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Baedeker Raids - War Memorial

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]

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.  A Memorial Garden has been established in Shaftesbury Road.

The majority of those killed were buried in mass graves at Haycombe Cemetery on the outskirts of Bath.

On the city's main war memorial at the eastern entrance to Royal Victoria Park there is a plaque engraved with names of all those known to have lost their lives during the raids:

Location of plaques
        at War Memorial

The smaller plaque contains the following dedication:
Air Raids plaques at War Memorial

The text reads

Upper plaque:

"In memory of Bath's residents and visitors who lost their lives as a result of air raids on the city 1941-1942

This memorial was funded and erected by the Bath Blitz Memorial Project April 2003"

The larger plaque contains the names of those identified:

Names of those
          killed in the air raids

Location of War Memorial:

War Memorial
          plaques location map



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