dropped bombs on Romania on June 12, 1942, soon after America's declaration of war (which reciprocated Romania's declaration of war on December 12, 1941). Thirteen B-24D Liberator heavy bombers under the command of Col. Harry A. Halverson flew in from Fayid, Egypt. Eight bombs were dropped into the Black Sea, two on Constanţa, six on Ploieşti, six on Teişani, and several on Ciofliceni. In all, three people were killed and damage was minor.

The bombing of Ploieşti on August 1, 1943 was a far more serious affair, and was the first one to profit from new bases in Italy ("see Italian Campaign (World War II)"). The largest refinery there, Astra Română, produced two million tons of crude oil a year, feeding the German war machine's advance into the Soviet Union. Operation Tidal Wave heavily damaged four refineries and more lightly affected three; it damaged the Ploieşti rail station but did not have much impact on the city itself. Câmpina was more severely damaged. Hundreds of American soldiers were killed or taken prisoner, while petroleum exports exceeded pre-Tidal Wave levels by October.

1944

:"Main articles: Bombing of Bucharest in World War II, Battle of Romania (1944)"
Anglo-American bombers first attacked Bucharest on April 4, 1944, aiming mainly to interrupt military transports from Romania to the Eastern Front. Lasting for two hours, the operation destroyed hundreds of buildings and killed or injured over 5,000 people according to unofficial statistics.

On April 15, a massive bombing by the British Royal Air Force (RAF), carried out by P-61 Black Widows, dropped cluster and incendiary bombs, leading to widespread panic and damaging buildings such as the University of Bucharest.

Following King Mihai I's August 23 coup against Antonescu, the Luftwaffe retaliated on August 23-25, and destroyed several buildings in Bucharest until their base just north of the city in Otopeni was itself bombed by the USAAF and RAF.

ee also

*Operation Tidal Wave
* [http://www.roconsulboston.com/Pages/InfoPages/PloestiFrstPersn.html]


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