Operation Bowler

Oparation Bowler
Santa Marta Harbour (Dorsoduro)

21 March 1945

After years of war, at the beginning of 1945 the road and rail network of North Italy was damaged and unusable. Consequently, the Germans used for their supplies the Port of Venice and the system of canals that branched off from here in the Po valley. The Allied command decided to bomb the port to stop the enemy activies, despite the risk for Venice and its immense Cultural Heritage. Therefore, the operation was planned in detail to avoid any hitting to artistic and architectural heritage. Soldiers who should have made any kind of mistake, would be removed from service, returning to civilian clothes, hence the name “bowler” for the action. The dive bombing of RAF fighters was actually correct, just hitting stores and ships, while some residents climbed on rooftops to watch the attack. However, the shock-wave invested and distryed a house in Santa Marta, where 25 people died.

Provided material

Workshop results


Patrick Ronge Vinther

Enrico Forestieri

Julia Heslop