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Mistery of Pestszenterzsbet

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe February 1943 to End of War' started by kzsolt, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. kzsolt

    kzsolt recruit

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    At time of WW2 Pestszenterzsbet was a town in Hungary near to capital city.

    In 03 of April 1944 between 11 and 12 hour AM extrame heavy bomb attack (by allied) occured here. This repated at 13 of April at night, 16 of April at night and 4 of may at night. The result was comparable with bombing of Dresda (Germany). Near the all city destroyed (see 30/1944 report of mayor) and the city within weeks become empty.

    We can say this is the war. But peoples of Pesterzsébet up to this time cannot understand why. This is beacuse Pesterzsebet has no any kind of militray target.

    So my question: anybody known archive (eg. allied air force archive) where we found information about puprose of this bomb attacks?

    thank you for all idea.
     
  2. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    There is not much to compare I'm afraid. You are talking about a Suburb with a few thousand inhabitants during the war and its destructions, though important are quite irrelevant compared to so many other cities (Caen, Le Havre, Hamburg, Rotterdam , warsaw, Stuttgart , Coventry and so many others. If you are looking for a Strategic reason, there isn't always one except affecting the morale of the occupying forces and showing Uncle Joe the allies were helping to prepare the field for the Soviet ground attack . Besides, you are talking about the river baks and industrial sites. I'm aware it was a trauma for the inhabitants , but the same happened at Eindhoven, St Lo, Dunkirk , Antwerp and so many other places .

    These links will give you a few answers . FalArt: Pesterzsébet, bombázások 1944

    Old Budapest/Budapest régen: Bombing Budapest 1944

    http://www.hungarianhistory.com/lib/clear/clear.pdf



    [​IMG]
     
  3. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    If it was a small suburb there's even a decent chance it wasn't the target. In spite of claims about the accuracy of certain bomb sights strategic bombers weren't very accurate. It's also possible that there was a disinformation campaign that directed the bombs toward them.
     
  4. kzsolt

    kzsolt recruit

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    I think we come closer to solution.

    In the book "CLEAR THE LINE" I read the sentece "...full-blown regular forays causing great damage on centres of heavy industry such as Csepel, and Pesterzsébet...".
    At that time Csepel was the "centres of heavy industry" but Pesterzsébet was absolutely not.
    My theory is, in border of capitol city Budapest so called Ferencvaros was more important military target. That incude a huge shunting yard and factory for military supply. That is near 4km north from center of Pesterzsebet. It may be possible the identifiction of target failed and the attack occured 4km suth from target.

    What I still not understand anybody can show in Budapest, Soroksári út 160 - Google Térkép map. Looks like easy to identify the shunting yard (middle ofthe map) in a daylight. Pesterzsbet located 2km suth from. It maybe possible the bombs miss the target at this conditions?

    "... disinformation campaign that directed the bombs toward them"
    I do not think so. I make some research work at archive. Looks like there is the attack was unexpected by the goverment and local governemet. If the government does not know about disinformation then it is not exists. Ohersides, even the city hall of Pesterzsebet was not enough strong air-raid shelter to stand the first bomb attack beacuse nobody think'd about bomb attack of this area...
     
  5. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    I don't think it was hit by accident. Bridges and railroad marshalling yards would be a logical lead.
     
  6. kzsolt

    kzsolt recruit

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    The number of citizens at that time was near 80 tousand and near 27 tousand become homeless and near the all city are relocated (see 30/1944 report of mayor).
     
  7. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    kzsolt, you seem to be looking for a single 'smoking gun' here when likely there isn't one. I suspect that all the above (plus other reasons) were true for the heavy bombing of this suburb.

    Three of the 4 attacks cited came at night so were almost surely RAF. The RAF employed area bombing because nothing better could be done at night. They also felt that the displacement of workers (the homeless) had a nearly equal effct on enemy production.

    Budapest was not a strategic goal of western allied forces (no American/British troops were ever going there) so the explanation of aiding the Soviets also has merit. Stalin constantly complained the west wasn't doing enough, so targeting such places by AAF/RAF was a sop to him.

    Dis-information could come from sources other than the Hungarian government. Germany had an interest so misdirecting allied bombers would be of value. It could also have come from Soviet sources precisely to create the impression it did with the local populace. "why are the west bombing us? do they hate us?"

    The flip side of this is poor intelligence on the part of the west. Point du Hoc and Monte Cassino demonstrate that, despite ENIGMA, Germany could and did keep secrets from the allies.

    Lines of communication were priority targets of Allied bombers in the last 18 months of the war. Roads, railroads and bridges, whereever they may be located, were legitamate targets as they hindered troop and material transportation. Many areas in Norther France were being struck during this time period simply to confuse Germany where OVERLORD was going to occur.

    Lastly it would be unwise to discount the defensive efforts locally. Masking of obvious landmarks and the effect of Flak often forced Allied bombers to repeat strikes on targets until they got the desired results.
     
  8. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Here is an article which talks to the accuracy of US bombers. It indicates that they had a hard time putting half their load within a 300m circle and at times the CEP was significantly greater. Norden bombsight - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia This appears to be the source of most of the wiki article: Daylight Precision Bombing This site suggest that the above was overly optimistic: United States Strategic Bombing Survey: Summary Report (European War)
    This article talks to RAF night bombing accuracy Butt Report - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia This PDF may also provide some worth while information: http://aupress.au.af.mil/digital/pdf/book/b_0099_davis_bombing_axis_powers.pdf
     
  9. kzsolt

    kzsolt recruit

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    Ok, thank you guys for all information.

    About misdirecting allied bombers: I still do not believe this version. Misdirecting bombers just 4 km far from real military target (I think) is very ineffective. As the map shown very easy to identfy the real target (shunting yard) within 40km distance. This is beacuse its special form.

    About the missed target: Now I do not belive. Four time miss the target onto the same direction and same distance...

    After this talk I have a new theory. Maybe the real target was Pestszenterzsebet. The reason is: this was the closest settlement to major military target. Maybe the assumption was: this settlement supply the shunting yard with energy, water and workes.
    "...poor intelligence on the part of the west..."

    In the real world the supply and the workers come to here from opposit direction...
    "Budapest was not a strategic goal of western allied forces"
    But at that time one of the main transport route between easten and westen lines served by this shunting yard...
     

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