The World at War s01e12 Episode Script

Whirlwind: Bombing Germany (September 1939 - April 1944)

Many of the pilots did not know what it was a strategical bombing.
We, as many others, we sign up in them in the Air Force, because we were in war and it had attraction associated with the Air Force.
If it was not obtained to reach the Germans in the plants, it was more easy atingiz them in the proper bed.
E if fell a bomb in old of the street to the side, bad luck.
It has who says that bombings they never gain the war.
I answer that not yet he was attemped.
Soon it will be seen.
The World in War Eddy Bombing of Germany September of 1939 - April of 1944 After the Battle of England, the RAF had reasons to celebrate.
The command of the huntings had shown as it was difficult the bombers to destroy a capable country of if defending.
A lesson that the Air Force apparently it had not learned.
Lord Trenchardt had established the RAF as a force of strategical bombers.
The huntings for the defense were secondary.
It was said in years 30, that the bombers long-range they could gain wars, without battles in the ground, that was dispendiosas.
They would bomb industrial heart of the enemy, destroying completely the moral of the civil population.
In 1939, the RAF was not equipped to test this thesis, but after Dunquerque, she was the only one force capable to attack Germany.
E the British people needed desesperadamente of one it has attacked.
The British are constructing a great force of bombers, conceived as one dangerous weapon to jam the heart of Germany.
The first incursions of day they had been disastrous.
The bombers had been imprisoned easy for the Luftwaffe.
Exactly thus, the RAF continued although the losses to be great.
The low weighed ones had forced the bombers to fly of night.
Very well, youngsters, we there go.
- It is seeing the same that I? - You see, Scottish friend? Fog, a horrible yellow fog.
For the trained pilots to fly of day, it was difficult to fly at night.
To find a target in Germany in the way of the night, in reasonable atmospheric conditions, it was beyond the capacity of crews of the bombers.
We are in the dutch coast.
Too much fog to see where.
The patriotic films did not have difficulty in giving the impression of that the courage and determination, e a diet of raw carrots, they could surpass the law that says: "it is not seen in the dark one".
I do not obtain to see nothing beyond rain.
- I wait that it is not the Danube.
- It continues.
Either perhaps capable to catch another thing.
If it obtained to have visual marks for the way, it could be arrived 8 or 10 km of the target.
- Open Doors.
- It is even.
Clearly that as soon as if it reached the target, was easy.
Bombs plays.
Since that one was only breaking a studio model.
- I wait not to have it done to wait.
- Clearly that not.
It is felt.
Then, as it was? It provoked a great fire, smoke columns, visible the 80 km! It says me to what of eggs with bacon? The truth was different.
In the truth, at that time, e this was proven, but three bombs in 100 the 8 fell km of the target.
In this dormitory, they had been deceased The inexact bombings they could be embarrassing.
The Ministry of the German Propaganda he was fast to show the destruction of this hospital of children.
These are the victims of the British assassins, that they had killed, conscientiously, this community.
This was an infamy.
But in the opinion of the Cabinet of War Germany had that to be bombed.
E this age the only strategical bombing that Great-Britain could lead ahead.
Coventry and Liverpool had indicated that the German industry would suffer if its workers they were bombed.
Lindemann Professor said Churchill that to dislodge 1/3 of the workers Germans would stop the industrial production.
E had the popular pressure to avenge the Blitz.
We do not ask for favors to the enemy.
We do not ask for repentance to them.
For the opposite.
If today it was asked for to the people of London to vote if it would have to be stipulated the suspension of the bombardeamentos, an smashing majority would say "not".
We will give to the Germans the same and still more of what they had given in them! The Germans were now punishing the British bombers.
In the end of 1941, Great-Britain it had lost 700 airplanes.
The navy and the army demanded bombers for the Atlantic and the desert.
The command of the bombers almost finished.
Taking in account the voluminous losses, the government commanded that the bombings diminished to preserve the division of the bombers.
During the truce, in February of 1942, Sir Arthur Harris commander-head became of the command of the bombers.
It was determined to be successful with new tactics e new bombing.
The Nazistas had entered in the war with the impression in such a way infantile one of that they went to bomb the whole world e that nobody to bomb went them.
In Roterdan, London, Warsaw and 50 other places, they had put this naive theory in practical.
They had sown the wind now and they go spoon the storm.
I played them in the ports German of the north, in the Baltic sea, because, already having made many nocturnal flights, I repaired that the targets most easy to reach they were of the coast, because some thing is had that of the one to see it is the coast.
If it obtains to see the coast, with its strange forms, the way obtains to see itself until the ports and to recognize them.
Lübeck and Rostock had been first important targets.
Being ports, they were easy to find.
e burnt well.
In March of 1942, 230 bombers they had destroyed half of Lübeck.
In April, Rostock was bombed.
The style was defined: nocturnal bombings.
This if would become the standard for the three following years.
He was terrifying; he was indiscriminate; but in the opinion of the command of bombers, did not have alternative.
In how many occasions, looking at for the window or taking a walk in the garden, if it obtained to see up to 18 or 20 a thousand feet of altitude? Perhaps in two or three days, the maximum.
In how many occasions if it could to guarantee that, seeing itself here so well, if it could see 650 or 800 well km of distance in the other side of the Europe? The situation was this.
It did not have possibility of if reaching of continued form white small, until terms it helps navigation electronics, that in it would show these targets to them, in the blackout or through clouds.
The first electronic aid of navigation entered now in service.
Gee was called.
Three radiotransmitters in England they sent an invisible net of signals through the Europe Occidental person.
Monitoring signals e representing them in a map, a navigator could say where it was the airplane.
The Gee was used by first time in the Colony.
Harris sent all the bombers available, in one it has attacked monumental.
In its hands they have the half ones stops to destroy great part of the resources that they keep the enemy effort of war.
They inflict its attack.
If each one of vocês will be successful, they will have brandished the blow more devastador in the vital force of the enemy.
They make right exactly.
in the chin.
They send this message to all the groups and position.
It tried to show what if it could to reach with an adequate force.
E that would be reached without great decreases.
The nocturnal hours in Germany of Hitler is gives to be péssimas.
The youngsters of the bombers they know well what they must make.
A calm night, of moonlight; it is everything ready and to the wait, of the airplanes to the carrier pigeon.
It seems that they know that probabilities are favorable: We go there, youngsters, advance! All the day with the RAF.
In all the positions have great airplanes, including Lancasters, the bomber heavy of the moment, ready for this night.
Therefore the night goes to be interesting: a night of a thousand bombers.
In this night, 30 of May of 1942, We hear the noise of the bombers e we guess that they were many.
Shortly afterwards, the first ones bombs had fallen.
All we trembled with fear.
Some people had almost fainted.
Many of the sick people cried.
The noise and the explosions they came close each time more.
We think that it was a pandemonio.
Our part of the city was in flames.
The people left running of the bilges and the houses.
Some had been embedded in the destroços.
Others had been handles for buildings that fell.
Many people were in flames e ran all for the side as archotes livings creature.
About 1942, we did not think that it had a so great attack.
We were accustomed the lesser attacks, e when it knew that a thousand bombers attacked Colony, it was incredible.
The moral of the people was very not affected.
It was plus a shock, that finished passing.
The German industry remained capable to recoup, although the Ruhr, the industrial heart, to be attacked during 1942.
The damages had been extensive, but still it had recess in the economy that it could be used in the war production.
The machine of nazista war age good to raise the civil moral.
To measure the speed of 0515 again.
E the Germans also gave, as much how much they received.
The Luftwaffe wise person well the lesson that huntings of the controlled RAF for radar it had taught to them, during the Battle of England.
The head of the aerial defense, general Kammhuber, it created an efficient system.
In all the coast of the Sea of the North it extended a radar net of alert:the Kammhuber Line.
This net was divided in sections.
In each section it waited one hunting, as the spider it waits the fly.
Alcançavamos the airplane for the side, of form that it thought:"It did not see me.
" Exactly thus, still it made piruetas and it balanced.
I inclined a little, stops the artillerymen to be able to see underneath.
I moved myself about 10 degrees in direction to the port and the starboard, during this maneuver, but she was not brusque in no direction.
Later, I went off in this direction e I dived directly, or with.
we called to it "Schregenmusik", cannons of 2 cm, we made the same, but we flied underneath and we waited.
We moved in them with calm, to the side one of the other, going off.
Between the engines it had e this set on fire easily.
The Kammhuber Line and everything what it implied something was frightful with that we were collated, because the German nocturnal defenses they had abated many British airplanes.
But now the RAF already was not alone.
Olá, friends, are the canary seed here for the Hitler.
They come to search it! During 1942, the aerial unit of 8º Army of the United States it was increasing in Great-Britain.
The heads of American aviation they believed to be able to attack of day, without suffering the decreases from Great-Britain.
They were vain of whom they could to bomb efficiently of day.
It has that way German to mounts.
Who gives to me to have one things of these to play.
They would not know what to make with this.
They had taken six months learning to press the trigger.
- Well, it teaches in them exactly thus.
- Very well, friends.
The airplanes of them were very well armed.
Some had up to 12 machine guns e was trained stops to fly in closed formation.
The motto of the aerial unit of 8º it was to fly in closed formation.
Never a thing of these it happened before or later and.
They went making the proper rules to the measure that was necessary, because it was a new concept total.
A power became possible of fire more concentrate, due to position of the artillerymen of all the airplanes.
The fact of if being able to depend of a good closed formation, it not only helped in the defense of one it has attacked of huntings, as it increased the hypotheses of a good bombing.
Because when it was bombed it was the entire squadron made that it, e the standard was good and open pasture, e soon the results also they would have to be good.
The first incursions in France they supported the optimism American.
Later, in Germany, history was different.
They had discovered that, at the beginning, bombers aguentavam the huntings e the losses were acceptable, if penetrations were not deep e the bombers kept the formation and if defended.
But, with the time, Germans had also learned.
E thus, had learned as to attack e as to penetrate in the formations.
They had started to attack of front, trying to apanhar the leader e to break the formation, and if they obtained to break the formation, then they could reach the bombers easily.
But it was very early to admit the defeat.
At night, the bombers British had continued its flight, hundreds of each time, but each one for itself.
We saw when them to pass for top of us, to tardinha, in line, I would not have changed of place with them.
It preferred the formation closed, the fire power, to have that to go as they.
When it was flied with the RAF, he was each one for itself.
After terms last the coast dutch I felt a blow in the face, the windshield arrebentou e I was wounded, in the arm, in the shoulders and the head.
E the airplane uncontrolled momentarily.
Vi reason not to say that it was wounded, so that they did not think: "It goes to die at any time.
" The weapon blew up of new in the front of the airplane, to our side, and the bullet reached the arm of the officer to my side, I was with splinters in the leg that they had pulled out me the skin of the hand.
The elevator had blown up.
It is the helm that keeps the airplane leveled rectum and, of each side of the tail.
E the elevator he had been broken the shot, what it means that had that to pull the stick it stops backwards, everything stops backwards, to keep the straight and leveled airplane.
The navigator also had that to help to push it stops backwards, because my shoulder.
This hand she was weak, had been reached e had that to keep the stick it stops backwards, putting the hands for front.
The officer held it with another hand, of the good arm.
Thus, in set we kept, it stops backwards, to keep the straight and leveled airplane.
E was not a question to go in front.
The truth is that the four engines still functioned.
If one of them had failed, I had thought "we cannot continue".
Another factor it was that had been turned behind, it had more 600 or 700 airplanes, more or less in the same route, extending itself for e perhaps with about 4 the 6 a thousand feet, it had that to capsize front for them e to enter in the way of them to come back.
E more, if had deviated me exactly thus it had that to pass for many.
Later, I observed the target pointer, April the doors of the bombs, I kept the most steady airplane possible in relation to the target e I remained leveled rectum and.
I find that it was for that that excitement had all, for terms a photograph of the target, in the way of that confusion.
But as soon as we take off the photograph, I capsized I directed and me for the base.
Something of that I remember to feel in this trip in particular, it was that we had that to come back, because wise person that we were wounded.
None of the others obtained to make it, exactly straight and been even, therefore, to fly of night without a helm, with the stick in the belly and without instruments, as were the case, it would have been impossible.
Some had gone off against us times when we return, but we do not come back to be reached.
E we finish arriving at England e vi the searchlights shining.
When aterrisei, the train of landing it broke e we slide of belly about 45 meters.
Later he stopped and I disconnect the engines to prevent the fire.
Then it only knew that the navigator it dies, because it fell to my side.
I left to count them when I arrived at the 50.
Everybody wise person who the incumbency of combat they were 25 missions, because he would be died in the end of this period.
Therefore, it did not make sensible to ask for to be more time.
The teams of the bombers they lived a curious war: one day in action, the day following in the city.
When our group was not flying, generally they went London, they passed the day there e, for times, if still they had money, they telephoned to know if it would have mission in the following day, e, if did not have, they were in the city.
The antiaircraft artillery goes to be weighed necessary e.
Already they had passed for worse situation.
They remember that its worse enemy is the single-engine hunting.
I remember a night, in the club of the officers, our officer of operations was spilling whiskey in a machine, one of those where if it puts 25 cents, trying to convince it to give the prize.
We tried to live the life optimum possible.
The things go to be hard.
They have to put the neck there, to be there and to mark.
All vocês.
I find that to fly is so impersonal, that is the combat flights, that feeling is not had the same of loss when an airplane is abated, that it would be had when it is in the battlefield e the friend to our side is died.
Young had come of Great-Britain, of America, the busy Europe e of the Commonwealth to fight and to die in the offensive one of aviation more determined until then.
In January of 1943, in Casablanca, The Churchills and the Roosevelts had combined efforts of the bombers, in the preparation of the Europe Nazista for Day D.
Dock berths of submarines.
plants of airplanes.
armament plants.
oil refineries.
e transports was white with priority for the bombings of precision.
But the bombing of precision at night it was impossible for Harris.
The attempt to blow up barrages of the Ruhr with bombs special it had partial success and only it cost the life several of the best pilots.
Although the incursion to have led to a bigger precision, nor all the levees they had been reached.
The production of weapons of the Ruhr it was not affected.
Harris thought that only the increasing onslaught of the nocturnal bombings it would go to jam the capacity German industrial.
At this time we had airplanes better, it had much Lancaster.
We were finishing with the Stirling e Halifax, less efficient.
We had radar equipment better, e we had excellent navigators, chosen teams, e this age the essence of that.
These navigators were capable to arrive more close to the targets of what previously.
Later, we launched rockets, hundreds of rockets, same e that we errássemos the target, we could identify some very important things in the ground, as lakes or curves in the river.
E from there, we could arrive at the target e to launch rockets of diverse colors.
E, later, we had target pointers that were.
a cluster enormous of grapes imagines incandescent, falling the 2 or 4 a thousand feet, where it wants that we wanted to detonate them.
In the end of July of 1943, Harris deflagrou the improved technology with effect devastadores, in Hamburg.
The efficiency of the first incursion in Hamburg it had, finally, terms permission to use something that we had has much time, e that was known as "window", that it consisted of launching clouds of aluminum leaf ribbons, that they not only harmed the devices of German localization, but also its antiaircraft ones.
None of us, civilians or firemen, he knew what he transferred himself in this night.
It was an incursion very weighed, but we had had almost the same one year before.
We were not prepared for the fire storm that half hour blew up after the incursion.
The bombing, combined with the wave of heat of the Summer, a Tornado of flames would create, a fire storm.
I was for an area at the beginning of the dock berths.
She was crossed for canals.
The people tried to jump for there to run away to the fire, but the also ardia water.
It is difficult to explain because the water was in flames.
It had many boats, small, that they came alongside in the canals.
They had blown up and the oil catching fire had IDO to stop in the water.
E the people, also in flames, they jumped for there, e.
and ardiam.
They swam, they ardiam and they sank.
The majority of the people died had to the insuportável heat.
Not burnt, suffocated or intoxicadas for carbon monoxide.
We think that, in some places, the temperature it reached a thousand centigrade degrees.
The nocturnal British attacks e the American incursions diurnas they had lasted one week almost.
died 30 a thousand.
In Hamburg we discover for the first time, that the moral of the German people it could so be destroyed that the work in the industry, in armament industry, would go to fall down.
At the time, Speer said that more 6 incursions of these and the war finished.
The Allies not they had had this capacity.
The shock passed.
At the same time, the unit aerial of 8º Army it increased the power of the incursions diurnas against necessary targets.
This group will go to bomb of an altitude of 13 a thousand feet.
We find that low the altitude will be compensated for the element surprise.
Two weeks after Hamburg, they planned the final blow against the German industry.
Light, please.
This group of buildings is the target.
This will be the target.
If the bombing if to concentrate in this area, it must destroy the plant.
The target was the production plants of rolamentos in Schweinfurt, that they supplied most of the necessities of Germany.
The offensive force it would be divided in two.
The first wave would go for a secondary target, the plant of Messerschmidts in Regensburg.
Later, it would continue without barriers northward of Africa.
The second wave, 10 minutes after the first one, the Schweinfurt would arrive while the huntings German replenished.
Its battle would be in the return for house.
We enter, I we entered without escort of huntings e I crossed the Europe without escort of huntings, with about 125 airplanes that they were in the division, at the time.
Haunted, the antiaircraft German she traced the way of the first wave, when it passed, penetrating in Germany.
They did not know that plan was going badly.
The British time helped to ruin the careful plan of the Americans.
Unexpected low clouds they had delayed the take-off of 2ª wave.
Result:the Luftwaffe, replenished and with new weapons, it was to the wait of it.
We did not wait an attack so inside of the country without escort of huntings, e we are very frightened.
Schweinfurt resulted of conditions favorable to the huntings German e of the fact to be able to bring all the huntings for the combat, to intercept the bombers; everything this favored our results.
before falling the first bomb in Schweinfurt.
it more had the weighed decreases, because they had had that to come back, after already having entered.
I find that we finish the day losing about 60 airplanes, thing that did not cheer nobody.
The cost was high.
the production of rolamentos was interrupted during six weeks.
When vocês they had attacked Schweinfurt, at the beginning, it was a nightmare to exceed this.
But later I had one very good representative, Kessler, e it made everything, not only the repair, but also it substituted rolamentos for other parts that also they served; they were not so good, but they served.
In the attack of the two waves, or they had been damaged without I fix.
To show that they had reason in Schweinfurt, the Americans would have that to come back.
Of course, I was disappointed, to a large extent because, ordering my crews for there, wise person that would suffer decreases you add, e if we had made a good one work, these would be prevented.
But nobody always makes right in the target.
We come back there because we had a period of good time e because it was our target of bigger priority.
Therefore we come back.
In day 14 of October, it had surrounds of 300 bombers in England.
England had airplanes for all, it seemed an airport.
E this very difficult age.
It took some time to group bombers in closed formation.
These complicated maneuvers they alerted the Luftwaffe on the power and the direction of an attack force.
Two terços of the huntings German they were concentrated against the aerial unit of 8º.
The pilot of the hunting was the animal papão.
The hunting had eyes e, in many aspects, it had a competent man in the command e when it concentrated itself in us, we had many times problems.
I was so close that he could see the artilleryman of the rear, e I saw scared it so as.
They communicated the position of the huntings for the intercom.
For times, they scared as much that they continued holding the microphone e crying out for it.
They had started a thousand meters, with the almost continuous shots it stops scaring in them.
E I said my pilots more new, that they did not have experience, to close the eyes when they attacked for backwards.
It did not have much time to think.
it was pointed weapon with respect to they, it was always looked at for all sides to the search of enemy huntings e we keep the weapons pointed with respect to them.
- Navigating, as it is this? - Well.
We go there.
The worse part of the incursion was exactly before if reaching the target.
We were folloied by huntings that they took in them until the white o e they later went even so e we launched the bombs.
To follow, they folloied in them after the target.
In Schweinfurt, more was destroyed of 60% of the production of rolamentos.
The Americans had lost If vocês they had repeated the incursions shortly afterwards e in had not given time to them to reconstruct, the result would have been disastrous.
We could accept the decreases that we suffer without knowing if we went or not to obtain, when we thought that rolamentos came of Sweden, possibly through Switzerland? If it is not known, not if they continue these things.
Thus, the strategy was turned aside from individual targets as Schweinfurt, for another offensive nocturnal one:Berlin.
With the American support, Harris thought to be able to destroy Berlin in six months e to gain the war.
But the weakened aerial unit of 8º it could not be joined it.
It sent the signals most amazing.
One that I always remember, e is the type of thing that if reads to the crews in the meetings, it said the following one: "This night goes to the great city", that is, Berlin.
They have the chance to light a fogueira in the belly of the enemy e of it to burn the black heart.
The crews, after to applaud a thing of these, they did not want an airplane.
If they fulled its pockets of bombs and they indicated Berlin, they would go alone.
The command of bombers it had that to continue alone.
It was very far and the time, in the end of But all the nights, the bombers went Berlin e to other cities in the interior of Germany.
The crews of Harris they had made terrible estragos.
Berlin is living true total war.
The incredible weight of the attack of the RAF in the capital of the nazista country it made the Huno to cambalear.
As it must be repented of impious attacks Warsaw, Roterdã, Belgrade, London, Coventry and to all the others.
The day and the night of adjustment of accounts arrived.
What he finds of this, Keith? I find that, of this time, the Germans they had suffered well.
We make right in full.
However, many of the offices e plants of Berlin they had obtained to continue working.
The experience that I have is that the people had been insensitive.
They covered the streets as shades, but still they worked as automatons.
We did not have difficulty in arriving there, but I repaired that each German city makes fire antiaircraft indiscriminately.
The technological advantages that they had prevailed in Hamburg already they were not applied.
The German antiaircraft defense, one more time, it was had in advance.
Berlin seemed that it would go to remain Berlin.
At the beginning of the Spring of 1944, Harris had not destroyed the city.
The command of bombers had been well damaged for the Germans.
In the four months of incursions against Berlin and other targets, a thousand airplanes had been lost, the force of first line of the command.
But Harris did not yield, nor it yields, the defeat.
The decreases in the Battle of Berlin not they had been more than what the ones that we would have if we had IDO to another place in the interior of Germany.
The people seem to forget themselves that the command of bombers it fought a thousand battles during the war: if it cannot have success in all.
I do not say that the Battle of Berlin it was a defeat, or something seemed.
I think that it was a great aid for the defeat of Germany.
It had thousand of cannons antiaircraft weighed, ammunition millions for them e hundreds of thousand of soldiers that they had been deviated of the fight in the front of the east.
Therefore, I must say that with the aerial attacks to Germany at the beginning of 1943, we had, in the truth, one second front.
Although the devastação, the Germans had followed in front.
The German industry continued to supply to the armies that they fought fierce in the East and Italy.
The thesis of the strategical bombing it remained to prove.
The lições of Schweinfurt had been learned well for the Americans.
Reequipped, the RAF had been joined it against Berlin, in March of 1944.
But now they were escorted for the Mustang, an extraordinary airplane, that it would change everything.
It had the reach of a bomber e the performance of one hunts.
The German diurne hunting had found an adversary to the height.
In the end of the Spring of 1944, the German hunting had lost space for the Spitfire and the Hurricane.
The Americans, finally, they had looser the Luftwaffe in the Europe, during the day, with the huntings long-range.
We did not have nothing of sort the same e I find that they in they had scared sufficiently.
The main concern was the amount with that they appeared.
The Germans had lost the control of the diurne airspace.
Now, the Allies could launch incursions diurnas when they wanted.
But, in March of 1944, both the forces of bombers they had been placed under the command of Eisenhower, to prepare Day D.
It would have a truce of six months, before the bombers allies to be able to come back to fly, one more time, to break the will of the German people.