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Thread: 8/9 November 1941

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    Default 8/9 November 1941

    Was Bomber Command involved in an operation to disrupt a speech by Hitler on the 8/9 November 1941? If so does anyone have a summary of the operation including the number of aircraft that failed to return?

    Apologies for the vagueness of the question but I'm trying to check an unreferenced statement in a non-aviation book.

    Brian

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    Brian,
    Not sure about Hitler, but i remember seeing in a documentary not long ago, about the intentional disruption of a Goebbels radio speech.

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    hello,

    The raid mentioned by Alan was carried out by Mosquitoes of No. 105 Squadron. For that, a good book is "Mosquito Thunder". Actually there was a morning raid to disrupt Goering's speech as well, if my memory serves me well.

    The book's title come from the comment of the German speaker (it was a live broadcast) when the sound of the exploding bombs could be heard on the air, explaining there was a storm and they could hear the thunder !

    Bomber Command War Diaries show a raid against Essen during the night 8/9 November 1941, and minor operations were sent to Dunkirk and Ostend. No mention of a "speech suppression raid".

    Joss

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    Thank you both gentlemen. Since my original post I've found a reference to a raid on Berlin on the previous night (7/8 November). The raid was allowed to go ahead despite a forecast of adverse weather (storms, hail and severe icing), conditions which undoubtedly contributed to the loss of 37 aircraft of the 392 that took part in the operation (Chris Ashworth "RAF Bomber Command".

    Your references to the 105 Sqn operation might be the clue I'm seeking - can anyone provide details of this please?

    I think the author of the book to which I referred in my opening post has confused the two raids, and if I can demonstrate that conclusively it allows me to treat the rest of his claims with due caution.

    Brian

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    Further to my last (and again thanks to Chris Ashworth's book) I think the Mosquito raid was either on 19 September 1942 (6 Mosquitos to Berlin) or 25 September (4 Mosquitos to Oslo). Details of either would be much appreciated.

    Brian

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    Hello Brian,

    The entry in BCWD is quite long for the night 7/8 November 1941.

    I quote :

    " The operations of this night proved to be of great significance. No doubt frustrated by the recent long run of bad weather and poor bombing results, sir Richard Peirse decided to mount a major effort on this night, with Berlin as the main target. He persisted in this decision despite a late weather forecast which showed that there would be a large area of bad weather with storms, thick cloud, icing and hail over the North Sea routes by which the bombers would need to fly to Berlin and back. Air Vice-Marshal Slessor of 5 Group objected to the plan and was allowed to withdraw his part of the Berlin force and send it to Cologne instead.

    392 aircraft were sent out on the night's operation. This was a new record effort for Bomber Command and probably represents the maximum number of serviceable aircraft with crews available at that time.

    Berlin : 169 aircraft - 101 Wellingtons, 42 Whitleys, 17 Stirlings, 9 Halifaxes, of 1,3 and 4 Groups. 10 Wellingtons, 9 Whitleys, 2 Stirlings were lost, 12,4 % of those dispatched.

    Cologne : 61 Hampdens and 14 Manchester of 5 Group. No aircraft lost.

    Mannheim : 53 Wellingtons and 2 Stirlings of 1 and 3 Groups, 7 Wellingtons lost.

    Minor operations : 30 Halifaxes, Hampdens, Wellingtons and Whitleys were sent on 'rover patrols' in the Essen and other areas. 6 aircraft - 2 Hampdens, 2 Wellingtons, 1 Halifax and 1 Whitley, were lost from these flights. 28 aircraft sent to Ostend and 22 to Boulogne operated without loss. 13 Halifax went minelaying near Oslo and 3 were lost.

    Total effort for the night : 392 sorties, 37 aircraft (9,4 %) were lost. This loss was more than double the previous highest for night operations. It is probable that many of the casualties crashed in the North Sea, suffering from icing or fuel exhaustion in the bad weather conditions there."

    The "speech suppression" raids were carried out on 30th January 1943, against Berlin. No. 105 Squadron did the morning one, Goering's speech was planned at 11:00 hrs local with 4 crews. One of the crew participating tells, in Stuart R. Scott's book, that he heard a recording of the broadcast after his return. So this recording probably still exists to this day, either TNA or IWM more likely.


    No. 139 did the afternoon one, (Goebbels' speech at 16:00 hrs) losing one crew out of four in the process (flying a 105 Squadron machine).

    There may have been other similar raids.

    Hope this helps.

    Joss
    Last edited by jossleclercq; 21st December 2009 at 18:30.

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    Oh beautiful Joss - very many thanks, that is exactly what I was seeking. It confirms what I thought - the author of the book I'm reading was confusing incidents, which means everything he's described elsewhere has to be treated with caution.

    Cheers
    Brian

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