List of air operations during the Battle of Europe

Last updated

Symbols
Regulation WW II Underwing Balkenkreuz.png German Luftwaffe
Balkenkreuz.svg German OKW V-2 forces [1]
Roundel of Poland (1921-1993).svg Polish Air Force
French-roundel.svg French Air Force
RAF roundel.svg United Kingdom Royal Air Force [2]
Italy-Royal-Airforce.svg Italian Regia Aeronautica
Red star.svg Soviet Union Red Army Air Force
Finnish air force roundel 1934-1945 border.svg Finnish Air Force
Roundel of the Royal Canadian Air Force (1946-1965).svg Royal Canadian Air Force
Roundel of the Romanian Air Force, 1941-1944.svg Romanian Air Force
Roundel of Hungary (1942-1945).svg Royal Hungarian Air Force
US roundel 1942-1943.svg United States Army Air Forces [3]
USA - Army Field Artillery Insignia.png United States Artillery Observers
Roundel of Bulgaria (1941-1944).svg Royal Bulgarian Air Force

Contents

This World War II timeline of European Air Operations lists notable military events in the skies of the European Theater of Operations of World War II from the Invasion of Poland to Victory in Europe Day. The list includes combined arms operations, defensive anti-aircraft warfare, and encompasses areas within the territorial waters of belligerent European states. [4] 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945

Aerial warfare is the battlespace use of military aircraft and other flying machines in warfare. Aerial warfare includes bombers attacking enemy installations or a concentration of enemy troops or strategic targets; fighter aircraft battling for control of airspace; attack aircraft engaging in close air support against ground targets; naval aviation flying against sea and nearby land targets; gliders, helicopters and other aircraft to carry airborne forces such as paratroopers; aerial refueling tankers to extend operation time or range; and military transport aircraft to move cargo and personnel. Historically, military aircraft have included lighter-than-air balloons carrying artillery observers; lighter-than-air airships for bombing cities; various sorts of reconnaissance, surveillance and early warning aircraft carrying observers, cameras and radar equipment; torpedo bombers to attack enemy shipping; and military air-sea rescue aircraft for saving downed airmen. Modern aerial warfare includes missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles. Surface forces are likely to respond to enemy air activity with anti-aircraft warfare.

Victory in Europe Day public holiday

Victory in Europe Day, generally known as V-E Day, VE Day or simply V Day, was celebrated on 8 May 1945 to mark the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi Germany's unconditional surrender of its armed forces. The formal surrender of the German forces occupying the Channel Islands did not occur until the following day, 9 May 1945. It thus marked the end of World War II in Europe.

Anti-aircraft warfare combat operations and doctrine aimed at defeating enemy aerial forces; all measures designed to nullify or reduce the effectiveness of hostile air action

Anti-aircraft warfare or counter-air defence is defined by NATO as "all measures designed to nullify or reduce the effectiveness of hostile air action". They include surface based, subsurface, and air-based weapon systems, associated sensor systems, command and control arrangements and passive measures. It may be used to protect naval, ground, and air forces in any location. However, for most countries the main effort has tended to be 'homeland defence'. NATO refers to airborne air defence as counter-air and naval air defence as anti-aircraft warfare. Missile defence is an extension of air defence as are initiatives to adapt air defence to the task of intercepting any projectile in flight.

1939

Regulation WW II Underwing Balkenkreuz.png  September 1: At 4:40am the Luftwaffe starts World War II with the terror bombing of the Polish city of Wieluń. At 8:00am German ground forces cross the Polish border launching the invasion of Poland.

<i>Luftwaffe</i> Aerial warfare branch of the German military forces during World War II

The Luftwaffe was the aerial warfare branch of the combined German Wehrmacht military forces during World War II. Germany's military air arms during World War I, the Luftstreitkräfte of the Army and the Marine-Fliegerabteilung of the Navy, had been disbanded in May 1920 as a result of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles which stated that Germany was forbidden to have any air force.

Bombing of Wieluń

The bombing of Wieluń comprised air raids on the Polish town of Wieluń by Germany's Luftwaffe on 1 September 1939. The Luftwaffe began bombing Wieluń in the early morning on the first day of World War II. The bombing has been described by several historians as the first act of World War II, but this claim, and the precise time the town was bombed, have been disputed by other historians. Regardless of the precise time, the air raids on the town were among the first aerial bombings of the war.

Battle of the Border battles that occurred in the first days of the Nazi Germany invasion of Poland in September 1939

The Battle of the Border refers to the battles that occurred in the first days of the German invasion of Poland in September, 1939. The series of battles ended in a German victory, as Polish forces were either destroyed or forced to retreat.

Regulation WW II Underwing Balkenkreuz.png  September 1: The Luftwaffe begins operation Wasserkante as part of the invasion of Poland. The first air attacks against Warsaw start.

Bombing of Warsaw in World War II conflict

The Bombing of Warsaw in World War II refers to the bombing campaign of Warsaw by the German Luftwaffe during the siege of Warsaw in the invasion of Poland in 1939. It also may refer to German bombing raids during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. During the course of the war approximately 84% of the city was destroyed due to German mass bombings, heavy artillery fire and a planned demolition campaign.

Roundel of Poland (1921-1993).svg  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.

PZL.23 Karaś airplane

The PZL.23 Karaś was a Polish light bomber and reconnaissance aircraft designed in the early 1930s by PZL in Warsaw.

Oława Place in Lower Silesian, Poland

Oława is a town in south-western Poland with 32,674 inhabitants (2016). It is situated in Lower Silesian Voivodeship. It is the seat of Oława County, and also of the smaller administrative district of Gmina Oława.

RAF roundel.svg  September 3: Flying officer Andrew McPherson is the first RAF pilot to cross the German coast after Britain declared war on Nazi Germany. Flying a Bristol Blenheim from 139 Squadron, his mission is to identify German maritime targets around Wilhelmshaven. [5]

Flying officer junior commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many countries

Flying officer is a junior commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many countries which have historical British influence. It is also sometimes used as the English translation of an equivalent rank in countries which have a non-English air force-specific rank structure. In these cases a flying officer usually ranks above pilot officer and immediately below flight lieutenant.

Andrew McPherson (RAF officer) RAF officer

Flying Officer Andrew McPherson DFC (1918–1940) was a pilot with RAF Bomber Command in World War II.

Nazi Germany The German state from 1933 to 1945, under the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler

Nazi Germany is the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party (NSDAP) controlled the country through a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state that controlled nearly all aspects of life via the Gleichschaltung legal process. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany is also known as the Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire (800–1806) and the German Empire (1871–1918). The Nazi regime ended after the Allies defeated Germany in May 1945, ending World War II in Europe.

RAF roundel.svg  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. [6]

Handley Page Hampden airplane

The Handley Page HP.52 Hampden was a British twin-engine medium bomber of the Royal Air Force (RAF). It was part of the trio of large twin-engine bombers procured for the RAF, joining the Armstrong Whitworth Whitley and Vickers Wellington. The newest of the three medium bombers, the Hampden was often referred to by aircrews as the "Flying Suitcase" because of its cramped crew conditions. The Hampden was powered by Bristol Pegasus radial engines but a variant known as the Handley Page Hereford had in-line Napier Daggers.

Vickers Wellington medium bomber

The Vickers Wellington is a British twin-engined, long-range medium bomber. It was designed during the mid-1930s at Brooklands in Weybridge, Surrey, led by Vickers-Armstrongs' chief designer Rex Pierson; a key feature of the aircraft is its geodetic airframe fuselage structure, which was principally designed by Barnes Wallis. Development had been started in response to Air Ministry Specification B.9/32, which was issued in the middle of 1932. This specification called for a twin-engined day bomber capable of delivering higher performance than any previous design. Other aircraft developed to the same specification include the Armstrong Whitworth Whitley and the Handley Page Hampden. During the development process, performance requirements such as for the tare weight changed substantially, and the engine used was not the one originally intended.

RAF roundel.svg  September 4: The RAF launches another bombing operation against German shipping. Fourteen Wellingtons from 9 and 149 Squadrons attack Brunsbuttel and 15 Bristol Blenheims from 107 and 110 Squadrons raid Wilhelmshaven bay. Five Blenheims and three Vickers Wellingtons are shot down through a combination of Messerschmitt Bf 109s and flak. They become the first British aircraft casualties on the Western Front. [7]

RAF roundel.svg  September 4: The first British airman to be taken prisoner was Sergeant George Booth, a RAF Observer from 107 Squadron. He was captured after his Bristol Blenheim was shot down over the German coast. [8]

Regulation WW II Underwing Balkenkreuz.png September 13: The Bombing of Frampol was the war's first area bombardment

RAF roundel.svg  September 20: The first recorded RAF "kill" of the Second World War is claimed by air observer Sergeant F Letchford aboard a Fairey Battle flown by Flying Officer LH Baker from 88 Squadron. [9]

Regulation WW II Underwing Balkenkreuz.png  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. [10]

Red star.svg  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.

Regulation WW II Underwing Balkenkreuz.png 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. [11] :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.

1940

Regulation WW II Underwing Balkenkreuz.png  April 21: A bombing raid on Norway kills the first American military officer killed in World War II.

Regulation WW II Underwing Balkenkreuz.png  May 13: Luftflotte 3 (supported by Luftflotte 2) in the Battle of France executed the heaviest air bombardment to date (300 sorties)--the most intense by World War II Luftwaffe.

Regulation WW II Underwing Balkenkreuz.png May 14: Under cover of Adolf Galland's air wing and after dummy paratroopers were airdropped (imitating battle noises after landing), Fort Eben-Emael was taken by glider troops in Belgium. [11] :3

Regulation WW II Underwing Balkenkreuz.png  May 14: The Rotterdam Blitz ended the Battle of the Netherlands

RAF roundel.svg May 15: A kill shared by French pilot Rene Mouchotte and Englishman Jack Charles becomes the 1,000th victim of Biggin Hill fighters--Vickers threw a "fabulous party"

RAF roundel.svg May 15: The RAF lost the 100th of its France-based bombers. In 72 hours, it had lost half of its offensive force. [12]

RAF roundel.svg May 15/16: In the 1st large-scale World War II strategic bombing [13] :53 and the 1st attack on the German "backcountry", just 24 of 96 dispatched bombers found the Ruhr Area power stations and refineries. [14]

French-roundel.svg May 19: French fighters strafed advanced columns of Operation Abendsegen [11] :4

Regulation WW II Underwing Balkenkreuz.png May 27, 1940: Heinkels bombarded the Dunkirk perimeter followed by Stukas and Dorniers: RAF roundel.svg opposition included the "first major encounter" by Spitfires of No. 74 Squadron RAF. [15] :71

RAF roundel.svg May 27/28: A No. 10 Squadron RAF Whitley tail gunner was the first in the RAF to down a German fighter.

RAF roundel.svg June 2: Robert Stanford Tuck led a wing of Spitfires from RAF Martlesham Heath, the first "big formation" of the war, against 8 Heinkel IIIs and about 25 Messerschmitt Bf 109s over the Calais area. [16] :108

Regulation WW II Underwing Balkenkreuz.png June 3: Operation Paula was Nazi Germany's "single attempt at strategic air warfare during the French campaign." [11] :7

French-roundel.svg June 7–8: French Air Force raid is the first against Berlin.[ citation needed ]

Regulation WW II Underwing Balkenkreuz.png June 9: Germany attains air supremacy in the Battle of France

RAF roundel.svg June 11/12: First British bombing of Italy with a raid on Turin. [2] [ specify ]

RAF roundel.svg June 26: The RAF Advanced Air Striking Force disbanded after beginning operations in France in May

Regulation WW II Underwing Balkenkreuz.png July 24: Ferrying of Luftwaffe aircraft to the Channel Coast ended the first phase of the Battle of Britain [11] :15

RAF roundel.svg August 9: The Birmingham Blitz began and (along with Hull Blitz) became the basis for the RAF dehousing bombing policy in 1942.

RAF roundel.svg  August 25: First RAF raid on Berlin

Regulation WW II Underwing Balkenkreuz.png September 7: The Blitz bombing of Britain began with 57 nights of air raids

RAF roundel.svg September 8: Three Dornier 17 bombers are downed by a single shot from a "Territorial gun crew" near Farnington. [17] :129

Italy-Royal-Airforce.svg 9 September: A bombing raid on Tel Aviv caused 137 deaths. [18]

Italy-Royal-Airforce.svg 19 October: Four SM.82 bombers attacked American-operated oil refineries in the British Protectorate of Bahrain, damaging the local refineries. [19] The raid also struck Dhahran in Saudi Arabia, but causing little damage. [19]

Regulation WW II Underwing Balkenkreuz.png September 15: In a single day, the Luftwaffe loses 60 aircraft over England during the Battle of Britain [20] :68

Regulation WW II Underwing Balkenkreuz.png November 30: The second phase of The Blitz began against British industrial and port cities

1941

Regulation WW II Underwing Balkenkreuz.png January 21: As revenge for the British raids on Berlin, Germany started the Baby Blitz (planned since November 27). [17] :396

10 February : Operation Colossus, the first British paratrooper raid, blew up an Italian aqueduct.[ specify ]

RAF roundel.svg March 31/April 1: A bombing raid on Emden is the first use of the 4,000 lb (1,800 kg) HC "cookie" blockbuster bomb

Regulation WW II Underwing Balkenkreuz.png April 15: The Belfast Blitz kills 1000, the greatest loss of British lives outside London from a night raid.

May 10: The longest blitz air raid on london killing 2324 people and 11,000 houses.

Regulation WW II Underwing Balkenkreuz.png June 22 - July 3: In the opening phase of Operation Barbarossa, the Luftwaffe achieved air superiority by destroying some 2,000 Soviet aircraft, at a loss of only 35 aircraft (of which 15 were non-combat-related).

Red star.svg August 8–9: The Red Army Air Force began a limited bombing offensive with a raid on Berlin. [21]

RAF roundel.svg August 15: Robert Stanford Tuck led the first air mission by fighters based in eastern England against enemy-occupied territories in a "Rhubarb" sweep of the Netherlands for ground targets by two Hawker Hurricanes . [16] :215–219

RAF roundel.svg August 18: A 18 Squadron Blenheim dropped an artificial leg over France for captured Wing Commander Douglas Bader. [2]

RAF roundel.svg September 7/8: The heaviest RAF raid on Berlin to date, with 197 bombers, with 15 bombers lost. [22]

RAF roundel.svg November 7: A large raid on Berlin lost 20 bombers and caused little damage. The head of Bomber Command, Richard Peirse, was subsequently replaced in February 1942 by Arthur Harris.

RAF roundel.svg December 7/8: 251 bombers target Aachen and Brest—the Brest attack was the first operational use of the Oboe navigation system

RAF roundel.svg December 18: Blenheim aircraft conducted the first night intruder attack, successfully striking Soesterberg airfield in the Netherlands with bombs and attacking two German bombers in the air with guns

1942

RAF roundel.svg February 16: The first regular operations with the American Boston bomber were conducted.

RAF roundel.svg March 8/9: The first city raid following the February 14 Area bombing directive bombed Essen.

RAF roundel.svg March 13/14: Gee radio navigation was first used during a bombing of Cologne. [23]

RAF roundel.svg March 25/26: In the largest force (254 aircraft) sent to a single target to date, bombers of an Essen mission were drawn off by decoy fire from Rheinberg [ specify ]

RAF roundel.svg March 28/29: The Bombing of Lübeck in World War II was the 1st major success for RAF Bomber Command against a German city.

RAF roundel.svg April 8/9: The largest force to date (272 aircraft) bomb Hamburg

RAF roundel.svg 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.

Roundel of the German Air Force (with Border).svg April 23–29: The first period of the Baedeker Blitz bomb the provincial cities of Exeter, Bath, Norwich, and York.

RAF roundel.svg April 23–27: Bombing of Rostock. [24]

RAF roundel.svg 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.

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg 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 [25]

RAF roundel.svg June 25/26: The third "Thousand bomber" raid bombs Bremen, a new record of RAF Bomber Command losses (48 of 1,067 aircraft)

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg RAF roundel.svg 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 -- [26] :106 only two reached the target area (two shot down, the others heavily damaged) [11] :111

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg 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. [27]

82 ABD SSI.svg August 15: 82nd Airborne is the first US airborne division. (the first combat jumps were 8 November 1942 by the 509th Parachute Battalion in the North Africa Operation Torch). [26] :106,107

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg August 17: 12 B-17s of the 97 BG (including one with Eaker aboard) escorted by RAF Spitfires bombed the Sotteville railyard 3 miles (4.8 km) South of Rouen, France, in the "first combat action" of the Eighth Air Force and the first B-17 bombing of Europe.

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg August 19: 22 B-17's drop 34 tons of bombs on Abbeville/Drucat A/F in France causing extensive damage.

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg August 20: 11 of 12 B-17's bomb Amiens/Longeau Marshilling Yard, France at 1801 hours without loss.

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg 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.

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg August 24: 12 B-17s bomb the shipyard of Ateliers et chantier

Roundel of the German Air Force (with Border).svg August/September: Case Blue included area bombardment during the Battle of Stalingrad

RAF roundel.svg September 2/3:[ specify ] The first use of the 8,000 lb (3,600 kg) High Capacity bomb (Blockbuster bomb) was against Karlsruhe. [28] :1441

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg October 9: First Eighth Air Force B-24 Bombing raid, bombed Industrial Plants at Lille, France.

RAF roundel.svg October 24: 88 aircraft use independent routes over France to rendezvous at Lake Annecy for a daylight raid on Milan

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg December 12: B-17 303d Bombardment Group#Wulf Hound surrendered to the Luftwaffe and was assigned to Kampfgeschwader 200 in September 1943.

RAF roundel.svg December 22: An unsuccessful Bombing of Frankfurt am Main in World War II was the first use of the Master Bomber tactic.[ citation needed ]

1943

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg January 27: The first World War II US mission flown against the German homeland bombs Wilhelmshaven. [26] :107

RAF roundel.svg March 5/6: The first raid of the Battle of the Ruhr [2] flew RAF Bomber Command's 100,000th sortie of World War II, with 160 acres destroyed and 53 Krupps buildings bombed at Essen.

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg April 13: The Eighth Air Force's largest mission to date (115 B-17s) destroys half of the Focke-Wulf factory buildings in Bremen

RAF roundel.svg April 16/17: A force of 327 Lancasters and Halifaxes set out to destroy the Skoda arms factory at Plzeň, in German occupied Czechoslovakia. 271 aircraft raided Mannheim as a diversion the same night. The force mistook the mental hospital near Dobřany to be the factory at Plzeň. The raid sustained the heaviest losses until that point in the air war. [29]

June 23, 1943 RAF reconnaissance photo of Peenemunde Test Stand VII Peenemunde-165515.jpg
June 23, 1943 RAF reconnaissance photo of Peenemünde Test Stand VII

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg May 5: P-47s are first used for escorting bombers.

RAF roundel.svg May 17: Operation Chastise bouncing bombs breached the Möhne and Eder Dams

RAF roundel.svg June 11/12: The first two Operation Pointblank raids included a successful mass trial of H2S radar on Münster

Roundel of the German Air Force (with Border).svg June 13: The heaviest fighter attacks to date against the Eighth Air Force claim 26 B-17s bombing Bremen & Kiel U-boat facilities.

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg June 26: A 100 BG B-17 surrendered and then escaped.

RAF roundel.svg June 20/21: Operation Bellicose targets Würzburg radar production and is the first bombing of a V-2 rocket facility.

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg July 19: The first Allied World War II bombing of Rome drops 800 tons of bombs on Littoro and Clampino airports, causing immense damage and 2000 deaths [26] :110

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg RAF roundel.svg July 24: After the US developed an airborne radar immune to Window, the first use of the countermeasure (40 tonnes—92 million strips) were dropped during a Hamburg bombing mission. [30] :145

Roundel of the German Air Force (with Border).svg July 29: First use of unguided air-to-air rockets against American combat box formations of heavy bombers by JG 1 Oesau and JG 11, attacking with Bf 109Gs and Fw 190As each armed with pairs of Werfer-Granate 21 rocket ordnance, developed from the 21 cm Nebelwerfer 42 ground barrage rocket system.

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg 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.

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg August 13: The first Ninth Air Force raid on Austria bombed the Wiener Neustadt Bf 109 factory

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg RAF roundel.svg August 17: The double-strike USAAF Schweinfurt-Regensburg mission was the third shuttle bombing. British aircraft operate diversionary attacks.

RAF roundel.svg August 17/18: The Operation Hydra bombing of V-2 facilities at Peenemünde began Operation Crossbow.

Roundel of the German Air Force (with Border).svg August 18: The counterattack against Operation Hydra included the first operational use of Schräge Musik by German fighters [31]

Regulation WW II Underwing Balkenkreuz.png August 25: The first use of a guided anti-ship missile in wartime occurs over the Bay of Biscay, as the Royal Navy's HMS Bideford and HMS Landguard are damaged by Luftwaffe-deployed Henschel Hs 293 rocket-boosted, MCLOS-guidance glide bombs.

RAF roundel.svg August 27: The first mission against a "Heavy" Crossbow site bombed the Watten V-2 rocket bunker

Regulation WW II Underwing Balkenkreuz.png September 9: The Luftwaffe's KG 100 bomber wing is involved with the world's first successful use of a precision-guided munition in modern military history, through their sinking of the Italian battleship Roma, using the Fritz X armored gravity-propulsion PGM munition.

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg October 10: As a result of the June "surrender/escape" of a 100 BG B-17, out of the 13 B-17s of 100 BG attacking a railyard in Münster, only the B-17F of Robert Rosenthal survives to return safely to RAF Thorpe Abbotts in England.

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg RAF roundel.svg October 14: The Second Raid on Schweinfurt (Black Thursday) resulted in 122 damaged bombers and 650 MIA/KIA.

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg RAF roundel.svg 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 [3]

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg November 2: The USAAF 12th Air Force conducted the first large Allied aerial attack against Zadar, Italy

RAF roundel.svg November 2: A raid targeting the Wiener Neustadt Messerschmitt plant damaged the nearby Raxwerke V-2 rocket facility.

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg 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

RAF roundel.svg November 18/19: The "Battle of Berlin" aerial campaign bombing began

RAF roundel.svg November 22/23: The largest force sent to bomb Berlin to date (764 aircraft) conducted the most effective World War II raid on Berlin

Roundel of the German Air Force (with Border).svg 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). [30] :149

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg December 5: B-26s of the Ninth Air Force attacked three V-1 ski sites near Ligescourt, the first No-Ball missions. [32] :29

1944

Regulation WW II Underwing Balkenkreuz.png January 21: The unsuccessful Operation Steinbock, the first mass bombing of London, began the Baby Blitz

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg January 30: The first U.S. Intruder operation was conducted by P-47s and accurately preceded the bombers to strike fighters at Villaorba airfield.

Red star.svg February 6–27: During the Continuation War, between Soviet Union and Finland several Finnish cities were bombed. 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.

RAF roundel.svg 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.

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg February 20–25: The Argument plan was executed during Big Week and included 734 aircraft that had flown in the October 1943 Second Raid on Schweinfurt

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg March 6: The first large scale US attack on Berlin (some 600 bombers) dropped 1600 tons of bombs - 160-170 of 800-900 fighters are shot down [26] :113

RAF roundel.svg March: As Seversky predicted in 1942, [20] Bomber Command's 16 area bombardment raids of the Battle of Berlin (air) are unsuccessful at "substantially" reducing population and morale

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg March–April: Bombing stopped aircraft production at Cantiere Navale Triestino

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg April 24: The APS-15 "Mickey" radar was first used on a Ploiești mission. [13]

RAF roundel.svg June 2: The first US shuttle bombing mission, Operation Frantic Joe, bombed Debrecen
( Regulation WW II Underwing Balkenkreuz.png German fighters subsequently attack the bombers on Soviet airfields at Focşani)

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg 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".

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg June 8: The first use of the Azon guided bomb targeted the Melun bridge

RAF roundel.svg June 8/9: The first use of Tallboy bombs pierced the roof of the Saumur railway tunnel and blocked the expected movement of a German Panzer Division

Regulation WW II Underwing Balkenkreuz.png June 12: 0418 hrs: The Robot Blitz [33] began with a V-1 flying bomb striking Swanscombe

RAF roundel.svg June 14/15: The first V-1 was shot down by a fighter

Regulation WW II Underwing Balkenkreuz.png July 3: 74 US military personnel died in (the most for one London event) when a V-1 flying bomb struck Sloane Court East / Turks Row.

Regulation WW II Underwing Balkenkreuz.png July 7: [1] The first of 638 modified V-1 flying bombs that reached Britain (of about 1,200) were air-launched from Heinkel He 111s ( RAF roundel.svg 403 were downed) [34]

RAF roundel.svg July 23/24: The first major raid (629 aircraft) on a German city for two months bombs Kiel

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg July 25: Mission 494 (1581/500 bombers/fighters) supporting Operation Cobra was the most effective saturation bombing/carpet bombing/area bombardment of the Normandy Campaign, [35] killing US General McNair.

Regulation WW II Underwing Balkenkreuz.png July 26: The first aerial victory for a jet fighter in air combat history occurs as a Messerschmitt Me 262A-1a of Erprobungskommando 262 mortally damages a de Havilland Mosquito reconnaissance aircraft of No. 540 Squadron RAF. [36]

Regulation WW II Underwing Balkenkreuz.png 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. [37]

RAF roundel.svg 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. [38] :149

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg August 13 & 17: Le Havre (Mission 549) and La Pallice (Mission 559) were the targets for the first uses of the BAT guided bomb [ citation needed ]

Regulation WW II Underwing Balkenkreuz.png September 8: Operation Penguin began with the first V-2 rocket launches against Paris and London

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg September 17: The last UK-USSR-Italy-UK shuttle bombing was completed as 72 B-17s and 59 P-51s flew from Italy without bombs to the UK; 70 B-17s 57 P-51s land safely in the UK.

Red star.svg September 18: Stalin finally gives permission for Allied planes to use Soviet airfields. The planes conducted air drops during the Warsaw Uprising and Operation Frantic. [39]

1945

Roundel of the German Air Force (with Border).svg  January 1: Operation Bodenplatte supported the last major German offensive, Operation Nordwind, with inconclusive results.

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg  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. [30] :104

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg  February 3: The USAAF conducts its largest raid of the war against Berlin. The attack is led by Major Robert Rosenthal of the 100th Bombardment Group (Heavy). [40] Judge-President of the People's Court Roland Freisler is killed in the bombing.

RAF roundel.svg US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg  February 13–15: The controversial Bombing of Dresden in World War II firestorm consumes the city.

RAF roundel.svg  March 12: A Dortmund raid of 1108 aircraft was the heaviest World War II raid on a European city. [41]

RAF roundel.svg  March 14: The first of 41 Grand Slam bombs used in the war is dropped on the Bielefeld viaduct

RAF roundel.svg US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg  February: To open Operation Veritable/Grenade, Operation Clarion began attacks on 200 targets with 20,000 bombers and escort fighters. [28] :2059

Balkenkreuz.svg  March 17: V-2 rockets were fired at the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen

Roundel of the German Air Force (with Border).svg  March 18: Against Mission 894 attacking Berlin (1,329 bombers and 733 fighters), the Luftwaffe makes its most concentrated and successful attacks to date with Me 262s.

USA - Army Field Artillery Insignia.png  March 22: 200 Piper L-4 Grasshoppers each carried one armed infantryman (instead of an observer) across the Rhine to establish a US 3rd Army bridgehead near Oppenheim. [28] :2068 (light aviation became a major part of the Army Field Artillery fire detection center on June 4, 1942) [26] :104

Balkenkreuz.svg  April 10: An Arado Ar 234, based in Nazi-occupied Denmark, conducts an unmolested reconnaissance mission over northern Scotland. It is the final Luftwaffe operation over the British Isles. [42]

US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg  April 25: The last Eighth Air Force full-scale mission in the ETO hit the Škoda Works at Pilsen in Czechoslovakia (B-17s), while B-24s bombed rail complexes surrounding Hitler's Berchtesgaden.

RAF roundel.svg  May 2: A RAF mosquito from 608 squadron in Norfolk conducts the last British bombing raid of the war over Nazi Germany. It dropped a 4,000lb bomb on the naval port at Kiel. [43]

RAF roundel.svg  May 3: Typhoons of 83 Group from the 2nd Tactical Air Force attack the passenger liners Cap Arcona , Thielbek , Athen , and Deutschland moored in the Bay of Lübeck (Baltic Sea). Hundreds of concentration camp prisoners are killed on the sinking ships because intelligence they are on board is not passed on to the flight crews. [44]

USA - Army Field Artillery Insignia.png  May 7: The final European dogfight of World War II between an L-4 Grasshopper (using .45 caliber pistols) and a German Fieseler Fi 156 Storch forced the German aircrew to land and surrender.

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This is a list of aviation-related events from 1943:

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References

Notes
  1. 1 2 Irving, David (1964). The Mare's Nest. London: William Kimber and Co. p. 223. ISBN   0-586-06368-4.NOTE: V-2 rocket air operations were conducted by various German Army units, but operational orders were issued by a Joint Services (OKW) command.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Campaign Diary". Royal Air Force Bomber Command 60th Anniversary. UK Crown. Archived from the original on 2007-07-06. Retrieved 2009-03-22.
    1940: May-June (Battle of France) July-December June-October (Battle of Britain) Archived 2007-07-06 at the UK Government Web Archive
    1941: January-April May-August September- December
    1942: January, February Archived 2007-06-07 at the Wayback Machine , March Archived 2007-06-11 at the Wayback Machine , April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
    1943: January, February, March Archived 2007-05-15 at the Wayback Machine , April Archived 2007-06-07 at the Wayback Machine , May, June, July Archived 2009-05-04 at the Wayback Machine , August Archived 2012-10-11 at the Wayback Machine , September, October Archived 2009-03-03 at the Wayback Machine , November Archived 2012-09-26 at the Wayback Machine , December Archived 2009-03-03 at the Wayback Machine
    1944: January Archived 2007-06-11 at the Wayback Machine , February Archived 2007-11-12 at the Wayback Machine March Archived 2007-06-11 at the Wayback Machine , April, May, June Archived 2007-06-11 at the Wayback Machine (D-Day), July Archived 2007-07-06 at the UK Government Web Archive , August Archived 2007-06-07 at the Wayback Machine , September Archived 2008-03-14 at the Wayback Machine , October Archived 2007-06-11 at the Wayback Machine , November, December Archived 2011-06-06 at the Wayback Machine
    1945 January Archived 2007-06-11 at the Wayback Machine , February Archived 2007-06-07 at the Wayback Machine , March Archived 2007-07-06 at the UK Government Web Archive , April Archived 2012-07-28 at the Wayback Machine
  3. 1 2 McKillop, Jack. "Combat Chronology of the USAAF". Archived from the original on 2007-06-10. Retrieved 2007-05-25.
    1942: January Archived 2009-02-04 at the Wayback Machine , February Archived 2009-02-11 at the Wayback Machine , March Archived 2009-02-11 at the Wayback Machine , April Archived 2009-02-11 at the Wayback Machine , May Archived 2009-02-11 at the Wayback Machine , June Archived 2009-02-11 at the Wayback Machine , July Archived 2009-02-11 at the Wayback Machine , August Archived 2009-02-11 at the Wayback Machine , September Archived 2009-02-11 at the Wayback Machine , October Archived 2009-02-11 at the Wayback Machine , November Archived 2009-02-11 at the Wayback Machine , December Archived 2009-02-11 at the Wayback Machine
    1943: January Archived 2012-05-31 at the Wayback Machine , February Archived 2009-02-11 at the Wayback Machine , March Archived 2009-02-11 at the Wayback Machine , April Archived 2009-02-11 at the Wayback Machine , May Archived 2009-02-28 at the Wayback Machine , June Archived 2009-02-28 at the Wayback Machine , July Archived 2009-02-11 at the Wayback Machine , August Archived 2009-02-12 at the Wayback Machine , September Archived 2009-02-11 at the Wayback Machine , October Archived 2012-05-31 at the Wayback Machine , November Archived 2009-02-11 at the Wayback Machine , December Archived 2006-10-07 at the Wayback Machine
    1944: January Archived 2009-02-11 at the Wayback Machine , February Archived 2014-12-27 at the Wayback Machine , March Archived 2009-02-11 at the Wayback Machine , April Archived 2009-02-16 at the Wayback Machine , May Archived 2012-06-06 at the Wayback Machine , June Archived 2009-02-16 at the Wayback Machine , July Archived 2013-05-27 at the Wayback Machine , August Archived 2009-02-11 at the Wayback Machine , September Archived 2009-02-13 at the Wayback Machine , October Archived 2010-03-07 at the Wayback Machine , November Archived 2009-02-11 at the Wayback Machine , December Archived 2009-02-11 at the Wayback Machine
    1945: January Archived 2009-02-16 at the Wayback Machine , February Archived 2013-09-29 at the Wayback Machine , March Archived 2013-06-02 at the Wayback Machine , April Archived 2010-03-07 at the Wayback Machine , May Archived 2010-03-07 at the Wayback Machine , June Archived 2009-02-11 at the Wayback Machine , July Archived 2010-03-07 at the Wayback Machine , August Archived 2009-02-11 at the Wayback Machine , September Archived 2009-02-11 at the Wayback Machine
    NOTE: The Chronicles for August 13, 1944 inaccurately list the BATTY mission as an APHRODITE mission
  4. NOTE: Air offensive or defensive operations does not include cargo operations such as Operation Carpetbagger or reconnaissance from air.
  5. Falconer, Jonathon (1998). The Bomber Command Handbook 1939-1945. Stroud: Sutton Publishing Limited. p. 47. ISBN   978-0-7509-1819-0.
  6. "Sgt. (Pilot) Albert Stanley Prince - The First of the Ten Thousand". http://www.bombercommandmuseum.ca . Retrieved 22 May 2015.External link in |publisher= (help)
  7. Haarr, Geirr H. (2013). The Gathering Storm: The Naval War in Northern Europe September 1939 - April 1940. Seaforth Publishing. pp.  227–230. ISBN   9781473832732.
  8. Northway, B.S. (ed) (1963). A History of 107 Squadron. Tuddenham, UK: No. 107 Squadron RAF. p. 22.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  9. 88 Squadron history, Ministry of Defence
  10. "Bombing of Warsaw". University of Richmond . Retrieved 2 July 2015.
  11. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Galland, Adolf (1968 Ninth Printing – paperbound) [1954]. The First and the Last: The Rise and Fall of the German Fighter Forces, 1938–1945. (translated by Mervyn Savill). New York: Ballantine Books. ISBN   0-553-11709-2.Check date values in: |year= (help)
  12. "German and Allied Air Forces". https://www2.bc.edu . Retrieved 22 May 2015.External link in |publisher= (help)
  13. 1 2 Miller, Donald L. (2006). Masters of the Air: America's Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 118. ISBN   978-0-7432-3544-0.
  14. Overy, Richard (1997). Why the Allies Won. p. 108. ISBN   978-0-393-31619-3.
  15. Jablonski, Edward (1971). Volume 1 (Tragic Victories), Book II (The Big League). Airpower. p. 71.
  16. 1 2 Forrester, Larry (1973) [1956]. 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. ISBN   0-553-11642-8.
  17. 1 2 Jones, Reginald Victor (1978). Most Secret War. Hamish Hamilton Ltd. ISBN   0-2418-9746-7.
  18. Michael Omer-Man (9 September 2011). "This Week in History: Italy bombs Tel Aviv". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
  19. 1 2 Air Raid! A Sequel Aramco World Magazine, Volume 27, Number 4, July/August 1976.
  20. 1 2 Seversky, Alexander P. de (1942). Victory Through Air Power . New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 145. "Destruction of enemy morale from the air can be accomplished only by precision bombing."
  21. McBride, Gisela R.: Through my eyes: memoirs of Hitler's Berlin. Hamilton Books, 2006, page 209. ISBN   0-7618-3394-3
  22. "RAF History - Bomber Command 60th Anniversary". web.archive.org. 2006-03-28. Retrieved 2019-01-05.
  23. "Whirlwind: Bombing Germany (September 1939 – April 1944)", The World at War , 1974
  24. Norddeutscher Rundfunk
  25. http://www.manas.afcent.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=12790
  26. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Lang, Walter (1998) [199]. United States Military Almanac: a Chronological Compendium of Over 200 Years of American History. Avenel NJ: Random House. p. 102,106–7. ISBN   1-84065-001-X.
  27. Hammel, Eric. Air War Europa: America's Air War against Germany in Europe and North Africa 1942-1945. Pacifica Press, 1994, p. 56.
  28. 1 2 3 Bauer, Eddy (original text) (1966) [1972]. Illustrated World War II Encyclopedia. H. S. Stuttman Inc. p. 1478 (Vol 11), 1999 (Vol 15), 2059,2068. ISBN   0-87475-520-4.
  29. A Shaky Do: The Skoda Works Raid 16/17th April 1943 Peter W.Cunliffe ISBN   978-0955795725
  30. 1 2 3 Russell, Francis; et al. (1981). The Secret War. World War II. Chicago: Time-Life Books Inc. p. 104,145,149. ISBN   0-16-049376-5.
  31. Middlebrook, Martin (1982). The Peenemünde Raid: The Night of 17–18 August 1943. New York: Bobs-Merrill. ISBN   0-672-52759-6.
  32. Zaloga, Steven J. (2008) [2007]. German V-Weapon Sites 1943-45. Fortress Study Group (72). Johnson, Hugh & Taylor, Chris (Illustrations). New York: Osprey Publishing Ltd. ISBN   978-1-84603-247-9.
  33. Hill, Roderic (October 19, 1948). Air Operations by Air Defence of Great Britain and Fighter Command in Connection with the German Flying Bomb and Rocket Offensives, 1944–1945.
  34. Collier, Basil (1976) [1964]. The Battle of the V-Weapons, 1944–1945. Yorkshire: The Emfield Press. p. 174. ISBN   0-7057-0070-4.
  35. Levine, Alan J (1992). The Strategic Bombing of Germany, 1940–1945. p. 140. ISBN   978-0-275-94319-6 . Retrieved 2006-06-30.
  36. Radinger, Will and Walter Schick. (1996). 'Me 262 (in German). Berlin: Avantic Verlag GmbH. p. 51.
  37. de Bie, Rob. "Me 163B Komet - Me 163B Airfields" . Retrieved January 22, 2013.
  38. Levine, Alan J (1992). The Strategic Bombing of Germany, 1940–1945. p. 140. ISBN   978-0-275-94319-6 . Retrieved 2006-06-30.
  39. Stalin's Private Airfields; The diplomacy surrounding the AAF mission to aid the Poles and the mission itself is extensively covered in Richard C. Lukas's The Strange Allies: The United States and Poland, 1941-1945, pp. 61-85. Warsaw Rising Museum
  40. "LT COL Robert ROSENTHAL". https://100thbg.com . Retrieved 3 July 2015.External link in |publisher= (help)
  41. "1944 air raids". Historisches Centrum Hagen. historisches-centrum.de. Retrieved 2009-06-24. 1944, 1945
  42. Smith, J. Richard & Eddie J. Creek (1997). Blitz!: Germany's Arado Ar 234 Jet Bomber. Merriam Press. p.  23. ISBN   9781576380079.
  43. "Remembering the last raid on Nazi Germany". BBC News. 9 June 2015.
  44. 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
Bibliography
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