Bombing of Vicenza
Part of World War II
Viale Roma (Ilgiornaledivicenza).jpg

A bomb-damaged street in Vicenza
DateDecember 1943-April 1945
Location
Belligerents
 United States
 United Kingdom
 Italian Social Republic

The bombing of Vicenza was a series of attacks by the United States Army Air Force and the Royal Air Force on the Italian city of Vicenza, Veneto, during World War II. The purpose of these raids was to disable the city's marshalling yard and airport, but the bombing also caused considerable collateral damage to the city itself.

Chronology of the main air raids

25 December 1943

The first air raid on Vicenza. 20 bombers of the 15th Air Force attacked the airfield, but many bombs also fell on the city, hitting the San Bortolo and San Francesco districts, causing 31 victims among the population.[1][2]

28 December 1943

Raid by 17 bombers of the 15th USAAF, targeting the marshalling yard. Part of the bombs fell on the southeastern districts of the city, causing 41 victims among the population.[3][4]

26 March 1944

Raid by 78 RAF bombers, targeting the marshalling yard. Bombs also fell on the southern districts of the city, killing 14 civilians.[3][5]

2 April 1944

Raid by fifty RAF bombers, targeting the marshalling yard. The city was hit as well (among other buildings, the psychiatric hospital suffered damage), causing the death of 26 civilians.[3][6]

14 May 1944

Raid by 150 bombers of the 15th U.S. Air Force, which dropped 1,300 bombs, targeting the marshalling yard. Many bombs fell on the city, causing heavy damage to the cultural heritage and killing 56 civilians.[3][7][8][9]

17 November 1944

Raid by 38 RAF bombers, which dropped 106 tons of bombs over the airfield. Five civilians were also killed.[3]

18 November 1944

Raid by the USAAF; 304 tons of bombs were dropped, targeting the air base. This was the bloodiest raid suffered by Vicenza: deaths among the population numbered at least 317 (according to official figures), but some estimates place this number at 500.[3][10][11][12][13]

4 January 1945

Raid by the USAAF, targeting the marshalling yard. Two deaths among the population.[14]

28 February 1945

Raid by the 15th U.S. Air Force, targeting the marshalling yard. The city was also hit, with sixteen victims among the civilians.[14][15]

18 March 1945

Raid by 73 RAF bombers, targeting the marshalling yard. Bombs also fell on the city, setting fire to the roof of the Basilica Palladiana and causing five civilian deaths.[14][16]

26 and 28 April 1945

The last two air raids on Vicenza caused thirty-four deaths among the population.[17]

Damage and casualties

The raids caused heavy damage to the urban fabric of Vicenza. In addition to homes and public buildings, many landmarks suffered serious damage: among them the Cathedral, the churches of San Gaetano and Santa Corona, the Basilica Palladiana, the Arco delle Scalette, the Palazzo Valmarana and several other churches (such as the Basilica of Saints Felice and Fortunato) and historic palaces (such as the Ca’ d’Oro).[18] The Verdi and Eretenio theatres were destroyed and never rebuilt.

Casualties among the civilian population from the air raids numbered about one thousand victims (other sources claim that there were 2,000 deaths).[19]

References

  1. ^ Bombardate l’Italia: 1943
  2. ^ Vicenza, bombardamento del 25 dicembre 1943
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Bombardate l'Italia: 1944" (PDF). Retrieved 2020-02-14.[dead link]
  4. ^ Vicenza, bombardamento del 28 dicembre 1943
  5. ^ Vicenza, bombardamento del 26 marzo 1944
  6. ^ Vicenza, bombardamento del 2 aprile 1944
  7. ^ Commemorazione a 70 anni dal bombardamento del 14 maggio 1944[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ 72^ Commemorazione delle vittime per il bombardamento del 1944 su Vicenza
  9. ^ Vicenza, bombardamento del 14 maggio 1944
  10. ^ Vicenza, bombardamento del 18 novembre 1944
  11. ^ Stefani ripropone “il martirio di una città”
  12. ^ Bombardamento di Vicenza del 18 novembre 1944
  13. ^ "I bombardamenti sull'Italia nella Seconda Guerra Mondiale" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2020-09-24. Retrieved 2020-02-14.
  14. ^ a b c "Bombardate l'Italia: 1945" (PDF). Retrieved 2020-02-14.[dead link]
  15. ^ Vicenza, bombardamento del 28 febbraio 1945
  16. ^ Vicenza, bombardamento del 18 marzo 1945
  17. ^ Vicenza, 26 aprile 1945
  18. ^ Enciclopedia Treccani
  19. ^ Comune di Vicenza[permanent dead link]