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Episode 1066             Episode 1068
Episode 1067

Operation Retribution (1941)
Mon, 2020-Apr-06 02:12 UTC
Length - 3:22

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Monday, 6 April 2020 is Operation Retribution (1941).

Operation Retribution (German: Unternehmen Strafgericht), also known as Operation Punishment, was the April 1941 German bombing of Belgrade, the capital of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, in retaliation for the coup d'état that overthrew the government that had signed the Tripartite Pact. The bombing occurred in the first days of the German-led Axis invasion of Yugoslavia during World War II. The Royal Yugoslav Army Air Force (VVKJ) had only 77 modern fighter aircraft available to defend Belgrade against the hundreds of German fighters and bombers that struck in the first wave early on 6 April. Three days prior, VVKJ Major Vladimir Kren had defected to the Germans, disclosing the locations of multiple military assets and divulging the VVKJ's codes.

Three more waves of bombers attacked Belgrade on 6 April, and more attacks followed in subsequent days. The attacks resulted in the paralysis of Yugoslav civilian and military command and control, the widespread destruction of Belgrade's infrastructure, and many civilian casualties. The bombing of Belgrade was preceded by the commencement of the ground invasion a few hours earlier, and coincided with air attacks on VVKJ airfields and other strategic targets across Yugoslavia. Among the non-military targets struck during the bombing were the National Library of Serbia, which burned to the ground with the loss of hundreds of thousands of books and manuscripts, and the Belgrade Zoo.

The Royal Air Force carried out two bombing raids on Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, in retaliation for the attacks on Yugoslavia, which ultimately surrendered on 17 April. The senior Luftwaffe officer responsible for the bombing, Generaloberst Alexander Löhr, was captured by the Yugoslavs at the end of the war and was tried and executed for war crimes, in part for his involvement in the bombing of Belgrade. Kren was arrested in 1947 on unrelated charges of war crimes stemming from his subsequent service as the head of the Air Force of the Independent State of Croatia. He was extradited to Yugoslavia to face trial, found guilty on all counts and executed in 1948. A monument erected in New Belgrade in 1997 commemorates the Yugoslav airmen who were killed in Belgrade's defense. The bombing has been dramatised in literature and film.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 02:12 UTC on Monday, 6 April 2020.

For the full current version of the article, see Operation Retribution (1941) on Wikipedia.

This podcast is produced by Abulsme Productions based on Wikipedia content and is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

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This has been Geraint. Thank you for listening to featured Wiki of the Day.


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