Squadron Lancaster B Mk III
1943 the air war was reaching far into the heart of Germany,
Sir Arthur Harris C-In-C of Bomber Command had spoken words
of prophecy “They have sown the wind, now they are
going to reap the whirlwind” Bomber
Command had at its disposal a formidable array of heavy bombers
that became “The Shining Sword,” aptly named by the Commander
in Chief. He knew that these aircraft could and would most certainly
deal the final…. “Hammer Blow” …to the
Arthur "Bomber" Harris
|Of all the
bombers used by Bomber Command, it was the Lancaster that would
and did become a legend both to its crews and the British people.
The Lancaster’s power was in it’s four 1,460 h/p
Merlin 20 engines, the armaments it carried was 8x 30 calibre
machine guns, plus it’s colossal bomb load totalling 18,000
to 22,000 lbs, depending on it’s target. It carried a crew
of seven and consisted of…Pilot, Flight Engineer, Navigator,
Bomb Aimer, Wireless Operator, and Two Gunners. On average the
Lancaster could only be expected to remain in combat for 3 weeks
over the skies of Europe, before being shot down!!!
all out efforts of Bomber Command bombing by night and the
USAAF 8th Air Force bombing by day in small and large 1,000
Bomber raids, was to saturate Germany in “area” bombing
returning from another mission.
The Ruhr was targeted
as being the heart of Germany’s
industrial might, and called by all Air Force crews as “Happy
Valley”. The bomber raids would target and destroy armament
factories, chemical plants, military and industrial sites,
aircraft production, oil and petrol installations, U-Boat
pens, and annihilate the cities of Germany thus hoping to break
the morale of the people and bring an early end to the war.
Thus, both Air Forces would now be delivering continuous “Round
the Clock” destruction, causing devastation to the cities
of the Third Reich. These formidable bombers of both air forces
would eventually tear the heart out of the Nazi war machine!!!
Raids were to take
place on many cities in Germany...The whirlwind that Sir
Arthur “Bomber” Harris had predicted ………was
about to begin!!!