Sääskede rünnak Dalsfjordi vastu, 23. märts 1945

Sääskede rünnak Dalsfjordi vastu, 23. märts 1945



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Sääsepommitaja/ Teise maailmasõja hävitaja-pommitusüksused, Martin Bowman. Esimene raamat kolmest raamatust, milles vaadeldakse selle Teise maailmasõja kõige mitmekülgsema Briti õhusõiduki RAF -i karjääri, vaatleb see köide eskadrilli, kes kasutasid sääski päevavalguspommitajana okupeeritud Euroopa ja Saksamaa kohal, laevanduse ja Birma kohal. [näe rohkem]


De Havillandi sääsk: Suurbritannia ja teise maailmasõja superlennuk

15. märtsil 1939 lükkasid Saksamaa ambitsioonid ja valed koos brittide otsustamatusega Euroopat sõja äärele, kui Saksamaa okupeeris Tšehhoslovakkiast järelejäänud. Pärast seda kahepalgelist sammu ei suutnud Suurbritannia ja Prantsusmaa enam kõrvale jääda ja lubada Saksamaal tungida mõnele teisele territooriumile. Kui Saksamaa oli oma relvajõude kurjakuulutavalt üles ehitanud, siis Suurbritannia ja Prantsusmaa polnud midagi ette võtnud, kuid nüüd olid nad sunnitud rüselema, et kavandada ja ehitada eelseisvaks konfliktiks sobivad relvad.

Kaevamine sügavamalt

Sündmused arenesid liiga kiiresti, et Prantsusmaa saaks välja töötada mis tahes imerelvad, et kuuluda sõja parimate hulka, kuid Briti lennukitööstus oli jõudsalt varustamas kuninglikke õhujõude (RAF) orkaanide ja teravate tulekahjudega, et võidelda Luftwaffe vastu. peagi lõpetama võimsate Lancasteri ja Halifaxi pommitajate arendamise, et viia sõda Saksamaale. Teise maailmasõja titaanlik võitlus nõudis parimatelt ja säravamatelt inseneridelt, et nad looksid relvi, mida oleks võimalik olemasolevate materjalidega hõlpsalt ja odavalt kokku panna ning mis oleksid siiski võimelised vaenlast alistama. See oli päris suur ülesanne.

Briti lennukidisainerid de Havilandi ettevõttes said ülesandeks pakkuda välja kahemootoriline kiire kiirpommitaja, mis suudaks saksa hävitajatest üle sõita, seega ei vajaks nad eskorti ega isegi kaitserelvastust. Nende lahendus oli Mosquito, üks Teise maailmasõja suurimaid ja mitmekülgsemaid lennukeid, mis lendas esmakordselt 1940. aastal ja lasti välja 1941. aastal.

Ehitatud puidust, kuna alumiiniumi ja muude metallide varud olid kitsad, oli Mosquito varustatud ka suurepäraste Rolls-Royce Merlin mootoritega, samade mootoritega, mis toitsid hävitajaid Spitfire, Hurricane ja Mustang (Ameerika P-51). Pommitajana paigaldatud Mosquito saavutas tippkiiruseks 415 mph ja suutis seega Saksa hävitajaid edestada. Võitlejana paigaldatuna võib see jõuda kiirusele 366 miili tunnis ja seda kasutati peamiselt öösel Saksa pommitajate vastu. Kaameratega, kuid relvadeta relvi ei lastud luureülesannetel ja need olid taeva kiireimad lennukid, kuni sakslased reaktiivlennukeid välja panid.

Pommitajaversioon võib kanda kuni 4000 naela pomme või selle võib varustada rööbastega, et tulistada maapealseid rünnakurakette. Varustatud 4 x 20 mm kahuriga ja 4 x .303 kaliibriga kuulipildujaga (üks raskemaid relvakoormaid II maailmasõja võitlejatest), oli hävitajaversioon hästi relvastatud pommitajate lõhkamiseks või rihmamiseks. Mõned versioonid valmistati modifitseeritud mootorite ja turbolaaduritega, et võimaldada teeninduse ülemmäära vähemalt 37 000 jalga, mis on umbes 8000 jalga standardversioonist kõrgemal. Ehitati isegi mererünnaku versioone.

Saksa lenduritele avaldas see nii suurt muljet, Saksamaal tehti võimsaid jõupingutusi sääse kopeerimiseks, kuid Saksa teadlased ei töötanud kunagi välja liime, mis oleksid vajalikud piisava vineeri loomiseks ja puidust osade koos hoidmiseks. Mis puudutab liimi ja asjade koos hoidmist, siis tekkisid probleemid Kaug -Idasse saadetud sääskedega, kus ilmselt põhjustasid mussoonide kuumus ja niiskus puidu kihistumise.

Võitluses osutus Mosquito äärmiselt tõhusaks, analüüs näitas, et kulude vaatenurgast olid sääskede pommitamised peaaegu viis korda tõhusamad kui Lancastersis korraldatud. Teisisõnu, sääsed võivad viiendiku hinnaga saavutada samu tulemusi kui Lancasters. Seda me nimetame "superlennukiks"!

Ehitati ligi 8000 sääski, sealhulgas üle 1000 Kanadas ja üle 200 Austraalias. RAF pani oma sääsed pensionile 1950. aastal, kuid mõned teised riigid, näiteks Lõuna -Aafrika ja Iisrael, lendasid nendega kauem. Ainult 2 on täna lennukõlblikud.

Järgmine kord, kui kuulete inimesi arutamast Teise maailmasõja „parimate” lennukite üle, ärge imestage, kui kuulete, et paljud nimetavad sääski sõja parimaks lennuks.

Küsimus õpilastele (ja tellijatele): Mis on teie lemmiklennuk II maailmasõjast? Palun andke meile sellest teada selle artikli all olevas kommentaaride jaotises.

Kui teile see artikkel meeldis ja soovite saada teateid uute artiklite kohta, siis palun tellige Ajalugu ja pealkirjad meeldides meile Facebook ja saada üheks meie patrooniks!


Üks mõte & ldquo operatsioonist Clarion: 22.-23. Veebruar 1945 ja rdquo

Huvitav nagu tavaliselt, Greg. Pole üllatav, et raudteeliiklus ei katkestanud pikemaid katkestusi. Raudteed on suhteliselt lihtne parandada ja paljudel juhtudel ei olnud sakslastel kohutavalt raske ronge ümber suunata, kui sillad olid veel terved. Sillad olid aga väga rasked sihtmärgid, mida oluliselt kahjustada, rääkimata hävitamisest. Kui ma oleksin Jabo juht, ei oleks mul ilmselt liiga hea meel neid kaitsvate klapppatareide vastu astuda!


Ajaloolised sündmused 23. märtsil

    Melrose'i abt Jocelin valitakse Glasgow piiskopiks 1. kuupäevaväljaanne Maimonides & quot; Mishneh Torah & quot; avaldatakse juudi ususeaduse koodeks Aragoonia juriidiline kood ametlikult tunnustatud Longjumeau leping: Prantsuse hugenotid streigivad Friisimaa ühineb Utrechti Liiduga Inglise separatistid puritaanid John Greenwood ja Henry Barrowe proovisid ja mõisteti surma, süüdistades rahutute raamatute väljamõtlemises ja levitamises Prantsuse väed okupeerisid Pinerolo Piemonte Prantsusmaa ja Inglismaa sõlmisid liidu Hispaania vastu Inglismaa saab Dunkerki pretenderi Inglismaa troonile James III üritab maanduda Firth of Forthis, Šotimaal kuid pöördub Briti kuningliku mereväe poole

Muusika Esietendus

Sündmus Huvi

1775 Patrick Henry kuulutab kõnes "Andke mulle vabadus või andke mulle surm" Virginia vägede liitumise kasuks USA revolutsioonisõjaga

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1794 kindralleitnant Tadeusz Kościuszko naaseb Poola

Sündmus Huvi

1808 Napoleoni vend Joseph astub Hispaania troonile

    Lahing ja kukkumine Kalamata linnas, Kreeka Vabadussõda 1. salvestatud "OK" (oll korrect) (Bostoni hommikupostitus) kasutamine Draper teeb Kuult esimese eduka foto (dagerrotüüp) Laev John Wickliffe saabub Port Chalmersisse, kaasas esimesed Šoti asukad Uus -Meremaa Dunedini jaoks. Asutati Otago provints. Novara lahing (kuningas Charles Albert vs Itaalia vabariik)

Sündmus Huvi

1857 Elisha Otis paigaldab oma esimese lifti aadressil 488 Broadway New Yorgis

    Patenteeritud tänavavagun (E A Gardner of Philadelphia) Londoni esimene tramm, mille kujundas Mr Train of NY, alustab Kernstowni lahingu lahingut, Jackson alustab oma Valley Campaign Encounteri Camdenis, Arkansases

Sündmus Huvi

1865 jõudsid kindral Sherman ja Coxi väed Põhja -Carolinasse Goldsborosse

Sündmus Huvi

1867 võttis Kongress vastu teise rekonstrueerimisseaduse president Andrew Johnsoni veto suhtes

    California ülikool asutati Oaklandis, Californias 39. Grand National: Fred Hobson 15/1 pardal Austerlitz võitis 4 kaugusega Kongressi Inglismaa FA Cupi finaalis, Kennington Oval, London: Wanderers võitis Royal Engineersit, 3: 1 Wanderersi tagasilöök tagasi ja 5. tiitel üldine Vaikse ookeani sõda võitles Tšiili ning Boliivia ja Peruu ühendvägede vahel. Tšiili võtab edukalt üle Arica ja Tarapacá, jättes Boliivia merepiirita riigiks. Jahu valtsimistehas patenteeritud (John Stevens Wisconsinist)

Sündmus Huvi

1919 Benito Mussolini moodustab Itaalias Milanos fašistliku liikumise

Sündmus Huvi

1919 Vene Kommunistliku Partei 8. kongress asutab uuesti viieliikmelise poliitbüroo, millest saab Nõukogude Liidu poliitilise võimu keskus. Algsed liikmed Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotski, Jossif Stalin, Lev Kamenev ja Nikolai Krestinsky


Sääskede rünnak Dalsfjordi vastu, 23. märts 1945 - ajalugu

Kohandatud oma telesarjast Secret Britain

Fotod Devoni fotograafilt - Jackie Freeman

RAF Winkleigh

Teise maailmasõja aegse õhuväebaasi lugu Devonis

Rinkle'i lennuvälja illustreeritud ajalugu Winkleighis

Kanadalased RAF Winkleighis 1944–45

Kanada kuninglikud õhujõud - RCAF - 406 - 415 - 408 - eskadronid

Olen juba maininud RAF 3 mahu rekordit Kuninglike õhujõudude ajalugu II maailmasõjas, milles RAF -i lennuvälja Winkleighis lihtsalt ei eksisteeri!

Teisest küljest, kui vaatate kanadalaste versiooni oma sõjaajaloost „The RCAF Overseas”, on see hoopis teine ​​lugu, kus umbes 20 lehekülge on pühendatud Winkleighile Devonis ja selle RAF -i baasile.
Neile siin väga meeldis ja nad tegid end kindlasti koduselt.

Huvitav tähelepanek, mille mulle saatis hiljuti sõjaaegne evakueerunud Winkleighisse kanadalaste mälestustega, puudutas nende loomulikku tõmmet kohaliku siidri vastu!
Ta meenutab, et paljud õhusõitjad, kes pole harjunud siidriga alkoholi täis olema (Kanada siider on hoopis teine ​​asi, me nimetame seda õunamahlaks), viidi kas läbi või kukkusid Kings Armsist välja ja toetusid külapumba vastu. ole kaine!

29. märtsil 1944 RAF Winkleigh'is juhtkonna vahetusega, kui tiivaülem Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton

Fumertonit kirjeldati suure, rihmaga tüübina, kel oli petlik leebus ja rida kaunistusi, ja seda õigustatult, sest Moose Fumertonist pidi saama Teise maailmasõja Kanada tippvõitleja äss ja talle omistatakse 14 õhuvõitu.

Need mehed tegid alistamatu paari, mõlemad juhtisid oma eskadroneid rindelt ja alati sügelesid vaenlase poole.

Nad olid väsimatud ja vaprad käsundusohvitserid.

D -päeva tellimused - operatsioon Bigot.

Moose Fullerton räägib oma mälestustes oma rollist operatsioonis Bigot nii salaja, et ta ei saanud seda isegi oma kolleegi Douglas-Hamiltoniga arutada. ta räägib dramaatilisest vastutusest, mille tema ülemused panid 4. juunil tema kätte, edastades isiklikult D -päeva tellimusi RAF Winkleighist Edela erinevatele lennuväljadele.

Selle ülesande täitis ta, kohtudes mootorrataste ründajatega üksikutes lennuväebaasides ja hoides mootorid töös, ning edastas ülisalajased dokumendid sisetarnimiseks otse igale CO -le. Ta kordas seda protsessi kõigil Edela -Inglismaa lennuväljadel.

Tiivaülem Fummerton, DFC, AFC. Retd, 6. novembri kirjas. 1994 oma kodust Torontos, jutustab D -päeva tellimuste loo.

Edasi räägib ta oma uhkustundest, kui ta naasis Winkleighisse oma missioonilt näha läänepoolset maanteed

'ummikus meestest ja masinatest teel rannasadamatesse. '

See pidi olema päris vaatepilt ja hirmutav au?

Tiivaülem David John & quot; Blackie & quot; Williams
RCAF G/C, DSO, DFC.

Tiivaülem Russell Bannock DFC, DSO ja võimendibaar Sündis Russell Bahnuk.

Eskaadri ülem Blackie Williamsi järel

Juuliks 1944 oli S kadroniülem Blackie Williams, kes sai autasu DSO eest 7 Dornier DO 217 õhusõiduki vastu Prantsusmaal Bresti kohal, võttis seejärel üle Kanada eskaadri juhtimise Winkleighis.

Paljud Kanada ohvitserid pälvisid tunnustust nende tegevuste eest, mis hõlmasid DSO -d, 7 DFC -d ja kahte DFM -i ning omasid dramaatilist eduka tapmise rekordit:

47 lennukit on hävitatud, 15 sõidukit, 68 rongi, 3 praami, 2 allveelaeva ja 3 elektrijaama.

Eskadroni rekordid 14. mail 1944 algavad:

& quot: Eepiline õhtu eskaadri aastaraamatus. & quot

. kui pärast südaööd tegutses umbes 35 vaenlase lennukit hajutatult, eesmärgiks Bristol.

Kui lahingu suits oli kustunud, oli tulemus järgmine:

W/C Fumerton ja Flight A.N.C. Lynes - 1 juuli. 88 Hävitatud

P/O W.H. Muschett ja P/O J.L.N. Saal - 1 Ju. 88 hävitas 1 Ju 88 tõenäoline

P/O D.J. McConnell ja F/O Michael James Kazakoff sääses, mille nad nimetasid "Kannatamatuks neitsiks".

1 Ju. 88 tõenäoline, 1 tuvastamata kahjustatud.

F/L H.D.McNabb & amp; F/S A.F Tindall - 1 Ju.88 tõenäoline, 1 tuvastamata kahjustatud.

Kokku: 4 hävitatud, 3 tõenäoline, 1 kahjustatud, ilma kahjudeta.

* Tänu hr Jack Websterile Ottawas, Kanadas, abi eest operatsioonide registris ilmunud vea parandamisel. Meil on hea meel parandada ülevaatust.

Vanad kamraadid on kurvad, kui saavad teada lennuametniku Michael James Kazakoffi lahkumisest.
2. detsember 2010, olles 89 -aastane.

RCAF 406 eskadronil oli oma Beaufightersi ja Mosquito ründelennukitega sõjas tohutult tähtis roll. Muljetavaldava ja pühendunud teenistuse läbimine sõja ajaraamatus.

406 eskaadrile omistati 64 hävitatud vaenlase lennukit, seitse tõenäoliselt hävitatud ja 47 kahjustatud. Lisaks õhkiti õhku või rihmaga mitu vedurit ja maapealset paigaldist

koorimise teel. Need tegevused olid võitnud eskadroni kolm D.S.O. & rsquos, ühe sekundi baar D.F.C., ühe baari D.F.C., neliteist D.F.C. & rsquos, kaks D.F.M.
Eskaader lendas nelja tegevusaasta jooksul üle 1800 lendu.

Öövõitlejate tegevuste käigus kaotas ta sissetungija üksusena kaheksa lennukipersonali ja võimendust, hukkus 12 inimest ja kaks võeti vangi.
Mitteoperatiivsed õnnetused nõudsid 13 eskadroniliikme elu.

Üks selline 406 missioon on kirjeldatud allpool.

Burgessi ja MacPhersoni viimane lend.

Lennuleitnant Navigator
WILLIAM NEIL MACFERSON J/9133

406 ruutmeetrit Kanada kuninglikud õhujõud

Lennuleitnant Piloot
RAYMOND RICHARD BURGESS J/7612

406 ruutmeetrit Kanada kuninglikud õhujõud

Oli ilus pärastlõuna RAF Winkleighi lennubaasis 1944. aasta juulis, kui paar sääsehävituslennukit

tõusis taevasse Prantsusmaa kohal tavapäraseks patrullimiseks.

Ilm oli jätkuvalt täiuslik, pakkudes noortele pilootidele esmaklassilist nähtavust ja suurepäraseid vaateid lõunasse, kui nad ületasid La Manche'i väina.

^Tundmatud lennumeeskonnad sääsevõitleja ees, talv 44/45 Winkleigh

Lennumeeskond - sääse ees, Winkleigh

Umbes kell 15:15 25. juulil 1944 tabati Mosquito XII ründelennuk, mida juhtis Biggar Saskatchewani lennuleitnant Ray Burgess ja navigeeris Ontario osariigi Wallensteini lennukleitnant Bill MacPherson 406 eskaadrist, mis asub Devonis Winkleighis. vaatepilt kahest Saksa hävitajast, kes asusid Varadese lähedal Nante lähedal Loire-Atlantique'is. Nad sulgesid neid kiiresti.

Sääsepiloodid, mõlemad sellise taktikaga vanad käed, asusid kohe tegutsemist vältima ja haarasid bandiidid metsiku kahuritulega. Kuid Saksa lennukid kaldusid erinevatel suundadel, et kukkuda laastatud sääskede peale laastavate tulemustega.

Üks Saksa võitlejatest tõusis ootamatult kõrgusele ja langes oma saagiks, tulistades kanadalaste lennukit ja lugedes seda kuulidega.

Rikutud lennuk kukkus taevast alla.

Burgess võitles asjatult sureva sääse juhtimisseadmetega, mis liikusid aeglase ja pika kaarega Meilleraie küla kohal. Kuid juba leekides rippus see vaid ühe kohutava hetke lähedal asuva metsa kohal, enne kui purunes kohutavas plahvatuses.

Lähedal asuva maisipõllu F käsivarre töötajad korjasid sel pärastlõunal päikesepaistet ja neil oli õhusõiduki tabamisel vähe aega katte saamiseks sukelduda.


Sündmuskohale tormas skautide rühmitus, kes ei telkinud õnnetuspaigast, kuid kuumus ja leegid, mis on nüüd kilomeetrite kaugusel nähtavad ja laskemoona süütamisest tulenev pidev plahvatus, oli liiga suur oht ja midagi ei saanud teha.

Külast noored ja vanad, mõned Punase Risti käepaeltega, saabusid jalgratastega, sealhulgas Marie-Therese Brunet ja Joseph Muloise, ning vaikisid, kui kaks söestunud surnukeha aupaklikult õnnetuspaigast välja toodi ja põllule linadele laoti.

Sääsk oli lõppenud vaevalt 150 meetri kaugusel heinamaast, kus perekond Huard töötas, ja härra Eugène Huard Senior jäi oma kombainiga õnnetuspaigale, kuna poeg Eugène Huard Junior (20) läks hobuseid talitama.

Nende pealtnägijate aruanded räägivad sellest, kuidas möödus poolteist tundi, kui Saksa hävituslennuki ja rsquose piloodid tulid Sorgne'i poole teelt välja tõlgi seltsis, kes oli pärast kihlumist maandunud nende ajutises lennubaasis Varadese lähedal.

"Sakslased ei tervitanud kahe Kanada lenduri surelikke jäänuseid, vaid veeresid need jalgadega üle ja otsisid taskust nende isikut tõendavaid dokumente ja raha.

Mõne aja pärast saabus saksa "Kommandaturi" ohvitser. Ta tervitas ohvitseride surnukehasid ja käskis omavalitsusel korraldada kalmistule matmine, kuid ilma rongkäiguta. "

Saksa korraldust loomulikult ei austataks.

See piirkond oli tugipunktiks vabadele prantslastele ja vastupanuliikumisele ning nende vihkamisele Boschi vastu.

Rahvas oleks täiesti teadlik teiste liitlaseskadrillide pingutustest ja nende pingutustest vastupanu toetada.

Need mehed ei jääks austuseta

Õhtu jooksul viidi lennuväelaste surnukehad Jean Cottineau & rsquose lauta ja kohalik puusepp pr Muloise sai ülesandeks teha kirstud.

Järgmisel päeval, kolmapäeval, 26. juulil, võttis härra Eugène Huard juunior oma musta mära nimega "Fanny" ja läks Riaillé külla, et panna kokku surnuauto ja matuserongkäik.

Järgnevatel matustel oli palju lilli ja üle 200 inimese järgnes kahe noore Kanada lennuväelase kirstu külakirikusse, mis oli täis üle 400 prantslase leinaja.

Kaks Kanada lennuväelast maeti kõrvuti Riaillé küla kalmistule, kus on viibinud proua Marie-Thérèse Knittel.

asetades lilli Kanada lendurite haudadele üle 60 aasta.

William MacPherson ja tema naine Pauline võtsid vahetult enne surma kusagil Winkleighis teed oma perenaisega teed.

Me usume, et maa daam võib olla Molly Short. Palun võtke meiega ühendust, kui saate aidata

William MacPherson ja tema

naine Pauline Winkleighis

Kanada kuninglikud õhujõud - RDF -i radari tehniline personal Winkleighi 406 eskadronis - 1944. aasta suvi

Foto - RAF Winkleigh - Devon - Ühendkuningriik: 23. august 1944.

Vasakult paremale (tagumine F/O Reg Labbe, T.G. MacGregor, F.Sgt Joe Kendall, LAC Reg Gaetz, PO - RAF. LAC, Bob McDowell, LAC, Wilf Lederman

Istuvad kpt. Clyde Lattin, FO Jack Fenn, LAC Doug Long, LAC John Lindsay, Cpl. Alf Loach, Manley J Richardson Cprl. Horace Red Macaulay, LAC Jim Scaffter.

RAF Winkleighi ajaloos ei saa mainimata jätta RCAF 406 eskaadri RDF -radari tehnilise personali panust. Sest nende jaoks pöördusid piloodid ja lennumeeskond parimate ja kõige uuenduslikumate varajase hoiatamise süsteemide paigaldamise ja hooldamise poole.

DF [raadiosuundade leidmine] Tehnik Bob Mc Dowell, kes on siin RAF Winkleigh'is pildistatud (paremal), on teel oma igapäevasele kontrollile salajaste ja keerukate radariseadmetega, SCR 720 (MkX) AI, mis oli määratud Kanada 406 Lynx Squadrons - sääselennukid Teise maailmasõja ajal.

Foto on teinud: Horace. "Punane" Robinson Macauley, (Nepean, Ontario. Kanada) Red oli õhkradaritehnik, kes asus Winkleigh'is koos Bobiga, tegeles pardal olevate radarisüsteemide testimise ja arendamisega.

& quot; Õhusõiduki radariseadmete käivitamiseks kasutati välist jõudu ja seda andis see väike bensiinimootor, mis käivitas generaatori, mis annab vajadusel 80 volti ja 12 või 24 volti alalisvoolu. Seadmed paigaldati kaherattalisele kärule, millel oli metallist ülaosa ja lõuendist tormi küljed, mis olid kasutamise ajal kokku rullitud. Seadme ühest otsast õhusõidukilt lennukile lükkamiseks kasutati varda käepidet ühes otsas. Seda nimetati tavaliselt kui "Jennie"

415 ruutmeetrit Nelisada ja Fightin & rsquo viisteist malevkonda

Siin on siiani vähe mainitud RCAF 415 eskadrilli Winkleighis. Ometi oli Winkleighi nelisada ja Fightin & rsquo viieteistkümne eskaadri tegevus rannikujuhatuse toetuseks, mis oli algselt lennubaasi ehitamise põhjus, sama oluline osa sõjategevusest.

415 mängisid siin suurepärast rolli kuni 1944. aasta suveni, kui nad viidi üle pommitajate juhtimisse. Kuid kogu selle aja jooksul oli 415-l täita torpeedopommitaja roll ja need mehed olid eksperdid vaenlase allveelaevade jälgimisel.

Stringbag & rdquo ehk Fairey mõõkkala oli selgelt üks tähtsamaid Briti Teise maailmasõja kahelennukeid, millel oli kaks strateegilist eesmärki - torpeedopommitaja ja amp -spotter - luurelennuk.

415 lendas nii Mõõkkala kui ka muudetud Albacore lennukiga.

Mõõkkala oma embleemis ja moto "Märgini" sümboliseerivad eskadrilli operatiivülesandeid vaenlase laevanduse ründamisel.

Selles osas loodan, et veteranid, eriti Winkleighis asuva tiiva esindajad, võtavad minuga ühendust ja annavad oma panuse.

Seal tegutseti vankumatult, nende edu oli palju ja ometi ütlemata.

Arhiivifotode jaoks minge järgmisele lehele:


Sõja -aastad - 10 rühma hävitajate juhtkonda RAF Winkleighis 1942–1945

12. taktikaline tutvumine

RCAF 415
Mõõkkala malevkond

RCAF 408
Hane malevkond
& quot; Vabaduse eest& quot

Osa Winkleighi, Devoni linnaosa linna ajaloost ja Winkleighi lennuvälja RAF.

Sponsor: Jackie Freeman Photography.

Fotod Kanada lennuväelastest RAF Winkleighis 1944-45.

Kirjanik tänab ja tunnustab Steve & amp; Shirley Leahy abi

Autoriõigus:/ 2008 | Jackie Freemani fotograafia - Grays Cross - Winkleigh - Devon - Inglismaa. Kõik õigused kaitstud
Illustreeritud piltide loata kasutamine on keelatud ja kaitstud vastavalt rahvusvahelistele autoriõiguse seadustele.


Luftwaffe rünnak RAF Elvingtoni ja operatsiooni Gisela vastu

1945. aastaks oli liitlasvägede õhujõududel suur osa Euroopast. Ühendkuningriigi kodutaevas muutus üha turvalisemaks. 1945. aasta 3. ja 4. mängu õhtul avaldas The Luftwaffe ahistavat taktikat, mis oleks võinud avaldada ahistavat ja kaugeleulatuvat mõju liitlaste õhupommitamiskampaaniale, kui nad oleksid selle alles sõja alguses kasutusele võtnud.

Sündmusterohkeks ja saatuslikuks ööks kujunes see ka Elvingtonist lendavate Prantsuse lennumeeskondade ja ka mõne läheduses asuva lennuvälja elaniku jaoks.

4. märtsi 1945. aasta esimestel tundidel, Unternehmenis (operatsioon) Gisela, saadeti Luftwaffe Nachtjagdeschwader Gruppeni (Ööhävitaja hävitajarühm) 200 ööhävitajat Junkers JU88, et võtta kinni liitlaspommitajad, kes jõudsid baasi tagasi kõige haavatavamas kohas, vahetult enne maandumist. .

Need Saksa röövlennukid ületasid Põhjamere punktides, mis ulatusid Thamesi suudmest idarannikuni kuni Põhja -Yorkshire'i nõmmeni.

Asjaolu, et need sissetungijad suutsid ületada Põhjamere rannikut ilma, et inglise radarioperaatorid neid üles võtaksid, viitab pommitajate juhtkonnale teatava rahulolutunde tagajärjele, kuna Luftwaffe oli 1945. aastaks liitlaste õhujõud domineeriv.

Nende eesmärk oli tabada naasvaid lennukeid oma missiooni viimastel hetkedel, maksimaalse väsimuse hetkel ja just siis, kui lennumeeskonnad hakkasid pärast vaenlase territooriumi kohal lendamise pingeid lõdvestuma.

Täna õhtul kavandatud liitlaspommitajate käsu missiooniks oli kahekordne rünnak Kameni sünteetilist õli tootvale tehasele ja rünnak Dortmundi Elmsi kanalile. Esimesele missioonile asus 234 lennukit 4 ja 6 rühmitusest, 222 pommitajat Lincolnshire'i 5 rühmast, kes asusid kanali poole ja lahkusid 3. märtsil 1945 kella 22.00 paiku.

Missioon kulges tõrgeteta, kuni tagasipöördumiseni, mil nad sattusid operatsiooni Gisela näol hätta. On selge öö ja mõned varakult naasnud lennukid olid seletamatult oma navigatsioonituled tavapärasest palju varem sisse lülitanud, hoolimata hoiatustest võimalike röövloomade ohtude eest, mida järgijad kopeerisid.

See andis ringile saksa sissetungijatele selge ja ahvatleva sihtmärgi.

Hauptmann Johann Dreher (Raudrist), kes lendas oma Junkers JU88 of 12 NJG -ga, oli juba nõudnud kahte 158 eskadroni Halifaxi pommitajat, kes naasid RAF Lissetti, ja suundus oma Junkers JU88 of 12 NJG -ga lendama, sihtides prantsuse 347 eskadroni Halifax, naastes RAF Elvingtoni. Umbes kell 1.50, kui Capitaine Notelle Elvingtonile lähenes, sai ta rünnaku eest hoiatuse.

Järsku kustusid kõik lennuvälja tuled, kuna Elvingtonil oli selleks ajaks elektriline lennuraja valgustus. Ta tõmbas oma lennuki üles ja võttis põhja Crofti poole, pääses napilt ähvardavast sissetungijast.

Capitaine Notelle (vasakul korgiga) ja tema meeskond ronivad oma Halifaxi pardale. Tagalaskur Lucien Malia (paremal) sai kokkupõrke ajal põletushaavu, kuid jäi uuesti lendama. Ta oli regulaarselt külastaja Elvingtonis, eriti mälestuspäevade jumalateenistustel, ja abiellus tõepoolest kohaliku tüdrukuga Yorki Fulfordist.

Öövõitleja jätkas rünnakut Elvingtoni vastu, röövides teed mööda sõitva taksoga. Kell 1.51 hommikul teisele passi tiirutades oli JU88 liiga madal, kärpis puu ja kukkus vastu lennuvälja äärel asuvat talumaja Dunnington Lodge'i.

Võitleja kuulipildujatuli oli talumaja räsinud, enne kui lennuk ühest hooneosast läbi kukkus. Siin ärkasid üles põllumees Richard Moll ja tema abikaasa Helen (60), kes olid tulistamisest ehmatanud. Nende tütar Violet (29) oli teel nende magamistuppa, kui lennuk kukkus. Vahepeal päästis tema abikaasa Fred nende 3-aastase poja Edgari elu, kühveldades lapse ühte kätt ja koos tulekustutiga teises, võitledes läbi leekide ja prahi väljapoole.

Traagilisel kombel surid nii tema naine kui ka ema vigastuste tagajärjel varsti pärast haiglasse sattumist. Richard Moll jäi esialgu ellu, kuid sai raskeid põletushaavu ja suri hiljem. JU88 sattus põllule Elvingtoni ja Dunningtoni teede ristmikul.

See oli viimane Saksa lennuk, mis sõja ajal Briti pinnal alla kukkus, sellele eelnes 7 NJG JU88 kukkumine Weltonis Lincolni lähedal kell 1.48 ja 5 NJG JU88 kukkus alla Halesworthi lähistel Suffolkis kell 01.37.

Kolm Elvingtoni prantsuse Halifaxit toodi samal hommikul maha, kuigi inimohvreid oli imeliselt vähe. Püüdes Croftisse jõuda ja Elvingtonis lõksust pääsenud, tabas Notelle Halifaxit kolm korda Feldwebeli Gunther Schmidti JU88 tulekahju, enne kui ta maandus põleva õhusõiduki edukalt Darlingtoni lähedal Hurworthis asuvas Rockcliffe talus.

Kogu meeskond pääses, kuid mõned teated viitavad sellele, et libisev lennuk hukkus kaks tsiviilisikut. Notelle raviti peavigastuse tõttu Northallertoni haiglas.

Sous-leitnant Terrien ise, jäädes oma põleva Halifaxi kontrolli alla, samal ajal kui ülejäänud kuus välja surid, kukkus alla Glebe talus, Suttonis, Derwentis, Elvingtoni baasi lähedal.

Lõuna pool toodi Capitaine Laucou oma esimesel missioonil Norfolkis Orford Nessi lähedal alla, peegeldades seda, mil määral olid ründajad tagasi tulnud lennukid laiali. Nii tema kui lennuinsener hukkusid, kuid teised paiskasid välja.

Sääsevõitlejate sekkumine lõpetas selle katastroofilise sissetungijate öö, kuid vaid paari tunniga oli pommitusüksus kaotanud veel 19 lennukit lisaks 9 -le reidil kadunuks tunnistatud lennukile. Samuti kaotas Luftwaffe operatsioonis osalenud 200 -st 25 võitlejat.

Võib väita, et kui taktika, mida Luftwaffe kasutas operatsioonis Gisela, oleks kasutusele võetud palju varem, oleks mõju pommitajate juhtkonnale olnud katastroofiline ja muutnud RAF -i pommituskäskude strateegia taktikat, võib -olla isegi sõja käiku.

Asjaolu, et meie kodu siin Elvingtonis on viimane Saksa hävitaja, kes Briti pinnase kohal alla kukkus, on riikliku tähtsusega ja lisab ainulaadset ajalugu, millel Yorkshire'i lennumuuseum põhineb.


Natsi-Saksamaa alistus: veebruar 1945-mai 1945

Üks Vaikse ookeani verisemaid lahinguid Teises maailmasõjas juhtus, kui kümned tuhanded USA merejalaväelased tungisid Jaapani kontrolli all olevale Iwo Jima saarele. Allolev Teise maailmasõja ajakava võtab kokku olulised sündmused, mis toimusid veebruaris 1945.

Teise maailmasõja ajakava: 13. veebruar-23. veebruar

13. – 15. Veebruar: Liitlased vallandavad Saksamaal Dresdeni vastu laastava rünnaku, milles hukkus üle 30 000 inimese pommirünnakus, mis vallandas intensiivsed tulekahjud.

16. veebruar: Kaks USA vägede pataljoni tungivad õhu ja mere kaudu Filipiinide Corregidori saarele. Nad puutuvad kokku Jaapani ägeda vastupanuga.

USA mereväe viienda laevastiku juurde kuuluvad lennukikandjad koos kümnete toetuslaevadega alustavad Tokyo kohal rünnakuid.

17. veebruar: Umbes 170 USA mereväe konnameest kaotavad oma elu õnnetu püüdluse tõttu nurjata Jaapani rannakaitse Iwo Jimal.

18. veebruar: Kindral Ivan Tšernjak-hovski (39), üks noorimaid Punaarmee kindraleid, kes II maailmasõja ajal rindeid juhtis, sureb lahingutes saadud haavadesse.

19. veebruar: Üks Vaikse ookeani sõja verisemaid lahinguid toimub siis, kui 30 000 USA merejalaväelast tungib Jaapani käes olevale Iwo Jima saarele.

20. veebruar: Punaarmee väed tungivad edasi Berliini, natsi -Saksamaa pealinna ja Kolmanda Reichi südamesse.

Liitlasväed rikuvad Natsi -Saksamaal Siegfriedi joont ja jõuavad Reini jõe kallastele.

Kakskümmend kolm Ameerika lennukit on kadunud, kui umbes 1500 pommitajat ja hävitajat ründavad Saksamaal Nürnbergis infrastruktuuri sihtmärke.

21. veebruar: Ameeriklased vallutavad Filipiinide Bataan provintsi, kus kolm aastat varem toimus kurikuulus Bataani surmamarss.

23. veebruar: USS Henry Bacon saab viimaseks liitlaste kaubalaevaks Luftwaffe kui see Saksa pommitajate poolt Põhja -Jäämeresse uputatakse.

USA merejalaväelased vallutavad Iwo Jima Suribachi mäe ja heiskavad Jaapani pinnal võõra lipu.

Maailmasõja pealkirjad

Allpool on rohkem esiletõstmisi ja pilte, mis visandavad II maailmasõja sündmusi ja näitavad üksikasju Ameerika sõjavangide kohtlemise kohta Jaapani vahi all, samuti Iwo Jima lahingut 1940. aastate keskel.

Jaapani väed tapavad ja vägistavad tuhandeid "Manila veresauna" ajal: Jaapani vägede mõrvatud filipiinlasest tsiviilisiku põletatud laip lebab Manila tänaval, käed on endiselt selja taga seotud. USA vägede lõksu jäänud ja kindla surmaga silmitsi seisnud Jaapani mereväelased Manilas jooksid amokki, tehes maha ja vägistades tuhandeid abituid tsiviilisikuid. & quot; Ma nägin preestrite, naiste, laste ja imikute surnukehasid, mis olid spordiga seotud. sõduri poolt lüüasaamisega hulluks läinud lüüasaamisega, "meenutas filipiinlaste toimetaja Carlos Romulo. "Manila veresauna" nime all hukkus hinnanguliselt 100 000 tsiviilisikut

Ameerika sõjavangid kannatavad Jaapani käes olles: Vabanemine saabus paljude haigete ja alatoidetud Ameerika sõjavangide jaoks liiga hilja Filipiinidel Mindanaos asuvas Davao karistuskoloonias. Üks Ameerika sõjaväelane suri, kui ta püüdis laagrihaiglas valamu juua vett saada. Ligikaudu 25 000 USA sõdurist, kes sõja ajal vangi saadi - enamik esimestel kuudel pärast Pearl Harborit - hukkus üle 10 000 jaapanlaste käes. Lack of adequate food and medical care, disease, forced labor, and outright murder all contributed to the toll. Japanese racism and a disdain for surrendered soldiers virtually ensured that the welfare of Allied POWs would remain a very low priority.

Marines land on Iwo Jima and suffer severe casualties: U.S. Marines hug a sandy terrace under enemy mortar fire after landing on Iwo Jima on February 19, 1945. Americans hoped to seize the island, located only 660 miles south of Tokyo, to eliminate a source of interference with B-29 raids from Saipan. They also wanted to provide a refuge for crippled bombers on their way home from Japan. The Marines found that the three-day preliminary naval bombardment had done little damage to Iwo Jima's 21,000 defenders, who had literally moved underground into a maze of tunnels and shelters. Japanese gunners waited patiently until the U.S. beachhead was congested with successive landing waves. They then opened fire, inflicting severe casualties.

Nepalese warriors are feared by German troops: A Gurkha soldier brandishes his weapon of choice -- the kukri, a curve-bladed knife. These natives of Nepal had served in the British Army since the beginning of the 19th century. During World War II, 40 battalions of Gurkhas fought in every theater of the war. Gurkha battalions attached to the British Eighth Army took part in the Italian campaign. They were feared by German troops for their ability to strike at any time and place, leaving their victims -- often with their throats cut -- as a sign of their presence.

Japanese troops embed themselves in rock and wait to attack U.S. Marines during the battle of Iwo Jima: A U.S. assault team warily clears a cave on Iwo Jima. Though dominated by 556-foot Mount Suribachi, the island's greatest defensive potential lay along a plateau two and a half miles to the north. General Kuribayashi Tadamichi located his best forces there among a nightmarish jumble of upheaved rock, gorges, caves, and ridges. The Japanese took full advantage of Iwo Jima's porous volcanic rock to burrow underground beyond the reach of U.S. heavy guns. Above ground, blockhouses with five-foot concrete walls and a multitude of pillboxes awaited U.S. Marines. These American forces had no alternative but to assault them one by one with flamethrowers and demolitions.

The Allies continued their advance into the German homeland, forcing the German army to begin conscription of boys as young as 16. Go to the next page for a detailed timeline on these and other important World War II events that occurred from February 24, 1945, to March 7, 1945.


Mosquito attack on Dalsfjord, 23 March 1945 - History

By Robert Barr Smith

Many of the prisoners knew this night was probably their last on earth. Amiens Prison had seen a great many judicial murders and much Gestapo torture and brutality, so except for those about to die, executions were routine. Most of those who died within these walls were simply patriots, members of the French Resistance movement, agents, and ordinary people who helped their occupied country against the Germans and their own prostrate government at Vichy. They were held in a separate part of the prison, the “German side.” The rest of the prison housed ordinary criminals.

Outside the grim stone walls a bitter February night closed down like a shroud. Those about to die knew there could be no assistance, no miraculous delivery. Locked in their cells behind the thick stone walls, surrounded by a German garrison, in a city saturated with collaborationist police and officials, they were far from help. There could be no rescue mission from outside. Besides, the resistance had been badly shattered over the last months, infested with informers, and those of its leaders not captured by the Gestapo or the French Milice were on the run or in hiding.

This was 1944, the year of the Allied invasion, and much depended on information from within France: data on transportation, defenses, even the location of the Germans’ launch sites for V-1 buzz bombs reaching out toward London. Effective sabotage was crippled. Most of the heavy-duty transmitters sending information to London were in German hands. The damage to the resistance apparatus must have crossed the minds of those about to die. Many were veterans, and among their fellow prisoners were at least one American and two Englishmen. Worst of all, one of the French prisoners was the heart and soul of the Somme resistance. If the Gestapo found out who he was and broke him, the entire network would crumble, and with it crucial pre-invasion intelligence and information on the German missiles. The Allied intelligence chiefs knew the danger, and frankly agreed that this man had to be gotten out … or killed.

The French underground fighters who remained free were well aware of the plight of their comrades inside the prison. They even weighed the possibility of an armed ground assault on the prison walls. They were a motley collection of shopkeepers, doctors, housewives, thieves, whores, and at least one pimp, but they shared a fierce patriotism. They would get their chance to help their imprisoned friends, but not in the way they imagined.

As time ran out, the underground weighed plans and the Amiens prisoners thought grimly about what awaited them, thought of family, prayed, and prepared themselves as best they could. Meanwhile, in England, a remarkable man and a remarkable collection of planners, pilots, and navigators were preparing an astonishing feat of arms, no less than an aerial jailbreak courtesy of the Royal Air Force.

The Raiders of 140 Wing

The RAF outfit laid on for the task was 140 Wing, comprising Squadrons Number 487, New Zealand, Number 464, Australian, and Number 21, British. From their air base at Hunsdon, near London, the wing was flying “no ball” raids, strikes against German V-1 launching sites across the Channel. These were veteran airmen many of the aircrew had flown literally hundreds of missions into the hostile skies across the Channel. They were very good indeed. In fact, all three squadrons would be part of other daring strikes, including the March 1945 rooftop attack on the six-story Shell Building, Gestapo headquarters in Copenhagen. They left the building afire and were gone, covered by P-51 Mustang fighters, by the time the Germans could start to recover. A single plane was lost at zero altitude when it struck a building, but the Danish underground reported 151 Gestapo killed and some 30 Danes escaped.

In this reconnaissance photo taken from nearly directly above the prison at Amiens, damage to the north wall is visible at lower right. A large section of the wall collapsed under the impact of 500-pound bombs during the raid which took place on March 23, 1944.

The same squadrons also hit the Gestapo headquarters in Aarhus, Denmark, in October 1944. This raid, like the others, was truly an Allied affair. The aircrew were British, Canadians, Australians, and New Zealanders, and the covering Mustangs came from a Polish squadron. The target was not only the Germans in the building, but especially the mass of carefully collected dossiers on thousands of Danes.

In spite of bad weather, the raid went perfectly. The raiders struck their target hard, avoiding two nearby hospitals. Delighted Danes waved the V-for-Victory sign at the raiders, and on the run into the target a farmer plowing his ground came to attention and saluted as the de Havilland Mosquito bombers roared in toward the city and skimmed over the buildings as low as 10 feet. The raid was carried out without losses, except for a dented engine nacelle and one raider’s tail wheel left on an Aarhus building when the pilot closed in to return fire from a building window. One pilot had the memorable experience of watching one of a comrade’s bombs hit its target, come out through the building’s roof, and arch gracefully over his own aircraft.

The Top Secret Operation Jericho

The operation against Amiens Prison, codenamed Jericho, had been prepared in the deepest secrecy. Until a scale model of the Amiens Prison was unveiled on a table in the briefing room, none of the crews had any idea they were scheduled for the most audacious raid of the war, rivaled only by the Doolittle strike at Tokyo. Matter-of-factly their leader, Air Vice Marshal Basil Embry, told the aircrew that they were on their way to blow holes in prison walls deep in France so that prisoners inside could run to safety.

The whole idea might have seemed fantastic coming from about anybody but Embry, but he wore his credentials on his chest. He was a veteran of many missions into harm’s way. He was once captured but could not be held for long. He simply killed his German guards and ran for it, escaping over the Pyrenees. The Germans put a 70,000-mark bounty on him, dead or alive, so he flew later missions as “Wing Commander Smith,” even wearing a dog tag to that effect. Embry was a stern taskmaster, but a fine leader, intensely concerned about his men. When an assemblage of high-ranking officers pressed him to take the Vultee Vengeance divebomber for use, Embry had been adamant: “I will not be a party to my men being killed in the Vultee Vengeance.” And that was that.

They would have to attack the prison soon, Embry said, since some of the prisoners were slated to be executed in the near future. The group would be braving miserable weather, German flak, and a cloud of fighters, including the Focke-Wulf FW 190s of the Abbeville Boys. These were the pilots who painted the noses of their fighters yellow and followed the legendary Adolf Galland,who rose to the post of general of fighters. They were a formidable lot.

Percy “Pick” Pickard: A Gentle Giant

So was the man who would command the wing during the raid. Embry had been forbidden to lead, a bitter disappointment, but he had confidence in the man who flew in his place. Percy Pickard—“Pick” to his pilots—was the wing commander and himself a storied veteran of innumerable missions into the teeth of the Luftwaffe. Pickard had been an Army officer of the King’s African Rifles before the war but had transferred to the Royal Air Force. As it turned out, he and the RAF were made for each other.

He had been actively flying operational missions since 1940, including over 100 nocturnal flights into occupied France, landing little Lysander liaison aircraft and Hudson bombers in pastures to deliver agents and supplies. In 1942, he led the bombers that dropped paratroops who raided the German radar station at Bruneval, shot some Germans, took the set apart, and made off by sea, taking a vital part back to England. He also flew conventional missions: shot down on a bombing mission in the Ruhr, Pickard crash-landed in the North Sea, where he and his crew bobbed around in a rubber boat—in a minefield—until their little craft drifted clear and they could be rescued. Pickard stood over six feet four, but he was nevertheless a gentle man who loved animals of all kinds, from rabbits to snakes, and particularly his English sheepdog Ming.

Pickard clenches his pipe between his teeth while standing in front of his de Havilland Mosquito bomber.

Dead serious about their job, professional to their boot-heels, the men of the wing nevertheless had a light side, very much in the RAF tradition. Visited by the king and queen at an airport at which they had been earlier stationed, the flattered Pickard was asked by the king the significance of a track of black barefoot prints leading up the mess wall and across the ceiling. Pickard, realizing that appropriate wall and ceiling cleaning had been overlooked, had to admit that the tracks were his, hoisted up by his pilots during an especially jovial party after the highly successful Bruneval raid, his feet covered with shoe polish. “But what,” said His Majesty, “are those two especially large blobs in the center of the ceiling?”

“I regret to say, sir,” said Pickard, “that those are the marks of my bottom.” He apologized, but he and his pilots found that the royal couple had a sense of humor.

The de Havilland Mosquito

All three squadrons of the raider group flew the de Havilland Mosquito, probably the finest fighter-bomber of the war. The “wooden wonder,” as she was called, was constructed largely of plywood from Canada and balsa wood from Ecuador. Her parts were put together in woodworking shops all across Britain—“every piano factory” Göring grumbled, when the Mosquito proved faster than any German fighter of the day. Then the final assembly took place at de Havilland, where the sections were put together in concrete molds, the glue bombarded with microwaves to hurry the drying.

Even the early prototype reached a speed of 392 miles per hour, an unheard of speed for the day. The Mosquito’s power came from a pair of Rolls Royce Merlins, the same engine that drove the Supermarine Spitfire and made an ordinary airplane called the Mustang into a long-range wonder, the finest single-engine fighter of the war. The Mosquito appeared in all sorts of configurations besides light bomber. It flew as a photo reconnaissance aircraft, radar-equipped night fighter, heavy bomber escort, and one version, armed with rockets and a 57mm cannon, was developed to stalk German U-boats. During the war they flew more than 28,000 missions, one aircraft flying 213 sorties. Mosquitos struck Berlin in early 1943, giving lie to Göring’s boast that no British bomber would ever reach the capital of Nazi Germany.

The Mosquito carried a prodigious sting. The airplanes that would attack the prison were armed with four machine guns and four cannon in addition to their bomb loads. Much thought had gone into those loads, and especially into how the bombs were to be dropped. Since the idea was to blow holes in the walls through which the prisoners could run to escape, and the RAF was coming in on the deck—“naught feet” as the pilots put it—the Mosquitos were in effect skip bombing and using delayed action ordnance at that. They had to hold a speed well below what the airplane would do and use great care to leave space between waves so that the bombs of the wave ahead of them would not go off before the next wave flew into the explosions of British bombs ahead of them. The impact generated by the bombs would also, the planners hoped, shake open the locks on cell doors or spring their hinges.

Perfect Target For a Low-Level Raid

One thing favored the attackers besides their experience and the quality of their aircraft. The ground around the prison was relatively flat and free of trees, houses, or other obstructions, making low-level attack possible. They would go in in waves of six airplanes on a front of about 100 yards. Each aircraft would drop its load of four bombs at once. If one wave failed to demolish its target, the next wave would follow up and bomb it. Since the bombs carried delay fuses, the later waves had to be sure they did not follow too closely behind the aircraft ahead of them.

Embry, Pickard, and their crews knew there was a substantial chance of civilian casualties inside the prison, but there was no help for that if the escape was to succeed. The French underground knew it too, but was ready to help. The handful of resistance leaders alerted to the raid knew only that if and when it came it would be at midday. They collected bicycles, men, and vehicles near the prison around noon each day, ready to hide escapers and spirit them away. They included a stock of weapons, in case they had to rush gaps in the walls to help prisoners out to freedom. There was also a vast stock of identity documents, stolen or expertly forged, many with real seals.

The motor vehicles were Gazogenes, which ran grumpily on gas from a wood-burning contraption on the rear. It then pumped the gas into a peculiar looking tank perched on the roof. They were ungraceful and ran at a glacial pace, but they were all that was available to the French civilian population and at least they would not attract unwanted attention from the Germans or the Vichy police.

“Just Follow Me- You’ll be All Right”

February 19 dawned cold and thickly overcast, miserable weather into which no civilian aircraft would ever have ventured. Nevertheless, the raid was a go, driven by the ominous knowledge that more delay, even a day, might be the deaths of more prisoners at Amiens. One frightening piece of information passed to the resistance indicated that the execution would be on the 19th, and a mass grave had already been dug.

The wing’s attack was minutely orchestrated. The first squadron, 487 New Zealand, would split into two three-plane sections, each section to strike a different side of the walls. The Australians, also flying in two three-plane sections, would follow, attacking the corners of the main building. Six aircraft of 21 British were in reserve, ready to hit anything that was not destroyed or that Pickard ordered. He would orbit over the prison, identifying targets that needed more work, and a photo recon Mosquito would record the damage.

Each squadron would be covered by a squadron of burly Hawker Typhoon fighters. The big Typhoon, lineal descendant of the famous Hurricane, was designed as an interceptor. Instead it won its spurs as a low-level fighter and fighter-bomber: fast, armed to the teeth, a full match for the Luftwaffe’s Focke-Wulf FW 190 at the altitudes at which the Mosquitos would operate.

Flight Lieutenant J.A. Bradley adjusts the Mae West flotation device of Wing Commander Percy “Pick” Pickard prior to takeoff for the attack on Amiens Prison. Both veterans of numerous Royal Air Force operations, the fliers were killed in action during the raid.

Pickard would watch for prisoners running through breaches in the walls, a sure sign of success. But if, he said, there were no escapers, 21 Squadron would be ordered in to bomb the jail itself. “We have been informed,” he said, “that the prisoners would rather be killed by our bombs than by German bullets.” It was something nobody wanted to do, but 21 was grimly prepared to strike the heart of the prison. There would be, he added, complete radio silence, and anybody who brought a bomb back to England would answer to him personally. And when someone asked about the precise course, the answer was vintage Pickard: “Bugger the course. Just follow me—you’ll be all right.”

The three squadrons took off into the murk of a miserable morning. It was snowing over southeastern England, but meteorology held out hope that the weather would improve once they reached France. At the start, it could not have been worse. The snow poured in against the Mosquitos’ canopies, clouds were down to 100 feet or so, and there was no hope of keeping formation. Several aircraft lost all touch with the others, including Pickard himself, and two Mosquitos narrowly avoided collision. Four crews were hopelessly lost, and at last had to turn back. They could not reach the prison in time to meet the exacting timetable of the raid.

Still another pilot lost an engine over France. Flying too slow to press on, he jettisoned his bombs and turned for home. Hit by flak on the way, with only one arm and one leg working, blood streaming from his neck, he hung on grimly. His observer managed to give him a shot of morphine, and he flew for home. Miraculously, he would make it. The rest pressed on, flying so low that their propwash kicked up great clouds of snow, skimming so near rows of power poles and lines of poplars that some of the Mosquitos had to raise one wing to avoid collision.

Breaching the Walls of Amiens Prison

The attack went in as planned, the aircraft skimming over the walls as they climbed after their drop. As great breaches appeared in the walls, little figures began to run for open country, sprinting for their freedom through the gaps. “You could tell them from the Germans,” said one RAF man, “because every time a bomb went off, the Germans would dive to the ground, but the prisoners kept on running like hell.” The bombs blew several small breaches in the north wall of the prison, a big one in the south wall, and an enormous hole where the west and north walls came together.

One aircraft dropped its load against the guardhouse and wall and climbed hard, skimming over a sort of gargoyle figure on the wall. Climbing away, they watched one bomb blow in the guardhouse, two more in the wall.

Some of the guard force lay dead or wounded in their mess hall others wandered aimlessly through the ruins. Meanwhile, two prisoners —one a professional thief who picked the locks on the filing cabinets—were busily burning prisoner dossiers in the commandant’s office. Two more—one a professional burglar—paused in their flight long enough to burgle the Gestapo headquarters, knife a guard, crack the safe, and burn more heaps of files.

Mosquitos of No. 487 Squadron Royal New Zealand Air Force clear the walls of Amiens Prison after dropping their 500-pound bombs on the facility. The first explosions are visible, striking near the south wall of the prison.

The great escape went on, prisoners by the hundreds running to nearby streets where they piled into the Gazogene fleet and vanished. Some—as many as 100—changed clothes in commercial vans thoughtfully parked for the purpose. Prisoners helped each other without distinction as to which side of the prison they came from. There were no criminals running from the building, no political prisoners, only Frenchmen. Some stripped guards’ bodies of their uniforms, becoming instant Germans. One, equipped with a white cane, tapped his way to freedom as a “blind man.”

A team of nine resistance members, including at least one prostitute, raided several stores, led by a professional thief called Violette Lambert … at least that was one of her names. Many of her team were also professional criminals, the women with bags carried under their clothing to receive their loot. The men carried overcoats over their arms, the sleeves sewed closed for their booty. The stolen attire was meant to clothe the escapers, and the team of thieves stole so many articles that some had to return to their cars to unload and return for more. At last Violette saw one of her team being closely observed and shouted, “My bag’s been stolen,” and the man slipped away in the confusion.

Two days after the raid, a low-level reconnaissance photo reveals extensive damage to Amiens Prison. The Operation Jericho raid to free prisoners from the Germans blasted a breach in the north wall of the facility, which is visible at the center of the image.

Other prisoners, not so lucky or inventive, were recaptured, many of them wounded or injured. And a few chose not to escape. One doctor, unhurt and able to flee, chose to stay behind with the wounded prisoners and to help dig out wounded still trapped beneath the rubble of Amiens Prison. Other able-bodied prisoners stayed with him.

Hiding the Escaped Prisoners

Other escapers were quickly hidden in private homes, clinics, bordellos, anyplace to get the prisoners off the street quickly. Three were sheltered in a brothel, placed, the madam said, in a room between two rooms where she would send girls to entertain visitors from German military intelligence, “a tasty Amiens jail sandwich.” The madam was an original in any case. She seldom went anywhere without her grenades, which from time to time she left under German vehicles. “Financing escapes with money the Nazis spend here,” she said, “is one of my greatest pleasures—the other is killing them.” Two other escapers seeking sanctuary—one a forger, the other a saboteur—were dressed in monks’ habits and passed across France from monastery to monastery in the company of real priests.

This photograph taken by one of the attacking planes of No. 464 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force shows smoke rising thickly from the damaged north and east wings of Amiens Prison. The Australians participated in the second wave of Operation Jericho, while the Germans were on full alert.

Many escaped prisoners were hidden in the underground vaults of a private clinic run by the father-and-son doctors Poulain, the same vaults they had used as refuge for Jews hunted by the Nazis. The vaults were hard to find, for they were concealed below the first basement … the morgue. Other escapers were hidden in plain sight, put to bed with their faces bandaged, victims of a “road accident.” Others became “expectant mothers” mounded with covers. “When are they due to deliver?” the Gestapo asked. About three o’clock in the morning, the doctor said. Why then, asked the German. Nobody knows, said the doctor but that was when most babies were born. The Germans bought it all.

“Red Daddy”: A Costly Return Home

The bombing went so well that even the demanding Pickard was satisfied. Standing by to bore in and finish the job, 21 Squadron heard Pickard calling, “Red Daddy.” It was the call to turn and go their extra bombs would not be needed. And then the wing’s aircraft were on their way home, roaring across France almost on the ground, chased by flak, pursued by Luftwaffe fighters. The Typhoons fended off many of the German aircraft, and the Mosquitos fought back with their formidable armament, shooting down several of the pursuing German planes. Squadron leader Ian McRichie crashlanded in a snowy pasture, partially paralyzed, his observer dead. He would survive, a wounded prisoner.

As the remaining raiders reached the English Channel, scattered and exhausted, the weather closed down again. Gray waves and thick snow showers cut visibility to almost zero. If they dived under the shelter of the clouds, visibility disappeared altogether. And then, as the Germans turned away about mid-Channel and the earth of England passed under the Mosquitos’ bellies, Hunsdon radioed landing instructions, staggering the planes’ altitude to avoid collision between tired pilots and damaged aircraft. Nobody had rested at Hunsdon or over at Embry’s headquarters. Everyone wondered and prayed. The raid had been a success, but nobody knew how many of the Mosquitos were coming home. Recon aircraft swept over Amiens and the homeward path of the raiders. Now Mosquitos were coming back, queuing up to land, but nobody knew what had happened to McRichie or Pickard.

But Dorothy Pickard knew. For Ming, Pickard’s beloved sheepdog, had collapsed, vomiting blood. A sort of supernatural bond existed between man and dog. Ming always fretted when Pickard flew, but she relaxed when her master was back on the ground, even before his wife knew Pick was back safely. She trusted Ming’s instincts. “Pick’s dead,” his wife said. And it was so. Somehow his dog’s sixth sense knew her master was gone for good.

Australian combat artist Dennis Adams captured the drama of Operation Jericho in Breaching of Amiens Prison as a Mosquito bomber rises from the complex, which is shrouded in smoke from bomb blasts.

For Pickard had stayed too long over the target, assessing the damage to the prison walls and watching his men fly clear. Turned for home, he was bounced, as the RAF put it, by two Focke-Wulf FW 190s, diving from higher altitude to offset the greater speed of the Mosquito. Pickard made a fight of it, nailing one German fighter, which ran for home. But the cannon of the second Luftwaffe aircraft ripped the tail from Pick’s aircraft and the plane smashed into the ground and burst into flame. There was very little left.

Local civilians rushed to help, using sticks to try to pull out the bodies of Pick and his longtime navigator, Flight Lieutenant Alan Bradley, but the flames were too hot and the Mosquito’s remaining ammunition began to cook off from the heat. Only later could they recover the remains of the crew, and one of them cut Pickard’s wings and ribbons from his uniform, hoping to hinder any identification by the Germans. In time, the girl who removed them sent them to his wife.

Over 250 Prisoners Saved

Pickard was awarded the Distinguished Service Order and two Distinguished Flying Crosses over an illustrious career, and many thought he should have been given the Victoria Cross for Amiens. Long after the raid, French citizens came to put flowers on the graves of Pickard and Bradley they even went so far as to expunge the German grave markings and substitute their own.

He was gone now, and the world was much the poorer, but the success of the Amiens raid was his best memorial. The German guard force had suffered heavily, an estimated 20 killed and 70 wounded, even though the Germans publicly said they had no casualties at all. But even the Germans’ own records admitted that more than 250 prisoners had gotten away and had not been recaptured. In fact, the total was substantially greater.

This photo, taken from inside Amiens Prison after the Operation Jericho raid, reveals serious damage to the complex. The junction of the north and west wings of the prison has been struck by several bombs. The photographer’s back is to the large breach which was blasted in the outer west wall of the prison.

Eighty-seven had died in the bombing and received a mass funeral carefully orchestrated by the French authorities. Predictably, the tame French press fulminated at the British, carefully parroting the party line that the raid was a crime. The funeral was a sad time, but even it had its bright side, for in the cortege of one of the dead, six wanted men walked piously away from the convent where they had been hidden.

Whatever the supine French press said, the French Resistance and most of the French people knew better. And 15 weeks after the strike at Amiens, the Allies came ashore in Normandy. It was the beginning of the end.


The RAF and USAAF continued to bomb targets in France for both strategic and tactical purposes through the first three quarters of 1944. French industry was a substantial supporter of the German war effort until liberation, as was its agriculture. Industrial targets and railyards were bombed by the American and British heavy bombers, supported by medium bombers such as the American B-25 and the British Mosquito. Railroads, bridges, dams, shipyards, and logistics centers were all targeted in France by the air campaign. The results of the bombing included nearly 70,000 French citizens killed in the bombing offensive.

As the German armies receded into Germany in early 1945, Berlin, Dresden, and other cities became refugee centers, though their infrastructure was largely destroyed. American and British bombers continued to attack, and until March, 1945, Arthur Harris continued to practice wide area bombing as his favored technique. After the war Harris wrote of the practice as &ldquothe principle of starting so many fires at the same time that no firefighting services, however efficiently and quickly they were reinforced by the fire brigades of other towns could get them under control&rdquo. The USAAF used the same principle in the bombing of Japan during the Pacific War.


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