bombing

May

2

1943

Grosseto bombed: rural Italy starts to feel the war

2nd May 1943: Grosseto bombed: rural Italy starts to feel the war

I have met, of course, individuals who have bitterly felt one or the other of these emotions. But in the great mass of the nation, the keynote still appears to be a dumb, fatalistic apathy – an acceptance of the doom falling upon them from the skies, as men living in the shadow of Vesuvius and Fujiyama accept the torrents of boiling lava. All this, they seem to feel, is merely part of war – of the war which they did not, do not want. But they are not ready to do anything about it – not yet.

Apr

16

1943

Parachuting out of bomber shot down over France

16th April 1943: Parachuting out of bomber shot down over France

Then the pilot came on pleading, “Please get out!” and so forth. We went down to about 7,000 feet I think at that time. And so I quickly unbuttoned my intercom and my helmet and I just stood up and I jumped on the edge of the door and out it went and I went out too. And my first impression was just the black tail of the aircraft going over the top of my head.

Apr

5

1943

Belgium tragedy in USAAF daylight bombing raid

5th April 1943: Belgium tragedy in Mortsel as USAAF daylight bombing raid hits

Seventeen aircraft bombed the primary target from 24,000 feet with 51 tons of 1,000-lb. H.E. M44 bombs. Slight, inaccurate, black flak was reported over Ostend, Ghent, Bruges, and Schouwen Island. Enemy air opposition was moderate with 30 to 50 aircraft reported. They attacked from the Belgian coast to mid-channel enroute back. FW-190s, ME-109s, ME-110s, and JU-88s were seen in twelve encounters.

Mar

19

1943

George Cross for heroic rescue on burning ship

19th March 1943: George Cross for heroic rescue on burning ship

With great difficulty he climbed into the collapsed accommodation and found one of the deck officers, unconscious and badly burned. Mr. Stronach pulled him clear and dragged him along the deck to the lowered boat. Returning to the accommodation, he began to remove the debris from another officer who was trapped. By almost superhuman efforts he dragged the man through the porthole and along the deck.

Mar

5

1943

The ‘Battle of the Ruhr’ begins with Essen

5th March 1943: The ‘Battle of the Ruhr’ begins with Essen

The subject of morale had been dropped, and I was now required to proceed with the general “ disorganisation” of German industry, giving priority to certain aspects of it such as U-boat building, aircraft production, oil production, transportation and so forth, which gave me a very wide range of choice and allowed me to attack pretty well any German industrial city of 100,000 inhabitants and above.

Mar

3

1943

Disaster at Bethnal Green Underground station

3rd March 1943: Disaster at Bethnal Green Underground station

There were nearly 2000 in the shelter, including several hundred who had arrived after the Alert, when a middle-aged woman, burdened with a bundle and a baby, tripped near the foot of a flight of 19 steps which leads down from the street. This flight of steps terminates on a landing. Her fall tripped an elderly man behind her and he fell similarly. Their bodies again tripped up those behind them, and within a few seconds a large number were lying on the lower steps and the landing, completely blocking the stairway.

Mar

2

1943

The Rose Street protest in central Berlin

2nd March 1943: The Rose Street protest in central Berlin

When the officials said that the people could not yet be released, the women suggested that they wanted to stay with their husbands in jail. The officials answered that it was not allowed because the men are under arrest. The women replied that Rose Street was not a prison, and they had the right to enter the building. The Fuhrer would certainly not approve of such an unlawful practice …

Mar

1

1943

Bomber Command revisit Berlin

1st March 1943: Bomber Command revisit Berlin

By this time we are entering the Berlin defensive ring – about 80 miles across. So long as we are only subject to barrage fire, the best bet is to grit one’s teeth and fly straight to get through as quickly as possible, but this time we are unlucky. A searchlight picks us out and almost at once we are at the dazzling centre of a cone with predicted flak coming up at us. Dropping 2,000 feet to keep clear ofthe incoming bomber stream, I turn through 180 degrees and fly north out of range of the defences. Then I swing south again to join the tail end of the attack and try again.

Feb

15

1943

Bombed by own aircraft as RAF attack Milan

15th February 1943: Bombed by own aircraft as RAF attack Milan

At that point my job was to stand on the step ahead of the main spar and put my head up into the astro hatch to assist the gunners in keeping a look out for fighters. For some inexplicable reason, I did something I had never done before; I looked directly above and got the shock of my life. In the glow from the searchlights and target I saw another Lancaster 30 feet above us on exactly the same heading and, like us, his bomb doors were open! The 4,000lb bomb looked enormous and I knew it could be released at any second.

Jan

27

1943

‘U.S. bombs, from U.S. airplanes,’ hit Germany

27th January 1943: US 8th Airforce’s first raid on Germany – ‘U.S. bombs, from U.S. airplanes, with U.S. crews’

Germany, for the first time, was bombed with U.S. bombs, from U.S. airplanes, with U.S. crews. … Ten to fifteen ME-109s were observed by the crews and about 30 encounters ensued. There were many claims for aircraft destroyed, and gunners were credited with one destroyed that crashed into the sea and one damaged. All aircraft returned safely with only a few battle scars.