This week in the War, 30 Oct–5 Nov 1944: RAF raid Gestapo headquarters in Aarhus, Denmark

Gestapo headquarters in Aarhus, Denmark, 1944 [Public domain]

Gestapo headquarters in Aarhus, Denmark, 1944 [Public domain]

This week in the war, on 31 October 1944, the RAF launched a precision bombing raid against the Gestapo headquarters in Aarhus, Denmark.

The Danes had appealed to Britain to bomb the headquarters to destroy files that were being used with great effectiveness to combat the Resistance inside Denmark.

The headquarters were located in a dormitory at the University of Aarhus and posed a difficult target since there was a hospital on either side.

Two dozen RAF Mosquito fighter bombers made the 900-mile there-and-back trip across the North Sea and attacked at rooftop height.

Most of the files were destroyed and Gestapo personnel suffered heavy casualties. Aarhus Gestapo chief, SS Sturmbannfuehrer Eugen Schwitzgebel, was killed in the attack.

Danish resistance fighter, Pastor Harald Sandbaek, after been repeatedly tortured by his captors, was buried in the rubble but then escaped in the confusion and eventually made his way to Sweden.

This entry was posted in World War II and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.