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Thread: CC attack on Den Helder 14/15 Aug 1940

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    Default CC attack on Den Helder 14/15 Aug 1940

    I'd appreciate your advice Ross.

    I've been advised that Coastal Command planned a bombing raid on Den Helder on the night of 14/15 August 1940. The raid was postponed due to adverse weather, and took place the following night.

    In my innocence I thought that bombing operations were the perogative of Bomber Command and that Coastal Command's role was the surveillance of maritime areas and the escort of convoys.

    Similarly I would have thought that if Bomber and Coastal Commands were acting independently, for CC to mount such a raid it could have conflicted with one by BC.

    Brian

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    Hi,

    Coastal Command had a number of remits including trade route protection.

    HQCC brass determined that this included offensive actions to vessels in ports, portage and fighter defence.

    During the period May-Aug 1940 CC carried out straffing attacks on the JU52 transports disembarking troops on the Dutch beaches and numerous close fighter protection umbrellas to Dunkirk (including a number of Hudsons and Ansons jumping Bf109 formations).

    Most notable were the raids on the assembling invasion fleet barges in the Dutch/Belgian ports both in daylight and night attacks. Thinking was to delay the invasion by harrasment of the build up and attrition of resource.

    Coastal Command carried out the port and estuary mining operations early in 1940 as well as port bombing raids prior to these duties being picked up by bomber command in late 1940 so they were normally carrying out night offensive operations to the enemy held coast.

    Fighter Command had limited capability to carry out air cover operations outside the UK homeland or european battle area, Bomber Command was still building up the night fighting capability and the light bomber capability had been decimated in France. In response to this lack of resource Coastal HQ tasked it's own resources to plug the gap.

    So rather than a conflict with tasking of other commands it was more that Coastal was the only command that could respond to the task.

    Regards
    Ross
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    Many thanks for the explanation Ross. I really had at the back of my mind that at the beginning of the war Bomber Command was restricted to attacking German ships and coastal installations and, although this restriction had been lifted they were still on its list of targets.

    Pushing my luck, but would I be safe in assuming that the 15/16th op would have been a low level raid?

    Brian

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