19 avril 1945…

Sixième mission…

Mission de jour écrit à l’encre verte dans le logbook de Jacques Morin.

Heligoland – Nice – Trip (9-1000) (4-500)

avril 1945

On ne peut rien inventer dans un logbook, car il est approuvé par le commandant de l’escadrille.

L’équipage de Marcoux monte à bord du Halifax KW-R. Le bombardier lourdement chargé d’essence et de bombes est sur le tarmac.

queenie

Des Halifax s’écrasaient au décollage quelquefois.

Halifax crash

L’avion décolle pour sa mission sur Heligoland.

Au sujet de cette mission sur l’île d’Heligoland, j’ai trouvé ceci sur un forum…

Cette personne s’interrogeait sur la valeur stratégique de cet objectif.

Heligoland

A topic that is probably not talked about that much. On the 18th and 19th of April 1945, the RAF launched devastating air raids against Heligoland. This small island in the North sea had no real tactical importance. There was an airfield on the smaller island {only able to take around a dozen or so Messerschmitt BF109T’s}, and a U-boat pen on the main island, which could hold three subs. In fact, the pens were used more often than not to shelter E-boats and sometimes Sprengbootes. The island had various coastal gun and flak emplacements. There was a civilian population of around 1,900. The war in Europe had move far beyond the reaches of Heligoland, yet on the 18th April, 969 aircraft – 617 Lancasters, 332 Halifaxes and 20 Mosquitos attacked the naval base, the airfield and the town on this small island. The bombing was accurate and the target areas were turned almost into crater-pitted moonscapes. This attack took place between 12.25 and 1.55 pm. 3 Halifaxes were lost. The second attack was carried out the next day between 5.08 and 5.36 pm by 36 Lancasters of 9 and 617 Squadrons, which attacked coastal battery positions at Heligoland with Tallboy bombs. All targets were hit and no aircraft were lost. On the island, there were over 100 killed, mostly military personnel. Most of the civilians had taken refuge in the tunnels and caves around the island. The infrastructure of the island was ruined so much that the fortress commanding officer requested the evacuation of the civilian population. This took place during the nights of 19th and 21st April 1945.

I suppose that the question has to be asked, why such a heavy attack on such as small, somewhat unimportant target? The war in Europe was coming to a close, plain for all to see. 18 days after the attack Germany surrendered! Was this a case of wanting to get rid of surplus munitions before the war ended? Remember how in the First World War, in the hours leading up to the agreed cease fire time, Allied artillery bombardments actually increased in intensity! it? To me it just seems a very senseless, and over the top attack. I was wondering what other people think about? I have found some images to do with Heligoland and the raid.

0081-07-bomb over Heligoland - Apr 1945

Où est la vérité?

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