Thousand-bomber raids

Last updated

The term "thousand-bomber raid" was used to describe three night bombing raids by the Royal Air Force against German cities in summer 1942 during World War II. [1] The term was a propaganda device, whereby Arthur Harris reached the number of bombers by including not only bombers that were currently operational as part of RAF Bomber Command, but also aircrews from Operational Training Units to accumulate a force of 1,000 bombers as a demonstration of the RAF's power. The bulk of the bomber force was twin-engined medium bombers such as the Vickers Wellington. As the number of heavy bombers in the RAF increased, greater tonnage could be dropped on a target with fewer aircraft. Later mass RAF raids used between 400 and 700 four-engined bombers, and on some nights, Bomber Command could send two 400-bomber forces to separate targets. Operation Gomorrah in 1943 and the attack on Dresden in 1945 each used nearly 800 aircraft. Nearly 900 were sent to Berlin in February 1944; with aircraft on other missions that night more than 1,000 bombers were active, but 1,000 bombers were never sent against a single target after June 1942.



See also


  1. "BBC - WW2 People's War - Timeline".

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Avro Lancaster</span> World War II British heavy bomber aircraft

The Avro Lancaster is a British Second World War heavy bomber. It was designed and manufactured by Avro as a contemporary of the Handley Page Halifax, both bombers having been developed to the same specification, as well as the Short Stirling, all three aircraft being four-engined heavy bombers adopted by the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the same era.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bombing of Hamburg in World War II</span> Allied aerial bombing raids in Germany

The Allied bombing of Hamburg during World War II included numerous attacks on civilians and civic infrastructure. As a large city and industrial centre, Hamburg's shipyards, U-boat pens, and the Hamburg-Harburg area oil refineries were attacked throughout the war.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Eighth Air Force</span> Numbered air force of the United States Air Force

The Eighth Air Force (Air Forces Strategic) 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 Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit stealth bomber, the Rockwell B-1 Lancer supersonic bomber, and the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress heavy bomber aircraft.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">RAF Bomber Command</span> Former command of the Royal Air Force

RAF Bomber Command controlled the Royal Air Force'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.

The Pathfinders were target-marking squadrons in RAF Bomber Command during World War II. They located and marked targets with flares, at which a main bomber force could aim, increasing the accuracy of their bombing. The Pathfinders were normally the first to receive new blind-bombing aids such as Gee, Oboe and the H2S radar.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bombing of Berlin in World War II</span> Part of Allied strategic aerial bombing campaigns

Berlin, the capital of Nazi Germany, was subject to 363 air raids during the Second World War. It was bombed by the RAF Bomber Command between 1940 and 1945, the United States Army Air Forces' Eighth Air Force between 1943 and 1945, and the French Air Force in 1940 and between 1944 and 1945 as part of the Allied campaign of strategic bombing of Germany. It was also attacked by aircraft of the Red Air Force in 1941 and particularly in 1945, as Soviet forces closed on the city. British bombers dropped 45,517 tons of bombs, while American aircraft dropped 22,090.3 tons. As the bombings continued, more and more people fled the city. By May 1945, 1.7 million people had fled.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bombing of Cologne in World War II</span> Aerial bombing of Cologne, Germany during World War II

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). A total of 34,711 long tons of bombs were dropped on the city by the RAF. 20,000 civilians died during the war in Cologne due to aerial bombardments.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bombing of Augsburg in World War II</span>

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.

No. 90 Squadron RAF is a squadron of the Royal Air Force.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bomber stream</span>

The bomber stream was a saturation attack tactic developed by the Royal Air Force (RAF) Bomber Command to overwhelm the nighttime German aerial defences of the Kammhuber Line during World War II.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">RAF Polebrook</span> Airport in Northamptonshire, England

Royal Air Force 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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Battle of Berlin (RAF campaign)</span> Bomber attacks, 1943–44, WWII

The Battle of Berlin was a bombing campaign against Berlin by RAF Bomber Command along with raids on other German cities to keep German defences dispersed. Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Harris, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) Bomber Command, believed that "We can wreck Berlin from end to end if the USAAF come in with us. It will cost us between 400 and 500 aircraft. It will cost Germany the war".

The bombing of Stuttgart in World War II was a series of 53 air raids that formed part of the strategic air offensive of the Allies against Germany. The first bombing occurred on August 25, 1940, and resulted in the destruction of 17 buildings. The city was repeatedly attacked over the next four and one-half years by both the RAF and the 8th Air Force as it had significant industrial capacity and several military bases, and was also a center of rail transportation in southwestern Germany. Stuttgart endured 18 large-scale attacks by the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the war, during which 21,016 long tons (21,353 t) of bombs were dropped on the city, but the RAF concluded that its attacks against Stuttgart were not as effective as they could have been:

Stuttgart's experience was not as severe as other German cities. Its location, spread out in a series of deep valleys, had consistently frustrated the Pathfinders and the shelters dug into the sides of the surrounding hills had saved many lives.

The German city of Mannheim in the state of Baden-Württemberg saw bombing during World War II from December 1940 until the end of the war. Mannheim saw over 150 air raids.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bombing of Lübeck in World War II</span> Event of World War II

During World War II, the city of Lübeck was the first German city to be attacked in substantial numbers by the Royal Air Force. The attack on the night of 28 March 1942 created a firestorm that caused severe damage to the historic centre, with bombs destroying three of the main churches and large parts of the built-up area. It led to the retaliatory "Baedeker" raids on historic British cities.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">No. 467 Squadron RAAF</span> Royal Australian Air Force squadron

No. 467 Squadron RAAF was a Royal Australian Air Force bomber squadron, active over North West Europe during World War II. Formed in November 1942 as an Article XV Squadron in Britain, the squadron was notionally an Australian squadron under the command of the Royal Air Force, and consisted of a mixture of personnel from various Commonwealth nations. After becoming operational in early 1943, the squadron flew operations in Occupied Europe until the end of the war flying Avro Lancaster heavy bombers. It was scheduled to deploy to the Far East to take part in further operations against Japan, but the war ended before it could complete its training and the squadron was disbanded in September 1945.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bombing of Bremen in World War II</span> Aerial bombing of Bremen, Germany during World War II

The Bombing of Bremen in World War II by the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and US Eighth Air Force involved both indiscriminate "area bombing" and, as capacity improved, more targeted raids upon the city's military-industrial facilities. These included the shipyards of Vulkan, AG Weser and Atlas Werke, the Valentin submarine pens, oil refineries and the aircraft works of Focke-Wulf.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Battle of the Ruhr</span> British bombing campaign during World War II

The Battle of the Ruhr was a strategic bombing campaign against the Ruhr Area in Nazi Germany carried out by RAF Bomber Command during the Second World War. The Ruhr was the main centre of German heavy industry with coke plants, steelworks, armaments factories and ten synthetic oil plants. The British attacked 26 targets identified in the Combined Bomber Offensive. Targets included the Krupp armament works (Essen), the Nordstern synthetic oil plant at Gelsenkirchen and the Rheinmetal–Borsig plant in Düsseldorf, which was evacuated during the battle. The battle included cities such as Cologne not in the Ruhr proper but which were in the larger Rhine-Ruhr region and considered part of the Ruhr industrial complex. Some targets were not sites of heavy industry but part of the production and movement of materiel.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Peter Stanley James</span>

Wing Commander Peter Stanley James, was a pilot in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve during the Second World War, flying in RAF Bomber Command with No. 35 Squadron, No. 78 Squadron and No. 148 Squadron.