Świnoujście (German Name - Swinemünde) is a town in extreme northwestern Poland, situated on the islands of Usedom and Wolin. It became part of the German Empire in 1871. On March 12, 1945 during World War II, Swinemünde suffered heavy destruction by USAAF bombing. At least 23,000 civilians died, mainly refugees fleeing from East Prussia and from surrounding areas. The city was placed under Polish administration in 1945 after the war ended and officially renamed Świnoujście. Its German population was expelled and replaced with Poles, themselves refugees from Polish areas annexed by the Soviet Union.