Bombing Auschwitz in 1943.

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Sergey Romanov
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Bombing Auschwitz in 1943.

Post by Sergey Romanov » 21 Oct 2019 15:58

During the Irving v. Lipstadt trial the topic of the bombing of Buna came up, with Irving bringing up a May 1943 bombing and Prof. van Pelt not being aware of any such bombing until 1944.

Later Irving posted a German document confirming the bombing on his site: http://www.fpp.co.uk/Auschwitz/Pelt/on_LS_Bunker.html

There's a further document confirming the bombing here:

https://collections.arolsen-archives.or ... vd/001.jpg

I would be grateful for any further information on this bombing.

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Waleed Y. Majeed
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Re: Bombing Auschwitz in 1943.

Post by Waleed Y. Majeed » 21 Oct 2019 16:30

Not much but this site confirms the “arolsen-archives” file and bombing. Both mention 9 bombs and a watch tower hit by MG fire.
http://www.wollheim-memorial.de/en/luftangriffe_en

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wm
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Re: Bombing Auschwitz in 1943.

Post by wm » 21 Oct 2019 16:56

Another hypothesis says it was a German plane that mistakenly attacked the camp during a training exercise.

Such a successful attack during a (moonless) night was beyond the capabilities of the Soviet Air Forces (actually all contemporary airforces.)

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Sergey Romanov
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Re: Bombing Auschwitz in 1943.

Post by Sergey Romanov » 21 Oct 2019 19:26

wm, interesting. Who offered this hypothesis?
Acc. to the Germans those were Americans btw.

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Sergey Romanov
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Re: Bombing Auschwitz in 1943.

Post by Sergey Romanov » 21 Oct 2019 19:34

But circumstances changed by May and June 1943. IG Auschwitz was attackedon the evening of 4 May, in a mysterious incident that involved only nine bombs andintermittent small-arms fire. Western Allied air forces were probably not involved.Range and time-of-day precluded US participation and the season likewise renderedimprobable an attack by RAF Bomber Command. Despite the meagerness of the RedArmy Air Force’s strategic bombing effort before 1945 and the great distance to targetin the months preceding the Battle of Kursk, the Soviets may have been responsible.Between 1941 and 1944, they conducted pinprick attacks against far-flung targets deepin German territory, including Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Breslau, Königsberg, and per-haps the Auschwitz vicinity. In Silesia, two such attacks took place on the evenings of 20/21 August 1942 and 4/5 May 1943, though the precise targets are unknown. Butthose dates coincide with attacks on Beuthen in 1942 and IG Auschwitz in 1943. Pol-ish historian Alfred Konieczny has averred that “Silesia remained exempt from the Al-lied bomber offensive against Germany to mid-1944 and was regarded as the ‘air-raidshelter of the Reich [
Reichsluftschutzkeller
].’” The Soviet attacks may have been theexception that proved the rule. If not, then the bombing of IG Auschwitz could havebeen the result of either a Luftwaffe training accident or partisan skirmish on theground. But whatever the source, the incident forced a reassessment of IG Auschwitz’sconstruction priorities.

https://www.academia.edu/20173321/_Targ ... ied_Attack

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wm
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Re: Bombing Auschwitz in 1943.

Post by wm » 21 Oct 2019 22:42

I don't remember but it wasn't a bad source, although obviously it's pure speculation.

But that some dumb German guards were able to report accurately what happened is very doubtful. Even the bomb craters are in doubt they probably never saw a real one.

No long-range bomber was capable to locate such a small target at night, no long-range bomber was capable to bomb such a small target even in broad daylight - this is why they sent hundreds of them.
And no long-range bomber would use machine-guns during such attack, they flew too high for that, the guns were solely for defense.

This is why it's quite probable that some plane, German or Russian randomly dumped its bombs - in an emergency or being lost and by pure chance hit the camp.

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Re: Bombing Auschwitz in 1943.

Post by steve248 » 22 Oct 2019 17:39

Whether the bombing of Auschwitz bombing did take place, it did not involve British and US aircraft. In June 1943 their aircraft were unable to make the return journey from UK airfields or North African airfields. The only means they had was permission by the Soviets to carry on and land on one of their airfields for refuelling. I think this did happen, but seldom due to Soviet suspicions and not on this occasion.

The same scenario came up the following year at the time of the deportation of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz and whether the railway lines or the camp could be bombed. By the time RAF high command had come to the same decision the deportations were basically over.

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wm
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Re: Bombing Auschwitz in 1943.

Post by wm » 22 Oct 2019 23:38

They were.
No. 1586 (Polish Special Duties) Flight was doing that from Tunisia - in 1943.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Bombing Auschwitz in 1943.

Post by Sid Guttridge » 23 Oct 2019 11:41

Hi Guys,

It seems unlikely the bombing of 4 May was from Tunisia, as Tunis only fell to the Allies on 12 May.

There are always various theories thrown up by such isolated incidents. For example, the Vatican City State was hit by a single string of bombs on 5 November 1943. No American or British aircraft were easily pinpointed as responsible, so a conspiracy theory grew up that it was done by anti-clerical Italian fascist airmen of the RSI!

The most likely, though by no means certain, explanation is that an unknown, off-course, British aircraft randomly jettisoned a bomb load by mistake over Rome and hit the Vatican by pure chance.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Bombing Auschwitz in 1943.

Post by history1 » 30 Oct 2019 15:23

wm wrote:
21 Oct 2019 22:42
I don't remember but it wasn't a bad source [...]

:lol: :lol: :lol:
wm wrote:
21 Oct 2019 22:42
But that some dumb German guards were able to report accurately what happened is very doubtful.

As far as I did hear they were Poles serving in Auschwitz. One can´t expect much from them. Sadly I don´t remember where I read this, but it was a trusty source.
Last edited by history1 on 30 Oct 2019 15:54, edited 1 time in total.

history1
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Re: Bombing Auschwitz in 1943.

Post by history1 » 30 Oct 2019 15:45

wm wrote:
21 Oct 2019 16:56
[...] Such a successful attack during a (moonless) night was beyond the capabilities of the Soviet Air Forces (actually all contemporary airforces.)
Who told you it was a moonless night? Did I overread something?

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Re: Bombing Auschwitz in 1943.

Post by history1 » 30 Oct 2019 15:53

wm wrote:
22 Oct 2019 23:38
They were.
No. 1586 (Polish Special Duties) Flight was doing that from Tunisia - in 1943.
Then it might have been also a Polish plane?
Though I don´t know/understand what "No. 1586 (Polish Special Duties) Flight " means.
Is that the air plane number? The flight number? And what is Polish Special Duties? Some kind of Polish special forces under UK command ?

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Re: Bombing Auschwitz in 1943.

Post by Waleed Y. Majeed » 30 Oct 2019 16:12

Google it or No. 301 Bomber Squadron (polish) for its origins.

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Re: Bombing Auschwitz in 1943.

Post by history1 » 30 Oct 2019 16:59

Thanks, Waaled, much appreciated!

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Re: Bombing Auschwitz in 1943.

Post by steve248 » 30 Oct 2019 17:03

The term "Special Duties" in this reference probably means it dropped agents or supplies by parachute.
There was a "Special Duties" RAF unit with Gladiator aircraft that usually landed in France taking/fetching SOE and Intelligence Services agents.

The Polish flight would not have been by Gladiator.

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