Muskietaanval op Dalsfjord, 23 Maart 1945

Muskietaanval op Dalsfjord, 23 Maart 1945



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Mosquito Bomber/ Fighter-Bomber Units of World War 2, Martin Bowman. Die eerste van drie boeke wat kyk na die RAF -loopbaan van hierdie veelsydigste Britse vliegtuie van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog, kyk in hierdie bundel na die eskaders wat die Mosquito as 'n dagligbomwerper gebruik het, oor besette Europa en Duitsland, teen skeepvaart en oor Birma. [sien meer]


The de Havilland Mosquito: Brittanje se supervliegtuig van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog

Op 15 Maart 1939 het Duitse ambisies en leuens gekombineer met 'n gebrek aan Britse vasberadenheid Europa op die rand van oorlog gedryf toe Duitsland beset het wat van Tsjeggo -Slowakye oorgebly het. Na hierdie dubbele stap kon Brittanje en Frankryk nie langer bystaan ​​en Duitsland toelaat om op nog 'n grondgebied in te dring nie. Terwyl Duitsland onheilspellend besig was om sy gewapende magte op te bou, het Brittanje en Frankryk niks gedoen nie, maar nou was hulle gedwing om te worstel om geskikte wapens te ontwerp en te bou vir die komende konflik.

Dieper grawe

Gebeurtenisse het te vinnig ontvou vir Frankryk om wonderwapens te ontwikkel wat tot die beste van die oorlog behoort, maar die Britse vliegtuigbedryf was goed op pad om die Royal Air Force (RAF) van orkane en Spitfires te voorsien om die Luftwaffe te beveg en sou maak gou klaar met die ontwikkeling van die magtige Lancaster- en Halifax -bomwerpers om die oorlog na Duitsland te neem. Die titaniese stryd wat tydens die Tweede Wêreldoorlog was, het van die beste en helderste ingenieurs vereis dat hulle wapens skep wat maklik en goedkoop saamgestel kan word met beskikbare materiaal en tog die vyand kan verslaan. Dit was nogal 'n taak.

Britse vliegtuigontwerpers by die de Haviland-onderneming het die opdrag gekry om 'n tweemotorige, hoëspoed-ligte bomwerper te kry wat Duitse vegters kan ontvlug, en het dus geen begeleiding of selfs verdedigende bewapening nodig nie. Hulle oplossing was die Mosquito, een van die grootste en veelsydigste vliegtuie van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog, wat die eerste keer in 1940 gevlieg en in 1941 opgevoer is.

Die Mosquito is van hout gemaak omdat die voorraad aluminium en ander metale styf was, en was toegerus met die wonderlike Rolls-Royce Merlin-enjins, dieselfde motors wat die Spitfire-, Hurricane- en Mustang-vegters (Amerikaanse P-51) aangedryf het. Toe die muskiet as 'n bomwerper toegerus was, kon dit 'n topsnelheid van 415 km / h bereik en kon dit dus die Duitse vegters oorskry. As 'n vegter kon dit 'n snelheid van 366 mph bereik en word dit veral snags teen Duitse bomwerpers gebruik. Gestroopte weergawes met kameras, maar geen gewere is op verkenningsmissies gevlieg nie en was die vinnigste vliegtuie in die lug totdat die Duitsers straalvliegtuie ingeslaan het.

Die bomwerperweergawe kan tot 4 000 pond bomme dra, of kan met spore toegerus wees om grondaanvalpyle af te vuur. Die vegterweergawe was toegerus met 4 x 20 mm kanonne en 4 x .303 kaliber masjiengewere (een van die swaarste geweervragte van enige Tweede Wêreldoorlog), en was goed gewapen om bomwerpers of toue te skiet. Sommige weergawes is gemaak met aangepaste enjins en turbo -aanjaers om 'n plafonhoogte van minstens 37.000 voet, ongeveer 8.000 voet bo die standaardweergawe, toe te laat. Selfs vlootaanvalweergawes is gebou.

Duitse vlieëniers was so beïndruk dat daar in Duitsland sterk pogings aangewend is om die muskiet te kopieer, maar Duitse wetenskaplikes het nooit die gom ontwikkel wat nodig is om voldoende laaghout te skep en houtonderdele bymekaar te hou nie. Wat gom betref en dinge bymekaar hou, is daar probleme met muskiete wat na die Verre Ooste gestuur is, waar die hitte en vog van die moesson die hout laat afsak het.

In die geveg was die muskiet uiters doeltreffend, en ontledings het getoon dat vanuit 'n kosteperspektief muskietbom missies byna vyf keer so effektief was as in Lancasters. Met ander woorde, muskiete kan dieselfde resultate as Lancasters behaal teen 'n vyfde van die koste. Dit is wat ons 'n 'Superplan' noem!

Byna 8 000 muskiete is gebou, waaronder meer as 1 000 in Kanada en meer as 200 in Australië. Die POF het hul muskiete in 1950 afgetree, maar sommige ander lande, soos Suid -Afrika en Israel, het hulle langer gevlieg. Slegs 2 is vandag lugwaardig.

Die volgende keer as u hoor hoe mense die 'beste' vliegtuie van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog bespreek, moet u nie verbaas wees as u hoor dat baie die Mosquito as die beste vliegtuig van die hele oorlog benoem nie.

Vraag aan studente (en intekenare): Wat is jou gunsteling vliegtuig uit die Tweede Wêreldoorlog? Laat weet ons asseblief in die kommentaarafdeling onder hierdie artikel.

As u van hierdie artikel gehou het en kennisgewings van nuwe artikels wil ontvang, is u welkom om in te teken Geskiedenis en opskrifte deur van ons te hou Facebook en word een van ons beskermhere!


Een gedagte oor & ldquo Operation Clarion: 22-23 Februarie, 1945 & rdquo

Interessant soos gewoonlik, Greg. Dit is nie verbasend dat spoorverkeer nie langer onderbrekings ondervind het nie, maar spoorweë is relatief maklik om te herstel, en in baie gevalle was dit nie vir die Duitsers baie moeilik om treine te herlei as brue nog ongeskonde was nie. Brugge was egter baie moeilike teikens om aansienlik te beskadig, wat nog te sê vernietig. As ek 'n Jabo -bestuurder was, sou ek waarskynlik nie te bly wees om op te staan ​​teen die flakbatterye wat hulle beskerm nie!


Historiese gebeure op 23 Maart

    Jocelin, abt van Melrose, word verkies tot biskop van Glasgow 1ste gedateerde uitgawe van Maimonides & quotMishneh Torah & quot, 'n kode van Joodse godsdienstige wet word gepubliseer Aragonese regskode formeel erkenning Verdrag van Longjumeau: Franse Hugenote staak Friesland sluit aan by Union of Utrecht English Separatist Puritans John Greenwood en Henry Barrowe verhoor en ter dood veroordeel op aanklag van die opstel en verspreiding van oproerige boeke wat Franse troepe Pinerolo Piedmont beset Frankryk en Engeland sluit 'n alliansie teen Spanje Engeland kry Dunkirk Pretender op die Engelse troon James III om te land in Firth of Forth, Skotland, maar word deur die Britse Royal Navy afgewys

Musiek Première

Gebeurtenis van Rente

1775 verklaar Patrick Henry "Gee my die vryheid of gee my die dood" in toespraak ten gunste van die Virginiese troepe wat by die Amerikaanse rewolusionêre oorlog aansluit

Gebeurtenis van Rente

1794 Luitenant-generaal Tadeusz Kościuszko keer terug na Pole

Gebeurtenis van Rente

1808 Napoleon se broer Joseph neem die troon van Spanje in

    Slag en val van die stad Kalamata, Griekse Onafhanklikheidsoorlog 1ste aangetekende gebruik van & quotOK & quot [oll korrect] (Boston's Morning Post) Draper neem die eerste suksesvolle foto van die Maan (daguerreotipe) Die skip John Wickliffe arriveer in Port Chalmers met die eerste Skotse setlaars vir Dunedin, Nieu -Seeland. Otago provinsie gestig. Slag van Novara (King Charles Albert vs Italiaanse republiek)

Gebeurtenis van Rente

1857 Elisha Otis installeer sy eerste hysbak op 488 Broadway in New York

    Straatkar gepatenteer (E A Gardner van Philadelphia) Die eerste tramwaens van Londen, ontwerp deur Mr Train of NY, begin met die Slag van Kernstown Virginia, Jackson begin sy Valley Campaign Encounter in Camden, Arkansas

Gebeurtenis van Rente

In 1865 bereik generaal Sherman en Cox se troepe Goldsboro, Noord -Carolina

Gebeurtenis van Rente

Die kongres van 1867 aanvaar die tweede heropbouwet oor die veto van president Andrew Johnson

    Universiteit van Kalifornië gestig in Oakland, Kalifornië, 39ste Grand National: Fred Hobson aan boord van 15/1 skoot Austerlitz wen met 4 lengtes van die Engelse FA Cup-eindstryd in die Engelse Kennington, Londen: Wanderers klop Royal Engineers, 3-1 van Wanderers se rug-na- terug en 5de titel algehele War of the Pacific tussen Chili en die gewrigte van Bolivia en Peru. Chili neem Arica en Tarapacá suksesvol oor, en laat Bolivia 'n land sonder omgang. Meelwalsmeule gepatenteer (John Stevens van Wisconsin)

Gebeurtenis van Rente

1919 Benito Mussolini vorm Fascistiese beweging in Milaan, Italië

Gebeurtenis van Rente

1919 stel die 8ste kongres van die Russiese Kommunistiese Party weer 'n Politburo van vyf lede op wat die sentrum van politieke mag in die Sowjetunie word. Oorspronklike lede Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky, Joseph Stalin, Lev Kamenev en Nikolai Krestinsky


Muskietaanval op Dalsfjord, 23 Maart 1945 - Geskiedenis

Verwerk uit sy TV -reeks Secret Britain

Foto's deur Devon Fotograaf - Jackie Freeman

RAF Winkleigh

Die verhaal van 'n WW II -lugbasis in Devon

'N Geïllustreerde geskiedenis van die RAF -vliegveld in Winkleigh

Die Kanadese by RAF Winkleigh 1944 - 45

Royal Canadian Air Force - RCAF - 406 - 415 - 408 - Eskader

Ek het al die RAF 3 -volume -rekord Geskiedenis van die Royal Air Force in die Tweede Wêreldoorlog genoem, waarin die RAF -vliegveld by Winkleigh eenvoudig nie bestaan ​​nie!

Aan die ander kant, as u na die Kanadese weergawe van sy oorlogstydgeskiedenis 'The RCAF Overseas' kyk, is dit 'n heel ander verhaal, met ongeveer 20 bladsye gewy aan Winkleigh in Devon en sy RAF -basis.
Hulle was mal daaroor en het hulself beslis tuisgemaak.

'N Interessante waarneming wat my onlangs gestuur is deur 'n ontruimde in oorlogstyd na Winkleigh met goeie herinneringe aan die Kanadese, het betrekking gehad op hul natuurlike aantrekkingskrag vir plaaslike cider!
Hy herinner hom aan baie vlieëniers wat nie gewoond was daaraan dat alkohol vol alkohol is nie (Kanadese cider is heeltemal 'n ander ding, ons noem dit appelsap). word nugter!

Met 'n bevelverandering by RAF Winkleigh op 29 Maart 1944, as vleuelbevelvoerder Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton

Fumerton word beskryf as 'n groot, vasbeslote ou met 'n bedrieglike sagmoedigheid en 'n rits versierings, en tereg omdat Moose Fumerton die beste Kanadese nagvegter van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog sou word en hy word toegeskryf aan 14 lugoorwinnings.

Hierdie manne het 'n ontembare paar gemaak, wat albei hul eskaders van voor af gelei het en altyd gejeuk het om na die vyand te gaan.

Hulle was onvermoeide en dapper bevelvoerders.

Die D -dagbestellings - Operasie Bigot.

In sy memoires vertel Moose Fullerton ons van sy rol in 'Operation Bigot' so geheim dat hy dit nie eers met sy eweknie Douglas-Hamilton kon bespreek nie. hy praat van die dramatiese verantwoordelikheid wat op 4 Junie deur sy meerderes in sy hande gelê is om die D -dag -bestellings persoonlik uit RAF Winkleigh aan verskillende vliegbane in Suidwes te lewer.

Hierdie taak het hy verrig deur motorfietsryers by die individuele lugbasisse te ontmoet en terwyl die enjins aan die gang gehou is, het hy die geheimsinnige dokumente vir interne aflewering direk aan elke CO oorgedra. Hy sou die proses herhaal na elke vliegveld in die suidweste van Engeland.

Vleuelbevelvoerder Fummerton, DFC., AFC. Retd, in 'n brief van 6 November. 1994 uit sy huis in Toronto, vertel die verhaal van die D Day -bevele.

Hy praat verder oor sy gevoelens van trots wanneer hy na Winkleigh teruggekeer het van sy missie om die paaie na die weste te sien

'sit vas met mans en masjinerie op pad na die kushawe. '

Dit moes nogal 'n aanskouing en 'n ontsagwekkende eer gewees het?

Vleuelbevelvoerder David John & quotBlackie & quot; Williams
RCAF G/C, DSO, DFC.

Vleuelbevelvoerder Russell Bannock DFC, DSO & amp Bar Gebore as Russell Bahnuk.

Eskaderbevelvoerder na Blackie Williams

Teen Julie 1944 het S. Kwadronleier Blackie Williams, nadat hy 'n DSO toegeken is vir sy optrede teen 7 Dornier DO 217 -vliegtuie bo Brest in Frankryk, neem toe die bevel oor van die Kanadese eskader by Winkleigh.

Baie Kanadese offisiere het lof ontvang vir hul prestasies, insluitend 'n DSO, 7 DFC's en twee DFM's en 'n dramatiese rekord van suksesvolle moorden:

47 vliegtuie bevestig vernietig, 15 voertuie, 68 treine, 3 bootjies 2 duikbote en 3 kragstasies.

Die eskaderrekords vir die 14de Mei 1944 begin:

& quot 'n Epiese aand in eskaderjoernaal. & quot

. toe ongeveer middernag ongeveer 35 vyandelike vliegtuie versprei werk, met Bristol as doelwit.

Toe die rook van die geveg verdwyn het, was die telling soos volg:

W/C Fumerton en Flight A.N.C. Lynes - 1 Ju. 88 Vernietig

P/O W.H. Muschett en P/O J.L.N. Hall - 1 Ju. 88 vernietig 1 Ju 88 waarskynlik

P/O D.J. McConnell en F/O Michael James Kazakoff in 'n muskiet wat hulle 'The Impatient Virgin' genoem het.

1 Ju. 88 waarskynlik, 1 ongeïdentifiseerde beskadig.

F/L H.D. McNabb & F/S A.F Tindall - 1 Ju.88 waarskynlik, 1 onbekende beskadig.

Totaal: 4 vernietig, 3 waarskynlik, 1 beskadig, sonder verlies.

* Met dank aan mnr. Jack Webster in Ottawa, Kanada, vir sy hulp om 'n fout in die operasionele rekordboek reg te stel. Ons is bly om reg te stel om toesig te hou.

Ou kamerade sal hartseer wees om te hoor van die heengaan van die vlugoffisier Michael James Kazakoff.
2 Desember 2010 op 89 -jarige ouderdom.

RCAF 406 -eskader het 'n uiters belangrike rol in die oorlog gespeel met hul Beaufighters en Mosquito -aanvalvliegtuie. Voltooi 'n indrukwekkende, toegewyde diens in die annale van die oorlog.

406 Eskader word toegeskryf aan 64 vyandelike vliegtuie wat vernietig is, sewe waarskynlik vernietig en 47 beskadig. Daarbenewens is verskeie lokomotiewe en grondinstallasies opgeblaas of bestraf

deur beskieting. Hierdie aksies het die eskader drie D.S.O. & rsquos gewen, een tweede Bar na die D.F.C., een Bar aan die D.F.C., veertien D.F.C. & rsquos, twee D.F.M. & rsquos en vier genoem in versendingsaanhalings.
Die eskader het meer as 1800 soorte gevlieg in die vier jaar wat dit in werking was.

Tydens nagvegteraktiwiteite het hy agt vliegtuigbeamptes en amp verloor as 'n indringer -eenheid; sy slagoffers was twaalf dood en twee gevange geneem.
Nie-operasionele ongelukke het 13 eskaderlede se lewens geëis.

Een so 'n 406 missie word hieronder weergegee.

Die laaste vlug van Burgess en MacPherson.

Flight Lieutenant Navigator
WILLIAM NEIL MACPHERSON J/9133

406 vierkante meter. Royal Canadian Air Force

Flight Luitenant Loods
RAYMOND RICHARD BURGESS J/7612

406 vierkante meter. Royal Canadian Air Force

Dit was 'n pragtige middag op die vliegbasis by RAF Winkleigh op Julie 1944 toe 'n paar Mosquito -vegvliegtuie

het na die hemel gegaan vir roetine patrollie oor Frankryk.

Die weer was perfek, wat die jong vlieëniers eerste klas sigbaarheid en 'n asemrowende uitsig na die suide gegee het toe hulle die Kanaal oorsteek.

^Onbekende vliegtuigbemanning voor 'n Mosquito -vegter, winter 44/45 Winkleigh

Aircrew - in die middel van 'n muskiet, Winkleigh

Omtrent 15:15 uur op 25 Julie 1944 word 'n aanvalsvliegtuig van die Mosquito XII, bestuur deur Flight Lieutenant Ray Burgess van Biggar Saskatchewan en opgevolg deur Flight Lieutenant Navigator Bill MacPherson van Wallenstein, Ontario, uit 406 eskader gebaseer op Winkleigh in Devon, gevang sien twee Duitse vegters naby Varades naby Nante in die Loire-Atlantique. Hulle sluit hulle vinnig in.

Die vlieëniers van die muskiete, albei ou hande met sulke taktieke, het dadelik aksie vermy en die bandiete met 'n hewige kanonvuur betrek. Maar die Duitse vliegtuie swaai op verskillende rakke, net om met die verwoestende gevolg op die geteisterde muskiet te val.

Een van die Duitse vegters het skielik hoogte gekry en op sy prooi geval, op die Kanadese vliegtuig geskiet en met koeëls deurdrenk.

Die kreupel vliegtuig stort uit die lug.

Burgess sukkel tevergeefs met die beheer van die sterwende muskiet wat in 'n stadige, langdurige boog bo die dorpie Meilleraie swaai. Maar dit het alreeds aan die brand gesteek, net vir 'n aaklige oomblik bo 'n nabygeleë woud, voordat dit in 'n verskriklike ontploffing verpletter is.

Vuurwerkers in 'n nabygeleë mielieland het die middag in die son gestroop en het min tyd gehad om vir dekking te duik toe die vliegtuig tref.


'N Groep Boy Scouts, wat nie van die ongeluksterrein af gekamp het nie, het na die toneel gehaas, maar hitte en vlamme wat nou kilometers ver gesien kan word en deurlopende ontploffings deur die aansteek van ammunisie was 'n te groot risiko en niks kon gedoen word nie.

Jong en oud uit die dorp, sommige met armbande van die Rooi Kruis, kom op fietse, waaronder Marie-Therese Brunet en Joseph Muloise, en staan ​​stil terwyl twee verkoolde lyke eerbiedig van die ongeluksterrein herstel en op lakens in die veld gelê is.

Die muskiet het skaars 150 meter van die weide waar die Huard -gesin gewerk het, geëindig en meneer Eugène Huard Senior het met sy maaidorser op die ongeluksterrein gebly terwyl sy seun Eugène Huard Junior (20) die perde gaan opstal het.

Hulle ooggetuie verslae vertel hoe 'n uur en 'n half verloop het toe die Duitse vegvliegtuie en rsquos -vlieëniers uit die pad na Sorgne opdaag in die geselskap van 'n tolk wat geland het ná die verlowing by hul tydelike lugbasis op 'n vliegveld naby Varades.

& quot Die Duitsers het nie die sterflike oorskot van die twee Kanadese vlieëniers gegroet nie, maar hulle met hul voete omgerol en in hul sakke gesoek na hul identifikasiepapiere en geld.

'N Rukkie later kom 'n Duitse offisier van die "Kommandatur" aan. Hy groet die liggame van die beamptes en beveel dat die munisipaliteit 'n begrafnis in die begraafplaas moet reël, maar sonder 'n optog. & Quot

Die Duitse orde sou natuurlik nie gerespekteer word nie.

Die streek was 'n vesting vir die vrye Franse en versetbewegings en hul haat vir die Bosch, patenteel en volledig.

Die mense is deeglik bewus van die pogings van ander geallieerde eskaders en hul pogings om die verset te ondersteun.

Hierdie manne sou nie eerloos wees nie

Die aand is die vlieëniers se lyke na die Jean Cottineau & rsquos -skuur geneem en die plaaslike timmerman me. Muloise het die taak gekry om kiste te maak.

Die volgende dag, Woensdag 26 Julie, het Eugène Huard junior sy swart merrie met die naam "Fanny" geneem en na die dorpie Riaillé gegaan om die lykswa en 'n begrafnisstoet bymekaar te kry.

Daar was baie blomme op die begrafnis wat gevolg het en meer as 200 mense het die kiste van die twee jong Kanadese vlieëniers gevolg na die dorpskerk, waar meer as 400 Franse rouklappers vol was.

Die twee Kanadese vlieëniers is langs mekaar in die begraafplaas in die dorpie Riaillé ter ruste gelê waar mev Marie-Thérèse Knittel was

meer as 60 jaar lank blomme op die Kanadese vlieëniergrafte plaas.

William MacPherson en sy vrou Pauline drink tee saam met hul 'eienaar' êrens in Winkleigh net voor sy dood.

Ons glo dat die landdame Molly Short is. Kontak ons ​​gerus as u kan help

William MacPherson en syne

vrou Pauline in Winkleigh

Royal Canadian Air Force - RDF Radar Technical Technical at 406 Squadron in Winkleigh - Somer van 1944

Foto - RAF Winkleigh - Devon - UK: 23 Augustus 1944.

Links na regs (agter. F/O Reg Labbe, T.G. MacGregor, F.Sgt Joe Kendall, LAC Reg Gaetz, PO - RAF. LAC, Bob McDowell, LAC, Wilf Lederman

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

In die geskiedenis van RAF Winkleigh kan u nie die bydrae van die RDF Radar Technical -personeel van die RCAF 406 -eskader misloop nie. Vlieëniers en lugdienspersoneel het vir hulle besluit om die beste en mees innoverende vroeë waarskuwingstelsels wat nog ontwerp is, te installeer en te onderhou.

DF [Radio Direction Finding] Tegnikus Bob Mc Dowell wat hier by RAF gefotografeer is Winkleigh (regs) is op pad om sy daaglikse inspeksies van die topgeheime en gesofistikeerde radartoerusting, SCR 720 (MkX) AI, wat aan die Kanadese toegewys is, uit te voer 406 Lynx Squadrons - Mosquito strike vliegtuie tydens die Tweede Wêreldoorlog.

Die foto is geneem deur: Horace. "Red" Robinson Macauley, (Nepean, Ontario. Kanada) Red was 'n radartegnikus in die lug op Winkleigh saam met Bob, betrokke by die toets en ontwikkeling van die radarstelsels aan boord.

Ekstern krag is gebruik om die radar -toerusting van die vliegtuig aan te dryf, en dit is verskaf deur hierdie klein petrolenjin wat 'n kragopwekker met 'n kragopwekker van 80 volt en 12 of 24 volt gelewer het soos benodig. Die toerusting is gemonteer op 'n tweewielkar met 'n metaalblad en kante stormkant wat opgerol is tydens gebruik. 'N Stuurhandvatsel aan die een kant is gebruik om die eenheid van vliegtuig na vliegtuig te stoot. Dit word algemeen na verwys as "Jennie. & Quot

415 vierkante meter. Vierhonderd en Fightin & rsquo Vyftien eskader

Hier is tot dusver min melding gemaak van RCAF 415 -eskader by Winkleigh. Tog was die optrede van Four hundred en Fightin & rsquo fifteen Squadron van Winkleigh ter ondersteuning van Coastal Command, wat aanvanklik die rede was waarom die lugbasis gebou is, 'n ewe belangrike deel van die oorlogspoging.

415 het hier 'n wonderlike rol gespeel tot die somer van 1944 toe hulle na Bomber Command oorgeplaas is. Maar gedurende hierdie tyd het 415 'n torpedo-bomwerperrol gespeel en hierdie manne was kundiges om vyandelike duikbote op te spoor.

Die & ldquoStringbag & rdquo of die Fairey Swordfish, was duidelik een van die belangrikste Britse tweevliegtuie van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog en het 'n tweeledige strategiese doel - torpedobomwerper & amp spotter - verkenningsvliegtuig.

415 het beide Swordfish en die aangepaste Albacore -vliegtuig gevlieg.

Die swaardvisse in hul embleem en leuse "Tot die merk" simboliseer die operasionele pligte van die eskader om vyandse skeepvaart aan te val.

Vir hierdie afdeling hoop ek dat veterane, veral van die vleuel in Winkleigh, my sal kontak en sal bydra.

Daar was aksies standvastig, hul suksesse baie en nogtans ongekend.

Gaan na die volgende bladsy vir argieffoto's:


The War Years - 10 Group Fighter Command RAF in Winkleigh 1942 - 1945

12de taktiese verkenning

RCAF 415
Swaardvis -eskader

RCAF 408
Gans eskader
& quotVir Vryheid& quot

Deel van 'n geskiedenis van die stad Winkleigh, Devon en die RAF -vliegveld Winkleigh.

Geborg deur: Jackie Freeman Photography.

Foto's van Canadian Airmen by RAF Winkleigh 1944-45.

Die skrywer bedank en erken die hulp van Steve en Shirley Leahy

Kopiereg:/ 2008 | Jackie Freeman Photography - Greys Cross - Winkleigh - Devon - Engeland. Alle regte voorbehou
Ongemagtigde gebruik van die geïllustreerde beelde is verbied en beskerm onder internasionale kopieregwette.


Die Luftwaffe -aanval op RAF Elvington – Operation Gisela

Teen 1945 geniet die geallieerde lugmag sterk lugheerskappy in die grootste deel van Europa. Die tuishemel van die Verenigde Koninkryk het steeds veiliger geword. Die aand van die 3/4de wedstryd 1945 het The Luftwaffe 'n ontsettende taktiek getoon wat, as hulle dit eers vroeër in die oorlog toegepas het, 'n ontstellende en verreikende uitwerking op die Allied Air Bombing -veldtog kon gehad het.

Dit was ook 'n bedrywige en noodlottige nag vir die Franse vliegtuigbemanning wat van Elvington vlieg en ook 'n paar inwoners van die vliegveld.

In die vroeë oggendure van 4 Maart 1945, in Unternehmen (operasie) Gisela, is 200 Junkers JU88 nagvegters van die Luftwaffe Nachtjagdeschwader Gruppen (Night Fighter destroyer Group) ontplooi om die geallieerde bomwerpers te onderskep wat op hul mees kwesbare punt terugkeer na die basis, net voor hulle geland het .

Hierdie bedrieglike Duitse vliegtuie het die Noordsee oorgesteek op punte wat strek vanaf die Teemsmonding tot by die ooskus tot by die Noord -Yorkshire -heide.

Die feit dat hierdie indringers die kus van die Noordsee kon oorsteek sonder om deur Engelse radaroperateurs opgetel te word, dui op 'n mate van selfvoldaanheid wat onder Bomber Command plaasgevind het, aangesien die Luftwaffe teen 1945 die geallieerde lugmag oorheersend was.

Hulle doel was om terugkerende vliegtuie op die laaste oomblikke van hul missie te onderskep, op 'n punt van maksimum moegheid en net toe vliegtuigbemanning begin ontspan na die spanning oor vlieg oor vyandelike gebied.

Die missie van die Allied Bomber Command was vanaand 'n dubbele aanval op die sintetiese olieproduserende aanleg by Kamen en 'n aanval op die Dortmund Elms -kanaal. 234 vliegtuie van die noordelike 4 en 6 groepe het die eerste missie aangepak, met 222 bomwerpers van 5 Group, Lincolnshire, wat die kanaal aangeval het, en omstreeks 22:00 op 3 Maart 1945 vertrek.

Die missie het vlot verloop, tot by die terugkeer, toe hulle in die vorm van Operasie Gisela in die moeilikheid beland het. Dit is 'n helder nag en sommige van die vliegtuie wat vroeg teruggekeer het, het hul navigasieligte onverklaarbaar baie vroeër as gewoonlik aangeskakel, ondanks waarskuwings oor die gevare van moontlike roofdiere, wat deur die volgende mense gekopieer is.

Dit het die omringende Duitse indringers 'n duidelike, aanloklike teiken gegee.

Nadat hy reeds twee Halifax Bombers van 158 Squadron opgeëis het terug na RAF Lissett, naby Bridlington, het Hauptmann Johann Dreher (Iron Cross) met sy Junkers JU88 van 12 NJG, sy visier gerig op 'n Franse 347 Squadron Halifax, terug na RAF Elvington. Omstreeks 01:50 toe Capitaine Notelle Elvington nader, ontvang hy die waarskuwing van die aanval.

Skielik het al die vliegveldligte uitgegaan, aangesien Elvington teen hierdie tyd elektriese aanloopbaanbeligting gehad het. Hy het sy vliegtuig opgetrek en noordwaarts na Croft gegaan, waarna hy aan die dreigende indringer ontsnap het.

Capitaine Notelle (links met pet) en sy bemanning klim aan boord van hul Halifax. Die agterskutter, Lucien Malia (heel regs) het brandwonde opgedoen tydens die ongeluk, maar het oorleef om weer te vlieg. Hy was 'n gereelde besoeker aan Elvington veral vir die Remembrance Sunday Services en trou inderdaad met 'n plaaslike meisie van Fulford in York.

Die nagvegter het sy aanval op Elvington voortgesit en die pad by 'n verbygaande taxi gespan. Die JU88 was om 1.51 uur om 'n ander pas, te laag, het 'n boom geknip en in Dunnington Lodge, 'n plaashuis aan die buitewyke van die vliegveld, vasgery.

Masjiengeweervuur ​​deur die vegter het die plaashuis beskadig voordat die vliegtuig deur een gedeelte van die gebou neergestort het. Hier was die boer Richard Moll en sy vrou, Helen (60), besig om te ontwaak nadat hulle deur die geweer geskrik is. Hul skoondogter, Violet (29) was op pad na hul slaapkamer toe die vliegtuig toeslaan. Intussen het haar man, Fred, die lewe van hul driejarige seun, Edgar, gered deur die kind in die een arm op te skud en met 'n brandblusser in die ander een deur vlamme en puin na buite te veg.

Tragies is dat sy vrou en ma dood is as gevolg van hul beserings, kort na die opname in die hospitaal. Richard Moll het aanvanklik oorleef, maar het ernstige brandwonde opgedoen en is later dood. Die JU88 beland in 'n veld by die aansluiting van die Elvington- en Dunnington -paaie.

Dit was die laaste Duitse vliegtuig wat tydens die oorlog op Britse grond neergestort het, voorafgegaan deur 'n 7 NJG JU88 wat om 01:37 by Welton neergestort het, naby Lincoln en 5 NJG JU88 wat naby Halesworth, Suffolk, neergestort het.

Drie van Elvington se Franse Halifaxes is die oggend afgebring, maar met wonderbaarlik min ongevalle. In 'n poging om Croft te bereik en uit die val by Elvington te ontsnap, is Notelle's Halifax drie keer deur die vuur getref deur die JU88 van Feldwebel Gunther Schmidt, voordat hy die brandende vliegtuig suksesvol op die Rockcliffe Farm, Hurworth, naby Darlington beland het.

Alle bemanning het ontsnap, maar sommige berigte dui daarop dat twee burgerlikes deur die glyvliegtuig dood is. Notelle is in die hospitaal in Northallerton behandel vir 'n kopbesering.

Sous-luitenant Terrien self, wat by die beheer van sy brandende Halifax bly, terwyl die ander ses uitbaal, val neer op Glebe Farm, Sutton op Derwent, naby die Elvington-basis.

Verder suidwaarts is Capitaine Laucou tydens sy eerste missie naby Orford Ness, Norfolk, neergelê, wat die mate waarin die terugkerende vliegtuie deur die aanvallers verstrooi is, weerspieël. Beide hy en die vlugingenieur is dood, maar die ander het gebalanseer.

Inmenging deur Mosquito -vegters het hierdie rampspoedige Night of the Intruders tot 'n einde gebring, maar binne 'n paar uur het Bomber Command 'n verdere 19 vliegtuie verloor, benewens die 9 wat as vermis aangemeld is. Die Luftwaffe het ook 25 vegters uit die 200 wat by die operasie betrokke was, verloor.

Daar kan geargumenteer word dat indien die taktiek wat die Luftwaffe in Operasie Gisela gebruik het, baie vroeër ingevoer is, die uitwerking op Bomber Command katastrofies sou wees en die taktiek van die RAF Bomber Commands -strategie, miskien selfs die loop van die oorlog, sou verander het.

Die feit dat ons huis hier in Elvington die tuiste is van die laaste Duitse vegter wat oor Britse grond neergestort het, is van nasionale belang en dra by tot die unieke geskiedenis waarop die Yorkshire Air Museum gebaseer is.


Nazi-Duitsland oorgawe: Februarie 1945-Mei 1945

Een van die bloedigste gevegte van die Stille Oseaan in die Tweede Wêreldoorlog het plaasgevind toe tienduisende Amerikaanse mariniers die eiland Iwo Jima in besit geneem het. Die tydlyn van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog gee 'n opsomming van belangrike gebeurtenisse wat gedurende Februarie 1945 plaasgevind het.

Tydlyn van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog: 13 Februarie-23 Februarie

13-15 Februarie: Die Geallieerdes ontketen 'n verwoestende aanval op Dresden, Duitsland, wat meer as 30 000 mense doodmaak in 'n bomaanval wat intense vuurstorms veroorsaak.

16 Februarie: Twee bataljons Amerikaanse magte val die Filippynse eiland Corregidor binne deur die lug en oor die see. Hulle ontmoet hewige Japannese verset.

Vliegtuigdraers verbonde aan die Amerikaanse vloot se vyfde vloot, tesame met tientalle ondersteuningsskepe, loods 'n reeks lugaanvalle oor Tokio.

17 Februarie: Ongeveer 170 padda's van die Amerikaanse vloot verloor hul lewens in 'n noodlottige poging om Japannese strandverdediging op Iwo Jima te stuit.

18 Februarie: Generaal Ivan Chernyak-hovsky (39), een van die jongste generaals van die Rooi Leër wat 'n front tydens die Tweede Wêreldoorlog gehad het, sterf aan wonde wat in die geveg opgedoen is.

19 Februarie: Een van die bloedigste gevegte van die Stille Oseaan-oorlog vind plaas toe 30 000 Amerikaanse mariniers die eiland Iwo Jima in besit neem.

20 Februarie: Rooi weermag troepe vorder na Berlyn, die hoofstad van Nazi -Duitsland en die hart van die Derde Ryk.

Geallieerde troepe breek die Siegfried -lyn in Nazi -Duitsland en bereik die oewer van die Ryn.

Drie en twintig Amerikaanse vliegtuie gaan verlore toe ongeveer 1 500 bomwerpers en vegters infrastruktuurdoelwitte in Neurenberg, Duitsland, aanval.

21 Februarie: Die Amerikaners herower die Filippynse provinsie Bataan, die plek van die berugte Bataan -doodsmars drie jaar tevore.

23 Februarie: Die USS Henry Bacon word die laaste Geallieerde handelskip wat in die hande van die Luftwaffe wanneer dit in die Arktiese See deur Duitse bomwerpers gesink word.

Die Amerikaanse mariniers vang die berg Suribachi van Iwo Jima op en hef 'n vreemde vlag op Japannese bodem.

Wêreldoorlog Opskrifte

Hieronder is meer hoogtepunte en beelde wat die gebeure van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog uiteensit en die besonderhede van die behandeling van Amerikaanse krygsgevangenes in Japannese aanhouding, asook die slag van Iwo Jima in die middel van die veertigerjare, toon.

Japanse troepe vermoor en verkrag duisende tydens die "Manila Massacre": Die verbrande lyk van 'n Filippynse burger wat deur Japannese troepe vermoor is, lê in 'n straat in Manila, sy hande steeds agter sy rug vasgemaak. Japanse vlootpersoneel in Manila was vasgevang deur Amerikaanse magte en het 'n sekere dood in die gesig gestaar, en duisende hulpelose burgers geslag en verkrag. Ek het die lyke van priesters, vroue, kinders en babas gesien wat vir sport beoefen is. deur 'n soldaat wat mal geword het oor bloedlus in 'n nederlaag, & quot onthou die Filippynse redakteur Carlos Romulo. Na raming het 100 000 burgerlikes omgekom in wat bekend geword het as die 'Manila Massacre'

Amerikaanse krygsgevangenes ly in Japannese hande: Bevryding kom te laat vir baie siek en ondervoedde Amerikaanse krygsgevangenes by die Davao -strafkolonie op Mindanao in die Filippyne. Een Amerikaanse krygsgevangene is dood terwyl hy probeer het om 'n drankie uit die wasbak in die kamphospitaal te kry. Van die ongeveer 25 000 Amerikaanse troepe wat tydens die oorlog gevang is - die meeste gedurende die eerste maande na Pearl Harbor - sterf meer as 10 000 terwyl hulle in Japan was. Gebrek aan voldoende voedsel en mediese sorg, siektes, dwangarbeid en volslae moord het alles tot die tol bygedra. 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.” En dit was dit.

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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