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Author Topic: Canterbury Blitz, 1942  (Read 91055 times)

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Offline peterchall

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Re: Canterbury Blitz, 1942
« Reply #239 on: June 09, 2015, 08:11:36 »
Sorry, I’m lost. You said you would like to see a map of Canterbury’s balloons, I referred you to the SHF link. You then asked if there was any update, to which I merely commented that a branch thread had drawn attention away from this one.

But no, I have no more information relating to this thread at the moment, but I did check to see if the link you posted was the one I meant.

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Offline otis

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Re: Canterbury Blitz, 1942
« Reply #238 on: June 08, 2015, 22:44:51 »
You asked the question on this thread, which is why I replied to it on this thread - within 5 minutes of you asking !

Did you look , please ?
"there was more hit than miss about this arbitrary bombardment"

Offline peterchall

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Re: Canterbury Blitz, 1942
« Reply #237 on: June 08, 2015, 22:14:34 »
A branch thread has taken over :)
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Offline otis

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Re: Canterbury Blitz, 1942
« Reply #236 on: June 08, 2015, 16:20:32 »
Any update ?  :)
"there was more hit than miss about this arbitrary bombardment"

Offline otis

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"there was more hit than miss about this arbitrary bombardment"

Offline peterchall

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Re: Canterbury Blitz, 1942
« Reply #234 on: June 07, 2015, 11:07:45 »
Somewhere way back in this thread there is a link to Kent & Sussex History Forum which gives the locations – not a map – of all the Canterbury balloons. I’ve just had a quick look but can’t find it; perhaps someone can remember just where it is
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Offline otis

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Re: Canterbury Blitz, 1942
« Reply #233 on: June 07, 2015, 09:28:18 »
Just wondering if anything else was forthcoming ? I would love to see a balloon map for Canterbury   :)
"there was more hit than miss about this arbitrary bombardment"

Offline peterchall

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Re: Canterbury Blitz, 1942
« Reply #232 on: June 06, 2015, 16:35:59 »
Somebody e-mailed it to me
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Offline otis

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Re: Canterbury Blitz, 1942
« Reply #231 on: June 06, 2015, 14:52:28 »
Very enlightening. Thanks !

Where did the balloon doc come from ?
"there was more hit than miss about this arbitrary bombardment"

Offline peterchall

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Re: Canterbury Blitz, 1942
« Reply #230 on: June 06, 2015, 11:07:07 »
Here is the exact text

Then, on October 31, a raid took place which, although it was against the inland objective of Canterbury, was carried out by the usual “fringe target” raiders and so may be included in that battle. Towards the end of the afternoon 60 Focke-Wulf 190’s came in flying in sections of three, line astern. They crossed the coast between North Foreland and Lympne at heights varying between 50 and 5,000 feet. Our Intelligence report described the raid: “Taking advantage of low-lying ground between Richborough and Canterbury, the majority made for Canterbury up the Stour valley,and circled to the north-west before releasing their bombs on the way out….Machine-guns and cannons were also used on the city….Light anti-aircraft guns at Deal fired over 350 rounds of 40 mm and more than 2,000 rounds of 20 mm in a quarter of an hour. In fact, the majority of light anti-aircraft sites and many searchlight sites were able to engage targets flying under 1,000 feet. Heavy anti-aircraft guns had no opportunity owing to the low altitude and speed of the targets, except in two cases of brief engagements at Dover and North Foreland.

Although the main objective of the attack was Canterbury, many anti-aircraft sites were subjected to deliberate attacks by enemy aircraft and suffered some casualties. In 17 minutes light anti-aircraft guns and some rocket battery L.M.G.’s shot down 3, probably destroyed another, and damaged 7 of the raiders.


It then goes on to describe the evening and the night attacks.
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Offline otis

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Re: Canterbury Blitz, 1942
« Reply #229 on: June 06, 2015, 10:08:30 »

The full text is at paragraph 5 of Reply#217, except that the second sentence reads “Our Intelligence report described the raid:”…..(Report follows as posted), and the penultimate sentence reads “heavy anti-aircraft guns had no opportunity owing to the low altitude and speed of targets”.


I'm seriously confused now ? Could you perhaps re-post please, so the item appears in order ?

Good find on the balloons doc. We needed some more times. Where did that come from ?  :)
"there was more hit than miss about this arbitrary bombardment"

Offline peterchall

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Re: Canterbury Blitz, 1942
« Reply #228 on: June 04, 2015, 14:29:14 »
I'm sure it's not the right book for reading details of aircraft, but I spotted it on a shelf in the back bedroom and thought "I wonder if there's  anything about the Canterbury raid in there" and found It was another example of every account seeming to have features incompatible with others we already have. One can imagine limitless circumstances in which any statement might be true, but I am referring to probabilities.

The full text is at paragraph 5 of Reply#217, except that the second sentence reads “Our Intelligence report described the raid:”…..(Report follows as posted), and the penultimate sentence reads “heavy anti-aircraft guns had no opportunity owing to the low altitude and speed of targets”.

Here  is a copy of a memo compiled in response to questions by the local MP regarding the operation of the balloons and the lack of warning:

(I can type the text if anyone would like a clearer view)

Of particular interest to us is:

Time ordered to fly: 1704. About the time the raid was approaching Deal

Height of Balloons: 500 feet.

Time of Red: 1708. Sirens sounded. ‘Tugboat’ would have sounded just before.

Enemy Aircraft over: 1708. Compare with Canterbury Police report stating 17:09.

Height of Balloons: 6/700 feet.

Points to consider:
1.   The balloons received warning about 4 minutes before the Civil Defence.
2.   The sirens were intended to be sounded when enemy aircraft were estimated to be a minimum of 5 minutes from a Warning Area boundary – about 25 to 30 miles away – so there was no evidence of any other activity in the period immediately before that.
3.   Raid 58 was 5 miles south of Hythe at 17:03, perhaps on the borderline of causing a Red alert in Canterbury. Apart from not being close enough there are two other reasons why it might not (a) it was still classed as ‘Bogey’ (unidentified) and (b) at that stage of the war sirens were not sounded for single enemy aircraft.
4.   All the times correspond, within a reasonable margin of error, to the raid leaving Calais at 17:00, being in and out over Deal in less than 6 minutes, meeting the withdrawal cover and getting home ASAP, all ‘down on the deck’.
5.   It matches those Luftwaffe kill claims tracing the chase back across the channel.
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Offline otis

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Re: Canterbury Blitz, 1942
« Reply #227 on: June 04, 2015, 11:24:06 »
The passage you partly quote from General Pile's book seems to be taken reports of others and not his own eyewitness account. I doubt he was neither at North Foreland or Lympne.

I have not read the book. I would imagine it goes into details of guns, placement of guns, availability of manpower, etc. If you are looking for an account which goes into precise and in depth detail  of what planes flew where and in what formations, then you are probably looking at the wrong book ? He seems to be only concerned with giving the reader of a sense of the broad area and range of heights (from those reporting to him ). It seems unfair to attack that ?

I do not get your issue with a few at 5000 feet ? Was there not another earlier account with such a high claim from the German side ? Once the leading German planes have crossed the coast and woken up the defenders who are firing at them, the need for rear cover to stay low under the radar has gone.

A high section may want to use the cloud to avoid flak. This may have been one of the distraction raids ? Or is it even possible there was a break in that 9/10 of clouds ? Weather and clouds are not exactly constant.

Could you post the full passage from the General's book for us please ?

"there was more hit than miss about this arbitrary bombardment"

Offline peterchall

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Re: Canterbury Blitz, 1942
« Reply #226 on: June 03, 2015, 12:00:37 »
No, it’s not plausible for the rear cover to climb to 5000 feet at all, because:
1.   The planes they were to escort home were low down, as were the fighters intercepting them.
2.   The Fw190s were difficult to see from above (453 Squadron docs), as probably British fighters also were.
3.   Cloud cover was 9/10 at 2000 feet ((11 Group report).

Let’s look more closely at General Pile’s writing. He says there were 60 Fw190s in sections of three in line astern – the Jabos might have been, but the fighters flew as finger-fours and would not have been in line-astern with their charges. He says they crossed the coast between North Foreland and Lympne – that’s nearly the whole north-south width of Kent and rather imprecise.

Or did he mean they flew in up to 20 separate sections spread across that distance? Not a very reliable plan for all arriving at the target together. If they were separate sections then ‘sections in line-astern’ meant individual aircraft were one behind another, not sections one behind another – not the usual practice.

He says they crossed the coast at heights ranging from 50 feet to 5000 feet. But wasn’t the whole idea to get below the radar?

Then with his very next sentence he quotes the AA Command report that describes the raiders following the Stour Valley.

General Pile was C-in-C of AA Command throughout WW2, and one doesn’t reach that sort of job without experience and skill in writing orders and reports, so I’m hesitant to gainsay him.

But am I the only one whose eyebrows rose on reading his text?
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Offline otis

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Re: Canterbury Blitz, 1942
« Reply #225 on: June 02, 2015, 22:09:55 »
The first raiders crossed the coast low. You say they exited in the same area around 6 minutes later. Is is not plausible for the rear cover arriving to climb to 5000 feet in that six minutes ? You say it would take two !
"there was more hit than miss about this arbitrary bombardment"

 

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