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Air-raid on Apollo refinery , different perspective.


Martinnfb
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June 16, 1944, the US Air Force bombed 80 percent of the Apollo refinery in Bratislava, claiming the lives of 176 locals.

Apollo was a joint-stock company, which in 1896 launched the operation of the Apollo refinery, popularly called Apolka, where mineral oils were refined and petrol, kerosene, paraffin, candles, Vaseline, tar and even artificial ice were produced. During the Second World War, Slovakia’s official ally, Nazi Germany, controlled the production, and the refining of diesel fuel and oil was modernised to produce fuels for the German army.

The refinery on the Danube’s left bank was attacked by US bombers in several waves on June 16. Numerous employees of the Apollo facility died, as air raid shelters failed to protect them from the burning oil. The city’s inhabitants were also among the fatalities, as bombs targeted residential areas of Bratislava. 

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And here is the interesting part. My Dad once told me a story, where he vividly describes like he climbed on the roof of his house so they can together with his friend watch waves of US bomber attacking Apollo. He was talking about tight formations of B-17s ( in fact B-24s) and fighters as they were uninterrupted flying by. Then he added that his dad beat him up really bad, because it was dangerous and he supposed to be in the shelter. For past 35 years I was thinking how unfair was my grandfather ( whom I never met )towards my Dad, , until I find this picture. 

The arrow shows the house where is my father with his buddy enjoying the show.

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I guess grandpa was right :)

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Back then as a kid I was fascinated by the idea of watching large group of ally planes flying over your head and enjoying shock waves as they come, now  it's a terrifying thought .

He also told me how he traded a pack of cigarettes with German soldiers for a military shovel. And once as I was building a kit of Aero C3A, he noted that they were bombing the ice on the jammed Danube river. Apparently crews were dropping trophy ammunition from the side door by hand.

Non of my friends believed that story. However , years after my father died I read an article describing this exact event. There was so much more, enough material for a book. I wish he would live just a little longer at least to see the downfall of those red commie pigs.

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Scary stuff, I worked in oil refineries my whole life and the idea of being in one during a bombing raid is horrifying, the several fires that I have seen over the years were scary enough but are nothing compared to what you are describing.

 

Cheers

 

Dennis

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Interesting perspective. I think I would have been up there with your Dad, sitting on the roof and watching the show.  You don’t think about such things as an errant bomb or blast shock when you’re a young boy.

But if I were your Grandfather, I’d probably have tanned your backside as well.

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22 hours ago, Clunkmeister said:

Interesting perspective. I think I would have been up there with your Dad, sitting on the roof and watching the show.  You don’t think about such things as an errant bomb or blast shock when you’re a young boy.

But if I were your Grandfather, I’d probably have tanned your backside as well.

Very true Ernie. When you're a kid, you're invincible. 

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