Under siege between September 1941 and January 1944, Leningrad (now St Petersburg) was heavily bombed by German Air Force. According to official statistics, the starving city sustained 272 air raids
; over 70 thousand incendiary and 5 thousand blast bombs were dropped.
Although its defenders made use of AA artillery to save the city from total destruction, approximately 5 million square meters of residential areas were damaged or destroyed
, 716 thousand Leningraders remained homeless.
Kirov District, which was the closest to the frontline, sustained the greatest damage; nearly 200 out of 300 buildings and monuments protected by the state were damaged or completely reduced to rubble.
During World War Two, cities were deliberately shelled and bombed by both Nazis and Allied forces. Couple of months before the end of the war, that is, in February 1945, British and American bombers launched a devastating air strike on Dresden (Germany)
, dropping some 4,000 tons of aerial bombs.
25 thousand people died in a fire, 80% of buildings sustained catastrophic damage, and 50% of residential stock was destroyed or damaged beyond repair. The Allies bombed other German cities as well (Pforzheim, for instance, lost one-fifth of its population and 98% of its infrastructure in 22 minutes of shelling), but it is namely Dresden that is generally associated with the suffering of the civilian population
The cities of Japan suffered as well; after the Japanese attacked the US military base in Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the US forces subjected Japanese cities, Tokyo among them (in March 1945), to massive bombardments, killing some 100 thousand people and destroying 250 thousand buildings in the process. The wartime military maps
prove that what the US Air Force targeted in Japan was the cities, civil infrastructure, and civilians rather than military facilities. Those attacks culminated in the August 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which resulted in enormous destruction and catastrophic civilian casualties.
In following decades after World War Two, one of the cities that sustained heavy damage as a result of war efforts was Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina). While the Siege of Leningrad was the most disastrous in terms of casualties, that of Sarajevo was one of the longest in the modern history of wars.