Luftwaffe Bombing of Warsaw and Rotterdam

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GregSingh
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Re: Luftwaffe Bombing of Warsaw and Rotterdam

Postby GregSingh » 10 Jan 2016 10:08

Based on what I read so far on this subject I had to agree with mirekw comments.

Polish fighter planes were not effective and they left area over Warsaw on the 6th.
AA was also not effective, even official Polish reports, which you would think will state larger than actual number of German planes shot for propaganda purpose, give quite low numbers.
Weather conditions along the route or over the target seem to be a major factor. Those historical data over Warsaw are available, we might post some later.

Is anyone familiar with propaganda pieces by Air propaganda reporters like Josef Grabler, Benno Wundshammer, Hans Theodor Wagner, Karl Heinz Christiansen, Carl Cranz, Wilhelm Renner and others? There seem to be several those pieces from bombing of Warsaw. Not sure how reliable these are as sources (after removing obvious propaganda fragments). I notice they don't have any dates, but mention places.
I am currently reading Carl Cranz piece "Sturzkampfflieger über Warschau" which describes air attacks over Praga.

histan
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Re: Luftwaffe Bombing of Warsaw and Rotterdam

Postby histan » 10 Jan 2016 10:35

They would have bombed from a height that their pre-war procedures had determined would give them the best accuracy and that they had used during their training. They would only think about changing this height if bombing from this height had resulted in significant casualties. This was not the case over Warsaw, as mirekw pointed out.

To give an idea of the best accuracy that could be achieved by straight and level bombing from medium level using the best navigation and bomb release computing available before the arrival of GPS, it's worth looking at the results of the Vulacan bombing of Port Stanley in 1982, shown in the picture below.

The Desired Mean Point of Impact (DMPI) is the centre of the runway.

Stanley_runway_craters.jpg


"Stanley runway craters" by RAF - http://www.raf.mod.uk/falklands/1sqn_5.html http://www.raf.mod.uk/falklands/images/cas047a.jpg. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Stan ... raters.jpg"

Top left is the line of bomb craters resulting from Black Buck 2. He had good along track accuracy but across track errors meant that he missed the DMPI. The largest crater on the runway is from Black Buck 1. He achieved good across track performance but bomb release was a fraction of a second too early or too late (can't remember which) and only one bomb hit the runway, it just possible to make out the craters caused by the other bombs in the stick below the runway in the picture. An idea of the scale is given by the aircraft parked on the runway.

A bridge is a much smaller target that a runway, so you can see why the Luftwaffe, and indeed other air forces, were unable to drop bridges in 1939, given that their navigation and bomb release computers were nowhere near as good as that of the Vulcan. It can also be seen why bombing bridges in a city would result in significant collateral damage, the same being true of any fixed target.

It must be remembered that non of this was known by Either the Luftwaffe or the RAF at the time, both believed that their bombing was much more accurate than it actually was.

In a second second point just because the Luftwaffe set fire to a railway station on 13 September it doesn't prove that they were targeting valid military targets, in the same way that just because they hit a hotel it doesn't prove that they were targeting civilian targets.

Regards

John
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Re: Luftwaffe Bombing of Warsaw and Rotterdam

Postby Jan-Hendrik » 10 Jan 2016 11:10

You mean the AVRO Vulcan Bomber, dear friend?

Jan-Hendrik

histan
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Re: Luftwaffe Bombing of Warsaw and Rotterdam

Postby histan » 10 Jan 2016 12:55

I do Jan-Hendrick. A good bomber of its generation that performed well in the annual US Strategic Air Command Bombing Competition.

Weather information would be nice to have, obviously cloud and visibility are the most important.

Thanks for the map GregSingh. I find it is much clearer when you can see things on the map. It looks like there was either a mistake in the original order issued by the Luftwaffe or a typo and that it wasn't II AK forces but XVI AK forces (4 Pz Div) that were close to Warsaw and whose location had to determined. The objective of 4 Pz Div on 13 September was to attempt to cut off Polish forces retreating into Modlin, that is not on Waraw itself. It looks like the forces shown were covering the rear of 4 Pz Div. The artillery fire looks like an attempt to interdict movement either into or out of Warsaw.

It would be very useful if some one could mark on your map the location of the "Jewish Quarter" identified in previous maps.

There is nothing inconsistent about refusing von Richthoven,s requests to attack Warsaw and then ordering him to drop incendiaries on 13 September. In "Lost Victories" von Manstein said the the army group refused requests to attack Warsaw before the siege because they had no military value but supported attacks during the siege because they did have military value. Early in the campaign the focus of the Luftwaffe was on supporting the army in winning the ground war and the attacks requested by von Richthoven would have been regarded as a diversion of effort. By 10 September the Luftwaffe believed that the state of the ground campaign was such that it could release some resources for attacks on Warsaw. At this point, they felt free to task aircraft to drop incendiaries on Praga and the Northern District of Warsaw. Concern about civilian casualties is unlikely to have played any role in this decision making.

Regards

John

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Re: Luftwaffe Bombing of Warsaw and Rotterdam

Postby GregSingh » 10 Jan 2016 13:00

It would be very useful if some one could mark on your map the location of the "Jewish Quarter" identified in previous maps.


Already marked. It's the largest yellow circle.

histan
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Re: Luftwaffe Bombing of Warsaw and Rotterdam

Postby histan » 10 Jan 2016 13:32

Thanks GregSingh. So attacks across the whole of the Northern District and not just the "Jewish Quarter".

Regards

John

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Re: Luftwaffe Bombing of Warsaw and Rotterdam

Postby GregSingh » 10 Jan 2016 21:36

John,

"Jewish Quarter" was the synonym for Northern District back in 1939

Will try to clarify confusion with names.
Before 1914 when Warsaw was part of Russian Empire, it was not allowed to grow north of railroad and Danziger/Gdanska rail station.
So "Jewish Quarter" was most northern suburb, just south of Danziger/Gdanska rail station.
After 1919 new areas north of railroad became part of Warsaw - called northern suburbs - like Zoliborz and Marymont.

It seems that on 13th of September all those areas were bombed: north of railroads, south of railroads ("Jewish Quarter" or Northern District) and railroads themselves. But area north of railroads was only slightly affected by air bombing, it was hit mostly by artillery fire.

Greg

histan
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Re: Luftwaffe Bombing of Warsaw and Rotterdam

Postby histan » 10 Jan 2016 23:35

Thanks again GregSingh

It is becoming both more clear and more confusing!

The English translation of the Luftwaffe order states the tasking to b:e to drop incendiaries on the North Western Suburbs (I have just re-checked this), while taking care to avoid hitting German forces. It would be nice to know what the original order in German says. This clearly covers attacks on Zoliborz and Marymont and the railways. Is it possible to know whether the damage in these attacks was caused by incendiaries or HE?

It leads me to some questions:
If a Luftwaffe officer talked about bombing the "Jewish Quarter" or of bombing "the Jews as a punishment" would he have meant the area North or South of the railway, or both?
When Hooton states that the Germans bombed the "Jewish Quarter" what area did he have in mind and why did he use that term rather than the Northern District? I think most people (at least in the UK) with limited knowledge of both the history and geography of Warsaw would have assumed the damage would have been all South of the railway.

It is difficult to interpret one days data by itself. It would be useful to know where the bombs fell on other days - say 10 September 1939 to 17 September 1939. Surely someone must have written a book or research paper the provides this information?

The damage shown on the map doesn't seem to resolve the issue either way but it is unlikely that information from Polish sources will.

Regards

John

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Re: Luftwaffe Bombing of Warsaw and Rotterdam

Postby mirekw » 11 Jan 2016 09:16

[quoteIf a Luftwaffe officer talked about bombing the "Jewish Quarter" or of bombing "the Jews as a punishment" would he have meant the area North or South of the railway, or both?[/quote]

It is very tiring to read once again about a deliberate attack on the Jewish quarter, which was to be "the beginning of the Holocaust" by the Germans.

This is total nonsense and nonsense (mumbo-jumbo). Jews were not in September 1939 the main objective of the German extermination, although Germany crimes against the Jews condected a series of murders - on a small scale, but it is always a murdering civilians, the same was the murdering of Poles by Germans (see: Szymon Datner, 55 days of the Wehrmacht in Poland (1.IX-25.X.1939), MON, Warsaw 1967).


In addition to the "Jewish neighborhood" is still the Warsaw Citadel (military objective), Gdańsk Station and bridges. With a height of 2-3 km scatter bombs is large enough for the "Jewish quarter" always some bombs fell.


Some of the people who deal with the history of Jews in World War II, he wants to force to see much more than is actually there to see and say. The truth is not as complex as this person seems.

The Holocaust did not begin on September 13, 1939 in Warsaw, the deliberate and planned bombardment of "the Jewish Quarter", which was out of town.

mw

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Re: Luftwaffe Bombing of Warsaw and Rotterdam

Postby 4thskorpion » 11 Jan 2016 12:49

histan wrote:When Hooton states that the Germans bombed the "Jewish Quarter" what area did he have in mind and why did he use that term rather than the Northern District? I think most people (at least in the UK) with limited knowledge of both the history and geography of Warsaw would have assumed


I think if Hooton was quoting a German source they would not have used "Northern District" but "Juden Viertel or Jewish Quarter" because that is what appeared on German maps of Warsaw such as the two examples I posted elsewhere in the thread. Varsovians (like my family) from that pre-war period knew it colloquially as the "Jewish Quarter" rather than Northern District. Żoliborz where the Polish intelligentsia lived and the Marymont residential areas were not considered to be in the "Jewish Quarter" of Warsaw at the time, these were relatively new suburbs just north of the "Jewish Quarter".
Last edited by 4thskorpion on 11 Jan 2016 14:33, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Luftwaffe Bombing of Warsaw and Rotterdam

Postby 4thskorpion » 11 Jan 2016 14:27

It was claimed by others that Wilhelm Speidel reports that two specific requests by von Richthofen to bomb the "Jewish Quarter" were denied however it is clear the "Jewish Quarter" was bombed on the 13th. But why, if Speidel is quoted correctly, would von Richthofen twice request specifically the "Jewish Quarter" if it was not because it was the "Jewish Quarter"? Why not request the Gdansk railway yards to be bombed or a Polish defensive position or other military target in that sector of Warsaw?

I also found this reference:
Am Angriff mit Brandbomben auf des jüdische Viertels von Warschau am 13. September 1939 war das Kampfgeschwader 27 Boelcke nicht beteiligt. Aber auch dieser Angriff zeigt, dass die deutsche Luftwaffe gezielt jüdische Stadtteile zerstörte. Die deutschen Besatzungen orientierten sich an Luftaufnahmen Warschaus, auf denen die jüdischen Viertel mit Angaben zum jüdischen Bevölkerungsanteil eingezeichnet waren. (6)
6) vgl. Mittelweg 36, Zeitschrift des Hamburger Instituts für Sozialforschung, 1/1999, S. 64, 65


GregSingh
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Re: Luftwaffe Bombing of Warsaw and Rotterdam

Postby GregSingh » 12 Jan 2016 02:13

It's a pity they did not say which unit actually bombed the area on the 13th. It's possible, multiple units were involved.

Based on what I read in Carl Cranz propaganda piece "Sturzkampfflieger über Warschau, during raid on Praga, He-111 came in a first wave, Ju-87 in a second wave, one hour later. I would think Ju-87 had better bombing accuracy. When He-111 missed a target, wouldn't Ju-87 correct a "mistake" ?

Anyway here are results of KG27 He-111 bombing of Okecie Airport on the 1st of September. Weather was cooperating - no clouds, basically no wind.
Although Polish fighters were present in the area and possibly AA defenses as well.

Hard to tell if a factory building on the edge of airport was an indented target or just hit by mistake, lot of smoke there...
Perhaps there are German reports available from the 1st of September?

Okecie airport.jpg
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mirekw
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Re: Luftwaffe Bombing of Warsaw and Rotterdam

Postby mirekw » 12 Jan 2016 12:05

Baza Lotnicza nr 1 Okęcie was defended by 2 Bofors 40 mmm wz. 38 ("lotniczy" Pluton Plot nr 181) plus 12 ckm 7,9 Hotchkiss and possible next 5 nkm 13,2 mm Hotchkiss (this is not sure?). Zakłady PZL nr 1, PZL nr 2 na Okęciu had the next 4 Bofors 40 wz 38 (2 plutony fabryczne). All Bofors's crews had very low trainig level, so their effectiveness was very low (untrained crews).
On the first day they reacted too late and ineffective in the defence of Okęcie airport and two PZL's works.

Losses in PZL's works were not so high too, the same was with Okęcie - small dameges.

regards,
mw

BTW
This photo where it has come?

histan
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Re: Luftwaffe Bombing of Warsaw and Rotterdam

Postby histan » 12 Jan 2016 13:57

Hi GregSingh. A superb photo.The DMPI for the He-111s would have been the middle of the airfield and I expect that they would be reasonably happy with what they achieved.

This looks like a classic attack on on airfield. The objective of the first wave would be to close the airfield by cratering the runways or grass area used for take off and landing. They would hope to do this while any aircraft based there were still on the ground.Just the role for the He-111. The objective of the second wave would be to attack any aircraft that were on the ground and couldn't take off, plus hangers, control tower, fuel storage facilities, etc. A role for the Ju-87. They wouldn't (or rather shouldn't) have expected to close the airfield for long - it is relatively easy to fill in the craters and create a stretch long enough fro take-off and landing. Perhaps mirekw has some information on how quickly it was in use. It looks like the Ju-87s weren't very effective, since mirekw's sources say the damage was small.

Exactly the same approach was taken by the British against the Egyptian air force during the Suez War.

Regards

John

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Re: Luftwaffe Bombing of Warsaw and Rotterdam

Postby histan » 12 Jan 2016 23:29

Just re-reading this post and looking again over internet resources.
mirekw mentions "2 books of Marius Emmrling "Lufftwaffe nad Polską 1939. cz. II Kampffliger, cz. III Stukafliger, Gdynia 2005, Gdynia 2006."

These seem to be the best source material available and being published in 2005 and 2006 may be more objective than other sources- and as far as I can gather comprehensive - Volume 3 is 382 pages. These have been used as a key source of information on a thread examining German officer casualties during the Polish campaign so he has some very detailed factual information that has been proved to be correct when tested against other authoritative sources (in this case the Volsbund).

Could some one who speaks Polish please post extracts from the relevant parts of these books so that we can see what facts he presents and what conclusions he comes to?

I feel that these books could already have reached the best conclusions, one way, or another, from the available information. Even if they don't attempt to draw inferences about Luftwaffe targeting policy the should undoubtedly provide more information about actual tarets attacked and numbers of aircraft involve.

Regards

John


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