WW2 by J. BarichNews Weekly
Allied air raids (letter)
, January 29, 2005
John Ballantyne's review of Martin Gilbert's book D-Day
, December 18) was most interesting. The book appears to be a very thorough description of events leading up to the Allied landings in northern France in World War II.
Gilbert's emphasis on the use of deception by the Allies to prevent the Germans from concentrating their forces was quite convincing, although one Allied ruse was not given much attention.
During 1943 and 1944 my family and I lived in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. In the early part of 1944 the Allies conducted massive air raids on the city despite the absence of significant military or industrial targets.
The raids, by wave after wave of Superfortresses, were conducted during most of the day and were followed by night-time bombing with incendiaries.
The devastation was so extensive that air raid sirens were put out of commission and the people were warned by firemen ringing bells.
We lived in the second apartment from the corner of a block of flats and a direct hit obliterated the flat next to us. None of us was killed or injured although the city was devastated.
The reason for such apparently senseless attacks was revealed years later in Struggle for Europe
by Australian author Chester Wilmot. He claimed that the raids were part of an elaborate ruse aimed at making the Germans believe that the forthcoming Allied invasion would come somewhere in the Balkans.
The deception worked as the Germans moved two or three divisions to the area.J. Barich,