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Thread: Minelaying Operations by Bomber Command WW2 research at the National Archives

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    Default Minelaying Operations by Bomber Command WW2 research at the National Archives

    Help please anyone! I am looking into the possibility of doing a research paper on Bomber Command's mine laying operations during WW2. The paper would be aimed towards Bomber Command policy on the subject and the wishes/demands of the Navy and any disagreements/arguments that arose between the two Services over the allocation of resources/conduct of operations.
    Can anyone help me with any document Class references at the National Archives (or even individual references)where I should start looking?
    I am aware of individual Squadron ORBs having minelaying ops recorded. If anyone has come across any detailed mining operation debriefs (ie with Naval officers present or the Navy doing their nut because the mines were not dropped properly) I would be really interested.
    Finally, and this shows my ignorance on the general subject, did Castal Command carry out minig operations in Europe as well as Bomber Command and is there a good book on the subject?Sorry for a very long post. Any help would be appreciated! B

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    Probably outwith your 'terms', but 205 Group were involved in an intensive mining program of the Danube rom May to August 1944 losing some 46 a/c

    'Through Darkness to Light' by Patrick MacDonald ISBN O 946270 10 2 covers many of these operations

    PZULBA - Out of Africa (Retired)

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    Yes Coastal Command did carry out mining operations as well as Bomber Command.

    If I were you I would start with the unpublished AHB Narratives in AIR 41 "The RAF in the Martime War" Vol II 1939-41 AIR 41/73; Vol III Jul41-Feb43 AIR 41/47; Vol IV Feb43 - May44 AIR 41/48; Vol V Jun44 - May45 AIR 41/74. Be warned there is a great deal of material in these volumes - two that I have looked at were 600 to 700 pages but they have very detailed contents pages and in my experience they provide helpful leads for additional searches in Discovery.

    Steve

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    Thank you both for your posts. Steve, can you tell me what AHB stands for? Is it Air Historical branch? I will certainly look those files out when I go to the NA.Also are there any books covering Coastal Command mining operations? Is there an official history of Coastal Command?

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    One file I have is from the Bomber Command Appendices, AIR 24/281 - June 1944 - Operation Overlord. This includes the mining plan for the invasion and Operation Neptune and goes into detail of the roles and responsibilities for the British Navy, American Navy and the various air forces involved. This file is the Bomber Command plan for Overlord along with AIR 24/282, is very detailed and encompasses many months of pre-invasion preparation and planning. The file contains both the Naval & Air Mining plans for the invasion and may provide you with a good deal of information as to how mining was organised and co-ordinated between the forces involved.
    Regards
    Dave Wallace
    Last edited by David Wallace; 30th January 2014 at 01:04.

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    You are correct about AHB. There is a published 3 Vol Official History "Royal Air Force 1939-45" by Saunders and Richards this was summarised from the AHB Narratives and includes separate chapters on Coastal activities but I am not sure it provides much coverage of minelaying it is a long time since I delved into it in a serious way. I don't know of any other books specifically about minelaying activities nor a free-standing official history of Coastal Command. There is "Coastal Command at War" by Chaz Bowyer and "RAF Coastal Commmand" by Chris Ashworth.

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    Further to David's post a very brief summary of the objectives of the mining operations can be found in paragraphs 125 to 128 at http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issu...supplements/50

    The reference is from Leigh-Mallory's post-Overlord report; Ramsay's equivalent Naval report has just one paragraph on the subject - para 20 at http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issu...pplements/5112

    Brian

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    Many thanks to all of you. I will do a recce at the NA and thanks to you all I dont have to spend the first hours floundering about trying to get a way in to the subject. B

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    Mentioned above by Steve the AHB narratives "The RAF in Martime War" though unpublished are available for download from Military Library Research Service Ltd
    https://www.mlrsbooks.co.uk/ at reasonable cost though depends what your budget is and your proximity to the NA at Kew. Worth a look as you might find some of the Bomber Command narratives there of use as well.

    Regards
    Pierre

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