Attacks on Germany were being stepped up in an attempt to force the Luftwaffe to divert planes back from Russia in order to defend the Reich:
On the 7th/8th August, visibility was good. Eighty-four aircraft attacked Krupp’s coke oven batteries at Essen, a total of 108 tons of H.E. bombs and 5,720 incendiaries being released, causing numerous large and small fires in the target’ area and in the city itself.
Very satisfactory results were achieved by 31 bombers in an attack on Hamm; bursts were seen on and around the marshalling yard and several aircraft reported an immense fire (probably an oil cistern) from which smoke ascended to 11,000 feet and spread for ten miles. Many large fires also resulted at Dortmund after an attack carried out by 32 aircraft.
Excellent weather over Kiel on the following night, enabled 88 aircraft accurately to bomb the’ Deutsche Werke Shipyards. Of the 104 tons of H.E. bombs and 4,836 incendiaries released, a number fell directly in the centre of the target, starting many fires; a particularly large fire was also observed on the south side of the city.
At Hamburg, however, on the same night, weather was bad and identification of objectives was almost impossible; except for bombbursts and fires, no results were observed.
From the Air Situation Report for the week see TNA CAB 66/18/17