This is why I love Total Hvar. In response to out earlier post of the bombing of Vrboska, an eyewitness account appears in the inbox…
We recently posted an article about the British bombing Vrboska during the Second World War, which was pretty popular. We received various comments, including one from Evelina Snell, who said that her father was from Vrboska and used to talk about the British attacks. I asked her if her father would mind telling the story, and she has just sent me this. Many thanks Evelina and Lorenzo!
Hi. I had my dad, Lorenzo Stipišić, tell me what he remembered from when the British bombed Vrboska. Here is his account:
What do you remember from when Vrboska was bombed?
First, before the British bombed Vrboska, the Germans came to our village and took over our house. We stored potatoes and onions in the attic. We stayed in my Grandmother’s house and my mom would go back to our house to collect some of her stored food. The soldiers were always nice to her except for the cook. He wasn’t. When the Germans were leaving, I watched them through a small window and saw them take our mule that they loaded with a couple of goats that they had killed and some other food. My father was in Italy at the time with the British soldiers. After the war was over, he came back and was a guard watching the German prisoners in Split.
After the Germans left our village, we were able to go back to our home. Someone told the British that the Germans were in Vrboska after they had left. The British bombed and leveled 4 or 5 houses by the shore. I was five and laying on a couch in our dining room. When they bombed, the window exploded and glass flew all over the room. I remember people talking about an old woman that was praying the rosary during the bombing. Her house crumbled around her, but the ceiling above the bed that she was in was intact and she was not hurt.
When the bombing started we went to the fortress. The walls were so thick that we were safe there.
The bombing continued over 2-3 days. I was walking towards the cemetery, when I saw a plane coming towards me, I jumped into a ditch, and I remember being able to see the pilot in the plane as he flew overhead. Another time I was with an old woman and when we heard the plane coming, we went under a huge fig tree, there was a donkey close by and the bomb landed near the donkey (it wasn’t hurt). Rocks flew all over and hit both of us.
The British also bombed a barge-like ship that the Germans had left. I remember diving and finding things in the wreckage. There were these white foam shapes in blue plastic (I don’t know what they were) and some sort of wire that when lit, would burn very quickly.
I also remember finding a machine gun that a German must have left buried under some sand for building.
On the day the war ended, lots of people came over and everyone had stories of when the Germans were in our village.