RAF attack German ships at Kiel

Aerial view of Kiel naval base 1940
Keeping track of the location of German capital ships was a high priority for the RAF.
(Click to enlarge)

The most notable operation was the raid on the Schamhorst at Kiel, carried out by five Whitleys and eleven Hampdens on the night of the lst-2nd July. Weather conditions were ideal, and complete surprise appears to have been achieved The bombs dropped by the first aircraft started five large fires which provided illumination for the rest. Direct hits were seen on the ship with one 2,000-lb. bomb and with 500-lb. and 250-lb. bombs, and oil fires were started which were visible eighty miles away. Daylight reconnaissance on the 3rd July largely confirmed these reports. Photographs appear to show that hits were obtained on the starboard side of the ship, and on both sides of the floating dock. The whole harbour area for a distance of eight miles from the south end is covered with oil.

War Cabinet Weekly Resume