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Fire Fighting Operations in Hamburg, Germany During World War II

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Final rept.

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Information recorded by the Hamburg Fire Department during World War II has been summarized and analyzed to evaluate several operational parameters relating to the performance of the various fire fighting organizations under conditions of stress from air attacks on the city. Prior to the large-scale attacks, the professional fire fighting units fought at about 38 percent of the fire sites while the Self-Protection Service squads fought at about 59 percent of the fire sites. Finally, in the major air attacks during the period 72543 to 8443, when the capabilities of both the professional and Self-Protection Units were exceeded, a maximum performance or effort level was reached for the Self-Protection Services at about 2 fire sitessquad per attack and, for the Fire Department Units at about 6 fire sitessquad per attack. Because of the failure of the municipal water system and the evacuation forced and voluntary of large numbers of people, the Self-Protection Service did not function to any great extent after the first of these large-scale attacks on 72543. However, at the above-indicated rate, the Self-Protection Service was credited with extinguishing fires in about 20,000 residential buildings over the 11-day period. The Hamburg Fire Department units, on the other hand, performed more or less continuously over the 11-day period with a continuously decreasing efficiency its units either extinguished fires or prevented the spread of fires at about 4,300 fire sites. Water volume use rates by the Fire Department units was found to increase with fire fighting effort i.e., in man-hours to the 32 power.

Subject Categories:

  • Safety Engineering
  • Civil Defense

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