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Why were Hidelburg and Oxford spared bombing?

Article about: I had a conversation with a friend about why Hidelburg and Oxford were not bombed during the war, he said that the Germans and the British had an agreement not to bomb University cities. I h

  1. #1

    Default Why were Hidelburg and Oxford spared bombing?

    I had a conversation with a friend about why Hidelburg and Oxford were not bombed during the war, he said that the Germans and the British had an agreement not to bomb University cities. I had never heard that before. I checked on line and there are several sites that confirm this Agreement. I wonder what the citizens of Dresden would have to say about that. Anyway I figure if anyone knows this is the site to ask. Let's go guys

  2. #2

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    I suppose you mean Heidelberg.

    Why it was only very lightly bombed is not known. It may have simply had to do with a lack of heavy industry there; some also believe that the city had already been selected as the future seat of the U.S. headquarters well before the end of hostilities.

    In any case, Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, Dresden and Cologne were also university cities, and they were bombed to hell.

    I strongly doubt the presence of a university played a role in selecting which cities were to come under air raids and which ones weren't.

  3. #3

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    i don't think many people was in Uni in Germany in the war men would of been out fighting woman would of been doing some sort of work
    i would think

  4. #4

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    As said, I can't imagine why having a University in a city would have spared it from bombing. Even cities with prison camps were "touched". One would ask, were there no important targets in either city, but Bomber Harris was targeting the actual cities themselves in an effort to break the spirits of the German civilians, so he certainly would not have hesitated to obliterate Heidelberg.
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  5. #5

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    Quote by ironcross13 View Post
    i don't think many people was in Uni in Germany in the war men would of been out fighting woman would of been doing some sort of work
    i would think
    The universities didn't just shut down or peter out during the war. (To stop training physicians, scientists and engineers for the duration of the war would have been lunacy, anyway.)

    Sure enough, though, with the majority of young men being drafted, the percentage of female students at German universities drastically increased during the war years.

    Men didn't completely vanish from the student body, however. There were those who were unfit for military service to begin with, and during the war, an ever-increasing number of young disabled veterans took up studies as well. There were even active military personnel who were permitted to study at civilian universities, returning to their regular duties during the semester breaks.

    Also, call-up in peacetime and the first two war years was initially at 20 years of age, before the armed forces' wartime manpower needs gradually caused ever-younger age groups to be fully or partially called up. Thus, at least in the early stage of the war, you still had the younger students who took up their course of studies before being drafted.
    Last edited by HPL2008; 08-18-2015 at 09:38 AM.

  6. #6

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    I am very surprised Heidelberg wasn't chosen as a reprisal for the Baedeker raids on the UK in 1942. Lubeck was unfortunately chosen

    Nick
    "In all my years as a soldier, I have never seen men fight so hard." - SS Obergruppenfuhrer Wilhelm Bittrich - Arnhem

  7. #7
    ?

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    Establishing why Oxford wasn't bombed, despite containing significant military targets, is an interesting question. The reasons offered by internet sources seem to me to be just speculation. I also searched a large database of academic articles but without success. Unfortunately historians in the UK don't seem to be very good at going into the German archives whilst for German historians the fate of Oxford is a minor detail.

  8. #8

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    Quote by HPL2008 View Post
    The universities didn't just shut down or peter out during the war. (To stop training physicians, scientists and engineers for the duration of the war would have been lunacy, anyway.)

    Sure enough, though, with the majority of young men being drafted, the percentage of female students at German universities drastically increased during the war years.

    Men didn't completely vanish from the student body, however. There were those who were unfit for military service to begin with, and during the war, an ever-increasing number of young disabled veterans took up studies as well. There were even active military personnel who were permitted to study at civilian universities, returning to their regular duties during the semester breaks.

    Also, call-up in peacetime and the first two war years was initially at 20 years of age, before the armed forces' wartime manpower needs gradually caused ever-younger age groups to be fully or partially called up. Thus, at least in the early stage of the war, you still had the younger students who took up their course of studies before being drafted.
    My comment was just speculation, but thanks for the information really good,
    do you know what happened towards the end of the war 43-45 did all students have to join the armed forces?

  9. #9

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    I grew up in Lampertheim, a town fairly close to Heidelberg (My sister was married in Heidelberg Castle in 1989, btw...) I was under the impression that Heidelberg wasn't bombed as it had been designated as a Hospital City by the Red Cross...
    cheers, Glenn
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10

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    Interesting! Did Heidelberg Have extensive hospital facilities?
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

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