Optimism over RAF Bomber Offensive

The RAF had stepped up attacks on the continent.
But accurate daylight bombing came at a cost - the low level attack on the port of Rotterdam on the 28th saw seven out of eighteen Bleinheims shot down.

For the last three months our bombing offensive has been mainly directed against transportation and morale in Western Germany. Some of the most important objectives in the system of communications serving the Ruhr and Rhineland are precision targets which can only be attacked under favourable weather conditions on moonlight nights, and, since the offensive started, the number of suitable nights has been very small indeed.

On dark nights, and in comparatively unfavourable weather, our aircraft have attacked other transportation objectives in key towns on the system of communications.

No spectacular success has been recorded, and few can be expected, since the disruption of communications can only be achieved by the cumulative effect of attacks delivered over a considerable period. Moreover, it is often difficult to observe the results of attacks and to assess their effect, and damage to communications is easy to conceal.

However, in spite of the comparatively short time covered by the present offensive, and the unusually unfavourable weather encountered, reliable reports are now coming in, in increasing numbers, to show that the effect of our attacks is being felt.

Concurrently, the attack of targets likely to influence the Battle of the Atlantic is undertaken when necessary and attacks on other objectives in Germany are carried out as tactical and other considerations dictate.

A complement to our offensive against land communications is provided by attacks on ports and by those of our light bombers on shipping; the considerable measure of success achieved has undoubtedly increased the pressure on German’s inland communication system, and so enhanced the value of our main offensive.

A valuable factor in the dislocation of communications in Germany is the interference with supplies for the Eastern Front, and our offensive is, therefore, an important contribution to Russian resistance.

From the Air Situation Report for the week as reported to the British War Cabinet, see TNA CAB 66/18/37

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