March 30, 2017

1942. British Bombers Wreak Havoc on Nazi War Industry

The Royal Air Force Launches Assaults Across Europe
An Avro Lancaster flies over Hamburg during World War II (source)
United Press report printed in the Kansas City Kansan in 1942:
Nazi Plants Jumbled by Bomb Attacks


United Press Staff Correspondent

London, Sunday. — (UP) Daylight assaults by American-built Flying Fortresses and Britain's new 4-motor bombers have snarled German communications from Norway to France and heaped havoc on the heart of the Reich's war industries, the Air Ministry reported today.

A summary of the results of the stepped-up Royal Air Force offensive, synchronized with Russia's stout resistance on the Eastern Front, came after a record-making attack by Flying Fortresses which sped nearly 500 miles across the North Sea yesterday morning and and blasted shipping in the Oslo harbor.

Oslo is 470 miles from the nearest point on the British coast, and the press association said that it represents the longest flight so far undertaken by the huge American-built bombers serving in the RAF.

The Air Ministry said that the RAF's intensified attacks on shipping along the coasts of France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and Norway had become so destructive that businessmen were reluctant to send goods to Scandinavia by ships sailing from Dutch ports.

"And these businessmen complain that when they try alternate transport by German railroads they often are told that the railways are overworked and cannot take their goods."

The Air Ministry said that photographs taken after the bombing of the German port and naval base of Emden by a Flying Fortress on July 26 revealed that at least four industrial buildings were completely demolished.

In an RAF attack on Bremen on July 4, several warehouses were completely destroyed and bombs crashed into a new factory building making Junkers-87 bombers, destroying or damaging more than twenty of the new planes.

More than 100 workmen were killed in the Bremen attack, the Air Ministry added, and production was seriously set back. Production of an iron and steel works north of the Dutch harbor of IJmuiden was said to have been curtailed at least by one-third as a result of a daylight raid in which several large buildings were damaged badly as well as blast furnaces.

"Rotterdam harbor, now the great terminus of German coastal shipbuilding, had major daylight attacks on July 16 and August 28 as well as many other attacks by night," the Air Ministry's summary said.

The Wilton shipbuilding yard at Rotterdam, it was added, has been heavily bombed, with great damage to engine shops and other factories.

The Air Ministry said it had many reports of the dislocation of German-operated industries in northern France and along the French coast where power plants and factories have been destroyed as well as mine structures.