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Semlin camp after the allied bombing of April 1944

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Semlin camp after the allied bombing of April 1944

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Date Posted:January 23rd, 2009
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Description: During the Allied bombing of Belgrade, on 17 April, 1944, the Semlin camp suffered extensive damage. The largest pavilion - No.3 - which housed most of the interns was directly hit and almost completely destroyed. Estimates regarding the number of casualties vary considerably, ranging from eighty to two hundred dead. Many more we wounded in the attack.

The photo is from a report which was submitted by the crew of US Air Force 301st Bombardment Group after the 17 April mission over Belgrade. (The boundaries of the Semlin camp complex have been marked in red for the purposes of this webpage). The photo suggests that the B-17 Flying Fortresses targeted the nearby bridges and the area directly opposite the camp (the docklands and a railway junction), rather than the camp itself. However, the location of actual 'bomb bursts' (marked with white spots) reveals the imprecision of gravity-guided ordnance used in the bombing campaign.

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