Friday, May 30, 2008

Today In History: As ye sow...

On this date in 1942, the wind that the Luftwaffe had sown over Guernica, Rotterdam, Coventry, and Belgrade came back a whirlwind in the night skies of Cologne as the city became the victim of the RAF's first 1,000 bomber raid.

One of those thousand bombers was the Avro Manchester skippered by Flying Officer Leslie Thomas Manser. With the tail gunner wounded and an engine aflame, F.O. Manser kept his plane flying as long as he could. As the conflagration began to engulf the cockpit, he ordered the crew to jump, remaining at the controls of the doomed aircraft so that his men could bail out safely. He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions.

10 comments:

Marko said...

I'm not saying they were right or anything, but their tanx were cool...

staghounds said...

Most everyone forgets Belgrade.

Turk Turon said...

British General Arthur "Bomber" Harris was a strong advocate of "bombing them so that no stone rested upon another" and during this time he made an address to the press, which, thankfully, has been preserved on film. He said, "There are those who say that no war has ever been won by aerial bombardment alone. But to that I respond that it has never been tried, and we shall see."

Or words to that effect. Harris is not remembered fondly in Germany.

jimbob86 said...

Marko said...
I'm not saying they were right or anything, but their tanx were cool...

9:14 AM, May 30, 2008

......unless it was your job to fuel or maintain them.... then... not so much.....

Billy Beck said...

"Harris is not remembered fondly in Germany."

Yeah, well, at least they can have the memory of Goering to console them.

Who cares?

Johnny said...

If you visit Hamburg, note there are only two pre-1945 buildings: the Cathedral, which was the aiming mark in the centre of the city, and a huge reinforced concrete blockhouse that's too strongly built to be demolished even today.

Anonymous said...

Lancaster bomber is the best turreted-bomber ever, even if it wasn't involved in the bombing of Cologne...

doubletrouble said...

The "Victoria Cross" of England is equivalent to the US Medal of Honor.
I kinda think that counts for something…

staghounds said...

Once during the war, Air Marshal Harris was pulled over for speeding, and the policeman made the comment, "Ypo might have killed someone!"

Harris responded, "Laddie, I kill hundreds of people every night."

He made some good cracks, including "All the remaining cities of Germany are not worth the bones of a single British Grenadier"; and

"The army will not accept tanks until they can be made to eat hay at one end and to shit at the other."

staghounds said...

Checking my quotes, I learned another Butch Harris fun fact- he retired to a town on the Thames called...

wait for it...

GORING!