February 1941

Feb

28

1941

RAF fighters go on offensive

A posed shot of a Hurricane being re-armed with the 3,990 rounds of .303 ammunition that each plane carried, 28th March 1941

Our fighter patrols operated over Northern France on five days. Few enemy aircraft were encountered, but A.A. fire was generally heavy and accurate. On the 25th and 26th, an escort and screen was provided for a small bomber force which attacked shipping targets at Dunkirk and Calais. About 100 fighters were employed on each occasion.

Feb

27

1941

Daylight raid on Aircraft Works kills 53

The bombs from just one aircraft killed over 50 people at the Parnall Aircraft Works at Yate near Bristol.

The siren went off and immediately, before it had stopped, the bombs were dropping. It was a single aircraft. Some bombs dropped on the factory, but some dropped on a gunnery school which probably tested the gun turrets, a number of them were killed during the air-raid. In that first raid a number of factory workers were killed.The German aircraft came in so low that you could see the pilot…

Feb

26

1941

Where will the invasion come?

An invasion was widely expected sometime in 1941- The King inspects a coastal gun battery.

From the point of view of civilian efficiency and morale there are grave objections to evacuation. It means in the first place complete temporary ruin for large numbers of people In the second place it means dumping upon an already overcrowded district additional numbers of idle and disgruntled strangers. Reluctant hosts are condemned to entertain unwilling guests for an indefinite periods A better seed ground for the growth of rumour, warweariness and defeatism could hardly be imagined.

Feb

25

1941

Dogfight over Malta

An anti aircraft position overlooking the Grand Harbour at Malta, pictured later in the war.

I saw one straggling about half a mile behind the rest, so left the Squadron and attacked it from the stern. I could not get an underneath deflection shot, as he was too low, only at 500 ft. I had given him three seconds burst, when he opened up at me. He was a very good shot. His tracers were going well around me. It was lucky I was not shot. I broke away sharply to right about 1½ seconds of his fire and did not see him burst into flames, and go into the sea. But the A.A. people did, so that’s my second since coming here.

Feb

24

1941

Bombing of Brest continues

The twin engined Avro Manchester bomber was not a success, the Vulture engines were unreliable. However its' development led directly to the four engined Lancaster with Merlin engines.

After three consecutive attacks on a lighter scale, over 60 aircraft bombed the docks at Brest on the 24th/25th, and though intense A.A. and searchlight activity hindered accurate observation, many bombs were seen to fall in the dock area and tb straddle the estimated position of the Hipper class cruiser.

Feb

23

1941

Roundup of Jews in Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Holland, Jews who were captured during the first round-up on 22-23/02/1941.

A massive round up, the first of its kind in Holland, was held at the Jonas Daniël Meijerplein and the surrounding streets. 600 men of the Orpo [the German Order Police], armed with machine guns, humiliated Jews and beat them up. Eventually 389 men were arrested, transported to the police camp (Internierungslager) in Schoorl,

Feb

22

1941

German troops in North Africa?

German Panzers in Italy, en route to North Africa.

Another recent report from a source of unknown reliability states that two German armoured divisions have disembarked at Tripoli. Although this has not yet been,confirmed, it is quite probable that the Germans have sent some armoured troops to the Sirte area, where German aerodromes are situated, as a precaution against a further rapid advance of British forces.es are situated, as a precaution against a further rapid advance of British forces.

Feb

21

1941

Surviving shellfire in the Battle for Keren

The view from an RAF bomber as the mountainous terrain outside the town of Keren is attacked.

We were deployed in a very sandy area which in a way was to our advantage, as despite the frequent shelling we underwent by enemy artillery, the shrapnel was smothered by the sandy soil which saved casualties and on one occasion saved my life. We ate and slept within 10 metres of the gun, which was essential in action, and on this occasion we were awakened at first light with a request for defensive fire on a pre – selected target.

Feb

20

1941

More heavy bombing of Swansea

The ancient centre of Swansea was lost. The 12th century Church of St Mary was gutted and the medieval tomb of Sir Matthew Craddock.

On each night the concentration of bombing was on the centre of the town and adjacent working-class districts. The result was extensive damage to business premises and private houses, but comparatively little to industry. The most serious effect on production was caused by the dislocation of utility services, all of which were affected.

Feb

19

1941

Bombing of London resumes

Some of London's Railway arches had now been adopted as public air raid shelters, with the basic provision of beds and toilets. There were more more comfortable than many shelters. Very few shelters were safe from a direct hit.

Damage was slight, and no factory has reported a loss of production greater than four days. The chief cause of such loss was the interruption of night work through damage to roofs and windows. The key points affected were three in the London docks, thirteen factories, a gas works and the Royal Arsenal. A large number of incendiary bombs were dropped and many fires were started.