The city of Ulm, a city in the federal German state of Baden-Württemberg, situated on the River Danube, was heavily bombed during World War II. The heaviest air raid was on 17 December 1944, which killed and injured hundreds but left 25,000 people homeless. By the end of the war, 81% of the city centre was destroyed. Only 1,763 out of 12,756 buildings were intact. But Ulm Münster still towered above the ruins, as it was left intact by Allied bombers who utilized it as a navigational landmark. Water-filled bomb craters covered the ground, following the rain. The rubble was so thick that walking was almost impossible. This was the British Royal Air Force Bomber Command's first and only raid on Ulm. Two large lorry factories, Magirus-Deutz and Kässbohrer were the primary targets. There were several other important industries and some Wehrmacht barracks and depots. A total of 1,449 tons of bombs were dropped during the 25-minute raid, starting in the city centre (Münsterplatz) and then creeping back to the west, across the industrial and railway areas and out into the country. The Gallwitz Barracks and several military hospitals were among 14 establishments destroyed.
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