Bomb Warfare: The first attempts to drop bombs from balloons were made by Austrian troops during the siege of Venice in 1849. Aerial bombing first assumed military importance in the First World War. While in 1914 bombs were still dropped by hand from aircrafts and zeppelins, two- to four-engined bombers could carry and drop bomb loads of up to 2,000 kg by the end of the war. Innsbruck, for example, was attacked by Italian bombers in February 1918. During the Second World War the bombardment of Austrian civilian and military targets began with an attack on Graz by Yugoslav aircrafts on April 10, 1941. Strategic aerial bombing of Austria started with an attack on Wiener Neustadt by American commands on August 13, 1943. The 14th US air-force unit, set up on November 1, 1943, together with the British 205th squadron, carried out bombing raids on Austria until 1945, starting from their Italian bases. The heaviest raids took place in February and March 1945. From 1943 to 1945 more than 80,000 tons of Allied bombs were dropped on Austria, killing approximately 30,000 people and destroying 12,000 buildings and other constructions.
Literature#J. Ulrich, Der Luftkrieg ueber Oesterreich 1939-1945, Militaerhistorische Schriftenreihe 5/6, 1967; G. Holzmann, Der Einsatz der Flakbatterien im Wiener Raum 1940-1945, ibid. 14, 1970; M. Rauchensteiner, Der Luftangriff auf Wiener Neustadt ..., ibid. 49, 1983; L. Banny, Krieg im Burgenland, vol. 1 (Warten auf den Feuersturm), 1983; M. Rauchensteiner, Krieg in Oesterreich 1945, 31985.