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Aeroplanes above Kraków

Aeroplanes above Kraków

The fortress balloon units became an organizational and structural part of the fortress artillery in 1902. Heavy artillery played a key role in the Battle of Kraków in December of 1914, and the artillery fire was directed from the observation balloons located above the forts of Kraków Fortress. In total, 20,000 missiles were fired then.

On Thursday, December 3, 1914, two tsar pilots, flying in the French-constructed Voisin aircraft, several hundred metres above Kraków, dropped the first aircraft bomb in the history of the city. It hit the annex building of the mansion at the present 6 Bogusławskiego Street (then Jasna Street) at 11 a.m. The bomb went through the roof and exploded in the attic, which housed the storage of the I. Meisels Trade-Installation Company. The exploding enemy missile completely destroyed the warehouse of porcelain toilet bowls, closets, and tubs. (The mansion, bombed in December of 1914, became famous for another reason as well – Czesław Miłosz, Nobel Prize winner, resided there several decades later). Soon afterwards, the same Russian pilots dropped another bomb which fell near the garrison hospital at the present Wrocławska Street. These were most likely the failed attempts at targeting a viaduct, the railway station, or Kleparz Fort.
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