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Bombing of Hamburg

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Goral View Drop Down
Earl
Earl


Joined: 22 Jun 2013
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    Posted: 26 Jul 2013 at 17:43

On this day...1943:"Bomber Command returned from an overnight raid on Hamburg, Germany's most important port, having lost only twelve aircraft from a force of 791 bombers; the raid, the start of the Battle of Hamburg, had marked the first use by the RAF of Window : vast quantities of aluminium foil strips, backed with paper and blackened so as not to shine in searchlight beams, had been dropped by the bombers. The foil strips had been cut to the correct length to act as dipole reflectors for the German radar wavelengths as they slowly fluttered to earth. The result was unprecedented confusion in the Luftwaffe's air defence system, as radar screens were swamped by a mass of returns. The raid inflicted heavy damage on the city. Target-markers dropped by the Pathfinders were sufficiently accurate to allow 2,284 tons (2,320.6 metric tons) of bombs to fall on the centre and north-west suburbs of the city in 50 minutes. However, a far more devastating raid was to follow a couple of days later.

Keen to exploit the advantages of Window before the Luftwaffe learnt to cope with it, the evening of 25 July saw Bomber Command set out for another high priority target, Essen, home to the vast Krupps armament complex. The Krupps works received its most damaging attack of the war; indeed, Dr Gustav Krupp was so horrified by the state of the factory the next morning that he suffered a stroke.(A INDIRECT HIT, ON A PRIME TARGET!)

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