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Thread: Essen, March 11, 1945

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    Default Essen, March 11, 1945

    Bomber Command bombed Essen, March 11, 1945, with the attack opening at 1258 hours. It was a large force, with a mixed force of 1081 aircraft from all groups (1,3,4,5,6 and 8). Dad was on this op and also on the daylights to Mainz on Feb 27, 1945, Mannheim, March 1, 1945, Cologne, March 2, 1945, Mathias Stinnes March 24, 1945 and Hannover, March 25, 1945. These other operations employed Gaggle Formations and there are numerous comments in the ORB's and planning documents pertaining to Gaggle tactics etc. However there are no comments that I have found so far, as to the tactics of the Force on this raid. Were there navigation leaders which aircraft were following or was some other tactic used. I can find no information in either the briefing documents, Form "B"'s or ORBs.

    If anyone has done any research on this I would be interested in what you have found.

    Jim

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    Default Re: Essen, March 11, 1945

    I've looked at this a bit more, and it seems this was NOT a "Gaggle" operation. I think there were just too many aircraft involved. The same seems to be the case for the attack the next day, to Dortmund. It was a long drawn out attack over 30 minutes. The "Interception and Tactics" Report by Bomber Command records: "The general impression given by the escort was that the whole formation was very long drawn out with many stragglers who would have been easy targets had enemy attacks came about." There were a couple of comments in the ORB's I scanned that some crews thought it was too concentrated and dangerous as a result. Dad's next, and final two ops were clearly Gaggle operations and were identified as such in the records. Five of the seven ops dad did in March 1945 (through to the end of his tour) were daylight operations.

    Jim

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