month of January 1944, the Lancaster crew were briefed for
their first mission it would take them to “The Big City”… Berlin.
Ian Ross and his crew were to face the barrage of thousands
of anti-aircraft guns, night fighters, and radar defences
situated in and around the capital, on four missions
that were carried out on the 20th, 27th, 28th and 30th.
One mission was again to find the crew facing the odds
as they bombed Berlin again on February 15th.
and unscathed by the attacks on Berlin, the Lancaster crew
were ordered on a mission to Leipzig on
the 19th February
to bomb oil installations, attacks such as these on fuel production
both synthetic and coal hydrogenation plants caused great devastation
to the German war effort. From March 1944, the oil plants were
producing 940,000 tons of aviation fuel for the Luftwaffe,
by September 1944 after continual and very successful bombing
raids the plants only managed to produce less than 10,000 tons.
photograph of ball-bearing factories at Schweinfurt
of fuel supplies would never recover from the destruction by
Bomber Command, and this would become the eventual “Death
Knell” for the Luftwaffe.
A raid to attack Schweinfurt, 900 miles from their base was ordered
on February 24th, where the manufacturing of ball-bearings were
produced, the crew bombed the factories, thus slowing the production
of vehicles and tanks.