Mosquitos Over the Skies of Hamburg

This book is so entertaining! Who would have thought!

A chapter or so back, self was introduced to a fascinating British aircraft called the De Havilland Mosquito, made OF PLYWOOD. Can you imagine the chutzpah of putting such an aircraft into battle? The bloody cheek! It had no defensive armor at all, but could fly super-fast and attain great altitudes, which made them almost impervious to German flak. 11 Mosquitos accompanied the first RAF raid of Hamburg, and all 11 made it back to base the next morning, not a scratch on them.

Now, self is on Chapter 15: Concentrated Bombing.

Apparently, the RAF liked to send Mosquitos to Hamburg on “nuisance raids” — their only purpose was to keep the population of Hamburg, already jumpy from night raids, from sleeping. “The British knew from experience that sleep deprivation could be almost as damaging to the economy as bombardment . . . The damage their few bombs caused was miniscule compared to what had gone before, but it was enough to keep the whole city awake.”

They were also useful as “reconaissance planes.” For instance, on the morning of July 27, 1943, the British RAF Commander sent a Mosquito to fly over Hamburg and report on weather conditions. “Its pilot reported back that, apart from a light smoke haze from the fires that were still burning, the weather was perfectly clear.” On the basis of that report, a second massive night raid on Hamburg was ordered.

Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.

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