Air raids on Koblenz

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Memorial plaque in the old town of Koblenz for the victims of the air raids
Two USAAF B-17s during the bombing raid on September 19, 1944. The target was the Koblenz-Mosel freight yard ( gold mine , Moselweiß ), the Rhine island of Oberwerth at the bottom left
British aerial photo after the devastating attack on November 6, 1944. Koblenz's old town with the burned-out Electoral Palace at the bottom left

The air raids on Koblenz during World War II , carried out by the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) and the British Royal Air Force (RAF) in 1944 and 1945 , destroyed the city of Koblenz to 87%. In particular, the area bombing of civil targets (inner city, residential areas and others) by the RAF took place on the basis of the " Area Bombing Directive " issued by the British Air Ministry on February 14, 1942 .

On the basis of this instruction, the RAF directed the devastating attack on November 6, 1944 against the city center of Koblenz and made it practically uninhabitable. As a result, the historic cityscape of the capital of the Rhine province was lost forever. Two million cubic meters of rubble shaped the cityscape. From the Rhine you had an unobstructed view as far as Moselweiß . Of the previous 23,700 apartments, only 1,500 remained undamaged.

The aerial warfare of World War II left a total of 1,016 dead and 2,925 wounded in Koblenz . Of the 94,417 inhabitants (1943) only around 9,000 lived in the city at the end of the war. These people, who had to stay in the city for war reasons, lived for weeks in the large concrete bunkers in the city center. The rest of the Koblenz population was evacuated to Thuringia by the end of 1944 . The air raids on Koblenz ended in early 1945 when American troops approached the city from the Eifel .

Importance as a target

The large medium-sized town with just over 90,000 inhabitants initially had no direct military-strategic importance. There was no vital industry in Koblenz. The Wehrmacht garrisons and the transport facilities were viewed by the Allies as goals with only subordinate priority. Until 1944, Koblenz was largely spared from bomb attacks, while cities like Cologne and Frankfurt had already been largely destroyed. Koblenz only became a target area under the extended British Area Bombing Directive .

With the Allied invasion of France ( Operation Overlord ) in June 1944, Koblenz was also targeted by the bomber fleets. With the start of the German Ardennes offensive in December 1944, the railway network in the Koblenz area gained in importance and the bombing reached its final climax. After the advance of the Allied troops into the Eifel, the bombing raids ended in January 1945. The entire infrastructure in and around Koblenz was destroyed. On March 19, 1945, American troops captured the city and hoisted the stars and stripes on City Hall .

Air defense measures

Although the city of Koblenz was 87% destroyed by the air raids at the end of the war, the number of civilian and military bomb victims was relatively low with around 1,100 deaths for a city of this size. The main reason for this was the air raid protection measures of the city and the Reich Air Protection Association . Almost all residents were able to seek shelter in 15 bunkers , in the Pfaffendorf-Horchheim railway tunnel and in eight tunnels during an air raid . The largest tunnel was under the Ehrenbreitstein fortress . The six underground bunkers, three raised bunkers and six mixed bunkers were spread over the entire city area, most of them have been preserved to this day. Three bunkers were reserved for hospitals and one bunker for the police, the remaining eleven bunkers were designated as public air raid shelters. There were also two Reichsbahn bunkers at the Koblenz-Mosel depot for railway employees.

The air raid shelters in Koblenz were built between 1937 and 1943. In addition to civilian workers, prisoners of war were also used for construction. When hostile organizations approaching the city, the local air-raid warning command triggered to warn the population raid alarm off. In the greater Koblenz area, flak batteries with a caliber of 2 cm to 12.8 cm (four of them as railway flak ) and positions with flak headlights were in use. The fire brigade set up several extinguishing water ponds in large areas for rapid fire fighting . Barrier balloons were supposed to protect the Rhine and Moselle bridges from attacks by low-flying aircraft.

After the end of the war, the bunkers served as living quarters for people returning to the city for many years. With the onset of the Cold War , some bunkers in Koblenz were expanded, but they never offered effective protection against attack with nuclear weapons . After the German reunification , three bunkers were still operational, but in 2007 the Federal Government of the Grand Coalition ( Merkel cabinet ) decided to give up all the air raid protection bunkers.

Chronology of the air raids

date Planes Bomb
load (t)
Description of the air strike Dead / injured / homeless
April 6,
4 a.m.
Bombs hit the Schloß-Café and Druckerei Straub in Schloßstraße. 12 dead, 60 homeless
12. August Incendiary bombs on houses in Brenderweg, minor damage. A single air mine severely damaged the Mauritius Church in Rübenach .
January 10th
2 mosquito Bombs on the southern suburb . 3 dead
March 12th Extensions of a carpet of bombs (emergency throw) on the city ​​forest and Oberwerth . 2 dead
April 19,
11:11 a.m.
8 B-24 14.6 Bomb carpet on the goods station Koblenz-Mosel ( Moselweiß ). 21 dead, 30–40 injured
April 22,
7:56 p.m.
47 B-24 91 Airborne units of the 8th Air Force throwing bomb carpets on the city's transport facilities. Major damage to the gold mine and the Florinsmarkt ( old town ). 115 dead, 99 injured, 4,000 homeless
July 19
9:05 am
90 B-24 223.1 Liberator bombers occupy Koblenz as an alternative target with bomb carpets. Destination: Koblenz-Mosel freight yard . Be hit u. a. the southern suburb , old town , gold mine , Horchheim , Ehrenbreitstein and Lützel . 74 dead, 112 injured
July 20,
2:12 am
7 B-24 15.5 Air raid on Arenberg . 1 dead
12th September 15.5 Deep attack at night on the Koblenz-Lützel marshalling yard . 1 dead
September 19
3:03 pm
119 B-17 244.3 "Flying fortresses" bomb the Koblenz-Mosel freight yard and the Rhine bridges. In the yard is a Eisenbahnflakbatterie destroyed. 144 dead, 133 injured
September 21,
2:45 p.m.
144 B-24 362.6 Air raid on the southern suburb , Karthauser , gold mine , Oberwerth and Horchheim . A B-24 bomber is shot down, three Allied airmen die. 13 dead, 69 injured
September 24th The evacuation of the Koblenz population to Thuringia begins. 70,425 people were relocated by January 2, 1945.
September 25,
12:48 p.m.
251 B-24 603.1 Bombers repeat an attack on the Koblenz-Mosel freight yard . The entire urban area is hit, with severe damage in the city center. 43 people die in the basement of the casino building (Casinostraße). 109 dead,? Injured
October 1st
10:32 pm
Mosquito Interfering attack by mosquito bombers, Löhrstrasse is hit.
October 5,
12:08 p.m.
11 B-17 30th Fire bombs dropped on Pfaffendorf .
October 9
3:04 p.m.
361 B-24 882 Major attack on the Koblenz-Mosel freight yard as an alternative target. The gold mine , the Rauental and the area south of the Friedrich-Ebert-Ring are particularly affected . 71 dead,? Injured
October 11,
10:11 a.m.
73 B-17 192.5 Attack of the bombers on the traffic facilities fails because of the bad weather and the flak fire. Bombs fall scattered between Vallendar and Oberlahnstein and on Lützel . 6 dead,? Injured
October 12,
8:34 p.m.
Mosquito Disruptive attack by mosquito bombers, damage to Friedrich-Ebert-Ring.
October 15,
9:37 a.m.
12 B-17 18.7 Air raid on the Karthauses .
October 19th Deep attack on railway systems. 4 dead
November 1st
1:38 pm
24 B-17 62.8 Air raid on Ehrenbreitstein , Niederberg and Arzheim . 1 dead
November 6,
7:28 p.m.
122  Lancaster 521 Destruction attack by the RAF :
target point: Löhrrondell. The city center, hit by 153,392 stick incendiary bombs , 456 flame jet bombs and 130 air mines , burns down. The firestorm makes all attempts to extinguish the fire hopeless. The city as an ordered community no longer exists. A Lancaster bomber with a crew of eight hits what is now Johannes-Junglas-Strasse.
109 dead, 558 injured, 25,000 homeless
November 11
11:50 a.m.
24 B-17 62.3 Air raid on the Koblenz-Mosel freight yard , minor damage.
November 21,
2:50 a.m.
42 Lancaster 225.5 Air raid on the city center, Güls , Pfaffendorf , Ehrenbreitstein , Neuendorf . 64 dead, 48 injured
November 21,
12:53 p.m.
23 B-17 73.3 Another attack on the urban area.
December 2,
1:02 p.m.
10 B-17 26.8 Air raid on Horchheim .
December 4th
1:45 p.m.
77 B-17 190.2 Bomb carpets hit Neuendorf , Ehrenbreitstein , Niederberg and Immendorf . 14 dead, 3 injured
December 10,
10:58 am
277 B-17 523 Air raid on the Koblenz-Lützel marshalling yard , severe damage to the station. 16 dead, 10 injured
December 11
11:52 am
136 B-17 315.3 Air raid on the Koblenz-Mosel freight yard as an alternative target.
December 16 Beginning of the Battle of the Bulge . Koblenz is gaining military importance as a traffic hub.
December 18,
1:42 p.m.
101 B-17 269.4 Air raid on Lützel , Neuendorf , Wallersheim and Moselweiß . 4 dead, 22 injured
December 19
1:21 p.m.
12 B-17 32.3 Air raid on the Rhine and Ehrenbreitstein .
December 22nd
6:53 pm
168 Lancaster 929.2 The RAF attacks the Koblenz-Lützel freight yard with heavy explosive bombs . Most of the bombs hit Moselweiß , Güls and Rübenach . 154 dead, 22 injured
December 24th
2:58 pm
83 B-17 165.4 Air raid on Lützel and the old town . 9 dead,? Injured
December 27,
12:33 p.m.
13 B-17 38.2 Air raid on Lützel . An airplane is shot down and hits Arenberg .
December 28,
12:57 p.m.
529 B-17 1,263.9 Heaviest attack on the destroyed city by the USAAF :
1,170.7 tons of high explosive and 93.2 tons of incendiary bombs are thrown on Koblenz, heaviest damage in the entire city area.
33 dead, 60 injured
December 29th
88 Lancaster, 150 Halifax 906.1 Heavy daytime raid by the RAF on the Koblenz-Mosel and Koblenz-Lützel train stations . 32 dead, 50 injured
December 31,
11:23 a.m.
114 B-24 359.5 Air raids on Ehrenbreitstein , Old Town , Lützel , Wallersheim , Moselweiß , Karthaus and Güls
January 1st
12:35 pm
22 B-17, 84 B-24 303.4 Several attacks on the Moselle bridges. A B-24 bomber shot down by flak. 6 dead
January 2,
12:11 p.m.
127 B-24 331.8 Another attack on the Moselle bridges. 7 dead, 2 injured
January 5,
12:53 p.m.
93 B-17 198.1 Air raid on Lützel , Neuendorf , Wallersheim .
January 6,
11:53 a.m.
93 B-24 243.3 Air raid on the Koblenz-Mosel freight yard .
January 7,
11:41 am
46 B-17 142.2 Air raid on the city's transport facilities. 3 dead, 3 injured
January 8,
10:57 am
12 B-17 32.6 Small air raid on the Koblenz-Mosel freight yard . The city can no longer be adequately supplied. The eviction is initiated.
January 29,
12:04 p.m.
138 B-17 367.5 Last big attack by US bombers on the already destroyed city. Rubble and no longer functioning railway systems are hit. 6 dead, 3 injured
February 5th Interfering attack without damage.
March 8,
2:00 am
Artillery fire begins .
March 8,
9:50 a.m.
Last air raid .
9th March The districts north of the Moselle are occupied by the 4th US Armored Division ( 3rd US Army ).
March 13th The combat commander of Koblenz imposed a military state of emergency.
17. March Parts of the 87th US Infantry Division cross the Moselle at the Güls railway bridge . Other troops of the 3rd US Army under General George S. Patton are approaching the southern suburb from Waldesch .
March 18th Street fighting in the city center.
March 19,
8:30 a.m.
The crew of Fort Constantine surrenders. The last resistance in the area of ​​the main station / Schenkendorfplatz and on the Rhine expires. Koblenz is declared taken and the stars and stripes are hoisted on the town hall.
27th of March US troops occupy the parts of the city on the right bank of the Rhine. There are still around 14,000 people in Koblenz. The city laments 5,000 residents who lost their lives in the war, including around 1,000 bomb victims (civilians, soldiers, prisoners of war, abducted foreign workers) and around 25 Allied airmen.

Destruction and reconstruction

The city of Koblenz was mainly destroyed not only by the air raids, but also by artillery bombardment and the 19-day ground battle when the American troops marched in. All Rhine and Moselle bridges were blown up on March 7, 1945 by the retreating units of the Wehrmacht . The supply lines, road connections, railways and port facilities were also completely destroyed. Of the 23,700 apartments before the war, only 1,500 were undamaged. The center of Koblenz was devastated, many historically valuable buildings destroyed or badly damaged. The inner city was 98% in ruins, the suburbs 60%. The town hall , the old castle and the theater were among the few only slightly damaged and still intact buildings in the city center . Since the large, undamaged, large rooms with the large town hall and theater were available, the assemblies for the establishment of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate in 1946/1947 took place here.

The main task of the new city administration under Lord Mayor Wilhelm Kurth was to free the city from the millions of cubic meters of rubble, to restore the infrastructure and to supply the population with food. After the city was handed over to the French military administration under General Marie-Pierre Kœnig , General Charles de Gaulle visited Koblenz on October 3, 1945 and declared in the town hall: “France will especially support the Koblenz region”; because "there are reasons that we will get along especially well."

By the end of 1945, 47,000 people from Koblenz had returned to the destroyed city. It took eleven years for Koblenz to regain its pre-war population of 91,000. The reconstruction was determined by a general development plan from 1946, which was, however, subject to multiple adjustments in the following years. Historic buildings such as the Carmelite Church on the Rhine, the old community hospital and the Dominican monastery in Weissergasse were no longer built, other buildings such as the Jesuit Church , the Electoral Palace or the main train station were only built in simplified form. The Kastorviertel was redesigned and made flood-proof. The area around today's Löhr-Center between Löhrrondell and Balduinbrücke was completely redesigned. New streets were built that had never existed before.

In the city center was established with the central square , a place in an area that was previously densely built with half-timbered houses. When redesigning the city, decisions were made based on the zeitgeist of the time , which were later bitterly regretted. For example, the water tower wall on the central square was demolished in 1964, a part of the medieval city ​​wall that was still there . The magnificent municipal festival hall next to the castle had to give way to a new traffic plan between Friedrich-Ebert-Ring, Pfaffendorfer Bridge and Neustadt, although it was still worth building due to its not so severe damage. In 1962 it was replaced a few meters away by the Rhein-Mosel-Halle .

The ship bridge over the Rhine was abandoned after it had been replaced by a pontoon bridge for a short time after the war, and made superfluous by the powerful new construction of the Pfaffendorfer bridge . The Moselle port on the bank in front of the Deutsches Eck was abandoned and a modern Rhine port was built in Wallersheim from 1961 to 1965 . The historical core of Koblenz's old town, on the other hand, was restored until the 1980s and largely retained its historical design.

Bombs found after World War II

Even decades after the end of the Second World War , duds were and are still being found in the city of Koblenz . These remnants of the heavy bombing can still explode, so they represent a considerable danger for the population. The ammunition is mostly hidden in the ground and - regardless of the targeted search based on suspicious aerial photos - is discovered by chance during construction work. Other duds can be found in the river beds of the Rhine and Moselle. The ordnance disposal service is responsible for the subsequent defusing and securing of the bombs . This leads to extensive evacuations of the population. Not infrequently, several parts of the city have to be completely cleared.

Bomb finds in Koblenz since 1992 :

date Bomb find Evacuation measure
June 10, 1992 In the Neuendorfer Strasse in Lützel , a British ten-hundredweight aircraft bomb was found during excavation work for an apartment building.
February 9, 1993 In the boiler Heimer industrial area a British ten-hundredweight bomb was found.
March 21, 1994 During a routine dive, the crew of a diving shaft for the Waterways and Shipping Administration discovered an aerial bomb at a distance of approx. 80 m from the Pfaffendorfer Ufer on the bottom of the Rhine . The Pfaffendorf kindergarten was evacuated as a precaution.
November 23, 1994 Near the intersection of Hunsrückhöhenstrasse / Remsteck , the munitions clearance service of the Koblenz district government defused an American five-hundredweight bomb.
February 2, 1995 In Neuendorf , a five hundredweight aerial bomb was found during excavation work.
May 4, 1995 The ordnance disposal service defused a British five hundredweight bomb that construction workers in Pfaffendorf discovered at the confluence of the Lehrhohl with the B 42 .
July 27, 1995 The crew of the diving shaft "Kaiman" on the bottom of the Rhine near the mouth of the Moselle discovered an aerial bomb. Ship, rail and car traffic on the B 42 were stopped until the dud was defused by the ordnance disposal service.
December 12, 1995 An American 1,000 kg bomb was defused on a construction site in Neuendorf . 2,000 residents had to be evacuated.
May 6, 1996 The ordnance disposal service defused an American ten hundredweight bomb in the city ​​forest near the Kühkopf .
July 2, 1997 A five hundredweight bomb was found during dredging work in the Rhine. The neighboring houses in Pfaffendorf and the Holiday Inn on the Koblenz side of the Rhine were evacuated and the Pfaffendorfer bridge was closed.
3rd July 1997 Another bomb was discovered on the B 42 near Pfaffendorf . Among other things, the Wiesbaden – Koblenz – Bonn line had to be closed.
4th July 1997 Third bomb found in three days. Again on the B 42, a 2.5 quintals bomb was discovered.
July 10, 1997 The ordnance disposal service was alerted again when a ten hundredweight bomb was found in Metternich Johannesstrasse. Around 700 residents were temporarily evacuated to the pollen field school.
November 12, 1997 During excavation work on a construction site opposite the Marienhof hospital , construction workers found a five-hundredweight bomb. Some neighboring houses and a hotel were evacuated as a precaution before the defusing.
August 10, 1998 A British ten-hundredweight aerial bomb was found at Neuendorfer Eck. It was strange that the bomb was defused shortly after the end of the war, but then simply stayed where it was.
January 20, 1999 The ordnance disposal service defused a five hundredweight bomb on the Schmidtenhöhe . It is the fourth explosive device that was found at the military training area this month .
May 20, 1999 Largest bomb found in Koblenz : In the largest bomb found after 1945, a British aircraft bomb weighing 1,850 kg was found during excavation work for the new central building of the University of Koblenz-Landau . At that time, three impact fuses could have detonated the air mine . Generations of pioneers marched over the bomb on the former barracks site in Metternich . It is the fourth bomb of this size that the ordnance disposal service of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate had to defuse. Three previous actions in Trier and Ludwigshafen were at least as spectacular as they are now in Koblenz. A 50-strong crisis team worked out an evacuation plan and arranged for houses to be evacuated, roads, the Moselle shipping route, the Trier-Koblenz railway line and the air space above Koblenz to be closed. All houses within 1.8 km of the bomb, a quarter of the city, were evacuated. 15,000 residents of Koblenz had to leave their homes, and three hospitals and five old people's homes had to be cleared. More than 1,000 helpers from the fire brigade, police and aid organizations from all over the state monitored the evacuation. Five employees of the ordnance disposal service in Rhineland-Palatinate took around half an hour to neutralize the almost two-ton aircraft bomb from the Second World War on May 24th. In the event of a bomb explosion, the operations management had more than 500 ambulances and supply vehicles at their disposal, more than ever before in Rhineland-Palatinate.
October 6, 1999 An aerial bomb weighing 500 kg was discovered during construction work on the premises of the Landeszentralbank in Neustadt. Because of the defusing of the bomb, the city center between Friedrich-Ebert-Ring, Löhrstrasse, Confirmungstrasse and the Rheinanlagen was evacuated on October 10th. 2,000 people had to leave their homes. The Rhein-Mosel-Halle was set up as a reception center.
February 4, 2000 An excavator damaged a five hundredweight bomb during road construction work in Schillerstrasse on the Oberwerth . This fact made it easy for the ordnance disposal experts to defuse the explosive device by extracting the explosive contents through the opening.
April 29, 2000 A 125-kg aerial bomb was found on the slope above the confluence of the Pfaffendorfer Bridge Around 1,000 residents of Pfaffendorf and Ehrenbreitstein were evacuated at short notice because of the defusing.
July 3, 2000 An American ten hundredweight bomb was found during construction work on the Bodelschwinghstrasse nursing home on the grounds of the Kaiser Franz fort in Lützel 3,500 people had to be evacuated in Lützel. The busy Bonner Straße B 9 was also temporarily closed to traffic.
September 13, 2000 The ordnance disposal service defused an American 2.5 quintals bomb at the "bottleneck" during the construction of the Glockenberg tunnel near the Pfaffendorfer bridge 300 residents were previously evacuated to schools and kindergartens in Pfaffendorf and Ehrenbreitstein .
April 3, 2001 An American aerial bomb weighing 250 kg was found on the Oberwerth . 1,000 residents of this district had to be evacuated to defuse.
September 9, 2001 In Max-Bär-Strasse in Lützel , the second largest explosive device found in Koblenz to date was discovered with a weight of 1,000 kg. Because of the defusing of the American bomb, 11,000 residents of Neuendorf , Wallersheim and Lützel had to leave their homes around the site. Among other things, the old people's home “Maria vom Siege” with 94 residents, the Rhine barracks and various industrial plants had to be evacuated.
September 27, 2001 By chance, a British five hundredweight bomb was discovered in the Güls forest on the roadside.
December 19, 2001 Two bombs found above the fitness trail in the city ​​forest .
April 9, 2002 The ordnance disposal service defused two British aerial bombs weighing five and ten hundred pounds in the Gülser Wald, not far from the “Unter der Fürstenwiese” road. All apartments within a radius of 750 meters were evacuated to defuse. It was the second bomb found in the Güls forest within seven months.
June 10, 2002 In the middle of the residential area “An der Arzheimer Schanze”, an American 20 quintals bomb was found during excavation work in Arzheim . Until the bomb was defused on June 16, the site was secured by employees of the city of Koblenz and the police. Around 5,000 residents from Arzheim, Asterstein , Ehrenbreitstein had to be evacuated before defusing. In addition, the railway line on the right bank of the Rhine , the B 42 and the Rhine were closed to shipping and the air space over Koblenz was blocked. Because of the damaged head fuse, defusing the bomb was very difficult.
June 10, 2002 An aerial bomb in the gold mine , which came to light during canal construction work in the street “In der Goldgrube”, was defused within three minutes. 500 helpers were on duty when all apartments within 700 meters of the site, including two old people's homes, were cleared.
April 14, 2004 In the Metternicher Geisbachstraße a 500-kg bomb was found during construction work. During the defusing on April 17, an area with a radius of 750 meters around the site and around 4,000 residents had to be evacuated.
July 11, 2006 The ordnance disposal service defused a 125 kg bomb that was discovered during construction work next to the Rhein-Mosel-Halle .
November 6, 2007 An American ten hundredweight bomb was discovered during excavation work in the construction pit on the central square . During the defusing by the ordnance disposal service on November 11, 10,000 residents in downtown Koblenz had to be evacuated. At times it was considered to detonate the bomb, as the detonators were badly damaged and defusing it was therefore very difficult.
May 27, 2009 During construction work in the Stresemannstraße to the Buga in 2011 , a 125 kg American aerial bomb was found. During the defusing by the ordnance disposal service on May 31, 1,300 residents around the Electoral Palace had to be evacuated.
July 20, 2011 In the southern suburbs near the Mainzer Straße-Roonstraße intersection, a 125 kg American bomb was found during construction work. During the defusing by the ordnance disposal service on July 25, 4,000 people had to be evacuated. Shipping traffic was diverted to the right bank of the Rhine and the Rhine cable car stopped.
23 August 2011 During excavation work in Bubenheim near IKEA, an aerial bomb weighing 250 kg was found around 4 p.m. The explosive ordnance disposal service, called immediately, prompted the immediate evacuation of the industrial area around IKEA and the adjacent residential areas because of the danger of the bomb. The bomb was moved during the excavation work, which meant an acute risk of explosion due to the long-term detonator used . 3,500 people had to be evacuated immediately, the B 9 and A 48 were closed. The disarming itself was carried out by means of a device from 100 m away and lasted into the night.
November 19, 2011 In Pfaffendorf , a camouflage barrel was found in the Rhine at kilometer 590 , which was used to fog the Koblenz bridges to protect against air raids.
The camouflage barrel in the Rhine is blown up
The poison barrel was blown up one day later at around 4:05 p.m. by the ordnance disposal service in the Rhine. For this purpose, parts of Pfaffendorf and the opposite side of the Rhine had to be evacuated, 1,500 people were affected. A camouflage barrel was blown up in the Rhine near Bendorf the day before .
November 20, 2011 In Pfaffendorf , a British air mine weighing 1,800 kg was found in the Rhine not far from the camouflage barrel that was blown up on the same day . The aerial bomb, equipped with three detonators, was in good condition and about 40 cm below the surface of the water. It could only be discovered because of the extremely low level of the Rhine.
The main reason for the large-scale evacuation in Koblenz, the British 1.8-ton air mine
Largest evacuation in Koblenz : To defuse it, a large-scale evacuation of the population had to be carried out on December 4, 2011 within a 1.8 km radius of the bomb. To do this, 42% of Koblenz's citizens had to leave their homes. Around 45,000 people were affected in this, the largest evacuation measure in the history of Koblenz after the Second World War. In addition, two hospitals, seven old people's homes, the correctional facility on the Karthauser, the main train station , the Koblenz-Mitte stop , several hotels and the Electoral Palace had to be cleared. The important traffic routes in Koblenz ( B 9 , B 42 , B 327 ,railway lines on the right and left of the Rhine , two Rhine bridges and the Rhine shipping route) were also closed on that day. 2,500 police and rescue workers from all over Rhineland-Palatinate were available for this purpose.
November 24, 2011 In Pfaffendorf , during a helicopter inspection flight in the Rhine, not far from the two previous finds, another camouflage barrel and another 125 kg American aerial bomb were found. The two finds were also blown up or defused on December 4, 2011.
November 28, 2011 Another camouflage barrel was found on the banks of the Moselle (Peter-Altmeier-Ufer) under the Europe Bridge. The barrel was recovered on August 28, 2012.
August 28, 2012 Another camouflage barrel was found not far from the previous find. The barrel was blown up on August 29, 2012.
October 28, 2014 During construction work in a new development area in the south of Güls , an American SAP aircraft bomb weighing 500 kg was discovered. On the evening of October 31, 2014, around 4,000 citizens in Güls and Bisholder had to be evacuated within a radius of 1 km from the site to defuse it . The neighboring Koblenz-Winningen airport , the B 416 , the Moselle route and shipping on the Moselle ceased operations during the defusing process.
December 16, 2014 Another bomb found during construction work in a new development area in the south of Güls . Now a British aerial bomb weighing 250 kg was discovered about 150–200 m from the last site. To defuse it, around 2300 citizens in Güls had to be evacuated on December 19, 2014 within a 500 m radius of the site.
August 21, 2015 An American aerial bomb weighing 50 kg was found during construction work in Lützel. The bomb was defused the same day. Around 260 people were affected by the evacuation. During the defusing, rail traffic on the right bank of the Rhine and shipping on the Rhine had to be stopped.
August 27, 2015 During construction work on the site of the former municipal swimming pool on Weißer Gasse, a 1000 kg American aerial bomb was found. On August 30, 2015, around 10,000 people had to leave their homes within a radius of around 800 m from the site in order to defuse it. Also affected by the evacuation were an old people's and nursing home and the Koblenz police headquarters. On that day, two Moselle bridges could not be crossed. In addition, rail traffic on the left bank of the Rhine and shipping on the Moselle were suspended during the defusing process .
October 21, 2015 At a primary school in the southern suburbs , a 250 kg American bomb was found during construction. On October 25, 2015, around 5,000 people had to leave their homes within a radius of around 500 m from the site of the discovery. During the defusing the federal highway 9 was closed and the rail traffic on the left bank of the Rhine was stopped.

See also


  • Helmut Schnatz : The aerial warfare in the Koblenz area 1944/45. A representation of its course, its effects and background. (= Publications of the Parliament's Commission for the History of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate. Vol. 4). Boldt, Boppard am Rhein 1981, ISBN 3-7646-1774-8 .
  • Ingrid Bátori, Dieter Kerber, Hans Josef Schmidt (Red.): History of the city of Koblenz. Published by Energieversorgung Mittelrhein GmbH. 2 volumes. Theiss, Stuttgart;
  • Helmut Schnatz: All of Koblenz was a sea of ​​flames. November 6, 1944 (= German cities in the bombing war ). Wartberg-Verlag, Gudensberg-Gleichen 2004, ISBN 3-8313-1474-8 .
  • Helmut Schnatz: Koblenz in the bombing war. In: .
  • Wolfgang Glückelhorn: The Koblenz air raid shelter in the Allied hail of bombs . Air raid protection measures and systems in Koblenz during World War II and their effects. Helios, Aachen 2008, ISBN 3-9382-0882-1 .

Web links

Commons : Air raids on Koblenz  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Jörg Friedrich: The fire. Germany in the bombing war 1940–1945. P. 83
  3. Dr. Hans Bellinghausen (jun., Ed. :): 2000 years Koblenz. P. 342
  4. Koblenz City Chronicle in: City Archives Koblenz
  5. Discovered during the reconstruction of the university air mine - thousands marched over the bomb in: Rhein-Zeitung , May 20, 1999
  6. 15,000 people evacuated in Koblenz - two-ton bomb defused in: Rhein-Zeitung , May 24, 1999
  7. 10,000 are evacuated - TuS game relocated - bomb paralyzes Koblenz in: Rhein-Zeitung , November 8, 2007
  8. ^ Bomb defused - closures lifted - Koblenz center looked like a ghost town in: Rhein-Zeitung November 11, 2007
  9. Bomb found in Koblenz: Whitsun around the castle will be cleared in: Rhein-Zeitung , May 29, 2009
  10. Air bomb defused in 15 minutes in: Rhein-Zeitung , July 26, 2011
  11. Explosive situation: Koblenz bomb was defused from 100 meters away in: Rhein-Zeitung , August 25, 2011
  12. successfully blowing up: Pfaffendorfer poison barrel defused in: Rhein-Zeitung , November 20, 2011
  13. "terrific atmosphere" on the Rhine: aerial mine in Pfaffendorf is mitigated in two weeks - major evacuation in: Rhein-Zeitung , November 21, 2011
  14. Defusing the air mine: 45,000 people from Koblenz have to leave their homes in: Rhein-Zeitung , November 22, 2011
  15. Another bomb and fog barrel discovered near Pfaffendorf in: Rhein-Zeitung , November 24, 2011
  16. New Fund: Fog barrel under Europe bridge in Koblenz in: Rhein-Zeitung , November 28 2011
  17. ↑ The fire brigade blows up the fog barrel under the Europabrücke on Wednesday evening in: Rhein-Zeitung , 29 August 2012
  18. Discovered during construction work in Güls: The bomb must be defused in: Rhein-Zeitung , October 28, 2014
  19. Koblenz-Güls: Air bomb will be defused on Friday evening in: Rhein-Zeitung , October 29, 2014
  20. Again: Bomb found in Koblenz-Güls in: Rhein-Zeitung , December 16, 2014
  21. ^ Defusing: Gülser bomb calls for ordnance disposal in: Rhein-Zeitung , December 19, 2014
  22. (updated) Air bomb successfully defused in Koblenz-Lützel ( memento of the original from September 23, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. in: Der Lokalanzeiger, August 21, 2015 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  23. (updated) 10,000 Koblenz residents must have left their apartments by 9 a.m. on Sunday - the bomb will be defused from 12 p.m. ( memento of the original from September 23, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. in: Der Lokalanzeiger, August 28, 2015 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  24. Bomb found at Schenkendorf School on:, August 28, 2015