September 1: The Luftwaffe begins Operation Wasserkante as part of the invasion of Poland. The first air attacks against Warsaw start.
September 2: Single PZL.23B of the 21st Squadron of Polish Air Force bombs a factory in Ohlau. The attack represented the first Allied bombing raid to be conducted against a target in territory within the Third Reich.
September 3: The RAF launches its first raid of the war over Germany territory. Eighteen Handley Page Hampdens and nine Vickers Wellingtons are sent to attack the German warships moored at the Wilhelmshaven naval base. However poor visibility prevents the bombers from finding any targets before nightfall so they return.
September 27: The Luftwaffe ceases its bombing campaign against Warsaw after its Polish garrison surrenders to German forces. Approximately 1,150 sorties were flown by a wide variety of aircraft, including obsolete Junkers Ju 52/3m bombers.
November 30: The Winter War between Soviet Union and Finland starts. Three hours after Soviet forces had crossed the border and started the Winter War, Helsinki is bombed. Throughout the war, the Soviet Union has the air superiority and several cities in Finland are targeted.
December 18: The first use of radar for defence (an "experimental Freya radar") gave warning of RAF bombers near the German Bight as they made an attack on Wilhelmshaven.:20 However the German fighters were not permitted to intercept until visual confirmation was made - the bombers were attacked after they had dropped their bombs.
September 7: The Blitz bombing of Britain began with 57 nights of air raids
September 8: Three Dornier 17 bombers are downed by a single shot from a "Territorial gun crew" near Farnington.:129
9 September: A bombing raid on Tel Aviv caused 137 deaths.
19 October: Four SM.82 bombers attacked American-operated oil refineries in the British Protectorate of Bahrain, damaging the local refineries. The raid also struck Dhahran in Saudi Arabia, but causing little damage.
September 15: In a single day, the Luftwaffe loses 60 aircraft over England during the Battle of Britain:68
November 30: The second phase of The Blitz began against British industrial and port cities
January 21: As revenge for the British raids on Berlin, Germany started the Baby Blitz (planned since 27 November).:396
April 8/9: The largest force to date (272 aircraft) bomb Hamburg.
April 17: The Augsburg Raid is the first to attempt low-level daylight bombing for accuracy - in this case against the factory producing engines for U-boats. Half of the 12 bombers were shot down for little damage caused.
May 30: The first use of the bomber stream and the first British large scale operation, as part of Operation Millennium the first "Thousand Bomber" raid is sent against Cologne, Germany. Of the 1,047 aircraft sent, nearly 900 bombed the target area - the whole raid passing over in 90 minutes.
June 11–12: First American daylight raid over European soil, against petroleum wells, in Ploiești Romania amongst objectives in Bulgaria the first stages of American Bombing offensive.
July 4: The first American bombing mission over enemy-occupied territory in Europe used 20 Boston bombers (plus 6 RAF-crewed Bostons) to attack the Alkmaar, Hammsted, and Valkenburg airfields --:106 only two reached the target area (two shot down, the others heavily damaged).:111
August 14: First German warplane downed by the USAAF. A German Fw 200 Condor reconnaissance-bomber is shot down by two US fighter pilots, flying a P-40 Warhawk and a P-38 Lightning, off the coast of Reykjavík, Iceland. All six German airmen are killed as the plane explodes and goes into the sea.
August 17: 12 B-17s of the 97 BG (including one with Eaker aboard) escorted by RAF Spitfires bombed the Sotteville railyard 3 miles (4.8km) South of Rouen, France, in the "first combat action" of the Eighth Air Force and the first B-17 bombing of Europe.
August 19: 22 B-17's drop 34 tons of bombs on Abbeville/Drucat A/F in France causing extensive damage.
August 20: 11 of 12 B-17's bomb Amiens/Longeau Marshilling Yard, France at 1801 hours without loss.
August 21: 12 B-17's are dispatched to bomb the shipards in Rotterdam, Netherlands but is aborted due to an attack by Bf 109s and Fw 190s; 1 bomber is damaged; Lack of proper coordination with the Spitfire escorts is a major factor in the failure of the mission.
August 24: 12 B-17s bomb the shipyard of Ateliers et chantier.
August 1: Flying from North Africa Operation Tidal Wave bombs the oil refineries at Ploiești. A large number of the bombers are lost for little strategic benefit. Five Medals of Honor are awarded to American aircrew.
November 1: A Combined Bomber Offensive progress report estimates that 19/19/9 German towns & cities have been virtually destroyed/severely damaged/more effectively damaged–another report claims 10% of German war potential had been destroyed
November 3: A Wilhelmshaven raid is the first Eighth Air Force blind-bombing mission to completely destroy the aiming point, the Eighth's first 500-plane mission, and the first use by the US of H2X radar
November 22/23: The largest force sent to bomb Berlin to date (764 aircraft) conducted the most effective World War II raid on Berlin
December 2: 100 Ju-88s bombed the port of Bari, hitting a secret store of US mustard gas (83 of the sailors died within a month). Autopsies indicated excess white blood cells, and the discovery led to the use of the gas to combat leukemia (the secret regarding the storage at Bari of mustard gas was subsequently declassified in 1959).:149
January 30: The first U.S. Intruder operation was conducted by P-47s and accurately preceded the bombers to strike fighters at Villaorba airfield.
February 6–27: The Soviet Air Force launched bombing raids against several Finnish cities. The greatest air raids once again targeted Helsinki. In this manner the USSR hoped to force Finland to break its ties with Germany and agree to a peace settlement.
February 19/20: Handley Page Halifax IIs and Vs were permanently withdrawn from operations to Germany after 14.9% of those that did not turn back were lost on a raid to Leipzig.
June 2–5: In preparation for Operation Overlord, Operation Cover bombed transportation and airfield targets in Northern France and "coastal defenses, mainly located in the Pas de Calais coastal area, to deceive the enemy as to the sector to be invaded".
June 8: The first use of the Azon guided bomb targeted the Melun bridge
July 28: The first operational use of rocket-powered point-defense interceptors occurs as Me 163Bs of I. Gruppe/JG 400 take off from Brandis to defend against a USAAF strategic bombing raid on the Merseburg/Leuna synthetic fuel production complex.
August 27: The RAF restarted daylight bombing of Germany (first since 12 August 1941) with an attack on the Homberg Fischer-Tropsch plant in Hamburg.:149
January 5: The first mission of Operation Cornflakes begins when a mail train to Linz was bombed. Fake mailbags containing anti-Nazi propaganda were then dropped on the wreckage in the hope the letters would be unwittingly delivered by the Reichspost. The OSS dropped two million Das Neue Deutschland (German: The New Germany) propaganda newspapers during this psychological warfare operation; which ended in February.:104
February 13–15: The Allied Bombing of Dresden causes a firestorm that kills up to 25,000 people in the city.
March 12: The RAF drop 4,851 tonnes of bombs on Dortmund using 1108 aircraft (748 Lancasters, 292 Halifaxes, 68 Mosquitos). Up to 98% of buildings in the city center are destroyed. It would be the heaviest raid on a single target in World War II.
March 18: The largest number of Me 262s to date launch their most concentrated attacks against Allied bomber formation. Mission 894 attacking Berlin (1,329 bombers and 733 fighters) loses 13 bombers and 6 fighters. The AAF claim 25 Luftwaffe aircraft.
April 19: The last RAF air operation using Grand Slam bombs in Europe takes place over Heligoland. Twenty aircraft from 617 Squadron, six with Grand Slams and the remainder with smaller Tallboy bombs, along with 16 aircraft from 9 Squadron attack the island's coastal gun-batteries. No aircraft were lost. A total of 42 Grand Slams were dropped in air operations over Germany.
The Battle of Britain was a military campaign of the Second World War, in which the Royal Air Force (RAF) defended the United Kingdom (UK) against large-scale attacks by Nazi Germany's air force, the Luftwaffe. It has been described as the first major military campaign fought entirely by air forces. The British officially recognise the battle's duration as being from 10 July until 31 October 1940, which overlaps the period of large-scale night attacks known as the Blitz, that lasted from 7 September 1940 to 11 May 1941. German historians do not accept this subdivision and regard the battle as a single campaign lasting from July 1940 to June 1941, including the Blitz.
The Blitz was a German bombing campaign against the United Kingdom in 1940 and 1941, during the Second World War. The term was first used by the British press and is the German word for 'lightning'.
The Eighth Air Force is a numbered air force (NAF) of the United States Air Force's Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC). It is headquartered at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. The command serves as Air Forces Strategic – Global Strike, one of the air components of United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM). The Eighth Air Force includes the heart of America's heavy bomber force: the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber, the B-1 Lancer supersonic bomber, and the B-52 Stratofortress heavy bomber aircraft.
RAF Bomber Command controlled the RAF's bomber forces from 1936 to 1968. Along with the United States Army Air Forces, it played the central role in the strategic bombing of Germany in World War II. From 1942 onward, the British bombing campaign against Germany became less restrictive and increasingly targeted industrial sites and the civilian manpower base essential for German war production. In total 364,514 operational sorties were flown, 1,030,500 tons of bombs were dropped and 8,325 aircraft lost in action. Bomber Command crews also suffered a high casualty rate: 55,573 were killed out of a total of 125,000 aircrew, a 44.4% death rate. A further 8,403 men were wounded in action, and 9,838 became prisoners of war.
This is a list of aviation-related events from 1940:
The second Schweinfurt raid was a World War II air battle that took place on 14 October 1943, over Nazi Germany between forces of the United States 8th Air Force and German Luftwaffe fighter arm (Jagdwaffe). The American bombers conducted a strategic bombing raid on ball bearing factories to reduce production of these vital parts for all manner of war machines. This was the second attack on the factories at Schweinfurt. American wartime intelligence claimed the first Schweinfurt–Regensburg mission in August had reduced bearing production by 34 percent but had cost many bombers. A planned follow-up raid had to be postponed to rebuild American forces.
The Pathfinders were target-marking squadrons in RAF Bomber Command during World War II. They located and marked targets with flares, which a main bomber force could aim at, increasing the accuracy of their bombing. The Pathfinders were normally the first to receive new blind bombing aids like Gee, Oboe and the H2S radar.
Big Week or Operation Argument was a sequence of raids by the United States Army Air Forces and RAF Bomber Command from 20 to 25 February 1944, as part of the European strategic bombing campaign against Nazi Germany. The planners intended to attack the German aircraft industry to lure the Luftwaffe into a decisive battle where the Luftwaffe could be damaged so badly that the Allies would achieve air superiority which would ensure success of the invasion of continental Europe.
The German city of Cologne was bombed in 262 separate air raids by the Allies during World War II, all by the Royal Air Force (RAF) but for a single failed post-capture test of a guided missile by the United States Army Air Forces. A total of 34,711 long tons of bombs were dropped on the city by the RAF. 20,000 people died during the war in Cologne due to aerial bombardments.
The bombing of Augsburg in World War II included two British RAF and one USAAF bombing raids against the German city of Augsburg on 17 April 1942 and 25/26 February 1944.
The history of the Royal Air Force, the air force of the United Kingdom, spans a century of British military aviation.
Royal Air Force Station Polebrook or more simply RAF Polebrook is a former Royal Air Force station located 3.5 miles (5.6 km) east-south-east of Oundle, at Polebrook, Northamptonshire, England. The airfield was built on Rothschild estate land starting in August 1940.
The Combined Bomber Offensive (CBO) was an Allied offensive of strategic bombing during World War II in Europe. The primary portion of the CBO was against Luftwaffe targets which was the highest priority from June 1943 to 1 April 1944. The subsequent highest priority campaigns were against V-weapon installations and petroleum, oil, and lubrication (POL) plants. Additional CBO targets included railyards and other transportation targets, particularly prior to the invasion of Normandy and, along with army equipment, in the final stages of the War in Europe.
Adlertag was the first day of Unternehmen Adlerangriff, which was the codename of a military operation by Nazi Germany's Luftwaffe to destroy the British Royal Air Force (RAF). By June 1940, the Allies had been defeated in Western Europe and Scandinavia. Rather than come to terms with Germany, Britain rejected all overtures for a negotiated peace.
Kampfgeschwader 3 "Blitz" was a Luftwaffe bomber wing during World War II.
Kampfgeschwader 51 "Edelweiss" was a Luftwaffe bomber wing during World War II.
Battle of Britain Day is the name given to the large-scale aerial battle that took place on 15 September 1940, during the Battle of Britain.
The Battle of the Heligoland Bight was the first "named" air battle of the Second World War, which began the longest air campaign of the war, the Defence of the Reich. On 3 September 1939, the United Kingdom declared war on Nazi Germany after the German invasion of Poland, which started the European War. The British did not assist Poland by land or sea but RAF Bomber Command flew several missions against German targets. A number of these air raids were directed at Kriegsmarine warships in German ports to prevent their use in the Battle of the Atlantic. With the front lines static between September 1939 and May 1940, a period known as the "Phoney War" set in, with little fighting on land or in the air.
Ernst-Georg Drünkler was a German Luftwaffe military aviator during World War II, a night fighter ace credited with 47 aerial victories, including two by day, claimed in 102 combat missions making him the thirtieth most successful night fighter pilot in the history of aerial warfare. The majority of his victories were claimed over the Western Front in Defense of the Reich missions against the Royal Air Force's Bomber Command.
Operation Gisela was the codename for a German military operation of the Second World War. Gisela was designed as an aerial intruder operation to support the German air defence system in its night battles with RAF Bomber Command during the Defence of the Reich campaign. It was the last major operation launched by the LuftwaffeNachtjagdgeschwader during the conflict.
1 2 Irving, David (1964). The Mare's Nest. London: William Kimber and Co. p.223. ISBN0-586-06368-4.NOTE: V-2 rocket air operations were conducted by various German Army units, but operational orders were issued by a Joint Services (OKW) command.
↑ Jablonski, Edward (1971). Volume 1 (Tragic Victories), Book II (The Big League). Airpower. p.71.
1 2 Forrester, Larry (1973) . Fly for Your Life: The Story of R. R. Stanford Tuck, D.S.O, D.F.C. and Two Bars. Sir Max Aitken (Foreword). Garden City, New York: Nelson Doubleday. ISBN0-553-11642-8.
↑ Smith, J. Richard & Eddie J. Creek (1997). Blitz!: Germany's Arado Ar 234 Jet Bomber. Merriam Press. p.23. ISBN9781576380079.
↑ Flower, Stephen (2004). Barnes Wallis' Bombs. Researched from the original records and interviews with those involved with the development and use of the bombs. Stroud: Tempus. pp.362–64. ISBN0-7524-2987-6.
↑ Till, Major Noel O (September 1945). Report on Investigations, WO 309/1592. No. 2 War Crimes Investigation Team. From the Till report of June 1945: "The Intelligence Officer with 83 Group RAF has admitted on two occasions; first to Lt H. F. Ansell of this Team (when it was confirmed by a Wing Commander present), and on a second occasion to the Investigating Officer when he was accompanied by Lt. H. F. Ansell, that a message was received on 2 May 1945 that these ships were loaded with KZ prisoners but that, although there was ample time to warn the pilots of the planes who attacked these ships on the following day, by some oversight the message was never passed on... From the facts and from the statement volunteered by the RAF Intelligence Officer, it appears that the primary responsibility for this great loss of life must fall on the British RAF personnel who failed to pass to the pilots the message they received concerning the presence of KZ prisoners on board these ships." See: Jacobs and Pool, 2004 and Till, 1945