Bombing fails to halt German transport columns

Aerial view of Marck, bombed-May-1940

The RAF were seeking to bomb the advancing Germans columns. The village of Marcke, south-west of Courtrai, was bombed by Blenheims from 82 Squadron on the 25th May. The route used by the German transport columns can clearly be seen leading up to a pontoon bridge, circled on the left of the photograph. One salvo of bombs is seen landing directly on this route, circled in the middle.

Although many in the British Expeditionary Force were to complain that they did not see the RAF, tremendous efforts were being made to hold up the German advance. Troops on the ground who were being bombed felt that the Germans were unopposed.

From the Diary of Captain R. Leah, 1st Battalion, Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders :

Saturday May 25th

Arrived about 2 a.m. Estaires. Got billeted and to bed by 3 a.m. Slept till 9.

Great enemy air activity today. Had orders to move back to Festubert. Sent Cameron on billeting, then arrived self with 1 Pl. Got settled in and was going to look for Camerons in War Cemetery when we were called back to Estaires. Lot of enemy air bombing along roads. Then had orders to move back to Violaines. Later in afternoon Coy Comdrs went on to meet Queens Regt, who we were to relieve in L.B. and recce area there. The usual defences of a canal in a town. Mortar shelling.

Went back to Violaines and had a meal. Company arrived shortly afterwards. Carried out relief tonight, fairly quiet. Put 11 Pl in the houses on right where some French troops were and left 10 Pl out in houses near Coy H.Q. All had some sleep tonight.

3 miles.

[Entry No.16, for the first entry see 10th May 1940]

See TNA WO 217/15

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