|According to the official statistics between 360,000 to 380,000 incendiary bombs were dropped in three waves, with
180 to 220 high-explosives bombs weighing 500 kg each. Würzburg was an inferno with 1000 to 2000 degree Celsius
heat by midnight. The intensity of the heat and fire destroyed what bombs could not. People ran from their overheating
cellars to the Main river, screaming and praying for help. The death count at the time was about 5,000 civilians.
|Over 3,700 of the casualties were women and children, most of them painfully burned to death. Four fifths of the living
space was destroyed and 35 churches and almost all public buildings and cultural memorials were absolutely ruined. The
city was transformed from a magnificent mecca of culture and art into two and a half million cubic meters of rubble, ashes
and burnt flesh. In 1939, Wurzburg had a population of 112,997. By 1950, it was reduced to 86,564. There were no
priority factories and no armaments in Wurzburg.
|The crews had been told that it was an "important center of communication" yet the vast majority of bombs dropped were
incendiaries with diabolical time delays dropped on residential areas.
|One night, Würzburg would be gone forever. The attack came at approximately 9:30 PM on the night of March 16,1945,
less than two months before World War Two would end, when Germany's defeat was clearly imminent. At around 9:30
PM on that March evening, 236 planes filled the sky over ancient and honorable Würzburg. Another 280 were heading
out to further destroy another benign, centuries-old city of great beauty: Nürnberg.