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.

Contents

Raids

See also

Notes

Related Research Articles

Avro Manchester 1939 bomber aircraft family by Avro

The Avro 679 Manchester was a British twin-engine medium bomber developed and manufactured by the Avro aircraft company in the United Kingdom. While not being built in great numbers, it was the forerunner of the famed and vastly more successful four-engined Avro Lancaster, which would become one of the most capable strategic bombers of the Second World War.

Eighth Air Force Numbered air force of the United States Air Force responsible for strategic bomber forces

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 RAFs bomber forces from 1936 to 1968

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.

Strategic bombing during World War II strategic bombing carried out during the Second World War

Strategic bombing during World War II was the sustained aerial attack on railways, harbours, cities, workers' and civilian housing, and industrial districts in enemy territory during World War II. Strategic bombing is a military strategy which is distinct from both close air support of ground forces and tactical air power.

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.

Bombing of Berlin in World War II aerial bombing of Berlin, Germany during World War II

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, by the USAAF Eighth Air Force between 1943 and 1945, and the French Air Force 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 23,000 tons. As the bombings continued, more and more people fled the city. By May 1945, 1.7 million people had fled.

Bombing of Cologne in World War II 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) 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.

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

Bomber stream

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

RAF Polebrook

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.

RAF Grafton Underwood

Royal Air Force Grafton Underwood or more simply RAF Grafton Underwood is a former Royal Air Force station located 4 miles (6.4 km) northeast of Kettering, Northamptonshire, England.

Battle of Berlin (RAF campaign) Bomber attacks, 1943-44, WWII

The Battle of Berlin was a series of attacks on Berlin by RAF Bomber Command along with raids on other German cities to keep German defences dispersed. Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Harris, 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.

Bombing of Lübeck in 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.

Bombing of Bremen in World War II aerial bombing of Bremen, Germany during World War II

The Bombing of Bremen in World War II by the British Royal Air Force and US Eighth Air Force targeted strategic targets in the state Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, which had heavy anti-aircraft artillery but only 35 fighter aircraft in the area. In addition to Wesermünde/Bremerhaven, targets were also in Farge and Vegesack. Bremen also included concentration camps such as Bremen-Farge and Bremen-Vegesack. The city of Bremen was captured in April 1945.

Battle of the Ruhr British strategic bombing campaign during World War II

The Battle of the Ruhr of 1943 was a 5-month British campaign of strategic bombing during the Second World War against the Ruhr Area in Nazi Germany, which had coke plants, steelworks, and 10 synthetic oil plants. The campaign bombed 26 major Combined Bomber Offensive targets. The targets included the Krupp armament works (Essen), the Nordstern synthetic-oil plant (Gelsenkirchen), and the Rheinmetal–Borsig plant in Düsseldorf. The latter was safely evacuated during the Battle of the Ruhr. Although not strictly part of the Ruhr area, the battle of the Ruhr included other cities such as Cologne which were within the Rhine-Ruhr region and considered part of the same "industrial complex". Some targets were not sites of heavy industrial production but part of the production and movement of materiel.

Peter Stanley James British World War II pilot

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.

References