At 8.30am on the 13th August 1940 twelve Bristol Blenheim aircraft from No. 82 Squadron took off from Watton in Norfolk to make a daylight raid on Aaalborg airfield in Denmark. They had considerable experience of airfield attacks, including that on Amiens airfield on [permalink id=6974 text=’30th July 1940′]. There was no fighter escort and the target was at the limit of range. One aircraft turned back with technical problems.
Bombing attacks on German airfields were considered as important to the defence of Britain as the efforts of Fighter Command, there were 24 such raids during the course of this week alone.
It was believed that cloud cover would offer some protection to the Blenheim bombers mounting the raid. But the clouds had disappeared when the Danish coast was reached and German air defences were alerted. Wing Commander Lart decided to press on with the attack. When they reached the target all eleven aircraft making the attack were shot down, either by waiting Me 109 fighters or by Anti-Aircraft fire. Only 13 of the 33 crewmen taking part in the raid survived to become prisoners of war.
Not surprisingly the outcome of the raid received minimal publicity in Britain. The wholesale disbandment of No.82 Squadron, which had suffered similar losses on the 17th June 1940, was considered but it was eventually reconstituted. For more details of the raid see airmen.dk. Numerous photographs of the crashed aircraft can be found at Airwar over Denmark