Remembering the 75th Anniversary of the Allied Bombing of Prague
On February 14, 1945, exactly 75 years ago, the Allied forces unleashed a bombing on Prague. The Villa Grebovka which houses the Institute took a direct hit and sustained heavy damage (pictured here) as did many historical and residential buildings throughout the capital.
Pilots stated after the attack that the bombing was the result of a navigating error and that the raid had been intended as a strike against Dresden, Germany. The error caused by malfunctioning radar equipment and high winds led forty heavy bombers from the US 8th Air Force division to manually correct their route. Navigation failure and poor visibility took the pilots roughly 120 kilometers off course. The geographic similarities between the two cities, complicated by the unique curve of the Vltava river convinced pilots that they had found their intended site and 40 B17 aircraft let loose over 152 tons of bombs over the densely populated Czech capital. The result has been evaluated as the most extensive destruction the city would see in the entirety of the war effort. 701 people lost their lives in the attack and an additional 1,184 people were injured.
As an organization that works diligently to foster the exchange of knowledge and cooperation between people of all nations, we remember on this day the importance of these partnerships.
Read more about this momentous event for the people of Prague HERE.