August 3, 1943: Operation Gomorrah ends.

"Gomorrah" was the name chosen for the eight-day long Allied bombing of Hamburg, after the Biblical city that incurred God’s wrath and fell to "fire and brimstone". The name fit remarkably well. On the first night of bombing, the RAF dropped over 2,000 tons of incendiary bombs over Hamburg, killing 1,500 people; the heat of the firestorms was so intense that the asphalt itself burst into flames, and hundreds of thousands of buildings were destroyed. 

The loss of life was also enormous - between 30,000 and 40,000 people were killed by the end of the raids. In comparison, around 43,000 are estimated to have died during the Blitz, which lasted eight months. According to Albert Speer, “Hamburg had suffered the fate Hitler and Goering conceived for London in 1940.”

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