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Lancaster website.....

Discussion in 'Information Requests' started by Martin Bull, Jan 18, 2003.

  1. Stevin

    Stevin Ace

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    On closer examination....indeed, the two blobs on thewings have been noticed...Ju88?

    Erich, I will try and make some better scans today when I am home...these were rush jobs, as it were....
     
  2. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    Sent the scan to Peter last night...no word yet. The scan was rather small unfortunately so he may not respond, but then again......

    19.51-20.39 hrs. 3 Ju 88 and 1 Bf 110G-4 of I./NJG 6 from Großsachsenheim.
    19.53-21.00 hrs. 3 Ju 88 of II./NJG 6 from Schwäbisch Hall.

    20.00 hrs 1 Lancaster by Hptm Friedrich flying Ju 88G-6 east of Pforzheim at 2500 metres.
    20.05 1 Lancaster 2600 m around Pforzheim Ju 88 G-6 2Z+XL, Oblt Engel.
    20.08 1 lancaster 2500m east of Pforzheim by Hptm Friedrich of I./NJG 6.
    20.09 1 Lancaster 2500m east of Pforzheim, 1 Bf 110G-4 2Z+IH of 1./NJG 6.
    20.11 1 Lancaster 2000 m 30km southwest of Pforzheim Ju 88G-6 Oblt. Peter Spoden 6./NJG 6.
    20.12 1 Lancaster 2000m southeast of Pforzheim by Hptm Friedrich of I./NJG 6.
    20.14 1 Lancaster 2000m 30km southwest of Pforzheim Ju 88G-6 Oblt. Peter Spoden.
    20.15 1 Lancaster 2900m west of Tübingen, Ju 88G-6 of OFhnr Helmut Bünje, 4./NJG 6
    20.15 1 Lancaster 2000m south of Pforzheim, Hptm. Friedrich, I./NJG 6
    20.18 1 Lancaster 2500m near Pforzheim Ju 88G-6. Oblt Engel, 3./NJG 6.
    20.20 1 Lancaster 2800m south of Tübingen, Ju 88G-6, OFhnr Helmut Bünje, 4./NJG 6.
    20.22 1 Lancaster 1500m near Pfrorzheim Ju 88G-6 of Oberlt. Engel. 3./NJG 6
    20.30 1 Lancaster 2400m southwest of Freundenstadt, Ju 88G-6, OFhnr Helmut Bünje, 4./NJG 6.

    losses 1 Ju 88G-6, 2Z+XL, werk nummer 621807 of 3./NJG 6 pilot Wilhelm Engel and BF Uffz. Josef Fux wounded on landing and hit by a/c debris in combat with Lancsters, Ofw. Friedrich Meyer and BS Uffz. Brockhoff unhurt.

    At 17.25 hrs airbase Schwäbisch Hall under ground attack by P-51's...during the day.

    As you can see a puny force of 7 German night fighters going up a strong armada of RAF bomber a/c.......

    Stevin, would like to see a clear scan if possible. Thanks !

    E
     
  3. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Finding a clear description of Pathfinder tactics is proving amazingly difficult - and I've been going through all my books.

    Stevin's scan from Alan Cooper's book is interesting for one raid : it's important to note that nearly every raid was different depending upon distance, location, meteorological situation, defences, etc etc.

    I've so far only found one concise description of Pathfinder tactics : -

    '...(Pathfinders) most frequently employed technique. First, an advance party, known as 'illuminators', found the target and lit it up with lanes of white flares. Then a second group, the 'visual markers', identified the actual target and marked it by dropping coloured markers. This group was quickly followed by a third, the 'backers-up', which dropped incendiaries on the coloured markers. After all these came the main force....'
    Denis Richards, 'The Hardest Victory' , p.150.

    With much respect to Mr Richards, this sounds a little simplified - but Pathfinder technique was continually changed and became much more sophisticated as the war went on, with 'recenterers' being added later, plus Master Bombers, Mosquitoes, 'Parramatta', 'Newhaven', 'Wanganui',etc etc.

    The entire 'Bomber Stream' concept was extremely complex - the idea being to concentrate the entire force over the target area in the shortest possible time, thus 'overwhelming the defences'. The staff work involved in Bomber Command planning of each raid must have been an enormous task but I have yet to read a good description of this aspect.

    So - I'm still reading on for things such as altitudes ( nothing discovered as yet :( ) and please feel free to correct me....
     
  4. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    Sounds good to me so far Martin. I cannot comment on things I know nothing about....though as you said the raids varied with altitude and defences. I can imagine the idea of flying low and then trying to get up to some sort of altitude over Pforzheim must have taxed the RAF crews greatly. As I have shown the German claims are low range and not the usual 20,000 feet perimeters that was usually flown on missions. Certainly the Lancs and the Ju's did not perform at their ideal.

    E

    E
     
  5. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    Martin :

    In your vast library on RAF bombers and missions do you have anything covering the 14/15.2.45 missions, especially around Chemnitz ? Looking for the RAF pathfinder plot and effectiveness achieved, losses, etc. I have the Middlebrook and Chorley volumes but am looking for something a little more specified and detailed.....there were 15 claims made by German nf, not all over the Chemnitz target areas, but in the north sea by NJG 3 as well.

    E
     
  6. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Bear with me, Erich ... I need to amalgamate from several books & accounts. No time just now - watch this space.....

    [ 20. January 2003, 02:52 PM: Message edited by: Martin Bull ]
     
  7. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    I understand, research takes time. Thank you for your efforts.

    E
     
  8. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Zzzzzzzzz..... ;)
     
  9. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    For Stevin's pic......from Peter Spoden two hours ago.

    Hallo Erich- I do not think that the upper a/c is a Ju 88G. It looks to me like another 4 enigne a/c. The ratio between wing-span and elevator is about the same on both a/c. the heading the same, only that the upper is probably at lower latitude.(interesting thought !) Difficult to recognize, but the picture reflects very well the moments over the burning town like in my book the pic from the museum London: the 4 motor over burning Hamburg. You Know Erich, that Pforzheim was a terrible RAF-area bombing for the German people: about 2000 civlians(among them more than 5000 kids) killed and burned by firestorms in 20 minutes from a population of 65,000 still living in the old town without any strategic value ! So long and best regards Peter-

    E
     
  10. Stevin

    Stevin Ace

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    Thanks for sharing that Erich. Interesting insight. Amazing how an amazing pic and authorative memories can come together like this...

    Hmmm....it is late in the day, which was a busy one...so I am not sure if what I want to say comes across.
     
  11. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    Stevin :

    When you get a chance, I would be interested in your thoughts of the pic once you have time to enlarge it. Always best in a case like this to get a few different viewpoints. 4 engine or a nf ?

    E
     
  12. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    CHEMNITZ 14/15 February 1945

    Sorry - there are snippets' of information in various books. so I'll post some of the more interesting from the rarer books ; -

    'The next night the Squadrons ( 150 & 170 from Hemswell ) went to Chemnitz, now Karl-Marz Stadt, 40 miles south-west of Dresden. Many government departments from Berlin had taken refuge there and it was also an important supply base for the Russian front. The attack was unfortunate in that although weather en route was good, cloud built up to a height of about 16,000 feet at the target and, because the PFF TI markers were set to cascade from below this height, very few crews saw them. In the end, the Master Bomber called for main force crews to bomb on D/R ( dead-reckoning ) or on navigation aids ( H2S ). However, after the bombing started, PFF started dropping Wanganui sky-markers and the Master Bomber changed his instructions to bombing on the sky-markers. A few crews found gaps in the cloud in the southern part of the target area and reported a fairly concentrated fire area.
    All our aircraft landed safely after a nine-hour round flight '.

    from ' Bomber Intelligence ' by W E Jones ( Intelligence Officer, 150/170 Sqns ).

    ========

    'The following night, February 14-15, Bomber Command laid on one of its most elaborate night operations , ( See Maps 22/23 ) a two-phase Main Force attack on Chemnitz with a 5 Group diversion to Rositz. there were a bewildering number of feints even from a British point of view ; mining, Bullseyes , and numerous LNSF spoofs, a protective Mandrel screen, and 100 Group put up intruders and aircraft to jam German radar. As so often happened the weather had the last word : cloud prevented visual identification and the Master Bombers on both phases had to call for emergency Wanganui flares. '

    from ' Pathfinder Force ' by Gordon Musgrove.
    ( :( The two maps would be useful to you but the detail is tiny even if I could scan them ! They show the tracks for both attacks with German Nightfighter assembly points and airfields marked..... ! )

    ========

    'As soon as I awoke I was to find that I was back on operations that very night, but this time as a Primary Visual Marker with my own crew. I dragged myself out of bed and across to Intelligence to find the target was Chemnitz, so another long haul to East Germany in support of the advancing Red Army.

    From the previous night I knew there was a considerable amount of cloud in the Chemnitz area, so hoped it had not increased as I very much wanted to be able to mark the target visually as there were over 700 bombers on the operation. We took off at 17:00 hours and did not encounter any opposition en route to Chemnitz but as we approached the city at about 20:30 hours there was enormous cloud cover over the whole area and in no way was I going to be able to mark the target visually so to my great disappointment it had to be a Wamganui ( sky marking attack ). I thought on this occasion that with more than 700 bombers over the city there would be a reasonable chance that the attack would hit home at supplies, communications, and any troops that may be garrisoned in the city.

    There appeared to be a moderate amount of heavy flak reaching around the flight level of the bombers but I saw only one very large flash just after leaving the target, but was too far off to make any guess as to whether it might have been one of our bombers. The sky markers did not appear to be drifting too rapidly and I could see no reason why the majority of bombs would not fall on the city. For our crew it was home and don't spare the revs, and with not a German Nightfighter in sight our Captain was calling Oakington for landing instructions at about 15 minutes past midnight '

    from ' Through The Bombsight ' by Sqn Ldr Andrew Maitland, DFC* ( 7 Squadron PFF )
     
  13. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    Do you have a scanner Martin ? I would enjoy the maps even if they are quite small. Probably would have to go to PRO to investigate the possibility of finding the approach to IP and target and then home again for this and other raids over the Reich......good stuff ! Isn;t it interesting too that even with the amount of losses that some bomber crews never saw a fighter. Almost like the US bomber forces, some hit hard others were fortuante in not receiving much at all in the way of air resistanc. I understand now how RAF was able to bomb "below the clouds"; very good explanation with those special flare/markers.

    E
     
  14. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Don't have a scanner - I'll have to think how I can do this.....

    Full information will be in the Bomber Command Raid Reports at the PRO, which is where the 'Bomber Command War Diaries' info comes from.

    I've just found another description of the 'feints' and countermeasures used on this particular raid in 'Bomber Offensive' by Sir Arthur Harris ( pp. 247 - 249 ).

    Yes, you're right - I've often seen it commented upon that for one crew, a raid can be a 'piece of cake' ( straight out, drop bombs, back home ) while for another the same night can be 'hell on earth', or their last....
     
  15. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    Martin are you familiar in how the reports are filed ? Is each mission text filed under a seperate number or letter; file or lumped together if you know ?

    post the Harris info if this is not too much bother please......have to run off for several hours of tedious work.....be back soon

    E
     
  16. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    As far as I'm aware, the Bomber Command Raid Reports are filed by number. Believe it or not, I've never been to the PRO even tho' it's about twenty minutes from my house by car or train.... :rolleyes:

    Anyhow, to : -

    CHEMNITZ, 14/15 February, 1945

    In 'Bert' Harris' own words -

    'On the night of 14-15 February, 1945, the main targets were Rositz and Chemnitz, both in Saxony, and therefore at a distance from the frontier which would normally have put our force in great peril ; Rositz was to be attacked by 224 heavy bombers, and Chemnitz first by 329 heavy bombers and then, after an interval of three hours, by another force of 388 bombers. Fifty-four heavy bombers were also to lay mines that night in the Baltic. Berlin was to receive yet another attack by Mosquitoes, a force of 46 of them being despatched.

    The enemy's early warning system was on that occasion jammed, and reduced in range, from Arnhem to Luxembourg. The minelaying force flew across Denmark to the Baltic while at the same time the Mosquitoes flew across North Germany to Berlin. In addition, 95 heavy bombers made a diversionary sweep over the North Sea. Then two separate forces, each of 12 Mosquitoes, broke from the cover of the jamming screen, and, as soon as they were within range of the early warning stations dropped bundles of window which, on the enemy's radar, simulated the approach of large bomber forces ; these two small Mosquito forces made for Duisberg and Mainz with the object of attracting the fighters based in the Ruhr and North-East Germany. A this stage, the enemy controllers were therefore aware of two main threats, the one somewhere up in the North and towards the East, the other in the general direction of the Ruhr. And at this moment in the enemy's confused affairs the two main heavy bomber forces broke cover from behind the screen of jammers and flew on the same course in the direction of Coblenz. Just north of Coblenz the two main forces diverged, one flying to the North-west and the other to the South-East, but after an interval they converged again and both made for Saxony.

    The enemy's first reaction was to decide that we were threatening the Ruhr and to send fighters there; the controllers had been deceived by the 24 Mosquitoes which were the first to break out from the jamming screen. The deception did not last for long, and fighters which had been sent to the Ruhr were hurriedly sent further South to orbit a beacon near Cologne. By this time, when the two Main Forces had reached Coblenz, the enemy had accurately plotted this very large number of heavy bombers, and when the two forces diverged near Coblenz, both of them continued to be plotted and the fighters followed both forces until they came together again, which was at a point about 40 miles west of Chemnitz. After this, the fighters only followed the force which was to attack Chemnitz. But all this was too late. A large number of fighters had eventually collected at the beacon near Cologne, but when they were sent after the main bomber streams not one of them was able to catch up. Meanwhile the mine-laying aircraft flying over Denmark had engaged the attention of some fighters based there and the enemy, after plotting the diversionary sweep across the North Sea and deciding that some 350 aircraft were approaching - the real number was 95 - sent some fighters to a beacon near Hamburg to be ready for this threat ; these fighters were not used again.From stations near Berlin the enemy did send a number of fighters to Chemnitz, but these were scarcely more effective than the fighters sent from the Cologne beacon ; they arrived so late that only a very few combats took place. When the bombers were on their way back from Saxony, other fighters came up from the South, but these also failed to catch up with the two bomber streams.

    We had naturally stopped jamming the enemy's early warning stations as soon as this was no longer necessary, but three hours later we began to jam them again, this time concentrating on stations rather farther to the south. It will be remembered that the plan was for a second large force of bombers to make a second heavy attack on Chemnitz, which was now the only real objective. This force flew on a route which passed to the south of Mannheim but in advance of it there flew a small force of Mosquitoes dropping Window, and as soon as these broke from the screen put up by our airborne jamming these diverged from the route assigned to the heavy bombers and flew in the direction of Mainz and Frankfurt. There were then three feint attacks in this second phase of the night's operations ; eight Mosquitoes attacked Frankfurt, 11 attacked Nuremburg and 14 Dessau, which is about 75 miles north-west of Chemnitz.

    As many night-fighters as the enemy had previously sent to the beacon near Cologne were sent up in this second phase of operations, and nearl yhalf of them had been airborne three hours before.But the Window-dropping Mosquitoes effectively prevented the fighters from intercepting the bombers near the German frontier, and when the fighters were eventually directed toward the main bomber stream very few of them reached it, partly because we were using effective measures to jam the apparatus they carried for detecting aircraft in the dark and partly because there was cloud over part of the route.

    In all, the total losses for that night were only 1.3 percent of all sorties, including the aircraft used to carry apparatus for jamming the early warning stations, Mosquito fighters sent against the enemy's night-fighters, and the diversionary sweep. '

    from BOMBER OFFENSIVE by Marshal of the RAF Sir Arthur Harris, London, 1947 ( pp247-249 )
     
  17. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    Martin :

    So much good stuff at your finger tips.....arg ! ;)

    great stuff on the Chemnitz raid......thankyou. Still cannot figure why no one has really put together something indepth on the raids of 1945/ RAF and with the German defensive reaction. Well maybe if I get off my little ol butt and......man I should open up another web-site.....hmmmmmm.....thinking, and putting on the backburner.....

    E
     
  18. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    ( Slightly O/T but on my travels yesterday found a nice cheap copy of Theo Boiten's 'Night Airwar' full of interesting personal recollections - will look out for his 'Nachtjagd' next.... )
     
  19. Stevin

    Stevin Ace

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    A Very good buy, Martin! I am sure Erich will agree. I have both his books and his book with....euh...Martin Bowman(?). You will find several recollections and pics in his books by Mr. Spoden as well!

    Nice books also because both sides are featured.
     
  20. Stevin

    Stevin Ace

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    BTW Martin, I haven't seen a quote from Pathfinder bt Vice Air Marschall Bennett here. Do you own that book? I have a 1960 paperback (charity shop, sheffield. Gotta love 'em), but have to go through it it is says anything on these raids....

    But first the rest of the 1-1-45 translations.
     

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