Baedeker Raid on Norwich 8/9 May 1942

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by Bala, Mar 7, 2020.

  1. Bala

    Bala Member

    I have read that 70 bombers attacked Norwich on the 8/9th May 1942. What Luftwaffe Units took part and where were the based?

    Thank you
  2. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    After the main Luftwaffe attacks during the Blitz, the Germans transferred most of their bomber force to the Eastern Front and attacked Russian targets, which occupied much of the Luftwaffe for the rest of the War.
    They had a much reduced capacity, mainly being Luftflotte 3 using KG2; KG106 and I/KG100, the latter mainly as pathfinders.

    Many references available on t'internet, even Wiki has
    The task of carrying out the attacks was given to the bomber groups of Luftflotte 3; these were KG2, and KG 106 (formed from the earlier Küstenfliegergruppe 106 maritime aviation group), to be led by the pathfinders of I/KG100. Each raid would involve 30 to 40 aircraft, and to increase their effectiveness it was planned each would fly two sorties per night. Thus each raid would involve two periods of 60 to 90 minutes, separated by two or three hours.
    The first raid of the Baedeker Blitz was directed against Exeter, on the night of 23/24 April 1942. Whilst this raid caused little damage, a second raid the following night was more severe, with over 80 fatalities. On 25/26 and 26/27 April, the bomber force attacked Bath, causing widespread damage and some 400 casualties. These raids came a month after the Lübeck raid, and coincided with the RAF's four night offensive against Rostock. On 27/28 April, the Luftwaffe attacked Norwich, dropping more than 90 tons of bombs and causing 67 deaths. On 28/29 April, they attacked York, causing limited damage but 79 deaths.
    A week later, on 3/4 May the Luftwaffe returned to Exeter, causing heavy damage to the city centre and 164 deaths. The following night they also attacked Cowes, a target of both cultural and military value, being the home of the J. Samuel White shipyard. On 8/9 May Norwich was attacked again, though the raid was ineffective despite more than 70 aircraft taking part. During May the Luftwaffe also bombed Hull (a major port, and thus a military target), Poole, Grimsby and, at the end of May, Canterbury. This raid, which coincided with the RAF's 1,000 bomber raid on Cologne, involved 77 bombers, dropping 40 tons of bombs, which resulted in 43 deaths.
    The raids were referred to on both sides as "Baedeker raids", derived from a comment by a German propagandist. Gustav Braun von Stumm [de], a spokesman for the German Foreign Office, is reported to have said on 24 April 1942, "We shall go out and bomb every building in Britain marked with three stars in the Baedeker Guide", a reference to the popular travel guides of that name. Goebbels was furious; keen to brand British attacks as "terror bombing", he was equally keen to designate German efforts as "retaliatory measures". Stumm's off-the-cuff remark effectively admitted the Germans were targetting cultural and historic targets, just what the German leadership did not want to do, and Goebbels took steps to make sure it did not happen again.
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  3. Juha

    Juha Junior Member

    There is the massive The Blitz then and Now Vols 1 - 3 and also at least Niall Rothnie's The Baedeker Blitz (1992), 144 pages.
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  4. Bala

    Bala Member

    Many thanks Kevin very useful.
    I don't know how the Luftwaffe were organised during the Baedeker raids. How many bomber squadrons were available and how many planes were in a squadron. If 70 planes attacked Norwich on the 8/9th May 1942 how many and what units would have been involved?

    Any help appreciated -
  5. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Goebbels had already made it clear that the Luftwaffe would "respond to the attempted destruction of German centres of culture by razing British cultural shrines to the ground". This was after the RAF had destroyed the medieval centres of Rostock and Lubeck (they were in reality attempting to hit industrial and port facilities and Harris is on record - literally I've heard it - as saying that they were chosen because they were easy to find at night). Hitler himself referred to the tit for tat relationship of the Bath and Rostock raids. Gustav Braun von Stumm was the head of the Press Division of the AA and as such responsible for briefing journalists both German and Neutral and was in effect merely expressing the view in a press conference that Goebbels had already aired so it seems somewhat hypocritical for JoGo to stick the knife in, however even today it is not unusual for civil servants to get it in the neck from irate ministers.

    see Michael Balfour, Propaganda in War 1939 -1945, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London,1979
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  6. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    Well, your eyesight is improving, as is your post count.
    There isn't a prize for commenting on every subject.
    At least you've moved on from the GWF
  7. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    What does this post contribute to the discussion?
  8. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Williamson Murray states that many Luftwaffe flying instructors and crews from the training schools were used in these raids and lost heavily thus impairing the German long term ability to build up her bomber force. This would imply that it was very much a scratch effort with whatever could be scraped together

    See Williamson Murray , Strategy for Defeat The Luftwaffe 1933 -1945, Eagle Edition 2003, Page 107
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2020
  9. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    From Blitz Then and Now vol3 pages 126-127-128-129

    upload_2020-3-8_11-33-51.png upload_2020-3-8_11-34-7.png upload_2020-3-8_11-34-24.png upload_2020-3-8_11-34-36.png upload_2020-3-8_11-34-55.png
    upload_2020-3-8_11-37-45.png upload_2020-3-8_11-37-58.png
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  10. ltdan

    ltdan Nietenzähler

    Hmmmm...really thought I´d answered the question already in the Heinkel thread
    Involved units mainly came from KG 2, KG 40, K.Fl.G.106, EKdo 100 (a.k.a. EK-XY, 7./100)

    A „KG 106“ never existed, it was KflG 106 who became part of KG 6 later that year. Obviously the
    naming confusion was caused by the interim term Kampfgruppe 106, abbreviated KGr 106

    also have a glance at:
    Bristol During World War Two

    Military Histories - Participating Units

    kind regards
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2020
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  11. Bala

    Bala Member

    What a fantastic forum this is. I thank you all for your help.

    I started with a newspaper clipping from the Star dated 13 May 1942. It showed a picture of an army officer examining the tail wreckage of a downed German bomber on the South Downs. Some local digging lead me to Brighton City Cemetery where the 5 crew members are buried. The plane was shot down by a Beaufighter of 219 Squadron a night fighter on the night of 8/9 May 1952.

    Since then you kind gentlemen have told me that the Heinkel was a pathfinder that had led the raid on Norwich and you answered the many questions, I have asked about the Baedeker Raid on that night. Also kindly supplied attachments, data and links that tell me all about the Luftwaffe units and the damage inflicted.

    Thank you again, your help is really appreciated.

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