Dramatic video at end of post!
I have discovered on the internet and purely by chance, almost as though I was directed to find it, a treasure trove of films and commentary on the bombardment of Livorno, Italy (Leghorn in English).
As I mentioned on another post where I showed Winston Churchill touring the war damaged city and at a time that my father was certainly nearby and my mother as well, my mother would have been about 21 years old when the war came to her city and her city was carpet bombed. Livorno was the most heavily bombed city in Italy during the war which began around 1941 and lasted until 1944. 1943 was particularly devastating. 500 civilians were killed and 600 injured and many were displaced including my mother and her family.
At the beginning of the video below, actual film footage taken from the bomb compartment of an American bomber with bombs filmed being dropped and the devastation below with explosions. I would wager a bet that it was at this particular bombing that my mother's apartment building (where she still lived with her parents and several siblings) took a direct hit causing the building to implode into its basement where the residents of the building had taken refuge during the air raid killing them all. My mother and her family were elsewhere at the time and escaped certain death. Everything they had was gone in an instant!
My mother talked a great deal about her war experiences and that her city was destroyed but I never really comprehended what she was saying to me until now. She also spoke of the air raid sirens and the fear these struck in their hearts. My first cousin who now lives in Chicago and is my mother's niece was a very young child during the war and was with my mother and her mother during the war years as her father had died of TB. She would hear the planes approaching Livorno prior to the air raids sounding and would start crying in agitation.
This video has some of the most dramatic images of the destruction of Livorno in the bombing aftermath and the sound track is appropriate and the sounds of air raid sirens and explosions is exactly what my mother experienced. She told me and now I know what she went through in a way I never knew before.
The last scene in the video is my father and the USA liberating Livorno. It is dramatic too!