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Thread: Typhoon attack on train carrying V-1s, September 1944

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    Default Typhoon attack on train carrying V-1s, September 1944

    Does anyone know anything about this? The source is 'Flying Bombs Over England' by HE Bates, edited by Bob Ogley, and there is little detail. It was written during wartime and immediately after so was censored, but there are photos of a smashed train and rail line with the caption 'This is the train load of 120 flying bombs, en route to the modified launching ramps, which was destroyed by RAF Typhoons in September, 1944. The train, in transit at the time, was blown to smithereens and the wreckage littered across a half mile square. All the Germans on the train were killed' No further details appear, but the photos and captions appear at the end of a passage about the German use of the area around St Leu (Oise Valley) and French resistance in that region.

    Anyone able to confirm or comment on this?

    Thanks,
    Bruce
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    There's a report in the Glasgow Herald, September 13th 1944:

    TRAINLOAD OF ROBOTS BLASTED

    Typhoons Destroy 120

    Looking over a half mile square of devastation, the stationmaster of Schulen, near the Albert Canal, said "c'était bien." Sixteen Typhoons had hurled rockets on a trainload of 120 flying bombs.
    "It happened on September 1 at midday" the stationmaster told Doon Campbell, Reuter's special correspondent with the British Second Army. "tremendous explosions shook the country till 6.30 at night. I was in my house more than three miles away. The doors and windows caved in and the tiles were shaken off the roof."
    Only two civilians were injured but all the Germans on the train were blown to pieces. Lying about the line are the remains of A.A. guns, thousands of A.A. shells, a few dozen mutilated German helmets, water bottles and Army textbooks."


    There's a photo of the train here:

    http://ww2today.com/1st-september-19...e-into-belgium

    Regards

    Simon

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    Thanks Simon, I was getting mixed messages (from another source) about the date. Also, the picture in the link was new to me.

    The destruction of 100+ V-1s was quite a coup. Anybody know what squadrons were involved?

    Bruce
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    Hello

    the WW2today website has interesting pictures, but I'm at pain to identify the Squadron(s) involved in that attack of a train loaded with V1s on that day. From the 2nd TAF log, all attacks were carried out in the Pas-de-Calais département in France, Boulogne, Béthune, Arras, St Omer, Frévent, St Pol [sur-Ternoise], Hazebrouck in the Nord département, Abbeville in the Somme, + tactical reconnaissance. I see only one loco being mentioned, not even a train.

    There's always the possibility of a straffing by A.D.G.B. units, some being involved in Northern France that day.

    Interested to get at the bottom of this.

    Joss

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    Thanks Joss,
    It was quite a coup, scoring a bull's-eye on a trainload of V-1s at that time. The UK was throwing everything possible into fighting the V-1 and V-2 threat and I am wondering if the attack was planned on the basis of ULTRA intelligence, or if it was just a target of opportunity. I hope to find something at Kew on that, but in the meantime I am struggling to find the identity of the squadrons involved: it seems quite a few aircraft were involved.

    Regards,
    Bruce
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    Maybe the R.A.F. Typhoon bit isn't 100% right? I came across this post on 12OCH about U.S.A.A.F. attacks on trains on September 1st 1944:

    http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?t=16007

    Schulen Station is about 4 miles WNW of Hasselt in Belgium, which itself is 33 miles WSW from Roermond in the Netherlands as the crow flies. Maybe the U.S.A.A.F. were conducting operations in the area...?

    Regards

    Simon

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    I also suspect US aircraft could have carried out the attack, simply because of the lack of British records (so far). Thanks for pointing me to the TOCH thread, I missed it when I had a quick look before posting.
    The geography works and as I am sure you realised, a wartime newspaper report is not guaranteed to be correct in the military details quoted: the story and pictures were 'good news' about fighting the V-1s and details were of second importance.

    Regards,
    Bruce
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    Well, either the date is wrong or it definitely was not Typhoons that wreaked the mayhem. I've checked through all the RP Typhoon squadron ORBs for 1 September and found little happened that day as the weather was particularly bad. Many units did not carry out ops at all. No reports of trains/big explosions. Any one got alternative dates?
    CT
    Quote Originally Posted by bruce dennis View Post
    I also suspect US aircraft could have carried out the attack, simply because of the lack of British records (so far). Thanks for pointing me to the TOCH thread, I missed it when I had a quick look before posting.
    The geography works and as I am sure you realised, a wartime newspaper report is not guaranteed to be correct in the military details quoted: the story and pictures were 'good news' about fighting the V-1s and details were of second importance.

    Regards,
    Bruce

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    There's a discussion on here about the U.S.A.A.F. attack at Roermond:

    http://www.armyairforces.com/P38-att...4-m167001.aspx

    Nothing conclusive, but post #11 does seem to confirm that at least three trains were attacked on that date near Roermond.

    Regards

    Simon

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    That could help by naming some US units active that day. The gist of the thread is that a heavy bombing raid was aborted and the fighter escort was likely responsible for the 'targets of opportunity' attacks once released. Also, according to the info in that thread, there were three or more trains attacked that day by still unspecified American aircraft, although the list of possibles was narrowed down. The thread is about events near Roermond which is (A) not near Schulen and (B) on a different railway line. Schulen, in Belgium, is probably not the train number three discussed in the thread. However, it may well be that the US aircraft went looking for trouble elsewhere.
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