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Baedeker Raids - Shaftesbury Road


What were they?


Wikipedia:  The Baedeker raids were conducted by the German Luftwaffe Luftflotte 3 in two periods between April and June 1942. They targeted strategically relatively unimportant but picturesque cities in England. The cities were reputedly selected from the German Baedeker Tourist Guide to Britain, meeting the criterion of having been awarded three stars, hence the English name for the raids. Baron Gustav Braun von Stumm, a German propagandist is reported to have said on 24 April 1942 following the first attack, "We shall go out and bomb every building in Britain marked with three stars in the Baedeker Guide."
 

What was the effect on Bath?


"High explosive bombs...killed over 400 people, totally destroyed 329 houses and shops, wrecked 700 more so severely that they had to be demolished and inflicted some degree of damage on at least 1900 buildings." [Rothnie 1983] There is plaque on the main War Memorial, at the eastern entrance to Royal Victoria Park, that lists the names of all those victims who could be identified.

Although most of Bath's famous buildings were damaged to some extent (Queen Square, Assembly Rooms, Circus, Royal Crescent), much damage was caused to residential areas, where loss of life was considerable. In the Moorland Road area of Bath this Memorial Garden has been established:

 
Location of plaques in Shaftesbury Road

There are two commemorative plaques:
Plaques in Shaftesbury Road


The text reads

Upper plaque:

"On the 50th Anniversary of the Bombing of Bath this area was dedicated by the Mayor of Bath
Councillor Denis Lovelace
in memory of those who lost their lives in the raids on 25th, 26th and 27th April 1942"

Lower plaque:

"To commemorate the memorial service that was held in these gardens on 25th April 2008 and attended by Willi Schludecker during his visit to the city
This plaque is dedicated to all those who lost their lives during air-raids over the city in 1941 and 25-27th April 1942
We Will Remember Them
Chris Kilminster
Service Organiser"

Note: Willi Schludecker, who flew more than 120 sorties for the Luftwaffe, including the Bath raids, travelled to UK as part of Bath's annual remembrance service on Friday April 25, 2008 [BBC News Website]

Location of plaque (off map in direction of arrow):
Shaftesbury Road plaques location map


See also the dedications on the Queen Square Gateposts, and the Catharine Place garden.

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