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February 1945


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The RAF continues operations against Oil refineries and Benzol Plants.


The Night of 1st/2nd sees 8 Mosquitoes to Bruckhausen benzol plant,


The 2nd/3rd saw Wanne-Eickelattcked : 323 aircraft - 277 Halifaxes, 27 Lancasters, 19 Mosquitos - of Nos 4, 6 and 8 Groups. 4 Halifaxes lost. This target was also cloud-covered and the attack, intended for the oil refinery, was not accurate. Local people assumed that the target was a local coal mine - Shamrock 3/4; most of the bombing fell in the open ground around the mine.


The night of 3rd /4th saw two major raids:-


192 Lancasters and 18 Mosquitos of Nos 1 and 8 Groups attacked the Prosper benzol plant at Bottrop successfully. 8 Lancasters lost.


14th/ 15th saw 224 Lancasters and 8 Mosquitos of No 5 Group attack the oil refinery in Rositz near Leipzig. 4 Lancasters were lost. Damage was caused to the southern part of the oil plant.




149 Lancasters of No 3 Group attacked the Hansa benzol plant at Dortmund but the bombing fell north and north-west of the target. 4 Lancasters lost.


Two more heavy raids were mounted the following night:-

123 aircraft - 100 Halifaxes, 12 Mosquitos, 11 Lancasters - of 6 and 8 Groups attacked a benzol plant at Osterfeld but caused no fresh damage. No aircraft lost.


120 aircraft - 96 Halifaxes, 12 Lancasters, 12 Mosquitos - of 4 and 8 Groups attacked the Nordstern synthetic-oil plant, Gelsenkirchen. Some minor damage was caused but most of the bombs fell south of the target. No aircraft lost.


The 7th sees another 100 bomber raid.

100 Lancasters of No 3 Group to attack the oil plant at Wanne-Eickel. Only 75 aircraft were able to bomb in wintry conditions which scattered the force. The results of the raid are not known. 1 Lancaster lost.


Two even bigger raids were carried out on the Night of 8th/9th:-


Politz: 475 Lancasters and 7 Mosquitos of Nos 1, 5 and 8 Groups. 12 Lancasters lost, l of them coming down in Sweden. The attack took place in 2 waves, the first being marked and carried out entirely by the No 5 Group method and the second being marked by the Pathfinders of No 8 Group. The weather conditions were clear and the bombing of both waves was extremely accurate. Severe damage was caused to this important synthetic-oil plant. It produced no further oil during the war. Speer mentioned this raid, in his post-war interrogations, as being another big setback to Germany's war effort.


Wanne-Eickel: 228 aircraft - 200 Halifaxes, 20 Mosquitos, 8 Lancasters - of Nos 4, 6 and 8 Groups. 2 Halifaxes crashed in France. This raid was not a success. The local report says that the bombing was scattered, with only light damage to the oil refinery.


The Night of 13th/14th Böhlen was attacked : 368 aircraft - 326 Halifaxes, 34 Lancasters, 8 Mosquitos - of Nos 4, 6 and 8 Groups attempted to attack the Braunkohle-Benzin synthetic-oil plant at Bohlen, near Leipzig. Bad weather - 10/10ths cloud to 15,000ft with icing - was encountered and the marking and bombing were scattered. No post-raid photographic reconnaissance was carried out. 1 Halifax was lost.

Edited by antarmike
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