Many German civilians were killed by pieces of shrapnel from their own anti-aircraft shells. The shells were set to explode at a certain height and when they did, they fractured in many pieces of jagged steel.
Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: http://charlesmccain.com/ View all posts by Charles McCain