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I was doing some reading on the Allied Bombing Campaigns in WWII and found it strange that I couldn't find a specific source that listed all of the German cities bombed in WWII. I had found numerous references for a dozen to two dozen major cities, but other sources said there were 60 and some said 100.

I don't believe that would be classified information as it was over 70 years ago. Is there some reference that lists all of the cities?

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I doubt anyone has compiled such a list. It wouldn't actually be terribly useful, as far as I can see.

The difficulties start with a problem of definitions: are you asking for all the cities that contained targets for raids, or all the cities that actually received at least one bomb? With 1940s aerial navigation, the second list is likely to be rather longer than the first, because quite a few planes got lost. Switzerland was bombed several times, all of them by mistake.

So the only sources that could list all the cities that were actually hit would be German, and many of them were lost during the war. There were also under- and over-reporting of raids by German sources during the war, for political and propaganda purposes.

Then there's the definition of a city: the Ruhr area, which received many raids, has several legal cities, but some of them form a continuous urban area. There were also small urban areas that were sometimes targeted, and a thin random scattering of bombs jettisoned by damaged aircraft.

Martin Middlebrook's The Bomber Command War Diaries: An Operational Reference Book, 1939-45, lists all the major raids by the British, but it's 808 pages. The US Army Air Force history is online, but lengthy. While the Soviets did not undertake a major strategic bombing campaign (here's an opinion as to why) they did undertake a fair number of small raids into Germany.

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  • To be exact : Schaffhouse and Stein-am-Rhein, Swiss cities north of the Rhine river were bombed (if I'm not mistaken each once), but Konstanz, an important german city south of Rhine, wasn't. This definitely was a mistake. Trains were bombed elsewhere in Switzerland, and although it was claimed to be a mistake, it almost certainly wasn't. – Bregalad Apr 8 '17 at 12:34
  • @Bregalad: Were the trains that were bombed in Switzerland carrying goods between Germany and Italy? – John Dallman Apr 8 '17 at 16:39
  • You guessed it. Something like that, I don't remember the details. For more details see garerenens.blogspot.ch – Bregalad Apr 8 '17 at 21:10
  • Or here : fortlitroz.ch/?page=bombardement – Bregalad Apr 8 '17 at 21:23
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    If this is the 12th June 1940 bombing, there were either 5 or 7 bombs. If the RAF had been deliberately trying to destroy a railway junction, I think they might have dropped rather more. – John Dallman Apr 8 '17 at 21:24
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Here is a data set containing all of the cities that were bombed, date of operation, latitude and longitude of the target. This includes all of the Aerial Operations of all fronts for the British, French, and Americans: I used R to subset all of the European engagements. This might not be a full list like your looking for but would help you get started. But it would be easy to geoencode the coordinates to a place name.

Link to my work: https://github.com/allenj0321/RProgramming_Public/tree/master/WWII%20Aerial%20Engagments

Link to Dataset:

https://www.kaggle.com/usaf/world-war-ii

Link to Plotly map: https://plot.ly/%7Eallenj0321/4/

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To my knowledge there is not a comprehensive listing of the cities / towns bombed by Allied forces during WW2. For researchers, you either have to go directly to Airforce archives, ask for help through different military forums found on the internet, or search the internet 'creatively'.

The internet is helpful as many of the European bombing missions by various squadrons are listed. You end up having to search by date / town / area / etc to sometimes find information. Today, I hunt for information on the bombing of Wehlen, Germany (SE of Dresden) on 24-Feb-1945. No luck so far. I will likely need to contact the town for more / any information.

I wish everyone luck with their searches! :)

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