Target Leipzig

The RAF’s Disastrous Raid of 19/20 February 1944

Alan W. Cooper

 
Date Published :
November 2009
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Language:
English
Illustration :
60 b/w illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Hardback
ISBN : 9781844159062

Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
-
+
In stock
$39.99

Overview
-

Seventy-nine heavy bombers failed to return from the catastrophic raid on the industrial city of Leipzig on the night of 19/20 February 1944. Some 420 aircrew were killed and a further 131 became prisoners of war. It was at that time by far the RAF’s most costly raid of World War II. The town was attacked in an attempt to destroy the Messerschmitt factory which was building the famous and deadly Bf 109 fighter. The bomber stream flew into what appeared to be a trap. It seemed that the Luftwaffe and anti-aircraft guns were aware of the intended target and waiting to pounce as soon as the bombers crossed the coast. They were subjected to constant attack by night fighters and intense flak until those aircraft that remained clawed their way home and secured relative safety over the North Sea.

This book analyses what went wrong. Espionage played a part, two bombers collided shortly after take off, as did others as they wove their way through enemy searchlights and maneuvered violently to escape Luftwaffe night fighters. At the outset poor navigational and meteorological briefings had hindered the bombers attempts to locate the target and confusion reigned. The author explains the concept of this third raid on Leipzig and describes the two previous ones in October and December 1943, both of which had been deemed successes. He looks at the third raid from every angle, including the defending forces and describes the daylight raid that followed on the 20th by the USAAF. The book includes appendices listing all RAF aircraft and crew on the raid, route maps and includes many photographs.

About The Author
-

Alan W Cooper joined and served in everything from the cubs to the Army cadets until when aged 17 he enlisted in the Territorial Army (2nd Monmouthshire Regiment) as a boy bandsman and served with them until 1958 when he was called for National Service with the South Wales Borderers (They of Rourke's Drift fame) but having already decided to become a regular soldier he enlisted in the 4/7th Royal Dragoon Guards band and subsequently learned to march wearing spurs. A year in the Royal Military School of Music followed and then service in Germany and Yorkshire until 1963 when he transferred to the Coldstream Guards band in London. As his interest and archives grew he decided to attempt his first book and in 1982, and had his first book 'The Men Who Breached The Dams' published. It is the story of the raid on the Ruhr dams in 1943, but from the eyes of the men who carried out this daring, and very gallant operation, their efforts, and their story. He has gone on to write many WWII history books, often with the guidance from other men who served

More from this publisher