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Author Topic: Hit and Run Attack on Canterbury. 11 October 1940  (Read 52986 times)

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Offline otis

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Re: Hit and Run Attack on Canterbury. 11 October 1940
« Reply #204 on: March 05, 2016, 15:25:55 »
I go away walking for a few days and see how much I have missed. Well done everyone.  :)

It is nice to see Vera's ( People's War ) account conclusively confirmed.

Just a thought on words people use. When people say "the bomb hit the Furriers", it is a generalisation. I am sure "the People" do not survey the area to find the epicentre of the blast and declare that the point of impact of the bomb tip. However, if a parade of shops is hit and the Furriers was remarkable for the number of casualties, or significant persons killed there, then it will be called "the bomb that hit the Furriers". I think it is this wordage that has caused some confusion.

Also looking at other period accounts. Any aircraft spotter reporting on enemy planes seen, will have to identify them based on his identification charts to hand. There were other four-engined transports around as well as a four-engined Dornier floatplane ( Dornier 26 ). We are a little spoilt today, being able to Google any possibility and browse through hundreds of images. Wartime guys had to choose the nearest thing they had on their charts. As Peterchall suggests, the aircraft was probably a four-engined Fw200 Condor, mistaken for a 4 engined test/rumoured Dornier bomber ( Do 19 ).

Finally, as to the array of accounts of the days raids. Again before picking on the authors, perhaps step back for a moment and consider their possible sources. There are an array of period reports in the Daily Summaries of RAF, down to units like the 11 Group Summary. Even then do you pick the raid size on when it formed up ( over Gris Nez - ie, radar plot ), or when it crossed the coast ( Observer Corps ) or from fighter interception reports? The estimations of raid size, altitude and direction changes as they were plotted. It is a big ask to expect there to be one exact or complete source. The raids on the 11th were a particular problem as there seemed to be a deliberate intent by the Luftwaffe to confuse the defenders. Many spoof raids towards London, when the final intent of the day may have been to be hit RAF on the ground after miss-directing and exhausting them ?
"there was more hit than miss about this arbitrary bombardment"

Offline peterchall

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Re: Hit and Run Attack on Canterbury. 11 October 1940
« Reply #203 on: March 05, 2016, 10:43:09 »
CAT, I’ve just realised that you don’t actually mention the date that the large bomb behind No 20 and which destroyed Canon Crumm’s house was dropped. Is it possible that it fell after 11/10/1940 onto the already wrecked terrace, please?
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Offline CAT

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Re: Hit and Run Attack on Canterbury. 11 October 1940
« Reply #202 on: March 05, 2016, 09:08:16 »
Very true Bryn Clinch, it should read 'Organist's House' and it was in the cathedral precincts, situated to the west of Canon Crumm's House, immediately behind the shops fronting Burgate Street. Still within the cathedral precincts.

Offline peterchall

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Re: Hit and Run Attack on Canterbury. 11 October 1940
« Reply #201 on: March 04, 2016, 20:39:08 »
Yet another instance illustrating how circumspect we must be in reading even official accounts: The first site that I found a couple of posts back is an RAF one and both that and the one found by Mikeb state that a 4-engined Dornier crossed in at Clacton, flew near North Weald, crossed the Thames Estuary and out over Dover. Not only was there never a 4-engined Dornier in operational service, but the only 4-engined aircraft of any description in the west was one Gruppe of Fw200 Naval Co-operation aircraft stationed in western France.

Presumably nobody has been able to open the second link of my post
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Offline Bryn Clinch

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Re: Hit and Run Attack on Canterbury. 11 October 1940
« Reply #200 on: March 04, 2016, 16:23:47 »
I  I can't find a date for the destruction of the late Lady Davidson’s house (No.14D Precincts aka ”Starr’s House” aka Fotherby's), however the Organist House appears to have been destroyed in 1942 - see

I am intrigued by the `Organist House`, or should it be the `Organist`s House`? As far as I am aware the cathedral organist`s residence is within the cathedral precincts.

Offline Dave Smith

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Re: Hit and Run Attack on Canterbury. 11 October 1940
« Reply #199 on: March 04, 2016, 14:01:43 »
mikeb. Very interesting, especially on 11th Oct., " fighters & fighter bombers continued to use stream tactics generally at 30 -35000 ft."; virtually service ceiling of Me 109.

Offline peterchall

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Re: Hit and Run Attack on Canterbury. 11 October 1940
« Reply #198 on: March 04, 2016, 08:02:19 »
Thanks.

As is known I have reservations about ‘next day’ eye-witness accounts, or those recounted from 60+ year-old memories – including my own. But I am surprised at the variation in accounts based on presumably well researched records, written by authors who should be well versed in their subject.

Now, based on the collection of accounts we have, almost any scenario can be constructed to fit what happened in the air.

However, we have reached a definite conclusion regarding the size of bomb and where it fell, thanks to CAT’s map.

But the casualty pattern is difficult to reconcile – at least five people killed in the furrier’s at No 18 and Lydia Hill being identified by her jewellery suggests a bomb bursting in the same room. It is understandable that the author of Front Line County thought the bookshop at No 20 – where just one person was reported killed – was next door, since that is how streets are usually numbered. As mentioned previously, that leaves just three fatalities distributed over all the other properties destroyed, and any on the street itself.
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Offline mikeb

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Re: Hit and Run Attack on Canterbury. 11 October 1940
« Reply #197 on: March 03, 2016, 18:22:58 »
I found this site by chance to-day and wondered if it might add anything to this thread.

https://forum.netweather.tv/topic/63129-the-battle-of-britain-weather-diary/?page=6

Offline peterchall

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Re: Hit and Run Attack on Canterbury. 11 October 1940
« Reply #196 on: March 03, 2016, 17:13:39 »
I found a website giving the following description of activity at the appropriate time on 11/10/1940:

At 1020 hours a wave of 36+ aircraft formed over the Gris Nez area. This was followed by a second wave of 90+ at 1050 hours, a third wave of 38+ at 1100 hours and a fourth wave of 29+ at 1130 hours. The first penetrated into Kent, the second flew to Dungeness and Dover, the third to Hastings, Dover and the North Foreland, and the fourth to Dover, the Thames Estuary and Whitstable. There were, in addition, several tracks of 1+ and 2+ aircraft in this area.

It suggests that the raids made directly for their targets and didn’t make that wide sweep over mid/north Kent at up to 33,000 feet described in The Narrow Margin.

Here is the link:
http://www.raf.mod.uk/history/campaign_diaries.cfm?diarymonth=10&diaryyear=1940&diaryday=11

I also found this link, but can’t get the entry for the appropriate date to open. It would be appreciated if somebody could try, and if successful, copy and post the entry here.

http://www.raf.mod.uk/campaign/battle-of-britain-75th/bob-campaign-diary/


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Offline peterchall

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Re: Hit and Run Attack on Canterbury. 11 October 1940
« Reply #195 on: March 03, 2016, 14:24:53 »
I think I'll go back to bed to see if 'sleeping on it' produces any more brilliant ideas :) :)

Thanks

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Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Hit and Run Attack on Canterbury. 11 October 1940
« Reply #194 on: March 03, 2016, 13:25:06 »

The bomb craters on CAT’s plan seem to be of three distinct sizes. Small ones about 15 feet across, medium about 35 feet across, and large – including the one near No20 - about 55 feet across. The Narrow Margin states the bomb load of the Me110 was 1100lb (500kg).


I think you are confusing bomb craters with trees :)

See photo CAT posted 19.51 2nd March.
Hometown Blues Syd Arthur

Offline peterchall

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Re: Hit and Run Attack on Canterbury. 11 October 1940
« Reply #193 on: March 03, 2016, 12:26:43 »
You could be right Nemo, and I’m wondering if Vera has confused the two separate days as well. Thinking back, our doubts about Front Line County started with me posting that book’s source list at Otis’s request, whereupon he smelt a rat for some reason.

I had some fresh thoughts which I think the newspaper reports for 17th October have knocked on the head, but I’ll post them anyway on the principle that, however unlikely an idea might be, it could trigger another line of thought for someone.

The bomb craters on CAT’s plan seem to be of three distinct sizes. Small ones about 15 feet across, medium about 35 feet across, and large – including the one near No20 - about 55 feet across. The Narrow Margin states the bomb load of the Me110 was 1100lb (500kg).

“Aha” thought I, “it was a 110 that dropped that bomb”. Now one of those newspapers quotes Aeroplane magazine – a reliable source - as saying the Me110 carried 2 x 250kg bombs. I have just checked Hitler’s Luftwaffe and that says the same.

So either my theory about the size of the craters indicating the size of bomb is wrong, or it was a bomber (Ju88?) that dropped it. It is probably the former because we have no reports of raids by single bombers that day – or do we?
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Offline Nemo

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Re: Hit and Run Attack on Canterbury. 11 October 1940
« Reply #192 on: March 03, 2016, 09:22:38 »
Perhaps the Front Line County account was influenced by the attack of Thursday 17th October; you will see from these press reports that '3 bombs' and 'open fields' get a mention - as well as a coverage of Messerschmitt 109s and 110s in the Jabo role: http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/167540965?searchTerm=Canterbury deanery&searchLimits=exactPhrase|||anyWords|||notWords|||requestHandler|||dateFrom=1940-10-18|||dateTo=1940-10-18|||sortby and http://stanforddailyarchive.com/cgi-bin/stanford?a=d&d=stanford19401018-01.2.27&e=-------en-20--1--txt-txIN-------.

Offline Bryn Clinch

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Re: Hit and Run Attack on Canterbury. 11 October 1940
« Reply #191 on: March 03, 2016, 08:38:59 »

  We didn't really understand the significance of it all at that age.  Bombed out buildings just seemed the norm to us.
[/quote]

How true for those of us of a `certain` age!

Offline JohnWalker

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Re: Hit and Run Attack on Canterbury. 11 October 1940
« Reply #190 on: March 02, 2016, 21:02:22 »
A couple of very interesting photos CAT and some good points raised Peterchall.

I'm wondering if the crater infill is debris cleared from the roads in the later raids.  It would have been a handy place to dispose of it. There is what appears to be a tipper lorry on the site next to the crater.

That whole area and the bombed area in St Georges Place were my playgrounds in the early 50s.  so many cellars to explore and all sorts of household items to be found.  Just day to day stuff like cutlery and plates etc.  We didn't really understand the significance of it all at that age.  Bombed out building just seemed the norm to us.  In one derelict house we were playing in, we hit a light fitting with a stick and there was a big flash. The building had been 'live' since the war!

JW

 

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