Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Berlin zoo bombing

Discussion in 'Information Requests' started by Skipper, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    24,985
    Likes Received:
    2,377
    I just heard that the first bomb that fell on Berlin during WWII supposedly killed the only elephant they had in the zoo. Is this true and if yes, when did this happen and which nation bombed the zoo? :cool:
     
  2. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

    Joined:
    May 13, 2001
    Messages:
    14,439
    Likes Received:
    617
    or was it by Soviet shelling during the last days of Berlin ? many of the prime animals were killed as the whole of the area was plastered with heavy artillery.
     
  3. Chi-Ri

    Chi-Ri Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    3
    Well, the first plane to bomb Berlin was French NC 223.4 Jules Verne on June 7, 1940, but I heard nothing about killing the elephant during this air raid.
    Version with Soviet artillery shelling is more probable, but in any case the killing of the elephant was unintentional.

    Regards,
     
  4. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    1,501
    That has been posted on sites of things like "unknown details" of WW2, but the killing of the elephant by the first bombs dropped on Berlin has been disputed. It may or may not be true, there is some doubt.
     
  5. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

    Joined:
    May 13, 2001
    Messages:
    14,439
    Likes Received:
    617
    C. Ryans original work on last battle observes the death of the elephant in April of 45 as I said when the place was tron asunder. several German publications on the fall of Berlin also mention this and as stated other animals like a rare hippo under Zoo management. the cages were blown open so this was something that the German/Soviets probably thought odd and had to contend with animals in total fear and shock
     
  6. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    1,501
    Found this:

    FIRST BOMBING RAID ON BERLIN

    This air-raid occurred on August 25/26, 1940, just two days after the German Luftwaffe had mistakenly bombed London, a forbidden target at that time. Of the 81 RAF bombers taking part, 27 failed to locate the target and five were shot down. A year later, on August 8, 1941, the Russians bombed the city for the first time. The very first bombs to fall on Berlin were a handful of incendiaries dropped from a French civilian transport plane, a converted Farman NC 2234 operated by the French Navy, on June 7, 1940. The crew threw the incendiaries out of the passenger entry door. It is not known what damage, if any, was done. (In all, Berlin suffered 363 air raids during the war. The last RAF raid was on March 24, 1944, when of the 810 aircraft that took part 72 were lost) In 1945, Berlin experienced its first occupation by foreign troops in nearly 140 years. Napoleon's first occupation lasted two years from 1806 to 1808. His second occupation in 1812 lasted one year. The Allied occupation after World War 11 lasted 45 years from 1945 to 1990.

    Goto:

    Lesser Known Facts of WWII Pre-War to 1939, 1940

    I
    doubt the incendiaries of the French effort could have, or would have killed the only elephant in the zoo. There were two zoos in Berlin BTW.
     
    Skipper likes this.
  7. Clementine

    Clementine Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Messages:
    906
    Likes Received:
    252
    I'd like to hear more about this. One of the few things my father would tell us when we were growing up was about how he came across a chimpanzee running loose, and he always believed that it was loose because it had been in a zoo and had escaped because of a bombing.

    It really is so funny to hear Dad tell about it, but in a nutshell, he called the monkey Adolph and the monkey would ride perched on the gearshift of the truck. Dad said one of the other men had a little dog, and whenever they were stopped for a period of time they would, inevitably, hear the little dog raising a fuss and they would find Adolph just sitting on top of the little dog holding him down. The dog's owner would get after him and Adolph would run to my dad and my dad would baby him, and then as soon as they were all out of sight Adolph would jump on the little dog again.

    The funniest part was about a woman who owned a tavern, or eatery. Dad said she had planted some kind of plants and Adolph went right along pulling each plant out, holding it up and looking at it and then he'd just throw it down and pull up another. When the lady saw him she took a broom to him and yelled at him so Adolph ran to my dad. The lady bent over trying to put her plants back in the ground and good old Adolph got down and scampered over and smacked the woman on the bottom and then ran back over to Dad. He said they all fell over laughing because the woman's face was just so priceless, she was speechless - for a moment anyway.

    Dad wanted to bring Adolph home with him but couldn't, of course.

    I don't remember where Dad said it was other than it was in Germany. Maybe Berlin, or Munich. I will have to ask him again.....I am not sure how big the zoo might have been in Munich, but the Berlin zoo was sizeable, I believe, and surely would have monkeys, as well as the poor elephant.

    I know my father was at Bergen-Belsen in April 1945. If the zoo was bombed in April 1945, it is more in the general vicinity of Berlin than Munich, so it seems plausible that may have been where he picked up Adolph. (I realize rationality doesn't always play into military operations, but...)
     
    Sloniksp likes this.
  8. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

    Joined:
    May 13, 2001
    Messages:
    14,439
    Likes Received:
    617
    Clem the area was in control of the Germans who had dug shallow trenches in the streets/sandbags - like that will help in case a JS II comes your way, but it was house to house and even within the zoo compounds, as far as I can remember the Soviets were lobbing shells into the area as they had plenty of light/heavy artillery. My reference to the Hippo was that several Landser noted the poor thing bloated out floating in it's oversized pond within it's confines...........
     
  9. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    24,985
    Likes Received:
    2,377
    Lots of interesting stories gentlemen (and ladies). This reminds me of a picture of German pows locked up in the Antwerp zoo lion cage (it was empty of course)
     
  10. Chi-Ri

    Chi-Ri Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    3
  11. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    24,985
    Likes Received:
    2,377
  12. Victor Gomez

    Victor Gomez Ace

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,292
    Likes Received:
    115
    Neat story Clementine....was very nice to hear......I do have a recollection of watching a post bombing film showing the zoo where an elephant reaches through the bars and and seems to be looking for food.....so there was one elephant alive at that time. I may have seen this recently on the history channel.I am not good at remembering titles of shows however.
     
  13. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    24,985
    Likes Received:
    2,377
  14. texson66

    texson66 Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Messages:
    3,095
    Likes Received:
    592
    In the TV series "The Third Reich, Rise and Fall" on the history channel the other night, there was some footage of bombing damage to one of the zoos in Berlin. The elephant there was ok , but the giraffe was , well, a little long in the neck and very dead.
     
  15. Victor Gomez

    Victor Gomez Ace

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,292
    Likes Received:
    115
    Now that you have remembered so much more than me Tex,....I also remember the giraffe from the film----thanks for mentioning the source title, I always watch these things and learn more each time......but don't always remember titles as I should....Berlin was very much a mess in this footage.
     
  16. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    1,501
    This next post of mine is going OT a tad, but last year I read an amazing book named The Zookeeper's Wife which told the story of a couple who ran the Warsaw Zoo both before and after the war, and their hiding and helping 300 Jews escape the Nazi's clutches. Here is a review from the NY Times. Fine read.

    Goto:

    The Zookeeper’s Wife - Diane Ackerman - Books - Review - New York Times
     
  17. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

    Joined:
    May 13, 2001
    Messages:
    14,439
    Likes Received:
    617
    interesting Clint ...........

    Skip this may help or confuse . . . . but it is something

    zoo.html :cool:
     
  18. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    24,985
    Likes Received:
    2,377
    interesting and eclectic too, it goes from the zoo to the first giraffe in Vienna
     

Share This Page