Sunday, 5 April 2015

B-17's Bomb Messerschmitt Factory 1943 - US Army Air Corps

Until 1945, the USAAF bravely bombed Axis targets in daylight, often unescorted. The Schweinfurt - Regensburg  raid is infamous in August 1943 for the heavy losses inflicted on the B17's. 60 aircraft were los as were a total of 55 crews taken prisoner, interned in Switzerland or killed.

The plan was to have 2 bomber groups with 10 minutes between them taking off from bases in Britain. The first group would meet expected Luftwaffe fighters on the Regensburg raid, the target there was the Messerschmidt factory. Wile these fighters were refuelling the second wave would bomb the ball bearing factories at Schweinfurt. Both USAAF groups would land in North Africa.

Unfortunately, bad weather meant the second wave was delayed, the Luftwaffe had time to re-arm and refuel,the disastrous day for the USAAF became known as 'Black Thursday'. The development of the P-51 and Lightning fighters, meant that by March 1944, Allied bombers had protection to and from the target in Germany.  

#WW2 World War 2 Blitz - Kingston Upon Hull Bomb Damage

It is surprising how many people are unaware of how widespread the bombing was in Britain during World War 2. London, Liverpool and Coventry are well publicised, but Hull suffered heavy bombing as it was on the East coast - any German bombers unable to reach their targets often dropped them here.