The Luftwaffe start to change tactics

A Handley Page Hampden bomber prepares for operations at RAF Scampton

The Hampden carried up to 4000 lbs (1814 kg) of bombs

From the Weekly Resume for the week ending 12 noon 29th August 1940:


28. Our bombing operations against Germany continue to combine the reduction of Germany’s air striking power with the offensive against her economic and industrial life. Enemy operational aerodromes, especially in France, have been constantly harassed by night and by day whenever weather conditions permitted.

In Germany airframe and accessory factories, aero-engine works, oil plants and electric power installations have been the main objectives, and systematic attacks have been maintained against communications between the industrial centres and forward operational bases. Considerable success has been reported.

Bomber command have also attacked dockyards at Kiel and Wilhelmshaven, and on three nights factories in Northern Italy. Coastal and North Sea operations have again been of a normal character. Fighter Command have been continuously engaged, but have not inflicted such heavy casualties as last week owing to the reduction of enemy attacks by day.

In the bomb bay of Hampden during the process of 'bombing up'

Hampden bomber in flight

Great Britain.

31. Enemy tactics have undergone a considerable change.

No short-range dive-bombers were seen, while last week 83 were destroyed; even the Ju. 88 has not been used for dive-bombing. The long-range bomber force is being increasingly employed and night attacks have been intensified. The raids were mainly directed against aerodromes and ports, while industrial plants and the aircraft industry also received considerable attention. Other raids were carried out against aerodromes and oil storage, and a considerable amount of indiscriminate bombing was included in the operations.

The heaviest daylight attacks of the week were made on Portsmouth and Ramsgate. At night industrial areas in the Midlands were the principal objectives, though aircraft have flown over London on several nights and bombs were dropped in the City and suburbs.

32. Enemy aircraft engaged in daylight operations have varied between 200 and 500 each day, except on the 23rd and 27th August, when activity was limited to reconnaissance flights and to a few individual attacks, involving not more than seventy-five aircraft. The heaviest attacks have developed from the south-east, and large formations of bombers escorted by fighters have been intercepted and dispersed by our fighters. Our fighter aerodromes seem to have been the principal objectives, but damage was relatively small in view of the threatened weight of the attacks.

See TNA CAB/66/11/26

Earlier in the war:

Later in the war: