On June 20, 1943, British bombers perform the first “shuttle bombing” raid of the war, attacking sites in Germany and Italy.

240px-Friedrichshafen_in_FN.svg

Taking off from airbases in Britain, bombers made for the southwestern German city of Friedrichshafen, at one time the home to Zeppelin airship construction. It now was the site of steel construction works, which were heavily damaged in the British attack. The Brits then flew, not back to Britain, but to airbases in Algeria. Refueled, they then headed north for the Italian naval base in La Spezia, in Liguria. This “shuttle” strategy enabled the bombers to kill two enemies with one operation-Bellicose.

The morning of 22nd June 1943. W/Cdr Gomm and his crew at Blida, Algeria following 'Operation Bellicose', the daring raid on the Zeppelin works at Friedrichshaven R. Hare

The morning of 22nd June 1943. W/Cdr Gomm and his crew at Blida, Algeria following ‘Operation Bellicose’, the daring raid on the Zeppelin works at Friedrichshaven
R. Hare

The damage done to the steel works in Germany was so extensive that the assembly line had to be completely abandoned. Unbeknownst to Britain, that assembly line included the manufacture of more than just steel, but also new V2 rockets, to be spun out at the rate of 300 a month. The Brits unwittingly spared themselves retaliation-at least from V2s.

Germany's V2 Rocket

Germany’s V2 Rocket

 

My blog post a year ago today JAWS

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One response

  1. Birgit says:

    What I find amazing is how many times, by chance, something occurs to change the course of time. Bombing this place and destroying the rockets is another display of how something like this may have changed the course of history.

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