Tag Archives: Allied bombing

‘Leave the forbidden zones!’

‘Leave the forbidden zones!’ Late in 1942, the Courrier de l’Air told French civilians to evacuate the restricted coastal areas as defined by the occupying Germans. This was the prelude to the bombing offensive on the Biscay ports. Courtesy Mémorial … Continue reading

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‘Imposed by Hitler, Laval takes power’

‘Imposed by Hitler, Laval takes power’. A less than flattering profile of Pierre Laval, in the Courrier de l’Air of early May 1942, is juxtaposed with claims that Allies attacks on French territory are aimed at Germany’s war effort, and … Continue reading

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‘The Renault factories were working for the Germans

‘The Renault factories were working for the Germans; the Renault factories were hit.’ Leaflet produced by the British Political Warfare Executive and dropped over France after the RAF raid on Renault in March 1942. © Crown Copyright. Courtesy The National … Continue reading

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RAF Bomber Command dropped 1,882 tons of bombs on the centre of Le Havre

On 5 September 1944, 335 aircraft from RAF Bomber Command dropped 1,882 tons of bombs on the centre of Le Havre, aiming at a ‘troop concentration’ that was not there. Routine reconnaissance photos recorded the raid. ‘TI’s’ are Target Indicators. … Continue reading

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French families who had suffered through Allied bombing

In what might appear an uncharacteristic initiative, Harris, as Commander-in-Chief of Bomber Command, asked for contributions from bomber crews to help French families who had suffered through Allied bombing – either after helping RAF airmen or after being hit. The … Continue reading

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Four days before the Normandy landings

Four days before the Normandy landings, Eisenhower instructed the air chiefs to minimise civilian casualties. His note preceded the three most intensive months of Allied bombing over France. © Crown Copyright. Courtesy The National Archives, AIR37.1012.

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The end of the Transportation Plan debate

The end of the Transportation Plan debate. Eisenhower’s letter to Churchill of 2 May 1944 insisted that the plan was an indispensable part of preparations for D-Day. The explicit backing given Eisenhower by President Roosevelt settled the issue. © Crown … Continue reading

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Trenchant critique of the policy of bombing the Biscay ports

On 30 March 1943, the Commander-in-Chief of Bomber Command, Air Marshal Harris, delivered a trenchant critique of the policy of bombing the Biscay ports, which he considered to have been forced upon him by the Admiralty. His arguments contributed to … Continue reading

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The orders that sealed the fate of Lorient

The orders that sealed the fate of Lorient. The area bombing of the Biscay ports was ordered on 14 January 1943, with Lorient as the first target, even if the result was the ‘complete devastation of the inhabited areas of … Continue reading

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Warning the French?

Warning the French? In this note to British Foreign Minister Anthony Eden, the Air Minister, Sir Archie Sinclair, shows his reluctance to issue any warnings that would give away the target. © Crown Copyright. Courtesy The National Archives, AIR19.217.

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