British Strategic Bombing Offensive 1918

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Map Code: Ax00418

In 1918, after sustained attacks by German Gothas, aircraft with huge destructive capacity, Admiral Kerr of the Air Board stated that the Germans would ‘wipe out’ London and all the factories and workshops in the southeast of England, unless the British created an effective air counteroffensive. They were already sending planes to Germany as part of a bombing campaign but, in February 1918, made this ‘around the clock’. From May 1918, they increased the number of squadrons from three to nine. This included five night squadrons with a bombload three times that of the day fighters. These Handley-Page aircraft could travel longer distances, making their first night attacks on the towns of Ludwigshafen and Karlsruhe. British raids were on industrial centres scattered throughout Germany. In total, over 1 million lbs (454,000 kg) of bombs were dropped. The attrition rate was high, with many planes destroyed by German anti-aircraft fire.

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