Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Mosquito II.

This is coolbert:

Mission Impossible - - “bomb our position!!”

During the Second World War [WW2], the Mosquito aircraft as employed by the British RAF [Royal Air Force], was the ideal combat airplane for low-level, high-speed, precision bombing missions.

The Mosquito did possess the necessary requirements of speed, range, adequate bomb load, stealth, maneuverability, etc. Was able to perform missions that other aircraft were JUST NOT ABLE TO!

The low-level, high-speed attack by a bomber aircraft was something that pre-war strategic thinkers had NOT conceived of. Pre-war bombing doctrine called for high-altitude precision bombing against point targets. NOT for low-level flight BY A WOODEN AIRCRAFT!!

Pilots of the RAF flying the Mosquito were able to master the “art” of the low-level attack. Pilots that had experience, panache’, “moxie”, and just plain guts. I would have to think these this fliers RELISHED THE ROLE OF LOW-LEVEL ATTACKER!!

That proper combination of aircraft and skilled pilots DID allow for bombing missions OTHERWISE THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN DEEMED IMPOSSIBLE!!

“Impossible” bombing missions such as:

Operation Jericho.

* "Operation Jericho was a low-level bombing raid by Allied aircraft on Amiens Prison in German-occupied France . . . The object of the raid was the release of French resistance and political prisoners, 120 of whom were to be executed the following day."

* Attack on the Gestapo headquarters in The Hague.

"a pinpoint attack at rooftop height on the Gestapo records centre in The Hague, Netherlands."

* Operation Carthage.

"a very low-level bombing attack on the Gestapo headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark"

In each case the target was a Gestapo headquarters building. Buildings within which were imprisoned resistance fighters from France [Jericho], Holland, and Denmark [Carthage] respectively. Resistance fighters subjected by the Gestapo to interrogation, cruel torture, and liquidation [execution]!!


[I think the mentality was - - “we are going to die if NOTHING is done - - if we are killed in the bombing - - so will some of the villains - - and - - maybe - - in the process - - some of us will escape!!”]

"Who knows-some might not be killed and succeed in escaping, as happened at Aarhus, and anyhow their death will save many more Danish lives, so don't worry."

In all three cases, success was realized.

"The Mosquito bomber crews succeeded in breaching the walls and buildings of the prison, as well as destroying guards' barracks. Although 102 prisoners were killed, out of a total of 717, another 258 prisoners escaped. One of the inmates was also privy to sensitive information concerning Operation Overlord." - - Jericho.

"Their bombs, a mixture of high explosive and incendiary, went in through the doors and windows and the incriminating records were burned." - - The Hague.

"Eight Gestapo prisoners were killed while 18 prisoners escaped. The main attack on the Gestapo headquarters caused the death of 55 German soldiers and 47 Danes working for the Gestapo." - - Carthage.

Carthage in particular carries a resonance in Denmark to this day similar to what Pearl Harbor or 9/11 does in the U.S.? This is due to the high collateral damage, unintentional, that resulted from the bombing. The “French” school was struck, with considerable loss of innocent life.

ONLY a Mosquito, at the time, piloted by able hands, could have done what was done!!




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