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 (1939-1945) WWII Battles
Posts: 6346
RAF Operation Hydra--17/18 August 1943
Posted on: 9/30/2017 12:58:51 PM
Operation Hydra was a Royal Air Force attack on the Peenemünde Army Research Center on the night of 17/18 August 1943. It was the first time a master bomber was used for the main force.

Group Captain John Searby, CO of 83 Squadron, commanded the operation. It began the Operation Crossbow strategic bombing campaign against Nazi Germany's V-weapon programme.

215 British aircrew members and 40 bombers were lost, and hundreds of civilians were killed in a nearby concentration camp.A pretty hefty butcher's bill !!

The air raid killed two V-2 rocket scientists and "said to have" delayed V-2 rocket test launches for seven weeks.
NB.According to Peenemünde scientist Siegfried Winter, "We … climbed on to the roofs … and painted black and white lines to simulate charred beams." Operation Hydra also included the use of bombs with timers set for up to three days, so along with bombs that had not detonated (because of the sandy soil), explosions well after the attack were not uncommon and hampered German salvage efforts


Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Posts: 6346
Re: RAF Operation Hydra--17/18 August 1943
Posted on: 10/1/2017 4:03:42 AM

Bomber Command lost 6.7% of the Operation Hydra force, most of these during the final wave when German nightfighters arrived.

After the Luftwaffe realised the Operation Whitebait deception (12 Mosquitos and 10 Beaufighters), the counterattack on Operation Hydra included about 30 Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Wilde Sau (wild boar) night fighters which shot down 29 of the 40 bombers lost during Operation Hydra.

The counterattack also included the first operational flights of Schräge Musik fighters:[4] two Bf 110s piloted by Leutnant Peter Erhardt, the Staffelkapitän, and Unteroffizier Walter Höker.

After the success of the Operation Whitebait deception, Luftwaffe chief of staff General Hans Jeschonnek shot and killed himself on 19 August.


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