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Battle of Berlin (air)

Battle of Berlin (air)

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The Battle of Berlin was a British bombing campaign on Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 from November 1943 – March 1944. The campaign was not limited solely to Berlin. Other German cities were attacked to prevent concentration of defences in Berlin, and Bomber Command had other responsibilities and operations to conduct. The campaign was launched by Arthur "Bomber" Harris
Sir Arthur Harris, 1st Baronet
Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Arthur Travers Harris, 1st Baronet GCB OBE AFC , commonly known as "Bomber" Harris by the press, and often within the RAF as "Butcher" Harris, was Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of RAF Bomber Command during the latter half of World War...

, AOC of RAF Bomber Command
RAF Bomber Command
RAF Bomber Command controlled the RAF's bomber forces from 1936 to 1968. During World War II the command destroyed a significant proportion of Nazi Germany's industries and many German cities, and in the 1960s stood at the peak of its postwar military power with the V bombers and a supplemental...

 in November 1943. Harris believed this could be the blow that broke German resistance: "It will cost us between 400 and 500 aircraft. It will cost Germany the war". By this time he could deploy over 800 long-range bombers on any given night, equipped with new and more sophisticated navigational devices such as H2S radar
H2S radar
H2S was the first airborne, ground scanning radar system. It was developed in Britain in World War II for the Royal Air Force and was used in various RAF bomber aircraft from 1943 to the 1990s. It was designed to identify targets on the ground for night and all-weather bombing...

. Between November 1943 and March 1944, Bomber Command made 16 massed attacks on Berlin.

It is generally accepted that the Battle of Berlin was a failure for the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 (RAF) as it was not the knockout blow that Harris had predicted and during the battle, the RAF lost 1,047 bombers, with a further 1,682 damaged, and well over 7,000 aircrew, culminating in the raid on Nuremberg
Nuremberg
Nuremberg[p] is a city in the German state of Bavaria, in the administrative region of Middle Franconia. Situated on the Pegnitz river and the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal, it is located about north of Munich and is Franconia's largest city. The population is 505,664...

 on 30 March 1944, when 94 bombers were shot down and 71 damaged, out of 795 aircraft.

There were many other raids on Berlin by the RAF and the USAAF
United States Army Air Forces
The United States Army Air Forces was the military aviation arm of the United States of America during and immediately after World War II, and the direct predecessor of the United States Air Force....

 Eighth Air Force
Eighth Air Force
The Eighth Air Force is a numbered air force of the United States Air Force Global Strike Command . It is headquartered at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana....

 in the strategic bombing campaign of 1940–45 and this is reflected in the RAF battle honour
Battle honour
A battle honour is an award of a right by a government or sovereign to a military unit to emblazon the name of a battle or operation on its flags , uniforms or other accessories where ornamentation is possible....

, which is for bombardment of Berlin by aircraft of Bomber Command 1940–45.

Prior to the battle of Berlin, Berlin had been subject to a large raid on 23/24 August of 700+ aircraft. A raid half that size, losing 7% of the aircraft, had taken place in September.

Battle


The first raid of the battle occurred on the night of 18/19 November 1943. Berlin was the main target and was attacked by 440 Avro Lancasters and four de Havilland Mosquito
De Havilland Mosquito
The de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito was a British multi-role combat aircraft that served during the Second World War and the postwar era. It was known affectionately as the "Mossie" to its crews and was also nicknamed "The Wooden Wonder"...

s. The city was under cloud and the damage was not severe. The second major raid was on the night of 22/23 November. This was the most effective raid on Berlin by the RAF of the war, causing extensive damage to the residential areas west of the centre, Tiergarten
Tiergarten
Tiergarten is a locality within the borough of Mitte, in central Berlin . Notable for the great and homonymous urban park, before German reunification, it was a part of West Berlin...

 and Charlottenburg
Charlottenburg
Charlottenburg is a locality of Berlin within the borough of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, named after Queen consort Sophia Charlotte...

, Schöneberg
Schöneberg
Schöneberg is a locality of Berlin, Germany. Until Berlin's 2001 administrative reform it was a separate borough including the locality of Friedenau. Together with the former borough of Tempelhof it is now part of the new borough of Tempelhof-Schöneberg....

 and Spandau
Spandau
Spandau is the fifth of the twelve boroughs of Berlin. It is the fourth largest and westernmost borough, situated at the confluence of the Havel and Spree rivers and along the western bank of the Havel, but the least populated.-Overview:...

. Because of the dry weather conditions, several firestorms ignited. Both, the Protestant Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
The Protestant Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is located in Berlin on the Kurfürstendamm in the centre of the Breitscheidplatz. The original church on the site was built in the 1890s. It was badly damaged in a bombing raid in 1943...

, now serving as a war memorial, and the New Synagogue (then used as a store house by the Wehrmacht), were heavily damaged on 22 November, in the next nights followed Bethlehem's Church, John's Church, Lietzow Church, and Trinity Church
Holy Trinity Church (Berlin)
Trinity Church was a Baroque Protestant church in Berlin, eastern Germany, dedicated to the Holy Trinity. It was opened in August 1739 and destroyed in November 1943, with its rubble removed in 1947....

 and in other nights Emperor Frederick Memorial Church
Kaiser-Friedrich-Gedächtniskirche
The Kaiser-Friedrich-Gedächtniskirche is a German Protestant church owned and used by a congregation within the Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia. The church building is situated in Händelallee in Hansaviertel near Großer Tiergarten...

, Kirche am Hohenzollernplatz
Kirche am Hohenzollernplatz
Kirche am Hohenzollernplatz is the church of the Evangelical Congregation at Hohenzollernplatz, a member of today's Protestant umbrella Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia. The church is located at the eastern side of Hohenzollernplatz square in the locality of...

 and St. Hedwig's Cathedral
St. Hedwig's Cathedral
St. Hedwig's Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral on the Bebelplatz in Berlin, Germany. It is the seat of the archbishop of Berlin.It was built in the 18th century as the first Catholic church in Prussia after the Protestant Reformation by permission of King Frederick II...

. Several other buildings of note were either damaged or destroyed, including the British, French, Italian and Japanese embassies, Charlottenburg Palace
Charlottenburg Palace
Charlottenburg Palace is the largest palace in Berlin, Germany, and the only royal residency in the city dating back to the time of the Hohenzollern family. It is located in the Charlottenburg district of the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf burough.The palace was built at the end of the 17th century...

 and Berlin Zoo, as were the Ministry of Munitions, the Waffen SS Administrative College, the barracks of the Imperial Guard
Imperial Guard
The Imperial Guard was originally a small group of elite soldiers of the French Army under the direct command of Napoleon I, but grew considerably over time. It acted as his bodyguard and tactical reserve, and he was careful of its use in battle...

 at Spandau
Spandau
Spandau is the fifth of the twelve boroughs of Berlin. It is the fourth largest and westernmost borough, situated at the confluence of the Havel and Spree rivers and along the western bank of the Havel, but the least populated.-Overview:...

 and several arms factories.

On 17 December, extensive damage was done to the Berlin railway system. By this time cumulative effect of the bombing campaign had made more than a quarter of Berlin's total living accommodation unusable. There was another major raid on 28–29 January 1944, when Berlin's western and southern districts were hit in the most concentrated attack of this period. On 15–16 February, important war industries were hit, including the large Siemensstadt
Siemensstadt
The Siemensstadt Housing Estate is a nonprofit residential community in the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf district of Berlin. It is one of the six Modernist Housing Estates in Berlin recognized in July 2008 by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.-Geography:...

 area, with the centre and south-western districts substaining most of the damage. This was the largest raid by the RAF on Berlin. Raids continued until March 1944.

These raids caused immense devastation and loss of life in Berlin. The 22 November 1943 raid killed 2,000 Berliners and rendered 175,000 homeless. The following night 1,000 were killed and 100,000 made homeless. During December and January regular raids killed hundreds of people each night and rendered between 20,000 and 80,000 homeless each time. Laurenz Demps figured the losses. He evaluated (1) the damage reports of the Berlin police commissioner (Polizeipräsident) issued after each air raid with descriptions of losses and damages indicated by houses, and distributed to 100–50 organisations and administrations busy with rescue, repair, planning etc., (2) the reports of the main bureau for air raid protection (Hauptluftschutzstelle) of the city of Berlin, issued again in more than 100 copies in altering frequency, each summarising losses and damages by a number of air raids, (3) the war diary of the air raid warning command (Luftwarnkommando, Wako Berlin), a branch of the German air force (Luftwaffe), and (4) various sources on specific damages. According to Demps a total of 7,480 were killed (with an additional 2,194 missing), 17,092 injured and 817,730 made homeless. According to Reinhard Rürup, nearly 4,000 were killed, 10,000 injured and 450,000 made homeless.

Despite the devastation they caused, however, these raids failed to achieve their objectives. German civilian morale did not break, the city's defences and essential services were maintained, and war production in greater Berlin did not fall. Area bombing consistently failed to meet its stated objective, which was to win the war by bombing Germany until its economy and civilian morale collapsed.

The 16 raids on Berlin cost Bomber Command more than 500 aircraft, with their crews killed or captured, which was a loss rate of 5.8%, well above the 5% threshold that was considered the maximum sustainable operational loss rate by the RAF. Daniel Oakman makes the point that "Bomber Command lost 2,690 men over Berlin, and nearly 1,000 more became prisoners of war. Of Bomber Command’s total losses for the war, around seven per cent were incurred during the Berlin raids. In December 1943, for example, 11 crews from No. 460 Squadron RAAF
No. 460 Squadron RAAF
No. 460 Squadron is an Royal Australian Air Force intelligence unit active within the Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation . It was first formed as a heavy bomber squadron during World War II on November 15, 1941 and disbanded on 10 October 1945 after seeing extensive combat over Europe. The...

 alone were lost in operations against Berlin; and in January and February, another 14 crews were killed. Having 25 aircraft destroyed meant that the fighting force of the squadron had to be replaced in three months. At these rates Bomber Command would have been wiped out before Berlin". On the other hand, 500 aircraft loss had been anticipated, and Oakman observes that "...it would be wrong to say that it was, in a strategic sense, a wasted effort. Bombing brought the war to Germany at a time when it was difficult to apply pressure anywhere else".

Although the Battle of Berlin, as part of the Bomber Command strategic bombing campaign, did serve to divert German military resources away from the land war, and had an economic effect—in terms of both physical damage and worker fatalities and injuries, and through the enforced requirement to relocate and fortify industrial buildings and other infrastructure in an effort to protect it from Allied attacks—it is generally accepted that the battle was a failure for the RAF, in the sense that the bombing Berlin did not did force the eventual German capitulation (as Harris and others had hoped); and in words of the official RAF history "in an operational sense the Battle of Berlin was more than a failure, it was a defeat".

Timeline

  • Night of 18/19 November 1943: Berlin, the main target, was attacked by 440 Avro Lancaster
    Avro Lancaster
    The Avro Lancaster is a British four-engined Second World War heavy bomber made initially by Avro for the Royal Air Force . It first saw active service in 1942, and together with the Handley Page Halifax it was one of the main heavy bombers of the RAF, the RCAF, and squadrons from other...

    s and four de Havilland Mosquito
    De Havilland Mosquito
    The de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito was a British multi-role combat aircraft that served during the Second World War and the postwar era. It was known affectionately as the "Mossie" to its crews and was also nicknamed "The Wooden Wonder"...

    , of which 402 bombed the city, which was under cloud. Diversionary raids on Mannheim
    Mannheim
    Mannheim is a city in southwestern Germany. With about 315,000 inhabitants, Mannheim is the second-largest city in the Bundesland of Baden-Württemberg, following the capital city of Stuttgart....

     and Ludwigshafen by 395 other aircraft. Mosquitos attacked several other towns. In all 884 sorties, 32 aircraft (3.6%) were lost, of which nine were lost in the Berlin raid. The air raid warning was issued at 20:11 and the all clear at 22:23. 143 were killed by the raid, with an additional four missing, 409 wounded and 7,326 were made homeless. 8,493 houses were damaged of with 533 were destroyed.
  • Night of 19/20 November 1943: Leverkusen
    Leverkusen
    Leverkusen is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany on the eastern bank of the Rhine. To the South, Leverkusen borders the city of Cologne and to the North is the state capital Düsseldorf....

     was the main target. A number of other towns were bombed.
  • Night of 22/23 November 1943: Berlin the main target. 469 Lancasters, 234 Handley Page Halifax
    Handley Page Halifax
    The Handley Page Halifax was one of the British front-line, four-engined heavy bombers of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. A contemporary of the famous Avro Lancaster, the Halifax remained in service until the end of the war, performing a variety of duties in addition to bombing...

    es, 50 Short Stirling
    Short Stirling
    The Short Stirling was the first four-engined British heavy bomber of the Second World War. The Stirling was designed and built by Short Brothers to an Air Ministry specification from 1936, and entered service in 1941...

    s, 11 Mosquitos. Total 764 aircraft. 26 aircraft lost, 3.4% of the force. This was the most effective raid on Berlin
    Berlin
    Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

     of the war. Most of the damage was to the residential areas west of the centre, Tiergarten
    Tiergarten
    Tiergarten is a locality within the borough of Mitte, in central Berlin . Notable for the great and homonymous urban park, before German reunification, it was a part of West Berlin...

     and Charlottenburg
    Charlottenburg
    Charlottenburg is a locality of Berlin within the borough of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, named after Queen consort Sophia Charlotte...

    , Schöneberg
    Schöneberg
    Schöneberg is a locality of Berlin, Germany. Until Berlin's 2001 administrative reform it was a separate borough including the locality of Friedenau. Together with the former borough of Tempelhof it is now part of the new borough of Tempelhof-Schöneberg....

     and Spandau
    Spandau
    Spandau is the fifth of the twelve boroughs of Berlin. It is the fourth largest and westernmost borough, situated at the confluence of the Havel and Spree rivers and along the western bank of the Havel, but the least populated.-Overview:...

    . Because of the dry weather conditions, several 'firestorms' ignited. 175,000 people were made homeless and the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
    Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
    The Protestant Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is located in Berlin on the Kurfürstendamm in the centre of the Breitscheidplatz. The original church on the site was built in the 1890s. It was badly damaged in a bombing raid in 1943...

     (Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche) was destroyed. The ruins of the old church are now a monument to the horrors of war. Several other buildings of note were either damaged or destroyed, including the British, French, Italian
    Italy
    Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

     and Japan
    Japan
    Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

    ese embassies, Charlottenburg Castle and Berlin Zoo. Also the Ministry of Weapons and Munitions, the Waffen SS Administrative College, the barracks of the Imperial Guard
    Imperial Guard
    The Imperial Guard was originally a small group of elite soldiers of the French Army under the direct command of Napoleon I, but grew considerably over time. It acted as his bodyguard and tactical reserve, and he was careful of its use in battle...

     at Spandau, as well as several factories employed in the manufacture of material for the armed forces.
  • Night of 23/24 November 1943: Berlin, the main target, was attacked by 365 Lancasters, 10 Halifaxes, eight Mosquitos (383 aircraft).
  • Night of 24/25 November 1943: Berlin, in a small raid, was attacked by six Mosquitos (one lost). The only other action that night was nine Vickers Wellington
    Vickers Wellington
    The Vickers Wellington was a British twin-engine, long range medium bomber designed in the mid-1930s at Brooklands in Weybridge, Surrey, by Vickers-Armstrongs' Chief Designer, R. K. Pierson. It was widely used as a night bomber in the early years of the Second World War, before being displaced as a...

    s dropping leaflets in France
    France
    The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

    .
  • Night of 25/26 November 1943: Frankfurt
    Frankfurt
    Frankfurt am Main , commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2010 population of 688,249. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,300,000 in 2010...

     the main target. Also three Mosquitos to Berlin and other aircraft to other targets.
  • Night of 26/27 November 1943: Berlin, the main target, was attacked by 443 Lancasters and 7 Mosquitos. Most of the damage in Berlin was in the semi-industrial suburb of Reinickendorf
    Reinickendorf
    Reinickendorf is the twelfth borough of Berlin. It encompasses the northwest of the city area, including the Berlin-Tegel Airport, Lake Tegel, spacious settlements of detached houses as well as housing estates like Märkisches Viertel.-Subdivision:...

    . Stuttgart was a diversion, attacked by 84 aircraft. The total sorties for the night was 666 with 34 aircraft (5.1%) lost.
  • Night of 28/29 November 1943: Essen
    Essen
    - Origin of the name :In German-speaking countries, the name of the city Essen often causes confusion as to its origins, because it is commonly known as the German infinitive of the verb for the act of eating, and/or the German noun for food. Although scholars still dispute the interpretation of...

    , in small raid, was attacked by 10 Mosquitos.
  • Night of 29/30 November 1943: Bochum
    Bochum
    Bochum is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, western Germany. It is located in the Ruhr area and is surrounded by the cities of Essen, Gelsenkirchen, Herne, Castrop-Rauxel, Dortmund, Witten and Hattingen.-History:...

    , Cologne
    Cologne
    Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

     and Düsseldorf
    Düsseldorf
    Düsseldorf is the capital city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and centre of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region.Düsseldorf is an important international business and financial centre and renowned for its fashion and trade fairs. Located centrally within the European Megalopolis, the...

    , attacked by 21 Mosquitos.
  • Night of 30/1 December 1943: Essen, in small raid, attacked by four Mosquitos.
  • Night of 1/2 December 1943: only minelaying.
  • Night of 2/3 December 1943: Berlin, the main target, was attacked by 425 Lancasters, 18 Mosquitos, 15 Halifaxes. The Germans correctly identified that Berlin was the target. Unexpected cross winds had scattered the bomber formations and so German fighters shot down a total of 40 bombers — 37 Lancasters, two Halifaxes, one Mosquito (8.7% of the force). Due to the cross winds, the bombing was inaccurate and to the south of the city, but two more of the Siemens
    Siemens AG
    Siemens AG is a German multinational conglomerate company headquartered in Munich, Germany. It is the largest Europe-based electronics and electrical engineering company....

     factories, a ball-bearing factory and several railway installations were damaged.
  • Night of 3/4 December 1943: Leipzig
    Leipzig
    Leipzig Leipzig has always been a trade city, situated during the time of the Holy Roman Empire at the intersection of the Via Regia and Via Imperii, two important trade routes. At one time, Leipzig was one of the major European centres of learning and culture in fields such as music and publishing...

    , the main target, was attacked by 307 Lancasters, 220 Halifaxes (527 aircraft).
  • Night of 4/5 December 1943: Duisburg
    Duisburg
    - History :A legend recorded by Johannes Aventinus holds that Duisburg, was built by the eponymous Tuisto, mythical progenitor of Germans, ca. 2395 BC...

     attacked by nine Mosquitos.
  • Night of 10/11 December 1943: Leverkusen
    Leverkusen
    Leverkusen is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany on the eastern bank of the Rhine. To the South, Leverkusen borders the city of Cologne and to the North is the state capital Düsseldorf....

     attacked by 25 Mosquitos.
  • Night of 11/12 December 1943: Duisburg attacked by 18 Mosquitos.
  • Night of 12/13 December 1943: Essen attacked by 18 Mosquitos and Düsseldorf by nine more.
  • Night of 15/16 December 1943: 16 Mosquitos to Düsseldorf.
  • Night of 16/17 December 1943: Berlin was the main target. It was attacked by 483 Lancasters and 15 Mosquitos. German night fighters were successfully directed to intercept the bombers. 25 Lancasters, 5.2% of the Lancaster force, were lost over enemy occupied territory, with a further 29 aircraft lost on landing in England due to very low cloud. The damage to the Berlin railway system was extensive. 1000 wagon-loads of war material destined for the Eastern Front
    Eastern Front (World War II)
    The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of World War II between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union, Poland, and some other Allies which encompassed Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945...

     were held up for 6 days. The National Theatre and the building housing Germany's military and political archives were both destroyed. The cumulative effect of the bombing campaign had now made more than a quarter of Berlin's total living accommodation unusable. Two Beaufighters and two Mosquitos of No. 141 Squadron RAF
    No. 141 Squadron RAF
    No. 141 Squadron of the Royal Air Force was formed on 1 January 1918 at Rochford, for home defence in the London Area. The Squadron moved to RAF Biggin Hill in February and giving up its mixed collection of types in favour of Bristol F.2 Fighters during March...

     using Serrate radar detector
    Serrate radar detector
    Serrate was an Allied radar detection and homing device, used in Allied nightfighters to track German night fighters equipped with the earlier UHF-band BC and C-1 versions of the Lichtenstein radar during World War II....

     managed to damage a Messerschmitt Me 110, the first time these hunter killers had been on a successful Serrate patrol. On the same night there was other raid on Tilley-le-Haut and Flixecourt
    Flixecourt
    Flixecourt is a commune in the Somme department in Picardie in northern France.-Geography:Flixecourt is situated on the N1 road and the banks of the river Nièvre, a tributary of the river Somme, some south of Abbeville...

    , two flying-bomb sites near Abbeville. The raid failed to destroy the sites and no aircraft were lost.
  • Night of 19/20 December 1943: leafleting over French towns without loss
  • Night of 20/21 December 1943: Frankfurt was the main target. It was attacked by 390 Lancasters, 257 Halifaxes, three Mosquitos (650 aircraft). German night fighters were successful in intercepting the bomber stream. 27 Halifaxes and 14 Lancasters were lost, 6.3% of the force. Damage was more than the RAF at the time thought because they knew that the Germans had managed to light decoy fires, which were partially successful. There was also a decoy raid on Mannheim by a further 54 aircraft and a precision attack by eight Lancasters of 617 Squadron
    No. 617 Squadron RAF
    No. 617 Squadron is a Royal Air Force aircraft squadron based at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland. It currently operates the Tornado GR4 in the ground attack and reconnaissance role...

     and 8 Pathfinder Mosquitos on an armaments factory near Liege that failed to hit its target.
  • Night of 21/22 December 1943: Mannesmann
    Mannesmann
    Mannesmann AG was a German corporation with headquarters in Düsseldorf. The company was founded in 1890 originally to produce seamless steel tubes. It was traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The company had 130,860 employees worldwide and revenues of €23.27 billion.Over time, Mannesmann...

     factory at Düsseldorf attacked by nine Mosquitos and a number of other small raids.
  • Night of 22/23 December 1943: 51 aircraft attacked two flying-bomb sites between Abbeville
    Abbeville
    Abbeville is a commune in the Somme department in Picardie in northern France.-Location:Abbeville is located on the Somme River, from its modern mouth in the English Channel, and northwest of Amiens...

     and Amiens
    Amiens
    Amiens is a city and commune in northern France, north of Paris and south-west of Lille. It is the capital of the Somme department in Picardy...

    . One was destroyed, but the other was not located. two small Mosquitos raids on Frankfurt and Bonn
    Bonn
    Bonn is the 19th largest city in Germany. Located in the Cologne/Bonn Region, about 25 kilometres south of Cologne on the river Rhine in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, it was the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990 and the official seat of government of united Germany from 1990 to 1999....

    .
  • Night of 23/24 December 1943: Berlin was attacked by 364 Lancasters, eight Mosquitos and seven Halifaxes. German
    Germany
    Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

     fighters encountered difficulty with the weather and were able to shoot down only 16 Lancasters, 4.2% of the force. Damage to Berlin was relatively small. Several other German towns were attacked by Mosquitos.
  • Night of 24/25 December 1943: there was only mine laying.
  • Night of 29/30 December 1943: Berlin was the main target. 457 Lancasters, 252 Halifaxes and three Mosquitos (712 aircraft), RAF losses were light, at 2.8% of the force. Heavy cloud cover frustrated the RAF and damage was light.
  • Night of 30/31 December 1943: 10 Lancasters of 617 Squadron and 6 Pathfinder Mosquitos failed to destroy a V1 site.
  • Night of 31 December 1943/1 January 1944: there was only mine laying.
  • Night of 1/2 January 1944: Berlin was the main target. 421 Lancasters dispatched to Berlin. German night fighters were effective and 6.7% of the bombers were shot down. A small raid on Hamburg by 15 Mosquitos and smaller raids on other towns did not divert the night fighters.
  • Night of 2/3 January 1944: Berlin was the main target. 362 Lancasters, 12 Mosquitos, nine Halifaxes (383 aircraft). The night fighters did not catch up to the Bombers until they were over Berlin and managed to shoot down 27 Lancasters, 10% of the force. There were minor raids on other cities.
  • Night of 3/4 January 1944: Solingen
    Solingen
    Solingen is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located on the northern edge of the region called Bergisches Land, south of the Ruhr area, and with a 2009 population of 161,366 is the second largest city in the Bergisches Land...

     and Essen attacked by eight Mosquitos. No losses.
  • Night of 4/5 January 1944: Two flying bomb sites attacked effectively by 80 aircraft. Small raid on Berlin by 13 Mosquitos. Other small raids on other targets. Also Special Operations
    Special Operations Executive
    The Special Operations Executive was a World War II organisation of the United Kingdom. It was officially formed by Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Minister of Economic Warfare Hugh Dalton on 22 July 1940, to conduct guerrilla warfare against the Axis powers and to instruct and aid local...

     flights flown to deliver supplies and agents to resistance forces.
  • Night of 5/6 January 1944: Stettin main target for the first times since September 1941. Attacked by 348 Lancasters and 10 Halifaxes. A diversionary raid by 13 Mosquitos on Berlin and 25 to four other targets fooled the German night fighters and RAF
    Royal Air Force
    The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

     losses were only 16 aircraft lost, 4.5% of the force.
  • Night of 6/7 January 1944: Small raids on Duisburg, Bristillerie, Dortmund
    Dortmund
    Dortmund is a city in Germany. It is located in the Bundesland of North Rhine-Westphalia, in the Ruhr area. Its population of 585,045 makes it the 7th largest city in Germany and the 34th largest in the European Union....

     and Solingen by 19 Mosquitos.
  • Night of 7/8 January 1944: Small raids on Krefeld and Duisbur by 11 Mosquitos. 10 men were killed when an SOE
    Special Operations Executive
    The Special Operations Executive was a World War II organisation of the United Kingdom. It was officially formed by Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Minister of Economic Warfare Hugh Dalton on 22 July 1940, to conduct guerrilla warfare against the Axis powers and to instruct and aid local...

     support flight crashed shortly after takeoff.
  • Night of 8/9 January 1944: Small raids on Frankfurt, Solingen, Aachen
    Aachen
    Aachen has historically been a spa town in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Aachen was a favoured residence of Charlemagne, and the place of coronation of the Kings of Germany. Geographically, Aachen is the westernmost town of Germany, located along its borders with Belgium and the Netherlands, ...

     and Dortmund
    Dortmund
    Dortmund is a city in Germany. It is located in the Bundesland of North Rhine-Westphalia, in the Ruhr area. Its population of 585,045 makes it the 7th largest city in Germany and the 34th largest in the European Union....

     by 23 Mosquitos. Two aircraft were lost.
  • Night of 10/11 January 1944: Small raids on Berlin, Solingen, Koblenz and Krefeld by 20 Mosquitos. No aircraft were lost.
  • Night of 13/14 January 1944: Small raids on Essen, Duisburg, Aachen, and Koblenz by 25 Mosquitos. One aircraft was lost.
  • Night of 14/15 January 1944: Major raid on Brunswick
    Braunschweig
    Braunschweig , is a city of 247,400 people, located in the federal-state of Lower Saxony, Germany. It is located north of the Harz mountains at the farthest navigable point of the Oker river, which connects to the North Sea via the rivers Aller and Weser....

    , the first of the war, by 496 Lancasters and two Halifaxes. 38 Lancasters were lost to effective night fighter attacks. 11 of the lost aircraft were Pathfinders, so the targeting of the city was poor. German authorities reported only 10 houses destroyed and 14 people killed in Brunswick with some further damage and loss of life in villages to the south of the town. 82 aircraft attacked flying bomb sites at Ailly
    Ailly, Eure
    Ailly is a commune in the Eure department in Haute-Normandie in northern France.-Population:...

    , Bonneton and Bristillerie without loss. 17 Mosquitos launced small raids on Magdeburg and Berlin.
  • Night of 20/21 January 1944: Berlin was the main target. 495 Lancasters, 264 Halifaxes, 10 Mosquitos (769 aircraft) dispatched to Berlin. Night fighter attacks were pressed home successfully. 22 Halifaxes and 13 Lancasters were lost, 4.6% of the force. The damage could not be assessed due to low cloud cover the next day.
  • Night of 21/22 January 1944: Magdeburg main target. Its first major raid of the war.
  • ...
  • Night of 27/28 January 1944: Berlin was the main target. 515 Lancasters and 15 Mosquitos (530 aircraft) dispatched to Berlin. The RAF records state that the bombing appeared to have been spread well up- and downwind. The diversionary raids were only partially successful in diverting German night fighters because 33 Lancasters were lost, which was 6.4% of the heavy force. A further 167 sorties were flown against other targets, with one aircraft lost.
  • Night of 28/29 January 1944:Berlin was the main target. 432 Lancasters, 241 Halifaxes, four Mosquitos (677 aircraft) dispatched to Berlin. Western and Southern districts, covered by partial cloud, were hit in what the RAF records state was the most concentrated attack of this period. German records record do not fully support this mentioning that were 77 places outside the city were hit. A deception raids and routing over Northern Denmark did not prevent the German air defences shooting down 46 aircraft, 6.8% of the force. Just over 100 other aircraft attacked a number of other targets.
  • Night of 29/30 January 1944: Small raids on Duisburg and Herbouville flying-bomb site, by a total of 22 Mosquitos. No aircraft were lost.
  • Night of 30/31 January 1944: Berlin was the main target. 440 Lancasters, 82 Halifaxes, 12 Mosquitos (534 aircraft), dispatched to Berlin. There RAF losses were 33 aircraft, 6.2% of the total. A further 76 sorties were flown against other targets, with no aircraft lost.
  • ...
  • Night of 15/16 February 1944: Berlin main target. 561 Lancasters, 314 Halifaxes, 16 Mosquitos (891 aircraft), dispatched to Berlin. Despite cloud cover most important war industries were hit, including the large Siemensstadt
    Siemensstadt
    The Siemensstadt Housing Estate is a nonprofit residential community in the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf district of Berlin. It is one of the six Modernist Housing Estates in Berlin recognized in July 2008 by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.-Geography:...

     area, with the centre and south-western districts sustaining most of the damage. This was the largest raid by the RAF on Berlin. A diversionary raid 24 Lancasters of No. 8 Group on Frankfurt-on-the-Oder failed to confuse the Germans and the RAF lost 43 aircraft — 26 Lancasters and 17 Halifaxes — which was 4.8% of the force. A further 155 sorties were flown against other targets.
  • ...
  • Night of 24/25 March 1944: Berlin main target. The bomber stream
    Bomber stream
    The bomber stream was a tactic developed by the Royal Air Force Bomber Command to overwhelm the German aerial defences of the Kammhuber Line during World War II....

     was scattered and those that reached Berlin bombed well out to the south-west of the city. The RAF lost 72 aircraft, 8.9% of the attacking force.
  • ...
  • Night of 30/31 March 1944 Nuremberg, the main target was attacked by 572 Lancasters, 214 Halifaxes and nine Mosquitos (795 aircraft). The Germans correctly identified that Nuremberg was the target. The first fighters appeared just before the bombers reached the Belgian border and over the next hour 82 bombers were lost on the approaches to Nuremberg
    Nuremberg
    Nuremberg[p] is a city in the German state of Bavaria, in the administrative region of Middle Franconia. Situated on the Pegnitz river and the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal, it is located about north of Munich and is Franconia's largest city. The population is 505,664...

    . Another 13 bombers were shot down by the Germans on the return flight. In all, the RAF lost 11.9% of the force dispatched. It was the biggest RAF Bomber Command loss of the war and ended the Battle of Berlin. It was during this final raid that Pilot Officer Cyril Barton, a Halifax pilot of 578 Squadron
    No. 578 Squadron RAF
    No. 578 Squadron RAF was a heavy bomber squadron of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War.-History:578 Squadron was formed at RAF Snaith, East Riding of Yorkshire on 14 January 1944 from 'C' flight of No. 51 Squadron RAF, equipped with Halifax Mk.III bombers, as part of No. 4 Group RAF in...

    , was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross
    Victoria Cross
    The Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of the armed forces of various Commonwealth countries, and previous British Empire territories....

    .

Further reading