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21.05.2020

“Air Raids” Episode 3. The attack on the southern districts of Lublin.

The third episode of the cycle about air raids on Lublin

“Air Raids” Episode 3. The attack on the southern districts of Lublin.

Before the Soviet bombers commenced an assault on the structures of Majdanek, they dropped the bombs on several villages around Lublin, including Abramowice and Głusk. The explosives fell on the Dziesiąta quarter: along nearly the entire Bychawska Street, the area around the train station, close to the railway bridge (The Tunnel as commonly referred to by the locals), and the Piaski quarter. Wrotków and Rury districts were attacked in the south-west. As mentioned in the previous episodes, the only objects of increased strategic value within this part of the city (besides the train station) were the bridge over the Bystrzyca river in Wrotków, and the Southern Outpost. However, only a handful of bombs were actually dropped onto these targets and the damage was minimal.

The raid on the bridge in Wrotków was conducted in the manner that stood against all the bombing raid standards and procedures. Both of the involved Pe-2 bombers (commonly known as “Peshka”) carried six bombs, each of them weighing 100 kilos. The first plane dropped its explosives 600 metres ahead of the bridge and 200 metres to the right of the structure. The second aircraft dropped the bombs 200 metres to the left of the bridge, and 300 metres behind it. The pilot dropped the final bomb around 800 metres behind the target. The explosives, unfortunately, did not fall onto the empty ground as they hit the houses of Wrotków and Rury Bonifaterskie residents. The bombs dropped from the first Peshka killed 12 locals and the second 8 more. The bridge remained intact.

The bombing raid onto the Dziesiąta quarter was conducted along the Bychawska Street. The explosives fell onto the houses situated along Reja, Kochanowskiego, Orzechowskiego, and Reymonta streets (killing 6 civilians), then a bit further onto Bychawska Street (house numbers 29, 33, 44, 46) and finally on Skośna and Szańcowa streets – killing 33 people in total. It can be assumed that the raid was targeted for the German hospital created in the local primary school building. Only the residents of Szańcowa and Reymonta streets, however, fell prey to the Soviet pilots’ inaccuracy. Not a single bomb was dropped on the Southern Outpost – the only military object within that area.


The bombers also conducted an assault on the Kośminek and Bronowice districts, killing 14, including 2 within the area of the power plant. Not a single explosive reached the local bridge, while 5 bombs were dropped onto the vast area of the railway station, killing 1 and wounding 3. One more bombardment can be noted, as one of the Soviet aircrafts dropped explosives over the Żabia and Boczna Żabiej streets (neither no longer exists). Although the bombs exploded, they caused hardly any damage.

The civilian casualties taken during these bombing raids resulted primarily from their chaotic and panic-driven behaviour of the civilians, as well as from the lack of proper shelters. Hearing the bomber engines roaring in the skies and the bombs exploding around the area, many locals would rush outside their homes and get themselves killed with the shrapnel.

The bombing raids conducted over the southern districts of Lublin claimed the lives of 70 and wounded several dozen more.

In the next episode you will read about the bombing raids on the city centre and over the northern districts of Lublin.

Photographs:

Situational sketch of the bombing raid on the southern districts of Lublin, dated May 11, 1944.

The bombing raid over Dziesiąta quarter.

The district “behind the Tunnel” – the aerial photograph taken on May 10, 1944 (a day before the bombing raid).

Places hit during the bombing raid targeted for the railway bridge in Wrotków

After full zooming use arrows keys to change image and ESC key to close zoom

  • Zoom image: Situational sketch of the bombing raid on the southern districts of Lublin, dated May 11, 1944.
  • Zoom image: The bombing raid over Dziesiąta quarter.
  • Zoom image: The district “behind the Tunnel” – the aerial photograph taken on May 10, 1944 (a day before the bombing raid).
  • Zoom image: Places hit during the bombing raid targeted for the railway bridge in Wrotków
  • Zoom image: “Air Raids” Episode 3. The attack on the southern districts of Lublin.
  • Show larger image above: Situational sketch of the bombing raid on the southern districts of Lublin, dated May 11, 1944.
  • Show larger image above: The bombing raid over Dziesiąta quarter.
  • Show larger image above: The district “behind the Tunnel” – the aerial photograph taken on May 10, 1944 (a day before the bombing raid).
  • Show larger image above: Places hit during the bombing raid targeted for the railway bridge in Wrotków
  • Show larger image above: “Air Raids” Episode 3. The attack on the southern districts of Lublin.

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