|The major bombing of Austria started with an attack on Wiener Neustadt by U.S. command on August 13, 1943. The
US air force together with the British 205th squadron carried out bombing raids on Austria until 1945 from their Italian
bases. The heaviest civilian raids took place in February and March 1945. The most destroyed city of Austria was
Wiener Neustadt with 88% of their buildings damaged or destroyed, followed by Villach with 85%, but Vienna had the
most building damage in absolute numbers with 6,214 totally destroyed, followed by Linz (12,084), and Graz (7,802).
|Altogether in Austria, from August 13, 1943 up until the end of war, approximately 120,000 tons of high explosive and
incendiary bombs were dropped. Most bombing deaths to civilians were appx. 30,000 in Vienna, followed by Graz with
1,980 and Linz with 1,679. Soldiers, police, refugees, firemen, foreigners and prisoners of war totaled another 35,000 to
50,000 dead and 57,000 wounded.
|Vienna also had the most houses destroyed with 36,851, followed by 12,359 in Steiermark and 10,152 in upper Austria.
75,959 dwellings were totally destroyed nation wide, with 101,096 partially destroyed and 95,082 damaged. The most
air raids fell on Graz with 56, followed by Vienna with 52, Linz 48, Villach 37, and Wiener Neustadt, 29. The most
bombs fell on Vienna at over 100.000, then Wiener Neustadt (pictured above) 55,000, and Villach, 42,500.
|The beginning of the Vienna State Opera goes back to the start of the 18th century. A number of new operas were
performed in Vienna during the 47-year-long reign of Emperor Leopold I, who was a composer as well a ruler. But on
March 12, 1945, the music played no more as the stage was destroyed by Allied bombs and the building gutted by fire.
Only a few rooms were spared. The Soviets decided to stay a while longer than agreed to. Stalin's poster, above, hangs
on the Opera House. The media still refers to the bombings of Vienna as "accidental", apparently, all 52 of them.
|Old Vienna sustained over 1,800 bomb hits until the major destructive assault in February and March of 1945 by the US
and British air fleets, with the Soviets circling overhead, waiting to plaster red flags over it all. 80,000 tons of bombs were
dropped. Approximately 30,000 humans were killed and more than 12,000 buildings were destroyed.
|St Stephen's Cathedral, built in the 14th and 15th centuries, escaped Allied bombing until the final days of war when it
was at last destroyed. The church was set on fire on April 11, 1945, burning the entire wood roof-truss of the nave.
When the vaulting collapsed, the Gothic choir stalls were buried. On April 12, a 22 ton bomb struck the floor of the
church. Only the clapper of the bell remained intact..
|52 devastating non-military Allied air raids took place on Vienna at the very end of the War in 1945.
|Severely damaged in the Allied attacks, more than 20 percent of the housing stock in Vienna was partly or completely
destroyed, leaving almost 87,000 homes uninhabitable. Thousands were dead, injured and homeless. More than 3,000
bomb craters were counted, and bridges were in shambles, with electric lines, sewer, gas and water pipes severely
damaged. Bodies littered the streets. There was a severe emergency. The city had only 41 transportation vehicles.