Another account said,"Villagers who were not immediately killed fled to the fields to take refuge, only to be ravaged by plunging machine gun fighters."
British author/journalist George L. Steer wrote for The Times:
Up to that time, attacking Guernica was "unparalleled in military history." Heavy bombing panicked people. Machine gun strafing drove them underground. Incendiary bombs destroyed their hiding places. Everything going on was horrifying.
"When I entered Guernica after midnight, houses were crashing on either side, and it was utterly impossible even for firemen to enter the center of the town."
"The hospitals of Josefinas and Convento de Santa Clara were glowing heaps of embers. All the churches except that of Santa Maria were destroyed, and the few houses which still stood were doomed."
"When I revisited Guernica this afternoon most of the town was still burning, and new fires had broken out. About 30 dead were laid out in a ruined hospital."
Guernica was history's first city destroyed by terror bombing. Civilian men, women, and children were deliberately targeted. Military expert Wolfgang Schmidt told Der Spiegel :
"For the German air force, Guernica was a trial run on how one can spread horror and distress through attacks on cities and towns."