bombing

Jun

9

1943

Yugoslav leader Tito wounded in Luftwaffe attack

9th June 1943: Yugoslav leader Tito wounded in Luftwaffe attack

One of the commanders of the Escort Battalion and several of his men lay dead; Tito, wounded by a bomb splinter in the shoulder, lay under the body of his Alsatian dog ‘Tiger’, who had thrown himself across his master at the second of the explosion; and I hobbled out, my left boot blown away, and limping with a slight leg wound.

Jun

8

1943

Round the clock bombing pounds Pantelleria

8th June 1943: Round the clock bombing pounds Pantelleria

The Pantellaria rehearsal went according to plan. The air bombing was an impressive sight, and the reply of the batteries to the fire of the cruisers was wild in the extreme. It looked as though the Italian gun-control arrangements had been knocked out. The reception of the M.T.B.s at the harbour entrance was feeble enough, and had we had a few hundred troops in landing-craft I believe we could have taken the island there and then.

Jun

5

1943

Home leave in bombed out Germany

5th June 1943: Home leave in bombed out Germany


As I neared Marianne’s home, I braced myself against a reality I already sensed. Then I was standing before the heap of charcoal that had been the house. Its chimney poked into the air like a warning nger. Around it lay smashed bricks and blocks, black with soot; steel beams bent in the heat of the re; jumbled debris of all sorts. Then I saw the sign stuck in the rubble. Somebody had written in red: ALL MEMBERS OF THE HARDENBERG FAMILY ARE DEAD.

May

30

1943

Bombers kill 21 children during Sunday School

30th May 1943: Bombers kill 21 children during Sunday School

I declined and walked home with the WVS lady as I just wanted to get home. From the four avenues where I lived (First, Second, Third and Main Avenue) a pair of twins, a boy and a girl, were killed in my avenue and another girl killed in Third Avenue. Altogether 21 children died that day and 3 Sunday school teachers.

May

25

1943

Goebbels alarmed over the Dortmund raid

25th May 1943: Goebbels alarmed over the Dortmund raid

One can now see what a very short-sighted proposal it was of Goering’s to evacuate bombed-out people to Burgundy and other sections of occupied France. In Dortmund, between eighty and a hundred thousand people are homeless. Let the Reich Marshal go to Dortmund himself and propose that they evacuate to France!

May

23

1943

Dortmund: heaviest tonnage of bombs yet dropped

23rd May 1943: Dortmund: heaviest tonnage of bombs yet dropped

It was not often that I had a virgin target to aim at with no other bombing except the Oboe marker, but of course this also meant that we were way out front, an ideal target for the gunners below and, moreover, making life easy for them with the prolonged straight and level photo run. We had been getting a bumpy ride as the flak intensified almost to the point of realisation of the old line shoot, ‘The flak was so heavy you could get out and walk on it.’

May

17

1943

Speer assesses the damage done by the Dambusters

17th May 1943: Speer assesses the damage done by the Dambusters

At the largest of the reservoirs, the Sorpe Valley reservoir, they did achieve a direct hit on the center of the dam. I inspected it that same day. Fortunately the bomb hole was slightly higher than the water level. Just a few inches 1ower — and a small brook would have been transformed into a raging river which would have swept away the stone and earthen dam.‘

May

16

1943

No. 617 Squadron become ‘Dambusters’

16th May 1943: No. 617 Squadron become ‘Dambusters’

I thought to myself; ‘In another minute we shall all be dead – so what? I thought again, ‘This is terrible – this feeling of fear – if it is fear.’ By now we were a few hundred yards away, and I said quickly to Pulford, under my breath, ‘Better leave the throttles open now and stand by to pull me out of the seat if I get hit.’ As I glanced at him I thought he looked a little glum on hearing this.

May

4

1943

The battle of the Ruhr hots up

4th May 1943: The battle of the Ruhr hots up



I was lying on the floor with my eye fixed to the telescope-like bombsight. When the critical moment came, after the agonising few minutes of the run—in, I pressed the ’tit’, calling out ‘Bombs gone!’ as the plane lurched upwards after shedding its load. The pilot immediately pushed the nose down to build up speed and we rushed forward out of the target area — an enormous relief to all of us.

May

3

1943

No. 487 Squadron RNZAF wiped out in daylight raid

3rd May 1943: 487 Squadron RNZAF wiped out in daylight Amsterdam raid

All went well until the Venturas and their fighter escort were nearing the Dutch coast. Then one bomber was hit and had to turn back. Suddenly large numbers of enemy fighters appeared. Our escorting fighters were hotly engaged and lost touch with the bombing force. The Venturas closed up for mutual protection and commenced their run up to the target. Unfortunately, the fighters detailed to support them over the target had reached the area too early and had been recalled.