Churchill & Harris - Terror raids

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redcoat
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Post by redcoat » 27 Aug 2003 22:43

It appears we Brits were a little slow in bombing Germany, the Luftwaffe beat us to it :lol:

from
http://members.iinet.net.au/~gduncan/facts.html

"On the 10th of May, 1940 three Luftwaffe planes, HE 111s, bombed the German town of Freiburg by mistake, killing 57 people. The crews thought they were over a French town. The fragments of the bombs found later, confirmed the bombs as German, but German propaganda claimed the raid to be a terror attack by the French Airforce, justifying subsequent bombing of French towns."

Has anyone else noticed that the luftwaffe seemed to have a problem with 'accidental' bombing :P :wink:

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redcoat
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Post by redcoat » 27 Aug 2003 23:12

Jack Nisley wrote:A question with regard to this discussion:
Were any Luftwaffe Generals convicted of war crimes at Nuremberg or other war crimes trials for "terror bombing" of cities?

Jack Nisley

No
Though a German general did face a war crimes trial in Yugoslavia for the bombing of Belgrade in the invasion of that country in 41.
The reason for this was because the Yugoslavian govenment had declared the city, an 'Open City'. Which meant it was undefended, and therefore the bombing this city was illegal under international law.
At no point in the war did the British or German governments declare any of their cities an 'Open City'

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Matt H.
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Post by Matt H. » 29 Aug 2003 13:05

The accounts I have read about the RAF Bomber Command raid on the night of 25/26 August 1940 claim that of about 80 a/c that set out for Berlin, 50 found the city and bombed through a thick cloud layer. The results were two bombs falling within the city limits destroying a summer house near Rosenthal and injuring two people. Other bombs fell harmlessly outside the city limits.


Also, one must remember that Bomber Command did not possess any adequately armed four-engined heavy bomber at this time. The Halifax's and the Lancasters were not to arrive until the middle of 1941. The raid was most probably conducted by Armstrong Whitworth Whitley's and Fairey Battles...

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Henric Edwards
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Post by Henric Edwards » 29 Aug 2003 15:08

Matt H. wrote:
Also, one must remember that Bomber Command did not possess any adequately armed four-engined heavy bomber at this time. The Halifax's and the Lancasters were not to arrive until the middle of 1941. The raid was most probably conducted by Armstrong Whitworth Whitley's and Fairey Battles...


Wellington's and Hampden's according to my sources. Did the Battle really have the legs to reach Berlin?



~Henric Edwards

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Matt H.
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Post by Matt H. » 29 Aug 2003 15:16

Did the Battle really have the legs to reach Berlin?


Good point.

The single-engine Fairey Battle was an obsolete aircraft even before it flew its first operational mission for the RAF. Slow, with just one defensive gun, Battles were easy prey for fast German single-seat fighters like the Messerschmitt 109. However RAF Bomber Command crews fought courageously to try to halt the German advance through the Low Countries of Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg, winning two Victoria Crosses but suffering heavy casualties.


From: http://www.rafbombercommand.com/master_aircraft.html

As for the Whitley's, I believe almost every new recruit to Bomber Command did their best to avoid flying them, or even in them!

Of course, when the time came I found I was posted to Kinloss up in the north of Scotland to a Whitley operational training unit. My heart sank at the news, but when I actually saw them in action I was appalled. I'd never seen such a dreadful, boring looking thing - nose down, going at what looked like about 50 miles an hour. As soon as I arrived at the OTU I had an interview with the Wing Commander. I said could he get me posted away on to Blenheims, and he said no... So I started to fly this Whitley and I found that flying it was exactly what I'd dreaded; it was slow and cumbersome and heavy and unresponsive.


From: http://www.rafbombercommand.com/personals_4_training.html#stories_training

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redcoat
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Post by redcoat » 30 Aug 2003 00:08

Henric Edwards wrote:
Wellington's and Hampden's according to my sources.
~Henric Edwards

My sources agree, it was a mixed force of HP Hampdens and Wellingtons.
Six Hampdens were lost, three of them ditching when they ran out of fuel. Berlin was at the limit of their range, and there was an unexpected strong headwind.

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 30 Aug 2003 17:39

According to 4 Grp's Op log 9 Whitley's from 51Sqn were in the mixed force that set out to bomb Berlin on 25/26/08/40 of which only 2 bombed the primary

Andy H

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