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MB_Avro_UK
05-29-2007, 05:13 PM
Hi all,

Just found this account of an RAF daylight raid by 12 Lancasters against the Diesel Works at Augsberg near Munich in Southern Germany.

A long,long way to fly unesorted at low-level in daylight...Casualties were very high.

******

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


Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

Endy1
05-29-2007, 05:46 PM
Frightening stuff! At the height that they were flying, they'd no chance to pull-out or jump.
Thanks for sharing.

leitmotiv
05-29-2007, 06:44 PM
One of several missions flown in 1942 to determine if the Lancaster could be used in daylight. There is much fascinating information on this raid in Ralph Barker's excellent STRIKE HARD, STRIKE SURE

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Strike-Hard-Sword-Military-Clas...id=1180485433&sr=1-4 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Strike-Hard-Sword-Military-Classics/dp/0850529638/ref=sr_1_4/202-0976609-4307067?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1180485433&sr=1-4)

The crews were allowed to use as much armor as thought necessary in their airplanes. The Focke Wulfs which intercepted part of the force stood off and shot up the Lancs with their MG151s---out of .303 range.

Harris learned his lesson immediately. He wanted fifties on the Lancs. Air Ministry bureaucrats stonewalled him relentlessly. He finally placed an order with a company near Bomber Command HQ for a .50 tail turret (Rose Rice) on his own.

MB_Avro_UK
05-29-2007, 06:50 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
One of several missions flown in 1942 to determine if the Lancaster could be used in daylight. There is much fascinating information on this raid in Ralph Barker's excellent STRIKE HARD, STRIKE SURE

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Strike-Hard-Sword-Military-Clas...id=1180485433&sr=1-4 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Strike-Hard-Sword-Military-Classics/dp/0850529638/ref=sr_1_4/202-0976609-4307067?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1180485433&sr=1-4)

The crews were allowed to use as much armor as thought necessary in their airplanes. The Focke Wulfs which intercepted part of the force stood off and shot up the Lancs with their MG151s---out of .303 range.

Harris learned his lesson immediately. He wanted fifties on the Lancs. Air Ministry bureaucrats stonewalled him relentlessly. He finally placed an order with a company near Bomber Command HQ for a .50 tail turret (Rose Rice) on his own.

Thanks for the book ref. leitmotiv http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

Xiolablu3
05-29-2007, 06:55 PM
Thx for the info.

The sad fact is that things need to be tested in wartime to see if they are viable.

These guys got the short straw.

Reminds me of the dive tests the RAF did in fighters to test break up speed limit, the SPitfire which lost its prop but did close to Mach 1 and landed safely.

No doubt these tests saved countless lives as they gave invaluable data, however they were very dangerous for the test pilots.

Hanglands
05-30-2007, 03:24 AM
Hi,

Top post MB http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

I know Ive read of this raid before, and have just been flicking around the study to find it.

Strike Hard Strik Sure
Ralph Barker
Chapter One - Daylight over Augsberg.

There are lots of harrowing accounts from bomber command in that little book, but this particular raid sticks out in my mind.

42% Survival rate.

Regards.

-EDIT- Sorry http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif just seen the books already been mentioned, good call leitmotiv

Beaufort-RAF
05-30-2007, 04:11 AM
http://img443.imageshack.us/img443/9112/augsburgraidjackcurriezt1.jpg

K_Freddie
05-30-2007, 05:42 AM
In doing daylight raids, the RAF exposed the lanc's archillies heel in broad daylight, no ventral turret http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

leitmotiv
05-30-2007, 07:58 AM
As a matter of fact, all the Lancs in this raid were early production Lancs with the remote control ventral turret. Furthermore, they were flying so low the German fighters were not able to attack from below. The FWs stood off and demolished the Lancs with their MG151s out of .303 range. See Barker cited above.

Xiolablu3
05-30-2007, 09:35 AM
I always thought all Lancs had a ventral turret anyway?

Certainly almost every Lancaster I have seen had one.


http://www.taphilo.com/Photo/Pictures/Lancaster/Avro-Lancaster-Mid-Upper-Turret-01.jpg

http://www.ctie.monash.edu.au/hargrave/images/HK66274_750.jpg

DmdSeeker
05-30-2007, 09:43 AM
That's the dorsal turrent, Xio.

The ventral turret is underneath, where the ball turret is on a B-17.

leitmotiv
05-30-2007, 09:52 AM
A resounding duh!, X!

Xiolablu3
05-30-2007, 10:51 AM
AHh shaddap!!! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

I knew that, I was just testing you all. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

MB_Avro_UK
05-30-2007, 01:08 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
One of several missions flown in 1942 to determine if the Lancaster could be used in daylight. There is much fascinating information on this raid in Ralph Barker's excellent STRIKE HARD, STRIKE SURE

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Strike-Hard-Sword-Military-Clas...id=1180485433&sr=1-4 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Strike-Hard-Sword-Military-Classics/dp/0850529638/ref=sr_1_4/202-0976609-4307067?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1180485433&sr=1-4)

The crews were allowed to use as much armor as thought necessary in their airplanes. The Focke Wulfs which intercepted part of the force stood off and shot up the Lancs with their MG151s---out of .303 range.

Harris learned his lesson immediately. He wanted fifties on the Lancs. Air Ministry bureaucrats stonewalled him relentlessly. He finally placed an order with a company near Bomber Command HQ for a .50 tail turret (Rose Rice) on his own.

Interesting post Leitmotiv...

So the crews could decide how much armour to carry? If I'd been on that Op I would have covered the Lanc in so much armour that it would not have taken off... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/10.gif.

On a more serious note, years ago I met a Lancaster pilot who stated that crew members including himself would obtain pices of iron plate to sit on in the hope of protecting their 'vital regions' from flak.

From memory, the standard Lanc had almost no armour plate protection. Correct or not?


Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

leitmotiv
05-30-2007, 01:29 PM
By the time of the Battle of Berlin, it's my understanding from Martin Middlebrook's excellent books on Bomber Command, that all armor was removed from the Lancasters to increase their speed and altitude. Supposedly the only armor retained, if any was, was the pilot's back armor. The best book on the Lancaster itself is this one if you can find it (I have it, but can't recall what Mason wrote about armor):

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Avro-Lancaster-Francis-K-Mason/...id=1180552993&sr=1-1 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Avro-Lancaster-Francis-K-Mason/dp/0946627304/ref=sr_1_1/202-0976609-4307067?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1180552993&sr=1-1)

Regarding Augsburg, at this time the crews were literally allowed to choose how much of the designed armor allotment to fit in each of their aircraft! This is in Barker. Some crews carried every plate there was, some didn't, but it was entirely up to them.

I have the RAF Museums's reprint of the Lanc manual, and, as I recall, there was no armor on the seat pan for the pilot---thus, if you wanted to protect vital regions, you had to DIY. The Schrage Musik fighters always shot into the wing tanks because the last thing they wanted to do was to hit the bomb bay right under the pilot and possibly blow themselves up with the bomber. Thus, it was fragments the pilot had to fear.

jolly_magpie
05-30-2007, 01:40 PM
AFAIK the only piece of armour on "standard" Lancs was the shield behind the pilot.

MB_Avro_UK
05-30-2007, 02:00 PM
@ Jolly-Magpie,

I think that you are correct http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Was there an armoured disc behind the pilot's head? And it was the only armour carried http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/sadeyes.gif

@ Leitmotiv,

The accounts of Luftwaffe Night Fighter pilot's state (from my memory) that the Musik armed guys fired at the wings because they did not want to kill the bomber's crew as they felt no animosity towards them. Maybe from your post it was more a matter of self-protection!

Interesting that the British Air Ministry was more concerned with bomb weight than crew protection provided by armour and guns. The Lancaster had a much higher bombload than the B-17 for this reason perhaps.

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

BillyTheKid_22
05-30-2007, 02:12 PM
http://www.spitcrazy.com/Bandofbrothers.jpg



http://www.postalheritage.org.uk/exhibitions/ww2stamps/images/Harris-and-Lancaster-art.jpg



Sir Arthur "Bomber" Harris!!

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif



http://www.avsim.com/pages/1106/Lancaster/Lancaster17-002.jpg

Crash_Moses
05-30-2007, 02:19 PM
Curse you, Leitmotiv...I've already gone over my book budget this month!!!

...maybe I can get these shipped to work...

(Shattered Sword was great, BTW http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/10.gif)

MB_Avro_UK
05-30-2007, 02:27 PM
Originally posted by BillyTheKid_22:
http://www.spitcrazy.com/Bandofbrothers.jpg



http://www.postalheritage.org.uk/exhibitions/ww2stamps/images/Harris-and-Lancaster-art.jpg



Sir Arthur "Bomber" Harris!!

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif



http://www.avsim.com/pages/1106/Lancaster/Lancaster17-002.jpg

Hey Billy!

Great Pics thanks http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

Hanglands
05-30-2007, 02:32 PM
Hi,

Here is the view you get from sitting in the navigator position of a Lanc. At 0:14sec you can see the 'only piece of armour' that the Lanc carried (it has the yellow circle on)

http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m203/ChickenHawk_2006/th_insideNavPos.jpg (http://s105.photobucket.com/albums/m203/ChickenHawk_2006/?action=view&current=insideNavPos.flv)

Regards.

leitmotiv
05-30-2007, 02:34 PM
Glad you liked SH SWORD, CM. I still have about 50 pages yet to go after two years. Luckily Barker is economical---I bought my tattered copy at Foyles in London 13 years ago when it was rare and paid dearly.

It's a myth RAF heavies were armored like the Japanese "Betty." Their armor was progressively stripped by orders from above and by the crews themselves. A quick perusual of the 1942 Lancaster manual in the RAF Museum shows a stoutly armored aircraft like its forbear, the Manchester. There were crews who deeply deplored having the armor removed, and would have exchanged speed and altitude for better protection for the crew.

Interestingly, this same trend was happening in the 8th AF. They learned that loose flak screens similar to the material in the flak vests were more effective in protecting the crewmen than heavy plate armor. The plate was removed and replaced with flak screens liberally placed around the aircraft. The crewmen wore flak vests and helmets. This combination was found to be more effective than plate armor. Fascinatingly, this was similar to the armoring scheme of WWI British dreadnoughts---multiple layers to keep out explosive rounds and fragments and conceding there was little which could be done against the odd large AP round.

MB_Avro_UK
05-30-2007, 02:36 PM
Superb post Hanglands as ever !!

So was the only armour on the Lanc the disc behind the pilot's head?

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

BillyTheKid_22
05-30-2007, 02:44 PM
1000 plane Raid June 26, 1942

www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJjUNFSq844 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJjUNFSq844)


http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Hanglands
05-30-2007, 02:45 PM
Everything Ive read about Lancs refers to the piece behind the pilots head as the one and only piece.

Im sure there were loads of 'modifications' that were as ingenious and surreptitious as they were forbidden.

Cant think of any specific examples at the moment, will have to sleep on that one.

Regards.

leitmotiv
05-30-2007, 02:50 PM
Like every RAF heavy, the Lanc was originally designed to carry armor on the turrets, and in each crew station. The pilot was fitted with a large slab of armor behind his back like every every bomber pilot station on every other RAF bomber even including the humble Battles and Blenheims.

Hanglands
05-30-2007, 02:53 PM
To go with BillytheKids link :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqgQCGTL9Bk

K_Freddie
05-30-2007, 02:57 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
As a matter of fact, all the Lancs in this raid were early production Lancs with the remote control ventral turret. Furthermore, they were flying so low the German fighters were not able to attack from below. The FWs stood off and demolished the Lancs with their MG151s out of .303 range. See Barker cited above.

Hmm yes I did read that.. but my word were..
"In doing daylight raids" of which there were a few and without a ventral turret.
AFAIK the Rhodesian Air Force (now Zimbabwe - or what's left of it) were the first to mount daylight raids at high altitudes with no ventral turret - must check on this.
http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

Hanglands
05-30-2007, 03:03 PM
Regarding turret armour :

http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/aviation/lancaster-turret-4834.html

Daiichidoku
05-30-2007, 03:08 PM
i hope Oleg rememberd cam locks for cetrtain turrets in SoW

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/Daiichidoku/wpu37.jpg

leitmotiv
05-30-2007, 03:15 PM
Go to the documents, not the internet. The RAF Museum has the original manuals with details of the armoring of every bomber produced in the UK during WWII. I know. I went through each one. All were heavily armored right out of the factory. What happened at unit level was another matter.

Kurfurst__
05-30-2007, 03:28 PM
Well, there was not much point of trying to armor an aircraft againt 20mm rounds anyway... pretty impossible to meet such requirements on any larger scale - though IIRC some British bombers had some light armor aroun the wing fuel tanks, but that was meant more so against RCMGs and shell framgents I gues... A 20mm will punch through something like 20mm+ of armor reliably under practical conditions.

Nice thread. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

MB_Avro_UK
05-30-2007, 03:34 PM
Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
Well, there was not much point of trying to armor an aircraft againt 20mm rounds anyway... pretty impossible to meet such requirements on any larger scale - though IIRC some British bombers had some light armor aroun the wing fuel tanks, but that was meant more so against RCMGs and shell framgents I gues... A 20mm will punch through something like 20mm+ of armor reliably under practical conditions.

Nice thread. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif


Good point Kurfurst...20 mm would make most armour useless.

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

leitmotiv
05-30-2007, 03:37 PM
Right, K. The tanks had the heavy bullet-proof bags the Germans used on their bombers which were useless against cannon.

As far as the story about shooting into the wings to spare the crews, a nice post-war tale to tell former enemies! Given the choice of cannoning 8,000 pounds of explosive or cannoning gasoline the choice was obvious!

BillyTheKid_22
05-30-2007, 03:43 PM
Originally posted by Hanglands:
To go with BillytheKids link :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqgQCGTL9Bk



Thank you!! Great video!! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif I have RAF Lancaster book!!! I borrowed My friend US Marshall Lt. Gary James's RAF Lancaster and Spitfire, other different book 3 or 4 , Gary have lots of WW 2 Aircraft book. Cool!!! My friend Gary James ex- Scotland Police.

MB_Avro_UK
05-30-2007, 04:39 PM
Hi all,

This video is worth watching. A mix of footage http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syvaXrGYDzE&mode=related&search=

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

BillyTheKid_22
05-30-2007, 04:44 PM
Originally posted by MB_Avro_UK:
Hi all,

This video is worth watching. A mix of footage http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syvaXrGYDzE&mode=related&search=

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.



http://www.r-ranch.org/images/pagemaster/HowdyPardner300_1.jpg



Thank you!!!!!! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif http://media.ubi.com/us/forum_images/gf-glomp.gif Wow!! LoL!!! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

Xiolablu3
05-30-2007, 04:48 PM
Originally posted by MB_Avro_UK:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Kurfurst__:
Well, there was not much point of trying to armor an aircraft againt 20mm rounds anyway... pretty impossible to meet such requirements on any larger scale - though IIRC some British bombers had some light armor aroun the wing fuel tanks, but that was meant more so against RCMGs and shell framgents I gues... A 20mm will punch through something like 20mm+ of armor reliably under practical conditions.

Nice thread. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif


Good point Kurfurst...20 mm would make most armour useless.

Best Regards,
MB_Avro. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


One interview which made me open my eyes was a WW2 B17 pilot talking in an interview about his Dad writing a letter to him during the war and saying 'You'll be fine, look at all that armour plate on those B17's'

The pilot wrote back saying, dont believe everything you are told, you could push your finger through most of the aircraft if you pushed hard enough.

Not sure how true this is, but it was a real WW2 B17 pilot talking, and B17's are regarded as quite strong for a bomber I believe. At least more emphasis was put on protection and less on speed, whereas in the RAF I believe they tried to get more speed and gave up protection for it.

I know its a vague piece of information he gives, but I believe even the most heavily armoured planes are nothing like a tank or armoured car. They have armour plate in certain places, but if we are to believe this B17 pilot, in most cases a bullet will go straight through, and a cannon shell will really rip up the panels.

K_Freddie
05-30-2007, 04:57 PM
Adolph Galland (I think) said that 3 or 4 well placed 20mm shells was all that was needed to down a B17.
Whether this was in the cpit or not, is not mentioned.
I'd imagine it could be anywhere on the plane?
http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

John_Wayne_
05-30-2007, 06:30 PM
Some of you guys might not have heard these.
http://www.stelzriede.com/ms/html/sub/mshapb1a.htm#lan

Go to 'Aircraft sounds and videos, crew recordings' in the site index. Look for Lancaster bomber crew recordings. Some nice pics, too.

HellToupee
05-30-2007, 08:38 PM
armour would be effective against mine shells, but u cant really carry enough armour to protect against ap/and aphe shells.

Heliopause
05-31-2007, 12:07 PM
These bombers flew over the airfield of Beaumont le Roger attracting attention of JG2! Walter Oesau quickly took off in his 109 in a hot pursuit claiming the 1001th victory of the unit. (No 44 Sqn's L7536/KM-H)

I_KG100_Prien
05-31-2007, 01:06 PM
http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb244/gerekeh/lancclouds.jpg

http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb244/gerekeh/Lancnight.jpg


(Shockwaves Lancaster from WOP)

MarkGos
05-31-2007, 10:12 PM
Great thread fella's. Harrowing tale of a daylight raid in a Lanc - Not my idea of a 'Good Time'

I had a chat with my father (ex Lanc Pilot RNZAF Sqd 75) and it was common practice amongst the pilots to line the pilot seat with extra 'stifening' (as he put it). I'm sure it was more mind over matter as to the level of protection it provided. These guys knew what happened when a heavy fighter shot up a Lanc. No amount of 'Stifening' was going to stop a determined night fighter.

My father was involved in daylight raids at the very end of the war but in 1942 - doesn't bear thinking about.

Xiolablu3
06-01-2007, 03:12 AM
I totally agree about the Nightfighters - a concetrated burst was going to put the Lanc down if it was 20mm 'Shrage Musik' into the fuel tanks.

However, I would htink that most Lanc losses would be to flak, not Nightfighters, and any small amount of protection could be the difference between a piece of flak shell getting through and it getting stopped.

FLak is so random than some of the shrapnel could be stopped by relatively thin armour. That stiffening could be the difference between a piece getting stopped by the seat or going into you.

I think I am remembering it correctly - an account of a SPitfire pilot who had a piece of shrapnel hit his cockpit glass on a path to his head. Luckily it got stuck in the armoured glass. Had they thought 'too hell with the armoured glass - its not going to stop a 20mm shell' then he would not have lived to tell the tale.

I guess even a small amount of extra armour could make the difference between life and death when you are up against a lot of flak. It could be that small extra bit of padding that stops that piece getting through.