Bombing of Brest continues

The French port of Brest was now one of the most heavily bombed towns in the whole of Europe, it was one of the top targets for both Bomber Command and Coastal Command, and the subject of routine photographic reconnaissance. The dry dock was being used by the Germans for the repair of its capital ships, and there was a Hipper class cruiser in dock. Brest was also becoming a well defended towns, with a ring of Anti Aircraft batteries surrounding it. They would claim many British aircrew.

The twin engined Avro Manchester bomber was not a success, the Vulture engines were unreliable. However its development led directly to the four engined Lancaster with Merlin engines.

Night bombing operations were undertaken on six nights. After three consecutive attacks on a lighter scale, over 60 aircraft bombed the docks at Brest on the 24th/25th, and though intense A.A. and searchlight activity hindered accurate observation, many bombs were seen to fall in the dock area and tb straddle the estimated position of the Hipper class cruiser.

Equally heavy attacks were made on the following nights on the industrial centres of Dusseldorf and Cologne. On the latter, 77 tons of H.E. and 16,500 incendiaries were dropped. Our new Manchester bombers took part in these raids for the first time. Earlier in the week, 24 Wellingtons started many large fires in the dock and industrial areas of Wilhelmshaven. Harassing attacks both by bombers and fighters have been made on more than 25 enemy aerodromes, and several night bombers were attacked and severely damaged if not destroyed. Boulogne, Calais and other Channel ports have also been attacked and extensive damage done to the dock ell16cLS.

Leaflet raids over France, Holland and Germany have continued, and during the week over one and a quarter million leaflets have been released from free balloons.

From the Air Situation Report for the week

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