15 Comments

What did you do in the war dad? part 3

Aerial view of Cologne, 1945-46. Point of focus is the historical cathedral. Picture from the public domain.

Aerial view of Cologne, 1945-46. Point of focus is the historical cathedral. Picture from the public domain and not dad’s.

Among the pictures my dad sent home to his father from Cologne, Germany in 1946 are significant number of pictures of bombed out Cologne.

Wiki notes this: Cologne was one of the most heavily bombed cities in Germany during World War II. The bombing reduced the population by 95% and destroyed almost the entire city.

Here is a sampling of the pictures dad sent home. Most of them are centered around the cathedral.

Cathedral prewar. Dad must have purchased a prewar photo book of the cathedral that he sent home with his own pictures.

Cathedral prewar. Dad must have purchased a prewar photo book of the cathedral that he sent home with his own pictures.

On the  back of this picture it reads: Cologne cathedral as of now.

On the back of this picture it reads: Cologne cathedral as of now.

Writing on the back simply says "north view." The people in the picture give some indication of just how big the cathedral was (is). A landmark that large would have helped bomber crews target the city.

Writing on the back simply says “north view.” The people in the picture give some indication of just how big the cathedral was (is). A landmark that large would have helped bomber crews target the city.

Writing on the back of this one reads, "busy section of Cologne proper." Dating would be winter\spring, 1946. Barely enough room through the rubble for a jeep or truck to get through. Dad said many of the Germans were employed removing the rubble, mostly by hand.

Writing on the back of this one reads, “busy section of Cologne proper.” Dating would be winter\spring, 1946.
Barely enough room through the rubble for a jeep or truck to get through. Dad said many of the Germans were employed removing the rubble, mostly by hand.

Another picture captioned, "Cologne proper." MP Jeep on the far left. In the distance you can see the skeletal remains of a building. Dad spoke frequently of the devastation.

Another picture captioned, “Cologne proper.” MP Jeep on the far left. In the distance you can see the skeletal remains of a building. Dad spoke frequently of the devastation.

This one reads, "Cologne Bridge (kaput) Cathedral in background. The aerial photo above clearly shows the same bridge destroyed. The bridge would have been a bombing target.

This on reads, “Cologne Bridge (kaput)
Cathedral in background.
The aerial photo above clearly shows the same bridge destroyed. The bridge would have been a bombing target.

The caption reads, "Cologne Bridge." I am uncertain if it's the same destroyed bridge and am uncertain of who the man on the horse is.

The caption reads, “Cologne Bridge.” I am uncertain if it’s the same destroyed bridge. The statue is possibly Wilhelm I. Friedrich Ludwig – Statue an der Hohenzollernbrücke Köln.

More from Wiki:

During World War II, Cologne was a Military Area Command Headquarters (Militärbereichshauptkommandoquartier) for the Military District (Wehrkreis) VI of Münster.
Cologne was under the command of Lieutenant-General Freiherr Roeder von
Diersburg, who was responsible for military operations in Bonn, Siegburg, Aachen, Jülich, Düren, and Monschau. Cologne was home to the 211th Infantry Regiment and the 26th Artillery Regiment.

During the Bombing of Cologne in World War II, Cologne endured 262 air raids[13] by the Western Allies,
which caused approximately 20,000 civilian casualties and almost
completely wiped out the centre of the city. During the night of 31 May
1942, Cologne was the target of “Operation Millennium“, the first 1,000 bomber raid by the Royal Air Force
in World War II. 1,046 heavy bombers attacked their target with 1,455
tons of explosives, approximately two-thirds of which were incendiary.[14]
This raid lasted about 75 minutes, destroyed 600 acres (243 ha) of
built-up area, killed 486 civilians and made 59,000 people homeless. By
the end of the war, the population of Cologne had been reduced by 95
percent. This loss was mainly caused by a massive evacuation of the
people to more rural areas. The same happened in many other German
cities in the last two years of war. By the end of 1945, however, the
population had already recovered to approximately 500,000.

By the end of the war, essentially all of Cologne’s pre-war Jewish population of 11,000 had been deported or killed by the Nazis.[15] The six synagogues of the city were destroyed. The synagogue on Roonstraße was rebuilt in 1959.[16]

Kölner Dom - Cathedral in Cologne

Cologne Cathedral and bridge today.

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15 comments on “What did you do in the war dad? part 3

  1. […] What did you do in the war dad? part 3 (broeder10.wordpress.com) […]

  2. That had to be a catastrophic thing for people to endure.

    Wikipedia has a list of a few statues that resemble the one in the last b/w photo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_equestrian_statues_in_Germany#Cologne

    Your guess is as good as mine; they all look a little alike! I’ve studied your photo and each of these and this one looks the closest: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Wilhelm_I._Friedrich_Ludwig_-_Statue_an_der_Hohenzollernbr%C3%BCcke_K%C3%B6ln.jpg

  3. […] What did you do in the war dad? part 3 (broeder10.wordpress.com) […]

  4. Hi Bruce,
    the first bridge is Hindenburgbruecke, it collapsed without any bombings February 1945; probably because of wrong done maintenance works. The second bridge is indeed Hohenzollernbruecke. The towers were removed after the war.
    Greetings from Cologne
    Dierk
    Photos of Cologne at the end of war on my website:
    http://www.anicursor.com/colpicwar.html

    • Danke Dierk for the information and link to your website. Cologne is a beautiful city and I think my father wanted to capture something of what it looked like prior to the bombing.

      • Hi Bruce,
        I really would like to show the above photo cologne-cathedral-1.jpg on my website about Cologne at the end of the war since it shows the destructions at the cathedral very good and this would be a great addition for the page. Of course I will give you credit there. Is this ok for you ?
        Best wishes
        Dierk

      • Thanks for stopping by Dierk and yes you can use my dad’s pictures of the Cologne Cathedral on your website. His name was Pvt. Harry Roeder, 504th Military Police Battalion.

  5. […] What did you do in the war dad? part 3 (broeder10.wordpress.com) […]

  6. […] What did you do in the war dad? part 3 (broeder10.wordpress.com) […]

  7. […] What did you do in the war dad? part 3 (broeder10.wordpress.com) […]

  8. My father was stationed in colonge in 1946

  9. […] an interesting website about his father and his experiences during and after the war here: What did you do in the war dad? part 3. Lt. Wick Goist at Cologne Cathedral. Courtesy of 1-377 FAR (AASLT) website Photo copyright: […]

  10. […] an interesting website about his father and his experiences during and after the war here: What did you do in the war dad? part 3.Lt. Wick Goist at Cologne Cathedral. Courtesy of 1-377 FAR (AASLT) […]

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