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Encyclopedia > Battle of Berlin (air)
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The term Battle of Berlin is sometimes restricted to the Royal Air Force for a bombing campaign on Berlin and other cities between the night of November 18 1943 and March 1944. Bomber Command organised sixteen major attacks on the German capital. During these sixteen attacks the RAF destroyed over 6,000 acres (24 km²) and lost 450 aircraft. Arthur Harris planned to reduce most of the city into rubble to achieve victory. During the battle of Berlin, the British lost 1,047 bombers, with a further 1,682 damaged, culminating in the raid on Nuremberg on March 30, 1944, when 94 bombers were shot down and 71 damaged, out of 795 aircraft. The Royal Air Force (often abbreviated to RAF) is the air force branch of the British Armed Forces. ... Jump to: navigation, search Berlin â–¶(?), IPA: , is the capital of Germany and its largest city; down from a peak of 4. ... Jump to: navigation, search November 18 is the 322nd day of the year (323rd in leap years), with 43 remaining. ... RAF Bomber Command was the organisation that controlled the RAFs bomber forces. ... Sir Arthur Travers Harris, 1st Baronet (April 13, 1892 - April 5, 1984), commonly known as Bomber Harris, and often within the RAF as Butcher Harris, was commander of RAF Bomber Command and later a Marshal of the Royal Air Force during the latter half of World War II. In 1942... Nuremberg coat of arms Location of Nuremberg Nuremberg (German: Nürnberg) is a city in the German state of Bavaria, in the administrative region of Middle Franconia. ...


  1. Night of 18/19 November 1943: Berlin, the main target, was attacked by 440 Lancasters and 4 Mosquitos bombed the city which was under cloud. Diversionary raids on Mannheim and Ludwigshafen by 395 other aircraft. Mosquitos attacked several other towns. In all 884 sorties, 32 aircraft (3.6 per cent) lost.
    • Night of 19/20 November 1943: Leverkusen was the main target. A number of other towns bombed.
  2. Night of 22/23 November 1943: Berlin the main target. 469 Lancasters, 234 Halifaxes, 50 Stirlings, 11 Mosquitos. Total 764 aircraft. 26 aircraft lost 3.4 per cent of the force. This was the most effective raid on Berlin of the war. Most of the damage was to the residential areas of Tiergarten and Charlottenburg to the separate suburb city of Spandau. Because of the dry weather conditions, several 'firestorms' ignited. 175,000 people were made homeless and the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (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 and Japanese embassies, Charlottenburg Castle and Berlin Zoo. The Ministry of Weapons and Munitions, the Waffen SS Administrative College, the barracks of the Imperial Guard at Spandau as well as several factories employed in the manufacture of material for the armed forces.
  3. Night of 23/24 November 1943: Berlin, the main target, was attacked by 365 Lancasters, 10 Halifaxes, 8 Mosquitos (383 aircraft).
    • Night of 24/25 November 1943: Berlin, in small raid, was attacked by 6 Mosquitos (1 lost). The only other action that night was 9 Wellingtons dropping leaflets in France.
    • Night of 25/26 November 1943: Frankfurt main target. Also 3 Mosquitos to Berlin and other aircraft to other targets.
  4. Night of 26/27 November 1943: Berlin, the main target, was attacked by 443 Lancasters and 7 Mosquitos. Most of the damage on Berlin in the semi-industrial suburb of Reinickendorf. Stuttgart was a diversion attacked by 84 aircraft. The total sorties for the night was 666 with 34 aircraft (5.1 per cent) lost.
    • Night of 28/29 November 1943: Essen, in small raid, was attacked by 10 Mosquitos.
    • Night of 29/30 November 1943: Bochurn, Cologne and Düsseldorf, attacked by 21 Mosquitos.
    • Night of 30 November / 1 December 1943: Essen, in small raid, attacked by 4 Mosquitos.
    • Night of 1/2 December 1943: only minelaying.
  5. 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, 2 Halifaxes, 1 Mosquito (8.7 per cent 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 factories, a ball-bearing factory and several railway installations damaged.
    • Night of 3/4 December 1943: Leipzig, the main target, was attacked by 307 Lancasters, 220 Halifaxes (527 aircraft).
    • Night of 4/5 December 1943: Duisburg attacked by 9 Mosquitos.
    • Night of 10/11 December 1943: Leverkusen 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 9 more.
    • Night of 15/16 December 1943: 16 Mosquitos to Düsseldorf.
  6. 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 per cent of the Lancaster force, were lost over enemy occupied territory, with further 29 aircraft were 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 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. 2 Beaufighters and 2 Mosquitos of No. 141 Squadron RAF using Serrate radar detector managed to damage a Me 110, the first time these hunter killers had been on a successful Serrate patrol. On the same night there were other raid on Tilley-le-Haut and Flixecourt, 2 flying-bomb sites near Abbeville the raid failed to destroy the sites and no aircraft were lost.
    • Night of 19/20 December 1943: leafletting over French towns without loss
    • Night of 20/21 December 1943: Frankfurt was the main target, it was attacked by 390 Lancasters, 257 Halifaxes, 3 Mosquitos (650 aircraft). German night fighters were successful in intercepting the bomber stream 27 Halifaxes, 14 Lancasters were lost, 6.3 per cent of the force. Dammage 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 aircaft and a precision attack by 8 Lancasters of 617 Squadron and 8 Pathfinder Mosquitos on an armaments factory near Liege which failed to hit its target.
    • Night of 21/22 December 1943: Mannesmann factory at Düsseldorf attacked by 9 Mosquitos and a number of other small raids.
    • Night of 22/23 December 1943: 51 aircraft attacked 2 flying-bomb sites between Abbeville and Amiens. One was destroyed the other was not located. 2 small Mosquitos raids on Frankfurt and to Bonn.
  7. Night of 23/24 December 194: Berlin was attacked by 364 Lancasters, 8 Mosquitos and 7 Halifaxes. German fighters encountered difficulty with the weather and were only able to shootdown 16 Lancasters, 4.2 per cent of the force. Damage to Berlin was was relativly small. Several other German towns were attacked by Mosquitos.
    • Night of 24/25 December 1943: there was only mine laying.
    • Night of 28/29 December 1943: Berlin was the main target. 457 Lancasters, 252 Halifaxes and 3 Mosquitos (712 aircraft), RAF losses were light at 2.8 per cent 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 faild to destroy a V1 site.
    • Night of 31 December 1943/1 January 1944: there was only mine laying.
  8. Night of 1/2 January 1944: Berlin was the main target. The bomber streams of 421 Lancasters were attacked by German night fighters resulting in the loss of 6.7 per cent of the force.
  9. Night of 1/2 January 1944: Berlin was the main target. 421 Lancasters despatched to Berlin. German night fighters were effective and 6.2% 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 fighrers.
  10. Night of 2/3 January 1944: Berlin was the main target. 362 Lancasters, 12 Mosquitos, 9 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 per cent of the force. There were minor raids on other cities.
    • Night of 3/4 January 1944: Solingen and Essen attacked by 8 Mosquitos. No losses
    • Night of 4/5 January 1944: Two flying bomb sites attacked effectivly by 80 aircraft. Small raid on Berlin by 13 Mosquitos. Other small raids on other targets. Also Special Operations 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 fightes and RAF losses were only 16 aircraft lost, 4.5 per cent of the force
    • Night of 6/7 January 1944: Small raids on Duisburg, Bristillerie, Dortmund and Solingen by 19 Mosquitos.
    • Night of 7/8 January 1944: Small raids on Krefeld and Duisbur by 11 Mosquitos. 10 men killed when an SOE support flight crashed shortly after takeoff.
    • Night of 8/9 January 1944: Small raids on Frankfurt, Solingen, Aachen and Dortmund by 23 Mosquitos. 2 aircraft lost.
    • Night of 10/11 January 1944: Small raids on Berlin, Solingen, Koblenz and Krefeld by 20 Mosquitos. No aircraft lost.
    • Night of 13/14 January 1944: Small raids on Essen, Duisburg, Aachen, and Koblenz by 25 Mosquitos. One aircraft lost.
    • Night of 14/15 January 1944: Major raid on Brunswick, the first of the war, by 496 Lancasters and 2 Halifaxes. 38 Lancasters 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, Bonneton and Bristillerie without loss. 17 Mosquitos launced small raids on Magdeburg and Berlin.
  11. Night of 20/21 January 1944: Berlin was the main target. 495 Lancasters, 264 Halifaxes, 10 Mosquitos (769 aircraft) despatched to Berlin. Night fighter attackes were pressed home successfully 22 Halifaxes and 13 Lancasters were lost, 4.6 per cent of the force. The damage could not be assesed due to low cloud cover the next day.
    • Night of 21/22 January 1944: Magdeburg main target. Its firts major raid of the war.
    • ...
  12. Night of 27/28 January 1944: Berlin main target.
  13. Night of 28/29 January 1944: Berlin main target.
    • Night of 29/30 January 1944: minor raids
  14. Night of 30/31 January 1944: Berlin main target.
    • ...
  15. Night of 15/16 February 1944: Berlin main target.
    • ...
  16. Night of 24/25 March 1944: Berlin main target.
    • ...
  • Night of 30/31 March 1944 Nuremberg, the main target was attacked by 572 Lancasters, 214 Halifaxes and 9 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. Another 13 bombers were shot down by the Germans on the return flight. In all the RAF lost 11.9 per cent 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, was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.

There were many other raids on Berlin by the RAF and the USAAF Eighth Air Force in the strategic bombing campaign of 1940–1945 and this is reflected in the RAF battle honour which is for bombardment of Berlin by aircraft of Bomber Command 1940–1945. The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (in German: Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche) is located in Berlin at the Kurfürstendamm. ... The Zoologischer Garten Berlin (zoological garden Berlin) is one of the biggest zoos in Germany and the one with the largest number of species of the world. ... Jump to: navigation, search The Eastern Front of World War II was the theatre of war covering the conflict in eastern Europe, notorious for its unprecedented ferocity and immense loss of life. ... The Serrate radar detector was an Allied Lichtenstein radar detection and homing device, used in Allied night fighters to track down German night fighters equipped with Lichtenstein radar during World War II. The first successfull operational deployment of the equipment by RAF night fighter was on the night of 16... The Messerschmitt Bf110 (later Me110) was a twin-engine heavy fighter in the service of the Luftwaffe during World War II. History Based around the concept of the long-range Zerstörer or Destroyer Fighter the Bf110 enjoyed some success in the Polish and French campaigns. ... No. ... Jump to: navigation, search The Special Operations Executive (SOE), often called the Baker Street Irregulars after Sherlock Holmess fictional group of spies, was a World War II organisation initiated by Winston Churchill and Hugh Dalton in July 1940 as a mechanism for conducting warfare by means other than direct... Jump to: navigation, search The Special Operations Executive (SOE), often called the Baker Street Irregulars after Sherlock Holmess fictional group of spies, was a World War II organisation initiated by Winston Churchill and Hugh Dalton in July 1940 as a mechanism for conducting warfare by means other than direct... Photo by Terry Macdonald Cyril Joe Barton was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. ... Victoria Cross medal, ribbon, and bar. ... USAAF recruitment poster. ... The Eighth Air Force was a World War II, United States Army Air Force unit, which carried out day-time bombing operations in western Europe from airfields in eastern England from 1942. ...

External links

  • Official RAF website: Campaign Diary November 1943
  • RAF Battle Honours including Berlin 1940-1945

RAF strategic bombing in World War II
Overview Documents
RAF Bomber Command | Bomber Command | Strategic bombing | Aerial bombing of cities
Prominent People
Sir Archibald Sinclair | Sir Charles Portal | Norman Bottomley
Arthur "Bomber" Harris | Sir Arthur W. Tedder | Professor Lindemann
Bombing Campaigns and Operations
Augsburg | Berlin | Cologne | Dresden | Hamburg | Kassel
Aircraft and Technology
Blenheim | Halifax | Hampden | Lancaster | Mosquito | Stirling | Wellesley | Wellington | Whitley
Window | H2S | GEE | Oboe | G-H | Monica
USAAF | Luftwaffe

  Results from FactBites:
Battle of Berlin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3454 words)
A Soviet tank spearhead was on the Havel river to the east of Berlin and another had at one point penetrated the inner defensive ring of Berlin.
To the west was the XX Infantry Division, to the north the IX Parachute Division, to the north-east Panzer Division Müncheberg, XI SS Panzergrenadier Division Nordland were to the south-east, (east of Tempelhof Airport) and XVIII Panzergrenadier Division, the reserve, was in the central district.
In the battle for the city the Soviets lost about 2,000 armoured vehicles, in good part due to the effective shoulder-firing recoilless gun known as the Panzerfaust, mass numbers of which were supplied to German civilians, though countermeasures such as armor and wire skirts were being deployed.
  More results at FactBites »



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