The bombing of Piraeus on January 11, 1944

WW2, WW2 in Greece

By Pierre Kosmidis

The port of Piraeus has been the target of aerial bombings on several occasions during World War 2, both by the Germans, as well as the Allies.

In April 1941, the Luftwaffe bombed Allied shipping and port facilities in Piraeus, causing extensive damage and on January 11, 1944, a large-scale Allied aerial bombing of Piraeus caused approximately 5,500 casualties among the Greek civilian population, as well as damage in the city infrastructure.

2

While the bombing was targeted at the Axis shipping in the harbour, the thousands of civilians killed or injured, as well as the extensive damage to the city itself, were a cause of grief.

At the time, under the harsh Axis occupation, there was no other way of communication, apart from sporadic postal services and a postcard dated 21 January 1944, a mere ten days after the aerial bombing, demonstrates the agony the relatives of people living in Piraeus suffered, until finding out what had happened to them.

On this postcard “Marika” from Crete, the sister of “Manolis”, is asking for confirmation on her brother’s safety, as one of the casualties list¬†included ¬†their surname “Papageorgiou”.

Unfortunately, we do not know whether Manolis made it out alive and whether Marika ever heard back from her brother.

The last line adds to the tragic days back in 1944: “Please write back, mother knows nothing”.