RAF bombers intensify attacks on Libya

An RAF raid on a German ammunition dump in the desert. Each of the dots in the sand is a pile of around 50 bombs.

As the RAF built up their strength in the Mediterranean, including the new American built Maryland bombers, they intensified their attacks on the German positions in Libya:

Egypt and Cyrenaica [Eastern Libya].

During the week under review, our bombers made two successful daylight raids. On the 1st August, nine Blenheims, escorted by Hurricanes, attacked a concentration of enemy M.T. vehicles at Sidi Omar and inflicted severe damage and, on the 3rd, twenty-one Marylands bombed enemy gun positions in the Tobruk area, while our fighters carried out a covering sweep over enemy forward aerodromes.

In neither of these operations did we suffer any casualties. Our fighters maintained patrols over our coastal shipping and, on the 2nd, broke up a heavy enemy dive bombing attack on a convoy off the Libyan coast, destroying at least three Ju. 87s and one or more Me. 109s, with the loss of three Hurricanes.

Heavy night attacks have been maintained by Wellingtons against the harbours of Benghazi and Derna and many fires and heavy explosions were observed.

Other targets successfully attacked at night by Wellingtons, Blenheims and Marylands include repair shops at Derna and Bardia, and enemy landing grounds at Gazala. Martuba and El Tmimi. Shipping off Apollonia was also attacked and two merchant ships probably hit. Mines were also laid off Benghazi.

From a total of 100 night sorties our losses were one Wellington and one Maryland.

From the Air Situation Report for the week see TNA CAB 66/18/12

The American Glen Martin Maryland bomber now in service with the RAF in Egypt.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Editor September 6, 2012 at 1:21 pm


I am not really an expert on this type of research. There are various RAF and aviation crash forums on the web where people will be much better placed to help you. A good starting point may be http://www.associations.rafinfo.org.uk/sources.htm

Hope this helps, best regards


Marcus September 6, 2012 at 5:33 am

I am researching the crew of the Wellington lost on the 1st August 1941, can you assist with names ? The pilot could have been from Southern Rhodesia.

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