KB712 - Luftkriegsarchiv Köln

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Crashes > of the R.A.F.

733 British bombers attacked Cologne on this sunny October afternoon. The target this time was not Cologne city centre, but the districts of Cologne-Mülheim and Cologne-Buchheim on the right bank of the Rhine.
The attack claimed 548 lives in Cologne-Mülheim and destroyed over 2,200 houses, going down in the history of the Cologne-Mülheim district as "Black Saturday".
On the approach to Cologne, around 8-10 bombers flew over Knapsack and dropped their bombs over the power stations there and the town. Here, too, there was devastating destruction and many casualties.

One of the bombers, the Lancaster BX, KB712, was hit by anti-aircraft fire and crashed in the Hürth-Knapsack area. The entire crew, almost exclusively members of the Royal Canadian Air Force, were killed. Their completely destroyed bodies were buried as "unknown soldiers" in a common grave in the Hürth cemetery. It was only when they were exhumed in April 1947 that the bodies were identified and laid to rest in Reichwald Forest Cemetery.

The crew's grave at the Hürth cemetery.
Top left:
The "FORTUNA" power station with the chimneys visible from afar, known as "the twelve apostles" before its destruction.
Top right:
Parts of the power station after the bombing.

One of the chimneys (fourth from the right in the photo above) received a through-and-through bomb hit.
This damage was repaired and the chimney was put back into operation.

Source of the photos:
Courtesy of Jürgen Constien, Hürth

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