Kiel targeted by Bomber Command

A Photographic Reconnaissance Unit composite image of Kiel, April 1941. Locating German capital ships, particularly the latest battleship, the Bismarck, was a high priority.

Kiel, Mannheim and Hamburg have been the principal targets of the week.

Kiel was heavily attacked on three nights and over 150 tons of H.E. and 20,000 incendiaries were dropped. On two of these occasions the weather was good, but exact observation was difficult, due to ground haze and to intense antiaircraft and searchlight activity, but many fires were seen to break out, some of them in the vicinity of Krupp’s works. On the third occasion the weather was cloudy, but forty-eight aircraft reached their target and bombed the industrial districts of the town, without being able to observe results.

Fifty tons of H.E. and about 10,000 incendiaries were dropped in the industrial area Mannheim, where the burst of a 4,000-lb. bomb was followed by a large lire and an explosion ten minutes later. Hamburg was attacked by forty-four aircraft, whose bombs included one of 4,000 lbs. and three of 1,900 lbs. Berlin was twice attacked by Sterlings, on one occasion by a single aircraft and on the other by three, but the results of the 14 tons of H.E. dropped could not be observed.

From the Air Situation Report for the week, TNA CAB 66/16/18

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