Background knowledge

Kriegsrelikt Flugzeugmotor

Relic from the second World War: an aviation engine from an “Avro Lancaster” bomb plane

Problem for coming generations
The legacy of both world wars is a problem for generations to come. Aerial bombardments and combat action in aerial warfare, from artillery and from infantry are still contaminating many areas today with ammunition and hazardous substances. Also, there are military training areas with highly contaminated ground caused by a wide spectrum of ammunitions and other poisonous materials – even 60 years later they pose a great danger to man and his environment.

Duds
If one realizes that at least 5% of all bombs and more than 15% of all mines and ammunition entered the ground without exploding, one arrives at a frighteningly high number of explosive bodies and dangerous wastes as relics of war. Accidents caused by unintentional detonations or self-detonation of combat agents are even today a daily occurrence. Every day disposal firms find duds in German cities and in historic combat areas. Dangerous waste that requires another 50-100 years of intensive disposal work according to current estimates.

The legacy of World War 2.
The second World War annihilated more than 38 million lives in less than 7 years. Apart from the huge losses in Russia with about 21 million dead and followed by Poland with about 6 million dead, more than 5 million died in Germany as a result of the war.

Aerial warfare 1939-1945
With its first bombardment against Poland, Germany opened the air warfare in 1939. On May 15th, 1940, the British open the strategic bombing campaign against the German Reich with a deployment of 99 planes. The bombing war reaches its climax with the entry of the United States into the war. The first 1,000 bomber attack was flown against Cologne in 1942.

Result of the aerial war
635,000 people fell victim to British and American bombs. More than 2 million tons of bombs rain down on Germany. In the cities alone about half of the 16 million apartments are destroyed or become uninhabitable.

You can find more useful information here (german language) … .

Further information on World War 1.
Further information on World War 2.
Documentation on the aerial bombing campaigns
Bomber in aerial warfare