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MrBlueSky1960
06-11-2006, 12:03 AM
The word 'Brave' doesn't even come close...

http://www.raf.mod.uk/bombercommand/augsburg.html

The Augsburg Raid, April 17th 1942 Wing Commander Rod Rodley DSO DFC AE

'When the curtain drew back at the briefing there was a roar of laughter instead of a gasp of horror. No one believed that the airforce would be so stupid as to send 12 of its newest four-engined bombers all that distance inside Germany in daylight. We sat back and waited calmly for someone to say "Now the real target is this". Unfortunately it was the real target, a factory near Munich that was a major manufacturer of diesel engines for submarines.

At that time it was touch and go in the North Atlantic between Britain having enough to eat and not having enough to eat. The crews were determined that these diesels should not go forth in submarines. The route took us low, at about 100 feet, down to the south coast, across the Channel. We were to join 44 Squadron at the south coast, six aircraft from each squadron, and we were to go as a formation of 12 the rest of the way. We saw 44 Squadron slightly ahead of us, but we realised that they were drifting to port, and we continued in the direction we should have been going.

Our six aircraft pressed on very, very low across the Channel so that we were underneath the radar. I could see the sandbanks of France coming up ahead of us. We had no opposition at all crossing the defended coast. We proceeded south of Paris where I saw the second enemy aircraft I saw during the whole war. It was probably a courier - a Heinkel 111. It approached and, recognising us, did a 90-degree bank turn back towards Paris. We continued on flying at 100 feet.

Occasionally you would see some Frenchmen take a second look and wave their berets or their shovels. A bunch of German soldiers doing PT in their singlets broke hurriedly for their shelters as we roared over. The next opposition was a German officer on one of the steamers on Lake Constanz firing a revolver at us. I could see him quite clearly, defending the ladies with his Luger against 48 Browning machine guns.

Our route took us from the north end of Lake Constanz across another lake, where we turned north towards the target. We hadn't seen a thing on the way of the German Air Force. We were belting at full throttle at about 100 feet towards the targets. I dropped the bombs along the side wall. We flashed across the target and down the other side to about 50 feet, because flak was quite heavy. As we went away I could see light flak shells overtaking us, green balls flowing away on our right and hitting the ground ahead of us. Leaving the target I looked down at our leader's aircraft and saw that there was a little wisp of steam trailing back from it. The white steam turned to black smoke, with fire in the wing. I was slightly above him. In the top of the Lancaster there was a little wooden hatch for getting out if you had to land at sea. I realised that this wooden hatch had burned away and I could look down into the fuselage. It looked like a blow lamp with the petrol swilling around the wings and the centre section, igniting the fuselage and the slipstream blowing it down. Just like a blow lamp.

He dropped back and I asked our gunner to keep an eye on him. Suddenly he said, "Oh God, Skip, he's gone. He looks like a chrysanthemum of fire."

One other of our aircraft caught fire just short of the target, but kept on, dropped the bombs and then crashed. The raid was suicidal. Four from 97 Squadron got back, but only one from 44 Squadron. Five out of twelve."

Wing Commander,
Rod Rodley DSO DFC AE

MrBlueSky1960
06-11-2006, 12:03 AM
The word 'Brave' doesn't even come close...

http://www.raf.mod.uk/bombercommand/augsburg.html

The Augsburg Raid, April 17th 1942 Wing Commander Rod Rodley DSO DFC AE

'When the curtain drew back at the briefing there was a roar of laughter instead of a gasp of horror. No one believed that the airforce would be so stupid as to send 12 of its newest four-engined bombers all that distance inside Germany in daylight. We sat back and waited calmly for someone to say "Now the real target is this". Unfortunately it was the real target, a factory near Munich that was a major manufacturer of diesel engines for submarines.

At that time it was touch and go in the North Atlantic between Britain having enough to eat and not having enough to eat. The crews were determined that these diesels should not go forth in submarines. The route took us low, at about 100 feet, down to the south coast, across the Channel. We were to join 44 Squadron at the south coast, six aircraft from each squadron, and we were to go as a formation of 12 the rest of the way. We saw 44 Squadron slightly ahead of us, but we realised that they were drifting to port, and we continued in the direction we should have been going.

Our six aircraft pressed on very, very low across the Channel so that we were underneath the radar. I could see the sandbanks of France coming up ahead of us. We had no opposition at all crossing the defended coast. We proceeded south of Paris where I saw the second enemy aircraft I saw during the whole war. It was probably a courier - a Heinkel 111. It approached and, recognising us, did a 90-degree bank turn back towards Paris. We continued on flying at 100 feet.

Occasionally you would see some Frenchmen take a second look and wave their berets or their shovels. A bunch of German soldiers doing PT in their singlets broke hurriedly for their shelters as we roared over. The next opposition was a German officer on one of the steamers on Lake Constanz firing a revolver at us. I could see him quite clearly, defending the ladies with his Luger against 48 Browning machine guns.

Our route took us from the north end of Lake Constanz across another lake, where we turned north towards the target. We hadn't seen a thing on the way of the German Air Force. We were belting at full throttle at about 100 feet towards the targets. I dropped the bombs along the side wall. We flashed across the target and down the other side to about 50 feet, because flak was quite heavy. As we went away I could see light flak shells overtaking us, green balls flowing away on our right and hitting the ground ahead of us. Leaving the target I looked down at our leader's aircraft and saw that there was a little wisp of steam trailing back from it. The white steam turned to black smoke, with fire in the wing. I was slightly above him. In the top of the Lancaster there was a little wooden hatch for getting out if you had to land at sea. I realised that this wooden hatch had burned away and I could look down into the fuselage. It looked like a blow lamp with the petrol swilling around the wings and the centre section, igniting the fuselage and the slipstream blowing it down. Just like a blow lamp.

He dropped back and I asked our gunner to keep an eye on him. Suddenly he said, "Oh God, Skip, he's gone. He looks like a chrysanthemum of fire."

One other of our aircraft caught fire just short of the target, but kept on, dropped the bombs and then crashed. The raid was suicidal. Four from 97 Squadron got back, but only one from 44 Squadron. Five out of twelve."

Wing Commander,
Rod Rodley DSO DFC AE

ploughman
06-11-2006, 04:32 AM
Crazy. Utterly crazy. Not much chance to get out at that altitude, you either get home or you get it. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

Feathered_IV
06-11-2006, 04:37 AM
Top brass are monsters http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

leitmotiv
06-11-2006, 05:11 AM
This wasn't half of it---read the full story in the first chapter of Ralph Barker's STRIKE HARD, STRIKE SURE. The Lancasters had problems with jammed machine guns before the raid, they ran into a big formation of German fighters by chance (they had been scrambled to intercept a diversionary raid by Bostons which had been intended to draw fighters away from the bombers!) on their way to the target, and the Germans stood off and savaged the Lancs with their MG151s at long range (note this simmers). The Lancs were unable to reply due to the short range of their .303s and due to jammed guns and even jammed turrets! Otherwise, their low altitude allowed them to avoid interception. Churchill was under heavy pressure from Roosevelt to do something about the U-boat attacks on convoys which were approaching catastrophic levels of success. The plant was believed to be a critical bottleneck in U-boat engine production. The fast new Lanc was believed to be able to defend itself at low level. After this slaughter Harris was convinced the Lanc needed heavier armament. Due to bureaucratic wrangling it took nearly three years to get fifty cal. turrets on the Lancs.

joeap
06-11-2006, 05:23 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Due to bureaucratic wrangling it took nearly three years to get fifty cal. turrets on the Lancs. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

DmdSeeker
06-11-2006, 12:13 PM
Good read; thanks.

From the same page:

http://www.raf.mod.uk/bombercommand/gestapo.html

There has to be an IL-2 mission in that; with suitable penalties to ensure proper target recognition.

tHeBaLrOgRoCkS
06-11-2006, 12:38 PM
an interesting read. I shall have to keep an eye out for that book.

leitmotiv
06-11-2006, 01:09 PM
The Copenhagen raid and the Amiens prison raid of 18 Feb 1944 are the two classic Mosquito fighter-bomber raids. They deserve to be done---both would be magnitude 1 challenges for low-level bomber pilots. STRIKE HARD, STRIKE SURE was reprinted in 2003 by Pen and Sword in paperback. It was first printed in 1963 but Ralph Barker did a superb research job and it holds up to the present day. It has the best account of the famous Battle raid on the Maastricht bridges I've ever seen.

WWMaxGunz
06-11-2006, 01:25 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Churchill was under heavy pressure from Roosevelt to do something about the U-boat attacks on convoys which were approaching catastrophic levels of success. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You think that without Roosevelt that Churchill would not have cared so much?
It was only the lifeline supply to Britain, those convoys, after all.
Churchill had said that the only thing that really scared him was the U-boats.
At one point, Britain was down to 2 weeks supply of oil.

leitmotiv
06-11-2006, 02:14 PM
Like in the case of the French fleet at Oran, when FDR snapped his fingers, Churchill felt compelled to jump.

Thanks for the Mosquito reminder, DmdSeeker---I intend to use the FB VI more often.

Low_Flyer_MkVb
06-11-2006, 02:17 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Like in the case of the French fleet at Oran, when FDR snapped his fingers, Churchill felt compelled to jump. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

What are you on about?

ploughman
06-11-2006, 02:41 PM
?

ARCHIE_CALVERT
06-11-2006, 03:50 PM
More evidence of the effect of American Revisionism on fragile young minds‚‚ā¨¬¶ http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

x6BL_Brando
06-11-2006, 04:25 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">It was first printed in 1963 but Ralph Barker did a superb research job and it holds up to the present day </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well it would, wouldn't it? A 19 year-old memory would surely be more trustworthy than a 62 year-old one? Notwithstanding the polito-tactical reasons behind these exploits that may have been suppressed until recently.

The problem is that memories which aren't backed up by current experience lose veracity to a younger audience. Eventually it becomes like trying to describe a colour to someone who's been blind from birth. Who among us Westerners can really envisage the world without artificially-powered vehicles? We can imagine it, romanticise it or make films about it - but we can never know it.

None of which disproves the point about bravery. The only thing we can hope is that we could hack it, when our invisible time capsule deposited us outside a recruiting office in wartime Whitehall. Not so sure about those coarse serge uniform trousers though....

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v458/brando6BL/glashan_chicco.jpg

B.

leitmotiv
06-11-2006, 04:26 PM
53 Year old minds. FDR was very concerned about the French fleet falling into German hands after the fall of France. Churchill believed destroying the French fleet at Oran would demonstrate, beyond doubt, to Roosevelt that he intended to fight to the death against Hitler. At the time Roosevelt was being advised the British Empire was finished, and that the people in the Cabinet, like Lord Halifax, who were favoring a negotiated peace would carry the day. Churchill realized the survival of the Empire depended on The U.S., and several times carried out questionable operations to make a point. The Navy did not think the French fleet needed to be destroyed because they thought the French would never surrender their fleet. Churchill overruled the Navy, smashed the French, and created an impression.

Low_Flyer_MkVb
06-11-2006, 04:38 PM
So where does the finger-clicking come in?

leitmotiv
06-11-2006, 04:43 PM
One does have to wonder if Winston would have blasted the French had he not had Roosevelt worrying him. Some believe it was one of his worst decisions.

WWMaxGunz
06-11-2006, 10:30 PM
Here is a first person account of the Battle of Oran. They really tried to get the French
to join up buuuuuuut certain high level French were already playing their cards to be on
top so the French commanders would rather stay and ally with the Germans. Had those ships
moved down to N. Africa and blocked access to the Med, what would that have meant? Those
ships could also have been moved to Free French use under DeGaulle.

Now how much sense does it take to see that as a threat to Britain? I sure hope that FDR
didn't have to get blamed for _every_ politically unpopular order that Churchill made!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/55/a4083455.shtml

You do know that despite negotiations with the Vichy leaders including Petain and the use of
recognition signals that the Allies going in to French North Africa were opposed for 2 days
solid with loss of life and time? Between that and the cleanup time lost, Rommel was able
to beat the Allies to, was it Tunisia (?) where he able to stall a quick victory of the whole
operation?
Not a total loss though. The Germans poured massive amounts of troops in so that there was
the relief on the East Front as at the end of the African Campaign the Allies had captured
over 200,000 German troops --- just the captures at the end.

leitmotiv
06-11-2006, 10:47 PM
One thing we now know without a doubt is that the French navy never would have allowed itself to fall into Axis hands---when Hitler seized southern France in Nov 1942, the ships which were unable to get away scuttled themselves en masse. The issue at hand isn't blame, it is whether Churchill was ever influenced by FDR. He clearly was.

rnzoli
06-11-2006, 11:56 PM
was this mission successful at least in terms of destroying the diesel engine factory?

leitmotiv
06-12-2006, 12:11 AM
Er, as I understand it, the diesel factory was not the bottleneck the intelligence people believed. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the factory was soundly hit. Each Lanc carried four half-tonners. One pilot who went down at the target experienced a miraculous escape. His bomber hit the ground and blew up, and he was propelled in his armored seat from the blast like a cannon ball. He lived. The crews had been issued with all the armor plate they wanted, according to Barker. They could use as much or as little as they desired. A far cry from the stripped Lancs of the Battle of Berlin.

rnzoli
06-12-2006, 01:33 PM
well, it is easy to say that the top brass are monsters, but what would WE do, when having limited information, we HAVE to try something?

it is really sad such missions had to be flown, but this may the the grim reality of war, not some extraorbitant stupidity from the generals

the interesting thing that I read in "Wild Blue" is that when these bombers looked down at the raging ground war, they thought "it must be terrible down there". Same way the ground soldiers when they looked up and saw the flak explosions around the bombers, they thought "it must be terrible up there". so it seems, in a way, everyone died the way they wanted to fight the enemy, and they were prepared for that, even if they hoped for the best

WWMaxGunz
06-12-2006, 08:41 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by leitmotiv:
One thing we now know without a doubt is that the French navy never would have allowed itself to fall into Axis hands---when Hitler seized southern France in Nov 1942, the ships which were unable to get away scuttled themselves en masse. The issue at hand isn't blame, it is whether Churchill was ever influenced by FDR. He clearly was. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

And FDR was heavily influenced by Churchill! Look at the politics in the US at the time and
some history, if it wasn't for Churchill getting to FDR there would have been no lead-lease
or convoys at all. Winston lobbied Franklin and Franklin agreed with him, the two partnered
strongly and were opposed by many in their own countries though FDR had more opposition prior
to 12/7/41.

There is even good evidence and historic speculation that FDR had advance notice of the attack
on Pearl and made sure it happened to get the US into the war. The Japanese envoys were kept
waiting when they went to announce the attack before it happened, the White House had the text
sent to them decrypted before the attack, all shore leaves were cancelled that SUNDAY when
normally the sailors went to church, all the carriers were also sent out on maneuvers, all
when Naval Intel had been following the progress of the Japanese fleet and knew the final
target right down to the when ahead of time. One Intel Officer tried to get through to FDR's
office when he saw nothing was being done and he was unable. Was there any decision between
FDR and Churchill there? No evidence I know of. FDR had also been advised by Einstein about
the atomic breakthrough made in Germany and had a good scare over the real possibilities of
what could happen. Neither of those guys were dicking around.

leitmotiv
06-12-2006, 08:47 PM
FDR was the most brilliant strategist of the age (although a lousy economist)---founder of dear old Pax Americana. He pulled the carpet right out from under Churchill and to this day some think their's was a special relationship. FDR fell down completely on the USSR. Here Churchill saw what was coming and was ignored.

WWMaxGunz
06-12-2006, 09:23 PM
I don't know where you get that view. But then I do know that a lot of Brits and Euros
seem to think that US did no fighting until 1943. I guess the Pacific didn't exist before
then, somehow. Or maybe it was a minor action only. There must have also been no problem
with subs in the western hemisphere or attacks on convoys.

Operation Torch was the first big land experience for US troops. Even the USAAF had to get
shaken down and reorganized in that campaign. It was the BRITS who had to convince the US
not to go straight into Europe but then they had the experience on that one and the US did
not have the power available or ready to do anything but get slaughtered there.

End of Torch coupled with British drive from Alexandria on through -captured- over 200,000
German troops. Not a bad result for completely falling down although Uncle Joe would have
been happier with a few 100 thousand dead Americans and about the same number of German
troops moving west as went to Africa instead. He had strategic goals too... in Europe as
the results of the war and post-war clearly show. West Germany did not become a US state
while East Germany became part of the Soviet Empire, as did so much else in the east.

What you want? Pollyanna in those times meant raped. Simple as that. It was hard men
that made the differences as they faced other hard men. None of them was squeaky clean.
You can't send other men to die and be so clean. There is big grey elephants moving
through smoke and fog. Which is who? You try to move careful and the same time you must
move and shoot fast. Indecision gets you killed. Trying to hide your head gets you dead.
And then decades later somebody judges you who doesn't know but only 10% of the view.
A good general walks the battlefield ahead of time. He knows his troops and some of the
enemy if he is lucky. Historians, they have old maps and stories. And there are others
with handed down grudges and feelings.

What you think, that FDR had something against the French? He had them killed for fun?
Did you read the account? How many HOURS was the ultimatum broadcast? Why did they not
go out and join to fight the Nazis? Was it because Petain wanted a sweeter deal with the
Nazis to form the Vichy government? What a joke considering how the Nazis worked their
deals and promises. Example, what happened to Rotterdam after they surrendered Holland?

joeap
06-13-2006, 06:00 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by WWMaxGunz:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by leitmotiv:
One thing we now know without a doubt is that the French navy never would have allowed itself to fall into Axis hands---when Hitler seized southern France in Nov 1942, the ships which were unable to get away scuttled themselves en masse. The issue at hand isn't blame, it is whether Churchill was ever influenced by FDR. He clearly was. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

And FDR was heavily influenced by Churchill! Look at the politics in the US at the time and
some history, if it wasn't for Churchill getting to FDR there would have been no lead-lease
or convoys at all. Winston lobbied Franklin and Franklin agreed with him, the two partnered
strongly and were opposed by many in their own countries though FDR had more opposition prior
to 12/7/41.

There is even good evidence and historic speculation that FDR had advance notice of the attack
on Pearl and made sure it happened to get the US into the war. The Japanese envoys were kept
waiting when they went to announce the attack before it happened, the White House had the text
sent to them decrypted before the attack, all shore leaves were cancelled that SUNDAY when
normally the sailors went to church, all the carriers were also sent out on maneuvers, all
when Naval Intel had been following the progress of the Japanese fleet and knew the final
target right down to the when ahead of time. One Intel Officer tried to get through to FDR's
office when he saw nothing was being done and he was unable. Was there any decision between
FDR and Churchill there? No evidence I know of. FDR had also been advised by Einstein about
the atomic breakthrough made in Germany and had a good scare over the real possibilities of
what could happen. Neither of those guys were dicking around. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You have some good points especially in your second post after this, but while I don't want to start a flame thread that's BS. Read a very good article that debunked all that theory, (could give you the details if you want) plus as you might know there was no guarantee or even reason (read the text of the Tripartite Pact very carefully) for Hitler to declare war on the US. Nor any way for FDR to know Hitler would. Plus some of the other details were wrong, for one thing one carrier the Enterprise was supposed to be in harbour on the 7th but bad weather prevented it (FDR arranged that eh) it would have shared the fate of the BBs be sure. Anyway better take it to PM.

Beaufort-RAF
07-23-2006, 11:41 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> Ralph Barker did a superb research job and it holds up to the present day. It has the best account of the famous Battle raid on the Maastricht bridges I've ever seen. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ralph Barker's an excellent author.

He flew on Beauforts during the war.

Highly recommend some of his others like The Thousand Plan, Torpedo Airmen & The Blockade Busters.

Beaufort-RAF
07-23-2006, 11:43 AM
There's a specific book about Augsburg well worth getting.

http://img116.imageshack.us/img116/2861/augsburgraidjackcurrieti0.jpg