Brest bombed again

The immensely strong U Boat bunkers at Brest, under construction in the autumn of 1941, provided secure protection for a long period. It would take some time for the RAF to develop 'bunker busting' bombs needed to deal with them.

The French port of Brest was the most frequently bombed city in Europe at this time, receiving regular attention from the RAF throughout 1941. The battle cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were prime targets as well as the U boat base. As a consequence it was also one of the most heavily defended towns in Europe, with a huge concentration of anti aircraft batteries.

The German battle cruisers at Brest were attacked on three nights by a total of 13 Stirlings and 16 Wellingtons, which released 78 tons of H.E. bombs, including thirty-five 2,000-lb. bombs. On the first two nights visibility was poor because of cloud and an effective smoke screen, but some aircraft were able to identify certain ground features and bomb the estimated positions of the ships. On the third night visibility was good and bursts were seen across the docks where the battle cruisers are berthed.

From the Air Situation Report for the week as reported to the British War Cabinet, see TNA CAB 66/19/25

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