The destruction of Piraeus by Allied bombers, 11 Jan. 1944

76 years ago, on January 11, 1944, Piraeus, the largest port in the country and seaport of Athens, was heavily bombed by Allied air force, in the morning / noon by Americans and at night by the British, resulting in severe casualties. and the death of hundreds of its innocent inhabitants.

The result of all these terrible catastrophes is that Piraeus has the unfortunate privilege of being the Greek city that during World War II suffered more than any other in the country, both in material damage and, most importantly, in human losses.

It is worth noting, however, that during the war, Piraeus had the unfortunate privilege of being bombed and destroyed both by the Italians in the early days of the Greek-Italian war with minimal material damage and by the Germans in April 1941 with serious damage. mainly due to the explosion of the Clan Fraser cargo ship that was loaded with ammunition and was hit by chance by a German bomb that resulted in it being blown up and causing serious material damage to the port and town.

On January 11, 1944, Piraeus was bombarded not by the enemies but by the Allies themselves, as the country’s largest port and industrial city, making it a target of “high value” and its destruction a strategic objective in creating problems for the Germans and their apparent defeat at that time and their retreat from Greece.

But this was never accepted by the Allies after the war, who argued that their main target on that day was the airport of… Eleusis, but due to the bad weather that day in the basin (heavy clouding), the impact was felt … by mistake by Piraeus. Of course, this Alliance of Excuses, assuming it is true, cannot explain the corresponding night bombing of the city by the British RAF, and even in two waves, which rejects the (triple) error view!

The event

On January 11, 1944, the triple bombardment of Piraeus by the Allied Air Force, initially, at noon, by the American B-17s, who stormed from their bases in southern Italy, at a time of day that the people were unaware and going about their jobs and early in the evening, in two waves by the RAF, until 23:15 ‘when the people were on the streets and in the ruins searching for the dead and survivors!

Overall the city was bombed relentlessly for 5 whole hours, resulting in the end mainly in the destruction of the port and its densely populated center but also the surrounding suburbs (Drapetsona, Eugenia, Haravgi, Keratsini) that were transformed into ruins and “ashes”!

The next day, January 12, 1944, Piraeus was a dead city!

The disaster was such that the exact number of victims will never be known. The most reliable sources raise the toll to 700 killed and a few thousand injured. Other sources talk of more victims, up to 5,500 dead!

The city – buildings and infrastructures – suffered enormous damage, it was abandoned by its inhabitants who could not live in a ghost town without light, water, food, transportation,with the total destruction of hundreds of buildings. Thousands of Piraeus people are heading up to Athens and its neighborhoods to find relatives.

As it was mentioned, the reason and purpose of the bombing and the so-called “failure” of the aircraft were never known, given the fact that few military targets were hit. The most important Salamis, Perama with fuel tanks, Eleusis airport, suffered no damage, while the German casualties were only 8 (eight) dead!

After the war, no ally gave any formal explanation, no apology, no compensation for losses and damages.

Each year, the Municipality of Piraeus honors this day at the Resurrection Cemetery in Piraeus, where there is a memorial, where services take place in memory of those killed in the bombing. And yet in this city there is NOT a Monument dedicated to the hundreds of innocent victims of the bombing. This omissionhas continued by all the post-war municipal authorities of the city.

Today, in the official Twitter account of the Fire Department, we read the following, which we did not know: “On January 11, 1944, Firefighter Anastasios Fotinopoulos was killed during a bombardment of Piraeus while fighting fires. He was born in Piraeus and enlisted in the Fire Department in 1938. “

Honor to the memory of both this brave firefigher and the hundreds of innocent Piraeus victims of the merciless Allied bombing of 11