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Aerial bombing began in 1937 in Guernica. Bombings from the sky caused new levels of destruction, death and terror and changed modern warfare forever.

This two-part documentary traces the alarming evolution of aerial bombing. When the first aircraft took to the skies at the beginning of the century, it soon became evident that in addition to covering long distances they could also be used to carry bombs. It was a development with devastating consequences. In 1937 Nazi Germany’s Condor Legion bombarded Guernica during the Spanish Civil War – a relatively insignificant small town. The assault destroyed 80 percent of all buildings and killed over 200 civilians. This attack on a defenseless civilian population marked the opening of a new chapter in military warfare, as Guernica became a symbol of terror from the skies. The atrocity inspired Pablo Picasso to paint a masterpiece named after the town: a powerful anti-war statement. Guernica, however, was merely the beginning. The Second World War then saw cities and villages on all fronts subjected to air raids: in Europe, China, and Japan. The devastation culminated in the dropping of two nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945: just eight years after Guernica.

A documentary from : DW Documentary

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