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Carthage

Operation Carthage
Part of the Second World War
Shellhuset12.jpg
The air raid on the Shellhus
Date 21 March 1945
Location

Copenhagen, Denmark

55°40′40″N 12°33′42″E / 55.6778°N 12.5617°E

Result British victory
Belligerents
Australia RAAF
United Kingdom Royal Air Force
New Zealand RNZAF
Flag of Germany (1935–1945).svg Gestapo
War Ensign of Germany (1938–1945).svg Kriegsmarine
Strength
20 bombers, 30 fighters anti-aircraft defences
Casualties and losses
6 aircraft destroyed
9 aircrew killed
1 aircrew captured
Danish Gestapo HQ destroyed
55 German soldiers, 47 Danish employees of the Gestapo killed
125 Danish civilians killed, including 86 schoolchildren
8 Danish prisoners of the Gestapo killed

Operation Carthage, on 21 March 1945, was a British air raid on Copenhagen, Denmark during the Second World War which killed 145 civilians. The target of the raid was the Shellhus, the Gestapo headquarters in the city centre. It was used for the storage of dossiers and the torture of Danish citizens during interrogations. The Danish Resistance had long requested the British conduct a raid against the site. The building was destroyed, 18 prisoners were freed and Nazi anti-resistance activities were disrupted.[1] Part of the raid was mistakenly directed against a school which was roughly 1.6 km (1 mi) to the west-southwest; the raid caused 125 civilian deaths, including 86 schoolchildren and 18 adults at the school. The Aarhus Air Raid was a similar attack against the Gestapo headquarters in Aarhus on 31 October 1944, which succeeded.

Background[edit]

The raid was requested by members of the Danish resistance movement to free imprisoned members and to destroy the records of the Gestapo, to disrupt their operations. The RAF initially turned down the request as too risky, due to the location in a crowded city centre and the need for low-level bombing but they approved the raid in early 1945 after repeated requests. Once approval had been given, planning for the raid took several weeks; scale models of the target building and the surrounding city were built for use by pilots and navigators in preparation for a very low-level attack.

Raid[edit]

The attacking force consisted of Royal Air Force De Havilland Mosquito F.B.VI fighter-bombers of No. 2 Group RAF from No. 140 Wing RAF, comprising No. 21 Squadron RAF, No. 464 Squadron RAAF, and No. 487 Squadron RNZAF. The aircraft flew in three waves of six aircraft, with two reconnaissance Mosquito B.IVs from the Royal Air Force Film Production Unit to record the results of the attack, taking a short film.[2] Thirty RAF Mustang fighters gave air cover from German aircraft and attacked anti-aircraft guns during the raid.

The force left RAF Fersfield in the morning and reached Copenhagen after 11:00. The raid was carried out at rooftop level. During the first attack, a Mosquito hit a lamp post, damaging its wing and causing the aircraft to crash into a garage complex next to the Jeanne d’Arc School, about 1.6 km (1 mi) to the west-southwest of the target, setting it on fire. Several bombers in the second and third wave accidentally hit the school, mistaking the burning structure as having been successfully bombed by the first wave.[3]

There are two short documentaries on YouTube [4] (17 mins) and [4] which features an interview with Edward Sismore, an RAF navigator on the raid. In 2022, Netflix released a feature film about the events, The Bombardment.

Aftermath[edit]

On the following day, a reconnaissance aircraft surveyed the target to assess the results. The damage was severe, with the west wing of the six-storey building reduced nearly to ground level. The Danish underground supplied a photograph showing the building burning from end to end. The raid had destroyed the Gestapo headquarters and records, severely disrupting Gestapo operations in Denmark, as well as allowing the escape of 18 prisoners. Fifty-five German soldiers, 47 Danish employees of the Gestapo and eight prisoners died in the headquarters building. Four Mosquito bombers and two Mustang fighters were lost and nine Allied airmen were killed. At the Jeanne d’Arc School, 86 schoolchildren and 18 adults were killed, many of them nuns.[3]

On 14 July 1945, remains of an unidentified male casualty were recovered from the ruins of the Shellhus and transferred to the Department of Forensic Medicine of the University of Copenhagen. This happened again four days later and the two casualties were buried in Bispebjerg Cemetery on 4 and 21 September, respectively.[5]

In popular culture[edit]

The Danish movie The Shadow in My Eye (Skyggen i mit øje in Danish), telling the story of the raid, was released in October 2021 in Denmark. Netflix released the movie on its streaming service in March 2022, as The Bombardment.[6]

Gallery[edit]

  • Shellhus before the bombing. At the time of the bombing it was painted in camouflage colours

    Shellhus before the bombing. At the time of the bombing it was painted in camouflage colours

  • Shellhus burning after the bombing raid

    Shellhus burning after the bombing raid

  • The Gestapo headquarters in the Shellhus, Copenhagen, in March 1945 during Operation Carthage. A Mosquito pulling away from its bombing run is visible on the extreme left, centre

    The Gestapo headquarters in the Shellhus, Copenhagen, in March 1945 during Operation Carthage. A Mosquito pulling away from its bombing run is visible on the extreme left, centre

  • Aftermath: ruins of the Shellhus

    Aftermath: ruins of the Shellhus

  • Shellhus ablaze shortly after the attack. Most of the building was destroyed, and the building was unusable after the street corner collapsed.

See also[edit]

  • Aarhus Air Raid, a similar attack on Gestapo headquarters in Aarhus, Denmark
  • Operation Jericho, a similar attack on Amiens Prison in France
  • Oslo Mosquito raid, a similar attack on Gestapo headquarters in Norway, with 80 off-target civilian casualties

References[edit]

Notes
Bibliography
  • Reilly, Robin (1969). The Sixth Floor, The Danish Resistance Movement and the RAF Raid on Gestapo Headquarters. Cassell. ISBN 9780304361595.
  • “Attack on Gestapo Headquarters, Copenhagen, 21 March 1945”, RAF History Site: Bomber Command Famous Raids, archived from the original on 1 January 2018, retrieved 14 June 2011
  • Bath, Matthias (2011). Danebrog gegen Hakenkreuz, Der Widerstand in Dänemark 1940–1945 [Danebrog Against the Swastika, The Resistance in Denmark 1940–1945]. Neumünster: Wachholtz. ISBN 978-3-529-02817-5.

External links[edit]

  • (DK in English) On the entire event [1]
  • (DK in Danish, encyclopaedic) On the French School (encyclopedic) [2]
  • (DK in Danish, encyclopedic) On the Shell office building (encyclopedic) [3]
  • (DK in Danish) On the bombing of the French School [4]
  • “RAF – Attack on Gestapo Headquarters”. Royal Air Force. Archived from the original on 1 January 2018. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
  • IWM Interview with RAF officer Edward Sismore, who participated in the raid
  • Velschow, Klaus. “The Bombing of the Shellhus on March 21, 1945”. milhist.dk. Archived from the original on 10 April 2014. Retrieved 21 April 2015.

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Operation Carthage - Wikipedia

Operation Carthage – Wikipedia

  • Author: en.wikipedia.org

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  • Sumary: Copenhagen, Denmark

  • Matching Result: Operation Carthage, on 21 March 1945, was a British air raid on Copenhagen, Denmark during the Second World War which killed 145 civilians.

  • Intro: Operation Carthage Operation CarthagePart of the Second World WarThe air raid on the ShellhusDate21 March 1945LocationCopenhagen, Denmark55°40′40″N 12°33′42″E / 55.6778°N 12.5617°EResult British victoryBelligerents RAAF Royal Air Force RNZAF Gestapo KriegsmarineStrength 20 bombers, 30 fighters anti-aircraft defencesCasualties and losses 6 aircraft destroyed9 aircrew killed1 aircrew captured Danish Gestapo HQ destroyed55 German soldiers, 47 Danish employees of the Gestapo killed 125 Danish civilians killed, including 86 schoolchildren8 Danish prisoners of the Gestapo killed Operation Carthage, on 21 March 1945, was a British air raid on Copenhagen, Denmark during the Second World War which killed 145 civilians. The target of the raid was…
  • Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Carthage

The mistakenly bombed French School and the surrounding ...

The mistakenly bombed French School and the surrounding …

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  • Sumary: Phoho: Jørgen Nielsen. More images from The Museum of Danish Resistance: erez.natmus.dk/FHMbilleder/Site/index.jsp

  • Matching Result: The mistakenly bombed French School and the surrounding neighborhoods. The ruins of the school is viewed from Frederiksberg Alle.

  • Intro: The mistakenly bombed French School and the surrounding neighborhoods. The ruins of the school is viewed from Frederiksberg Alle. Phoho: Jørgen Nielsen. More images from The Museum of Danish Resistance: erez.natmus.dk/FHMbilleder/Site/index.jsp
  • Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/thenationalmuseumofdenmark/12652654723

New film tells story of accidental bombing of a school in ...

New film tells story of accidental bombing of a school in …

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  • Sumary: A release of a new Danish film ‘The Shadow in My Eye’ which tells the story of the accidental bombing of a school in Copenhagen during the Second World War, which saw a a Dundalk-born nun killed.

  • Matching Result: The stricken Mosquito “T for Tommy” crashed seconds later in a garage near the Jeanne d`Arc French Catholic school on Frederiksbergs Allé. The …

  • Intro: New film tells story of accidental bombing of a school in Copenhagen during Second World War in which a Dundalk-born nun was killed A release of a new Danish film ‘The Shadow in My Eye’ which tells the story of the accidental bombing of a school in Copenhagen during the Second World War, which saw a a Dundalk-born nun killed. enamed ‘The Bombardment’ to avoid confusion with another recent film with a similar title, it is being shown on Netflix in March 2022. “It is a story that resonates with my family because my my mother’s aunt Winnie was one…
  • Source: https://www.independent.ie/regionals/louth/lifestyle/new-film-tells-story-of-accidental-bombing-of-a-school-in-copenhagen-during-second-world-war-in-which-a-dundalk-born-nun-was-killed-41412786.html

Operation Carthage | Military Wiki - Fandom

Operation Carthage | Military Wiki – Fandom

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  • Sumary: Operation Carthage, on 21 March 1945, was a controversial British air raid on Copenhagen, Denmark, during World War II. The target of raid was the Shellhus, Gestapo headquarters, in the city centre, a building that had been used for the storage of dossiers and the torture of Danish citizens. A similar raid against Gestapo head quarters in Aarhus October 31, 1944, had been successful. The raid was requested by members of the Danish resistance movement in the hope of freeing imprisoned members and

  • Matching Result: Institut Jeanne d’Arc, a Roman Catholic school in Frederiksberg Allé, Frederiksberg, Copenhagen. Established in 1924, bombed by accident by the RAF 21 March …

  • Intro: Operation Carthage Operation CarthagePart of World War IIThe air raid on the ShellhusDate21 March 1945LocationCopenhagen, DenmarkResult British victoryBelligerents RAAF Royal Air Force RNZAF Gestapo KriegsmarineStrength 20 bombers, 30 fighters Various antiaircraft defencesCasualties and losses Six aircraft destroyedNine crew members killed, One taken prisoner The Danish headquarters of the Gestapo destroyed55 German soldiers and 47 Danish employees of the Gestapo killed 125 Danish civilians killed, including 86 schoolchildrenEight Danish prisoners of the Gestapo killed Operation Carthage, on 21 March 1945, was a controversial British air raid on Copenhagen, Denmark, during World War II. The target of raid was the Shellhus, Gestapo…
  • Source: https://military-history.fandom.com/wiki/Operation_Carthage

Institut Jeanne d'Arc - Wikiwand

Institut Jeanne d'Arc – Wikiwand

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  • Sumary: Wikiwand is the world’s leading Wikipedia reader for web and mobile.

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  • Intro: WikiwandThe Institut Jeanne d’Arc, also Den Franske Skole, was a French-language Roman Catholic school at 74 Frederiksberg Allé in the Frederiksberg district of central Copenhagen, Denmark. Established in 1924, it was bombed by the Royal Air Force on 21 March 1945, during Operation Carthage, when pilots mistook the school for their actual target, which was roughly 1.6 km (1 mi) to the east-northeast. The bombing killed 86 children and 19 adults. Institut Jeanne d’Arc, photographed in 1924
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'The Bombardment' Review: A Saddening Chapter From The ...

'The Bombardment' Review: A Saddening Chapter From The …

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  • Sumary: The account of the unforgettable damage caused by war is endless. “The Bombardment” brings forth the catastrophic collateral damage caused during Operation

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  • Intro: ‘The Bombardment’ Review: A Saddening Chapter From The WWII History | DMT The account of the unforgettable damage caused by war is endless. “The Bombardment” brings forth the catastrophic collateral damage caused during Operation Carthage in Denmark, a British air raid conducted towards the end of World War II. While the target was to bomb the Shell house, which used to be the headquarters of the Gestapo, a misunderstanding led to the bombing of a nearby school as well. The bombing led to the deaths of 86 school students, along with 18 adults, including the teachers and sisters. The film…
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A memorial was inaugurated in Copenhagen on the eight ...

A memorial was inaugurated in Copenhagen on the eight …

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  • Sumary: Download this stock image: Mar. 23, 1953 – Memorial Inaugurated to Commemorate Accidental R.A.F. Bombardment of French School in Copenhagen: A memorial was inaugurated in Copenhagen on the eight anniversary of the accidental bombardment of the Jeanne d’Arc School, the French School of Copenhagen. It is a memorial to the 86 children and 13 adults and has been erected on the site of the school and is the work fo the Danish Sculptor Max Andersen. The memorial depicts a Nun with two young pupils. Photo shows general view during the inauguration ceremony in Copenhagen. – E0M2GY from Alamy’s library of millions of high resolution stock photos, illustrations and vectors.

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  • Intro: Mar. 23, 1953 – Memorial Inaugurated to Commemorate Accidental R.A.F. Bombardment of French School in Copenhagen: A memorial was inaugurated in Copenhagen on the eight anniversary of the accidental bombardment of the Jeanne d’Arc School, the French School of Copenhagen. It is a memorial to the 86 children and 13 adults and has been erected on the site of the school and is the work fo the Danish Sculptor Max Andersen. The memorial depicts a Nun with two young pupils. Photo shows general view during the inauguration ceremony in Copenhagen Stock Photo – AlamySearch for imagesSearch for stock images, vectors…
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World War II The French School in Copenhagen , bombed by ...

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  • Sumary: World War II
    The French School in Copenhagen , bombed by mistake by Allied bombers. 86 children and 13 adults were killed.

  • Matching Result: World War II The French School in Copenhagen , bombed by mistake by Allied bombers. POL003567. Special instructions: For customers in: Denmark, Finland, France …

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Frequently Asked Questions About bombing of the french school in copenhagen

If you have questions that need to be answered about the topic bombing of the french school in copenhagen, then this section may help you solve it.

Who bombed Copenhagen during ww2?

Operation Carthage, on 21 March 1945, was a British air raid on Copenhagen, Denmark during the Second World War which killed 145 civilians.

Why did Britain bomb Copenhagen?

The Second Battle of Copenhagen (or the Bombardment of Copenhagen) (16 August ? 7 September 1807) was a British bombardment of the Danish capital, Copenhagen, in order to capture or destroy the Dano-Norwegian fleet during the Napoleonic Wars.

Did the Germans bomb Copenhagen?

After less than two hours of struggle, Danish Prime Minister Thorvald Stauning ended the opposition to the German attack, for fear that the Germans would bomb Copenhagen, as they had done with Warsaw during the invasion of Poland in September 1939….German invasion of Denmark (1940)

Date 9 April 1940
Location Denmark
Result German victory

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Who bombed the school in ww2?

Hauptmann Heinz Schumann

Is The Bombardment on Netflix based on a true story?

The fates of several Copenhagen residents collide when a WWII bombing mission accidentally targets a school full of children. Based on true events.

How many kids died in Copenhagen bombing?

Established in 1924, it was bombed by the Royal Air Force on 21 March 1945, during Operation Carthage, when pilots mistook the school for their actual target, which was roughly 1.6 km (1 mi) to the east-northeast. The bombing killed 86 children and 19 adults.

How did England get rid of the Danes?

After the battle the Viking leader Guthrum converted to Christianity. In 886 Alfred took London from the Vikings and fortified it. The same year he signed a treaty with Guthrum. The treaty partitioned England between Vikings and English.

Is The Bombardment a true story?

Based on a true story, The Bombardment captures a moment in time during the second world war when the UK’s Royal Air Force mistakenly bombed a school, instead of the Gestapo stronghold in Copenhagen, Denmark which was under the occupation of Germany.

Is bombardment a war crime?

Article 6(b) of the Charter thus condemned the “wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity” and classified it as a violation of the laws or customs of war, therefore, making it a war crime.

Did Rigmor survive The Bombardment?

The delicately placed rubble gets displaced, and Sister Teresa and Rigmor are not able to survive. Henry and Eva were lucky enough to survive.

How many children died in the movie The Bombardment?

More than 120 were killed, among them nuns, teachers, and 86 children.

Is Copenhagen movie based on a true story?

Michael Frayn’s “Copenhagen” is a fictional account of an actual event during World War II, in which two physicists exchange heated words and profound ideas.

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