COL attacks by SAAF 16 and 19 sqdn 1945

Attacks on ZOLLA (COL)

See the report of my visit  to Col in July 2017 on bottom of this page

Also please see photographs of Col and attack artifacts sent to me by Luco Trost and Damijan Kobal on bottom of this page.

Click HERE see an article published in December 2017 of the SAAF attacks on Col. The article was written by Luco Trost.


21 Feb 1945, 19 SQDN

6 March 1945, 19 SQDN

22 March 1945, 19 SQDN

7 April 1945, 19 SQDN

16 April 1945, 19 SQDN

21 April 1945, 19 SQDN

23 April 1945, 16 SQDN

21 Feb 1945, 19 SQDN:  ZOLLA  (COL)

Two horses


Hi, Tinus.
Here is the first photo I send to you. He shot it in May. Black aircraft. It's the first photo taken during the Col attacks.
Circle no. 1 indicates the position of the anti-aircraft cannon - flak Vrh Drag. These fortifications are from the  VV 1.
Circle no. 2 shows the house where German cuisine was. A fence is seen in front of the house. Airborne missiles are directed right into this house. See smoke explosions.
I hope the text is understandable.


And the correction on the first photo: (May. Black atack)
Circle no. 1 indicates the position of the anti-aircraft cannon - flak Vrh Drag. These fortifications are from the  VV 1.  The hill on which the anti-aircraft cannon was located is not called Vrh Drag, but Na Grebenu.

HI, Tinus, second photo, the first attack .From the aircraft lt. Finkelstein.
Circle no. 1 and 2: This airplane that just hit my mother's birthplace. Right next to, in the parish, the Germans had a headquarters. According to the 19th Squadron daily report, it was supposed to be a "J" aircraftt, piloted by lt. Lindsay - Rae.

Circle no. 3:  The position of the second anti-aircraft cannon - flak -  and the firing junction Vrh Žerivš

Circle no. 4: Bunker - fortress-  by the road to Vodice

Circle no. 5: Small bunker . fortress - by the road to Črni Vrh

Here is the third photo of the 1st attack. It was also taken from the plane of lt. Finkelstein.
Circle no. 1: The plane, which after the attack turns over the Vipava valley.

Circle no.2: School building, which was destroyed before air strikes.The new school building is in the same place.

Foto 1: .Attack on Maxel's thief (Makselnova klanica). The photo is of lower quality). Recorded from the plane lt. Linton

Foto 2: Airborne missiles lt. Linton is flying towards the target. Circle 1 indicates the shooting position on the hill just behind the church. In circle  2, the house (German cuisine) is marked, which was the target of the attack.  In the last photo is all in the smoke. You see a fenced house again.

Foto 3: In circle no. 1 through the smoke, the damaged corner of the Maxel's stables (Makselnova klanica) is visible. In circle 2, buildings that were attacked during the first attack were damaged.My mother's house too.

6 March 1945, 19 SQDN: ZOLLA

22 March 1945, 19 SQDN: ZOLLA (COL)

Horse cart

7 April 1945, 19 SQDN: Zolla

16 April 1945, 19 SQDN: ZOLLA

21 April 1945, 19 SQDN: ZOLLA

23 April 1945, 16 SQDN: ZOLLA (COL)

Photographs below from Luco Trost

war -time photograph

Damage still visible today

Photographs from Damijan Kobal:

Relics picked up at Col:

Rocket part

Rocket part

20mm projectiles

empty 20mm shell cases.

Visit to Col (Zolla), Slovenia, 12 July 2017

We met Ivan Rudolf who awaited our arrival at the tiny village of Col, high up in the mountains. Ivan, now 80, was a young boy when he experienced 3 of the 11 attacks in 1945 by SAAF Beaufighters before his family moved away to a safe place.

Ivan showed us their house that was destroyed in 1945. He also told us how his dad removed an unexploded RP-3 rocket that went underneath the house and how angry the family was with him doing such an irresponsible act.

Ivan took us for a short tour around the village showing us the different buildings including the old school he attended. They had Italian teachers and were not allowed to speak Slovenian. If caught they were punished.

He showed us a battle damaged house caused by SAAF 20mm canon, never repaired. Also the beautiful old church that escaped damage by the South Africans.

Ivan then took me and Tersia for a lovely lunch in the only restaurant in town, Costelina-Tratnik. He explained that the very same restaurant was hit in the first SAAF attack, killing Germans that was inside.

We were then joined by Luco Trost, keen local WW2 Partisan history enthusiast. He presented me with a small wooden box with a 20mm shell casing and exploded projectile (picked up at Col) as memento of our friendship, coming on for some time via internet.

Here a thank-you email from Ivan:

Dear Tinus,

Thank you very much for your mail, map of your visits and lovely photos. I am delighted we met, talked at length about old times (for me) and dramatic raids of your brave country men in such remote places for them. I admire your work on this part of the WW II history though just a tiny part of the war but a very emotional for me. As I told you during our meeting, discovering details about the raids on Col after 72 years, seeing my home and the village in smoke was the discovery of great and particular emotions. Thank you, Tinus, for enabling me to get back to part of my early life.

I am happy you enjoyed your travel through Slovenia and Croatia and I hope you will come again to see your new friends.

Let’s stay in touch.

Best wishes and regards to Natasha and you,



In the restaurant with Ivan, And Luco's son holding a print of a SAAF Beaufighter,

with Ivan

A building still with the scars of war never been repaired. Belong to Italian owner not interested to renovate the building.

Ivan shows Tersia where the Beaufighters came from as remembered since childhood.

House on the right where Ivan grew up as child, severely damaged during the SAAF attacks.

Church on the right, not much damaged during the attack.

Tersia and Ivan

This is the open space where the horses ran seen on one of the strike photographs.

Ivan and Tersia

Luco and Ivan

Tersia and Luco with a gift of relics given to me at the restaurant entrance

Luco and Ivan with the wonderful present given to me

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