On May 10th, 1940, the German Luftwaffe mistakenly bombed Freburg im Breisgau! Three aircraft left Landsberg-Lech Air Base that afternoon with the intention of bombing the French city of Dijon. Unfortunately, they got lost along the way and never found their destination.
They did, however, locate the Rhein river and decided that bombing the town of Colmar would be good enough. Once again, they were mistaken. Freiburg is roughly the same distance from the Rhein as Colmar, and having mixed up whether they were on the French or the German side, the three aircraft descended on Freiburg.
No air raid warning was given, since Freiburg’s Air Guard identified the incoming planes as German, and the bombing took the city completely by surprise. A total of 69 dropped bombs resulted in the death of 57 citizens.
The German military covered up the mistake, claiming that the bombing was an act by the enemy, and it wasn’t until 1980 that the truth was fully known.
Interested in learning more about Freiburg? Join us for a free walking tour of the city nearly every day at 11am! Check the Freiburg Free Walking Tour homepage to find out which days we are operating.