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RAF Bombs on Esbjerg Early in the War


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#1 Romantic Technofreak

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 04:41 PM

Hi,

 

I am just reading in a book that the Danish town of Esbjerg was mistakenly bombed by a RAF aircraft in the first days of September 1939. It says the original target was Wilhelmshaven, quick googling gives the much nearer, but still far distant Brunsbüttel as such. If you consider navigational mistakes of this amount, you think of a conspiracy that only covers such actions as mistakes. Other was the violation of Dutch airspace by RAF aircraft, which the Dutch complained, but the British denied.

 

The thought is, were these actions not in fact to warn the smaller states not to side with Hitler (in a situation while the war in Poland was still going on)?

 

If you have heard anything about this, I would like to read comments, especially from Armand and Stony. Thanks in advance!

 

Regards, RT



#2 Stony

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 06:30 PM

RT,

 

Before the Netherlands were involved in WW2, their airspace was violated by The British as well by the Germans.

 

The Dutch goverment protested to both countries but without succes.

The Dutch armed forces at that point were also not in the position to show some force, they could simply not bounce the violating aircraft.

 

There was also the incident involving a KLM DC-3 wich was painted bright orange with large Holland titles. It was shot down by a bf-109 over the Waddenzee.

The Germans apologised and the incident was put to rest because the Dutch goverment had no other choice at that time...

 

But I never heard of the British bombing neutral countries on purpose as a warning.

The Dutch city of Nijmegen was bombed by the USAAF at the end of the war by mistake. Their real target was some 40 miles or so more to the  east.

 

So bombing accidents did/do happen......


Edited by Stony, 10 March 2017 - 06:31 PM.

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#3 Armand

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 11:15 AM

I Guessing Danes are common to the fact that their little country is in the line of fire :-/
The low-level bombing of the GESTAPO headquarter in Copenhagen casused a crash into a school with following re-bombing of wich some pilots thought to be the the target and reportedly was the pilots surprised by the only experience of grief without retalitation when wisiting short after the liberation.
I'll try to dig into the Esbjerg bombing of wich I've never heard, and will return with the result.
However, I'm aware of two consecutive bombings of My neighbouring town in '42: one alledgely a 'cookie' released after a navigation failure (however You try to explain such as deliberatly terror to the population?), and the other a traditional bomb shortly North of the first wich alledgly was the release of a leftover during a troubled home-flight.

#4 Stony

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 12:22 PM

During the war some 6000 allied arcraft were shot down in Dutch airspace. Around 1500 are still in Dutch soil.. And there are more than a few tales of bombs released by mistake or on the way back. Killing people and/or destroying homes..

In the area where I live there are a few farmhouses that were destroyed by late bomb releases.... And more than enough crash sites..

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#5 Armand

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 12:50 PM

During the war some 6000 allied arcraft were shot down in Dutch airspace. Around 1500 are still in Dutch soil.. And there are more than a few tales of bombs released by mistake or on the way back. Killing people and/or destroying homes..
In the area where I live there are a few farmhouses that were destroyed by late bomb releases.... And more than enough crash sites..

Sounds like an inducement for a salvage campaign, as the aluminium prices are up ;-)
Remember that Germanys second highest import of Aluminium during war, was what falled out of the sky - And for the Brits this might even have been an equal part :-o

Edited by Armand, 11 March 2017 - 04:59 PM.


#6 Kutscha

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 02:40 PM

And for the Brits this might even have been an equal part

 

No Armand. During the BoB yes but after that hardly any heavy Lw activity over GB.


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#7 Romantic Technofreak

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 06:17 PM

No Armand. During the BoB yes but after that hardly any heavy Lw activity over GB.

 

I see! Less attacks to cut Britain from aluminium supplies! :)

 

What puzzles me is the contradiction between erroneous navigation and accurate bombing. Not that this did not happen on the German side too, remember the bombing of Freiburg by a Heinkel He 111. For the early phase of the war, even if navigation errors may have occurred, pilots should know abot the coastline to confirm where they are. For the late phase, navigation procedures should have improved in a way that makes errors like the bombing of Schaffhausen in Switzerland highly incredible (Wikipedia says the navigation error is confirmed, pilots were "unexperienced". Well, these circumstances should have occurred more often, but the consequences obviously did not. Anyway, the US paid high reparations). I mean having read rumours that the Swiss were suspected to join Hitler even not although, but because Allied armies were approaching their borders.

 

Regards, RT
 



#8 Stony

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 06:47 PM

Well, as you know RT the weather in western europe is rather unpredictable. So the crews couldn't always see the coastline because of the heavy clouds..

The weather forecasts weren't that good in those days... And surely in the early years of the war tons of bombs were dropped in the Channel because the targets could not be found.

 

During the BoB the Luftwaffe bombed London by mistake while they were targeting the midlands... But were blown of their original course. by strong winds.

 

And of course Bombing by night did not help either...

 

 

BTW Accurate bombing in WW2 did not realy exist,,,, 


Edited by Stony, 12 March 2017 - 06:50 PM.

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