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Messages - Cornelius88

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World War Two / Re: Bomber routes to Germany (Aachen)
« on: Sunday 05 March 23 10:06 GMT (UK)  »
I agree with your assessment of the time differences. Germany/Holland would be on GST (German Summer Time) which is GMT+2. UK would also be on BDST (British Double Summer Time) also GMT+2. has a thread.

There seemed to be no consistency regarding GMT use for operational instructions, as with everything context is important and local time was often used.

A very informative link thanks, especially the list of those periods when English/German time coincided.  Since this incident was on the night of 11/12 April 44, it would be one of them.  The only possible doubt I could have is whether Schnaufer, who was based at St Trond (Sint -Truiden) in Belgium was using German time or Belgian local time. 

Not sure if the Belgians went along with Dutch/German time or stuck to their own.  For practical purposes I think Schnaufer would use German time as would the documents.  It's an interesting speculation as to whether the radio signal which as you say must have been on the way home, indicated he was in trouble.  Beerse is certainly south of where I would have anticipated him to be if he followed the "dotted' route home referred to above. 

We'll never know.

World War Two / Re: Bomber routes to Germany (Aachen)
« on: Saturday 04 March 23 17:55 GMT (UK)  »
Can we assume that the times given in the Bomber Command Night Ops report are GMT, i.e. an hour behind continental Europe?
  I've always assumed at that stage the UK was on GMT+2hrs for the extra daylight.  CET is normally GMT +1, and I'm not sure the Germans weren't adding an additional hour for daylight saving.  If so, that would put local time the same on each side of the Channel. ( = GMT + 2hrs)

Wiki has an explanation here:  On that basis I suggest times in the UK docs are GMT+2hrs.

We need to be sure how the times were being expressed on each side. 

World War Two / Re: Bomber routes to Germany (Aachen)
« on: Saturday 04 March 23 11:47 GMT (UK)  »
I'm rather late back to this but many thanks to all who have taken the trouble to investigate. 

@JustinL:  I wasn't aware of the individual raid reports under AIR14 so that is especially useful.  The sketch map included shows a straight line to Aachen but I would expect the course to be a dog-leg.  The dotted line is presumably the line they were expected to take home.  ND389 came down near Beerse in Belgium which would be well south of that line.

A captured German crash report gives the crash location as: 4Km N Beerse,  6/7Km NNW Turnhout - original is 7Km but later hand altered to 6Km

@SMJ:  Thank you for these plots.  According to the loss card they had GEE and H2S on board, plus something else which is indecipherable. The captured German crash report lists a wave form generator.  It is possible the two cooridinates are transposed.  They are hand written in thick pencil in a crowded space.  As said above I would think Beerse in well south of the "home" line.  Would it be possible the stream was split for coming home with one group taking a northerly route and the other south of the approach line?

I'm hoping to visit the RAF Museum at Hendon end of April so I may be able to get a better look at the loss card.  I'll try Kew as well for a copy of the individual raid report as you can't download from Flip Viewer.

World War Two / Re: Bomber routes to Germany (Aachen)
« on: Sunday 19 February 23 10:26 GMT (UK)  »
Thank you very much for your extremely knowledgeable post.  It's rather a lot for me to take in but as I said upthread my knowledge of navigation went bye byes somewhere back in the early 70s....

There are some very useful links, for which many thanks.  Regarding your questions....

1.  I find using Google maps cumbersome for this sort of thing but yes I'll give it another go.... 

2.  No idea whether they climbed at base or over some distance.  I would guess that it varied with each op, how far to target and the consequent fuel usage. 

3.  I'm currently trying to get more info via the IBCC at Lincoln, but if that fails I will certainly try the Royal Institute of Navigation. 

Makes me wish my Grammar School maths teacher was still alive - he did this stuff for real.

World War Two / Re: Bomber routes to Germany (Aachen)
« on: Friday 16 December 22 10:40 GMT (UK)  »
If the Lanc was on it's way home, then the speed with no bomb load and less fuel load could of been higher. When the Lanc was shot down was it still maintaining formation in the bomber stream or flying alone.
Agree the speed might have been higher but I only did some rudimentary calcs from take off time.  My knowledge of navigational trigonometry got lost sometime in the early 70s...

There is an eye witness account which refers to the "sound of the bombers returning home"  (can't put my hands on the transcript).  Another was shot down not far away but it's not clear whether they were still within the stream. 

For navigation purposes, airspeed and groundspeed are measured in Knots (nautical miles per hour)
Agree but I didn't bother with the conversion, although over the full flight it could make a very significant difference to the calculated position; arguably even from Wyton to the Dutch coast. 

As regards historic weather data I have no idea if it is available.  The ORBs only refer to weather at the target and as far as I know there are no accounts of the pre-op briefing.  Not sure whether historic windspeed over mainland Europe would be available.

Unfortunately I don't know any pilots.  Again a trip to the IBCC might prove helpful but it will have to wait a while. 

Earlier I referred to a W/T signal: SLY V MCYA 2342 56603  My own thoughts are that it was probably "enemy coast ahead" or 'reached first way point'.  Does anyone have any idea of what it might mean?  I assume it would be in code or if in clear then meaningless to anyone save the intended recipient.

World War Two / Re: Bomber routes to Germany (Aachen)
« on: Friday 16 December 22 10:04 GMT (UK)  »
There's a transcription of a detailed document that might help in the bomber command digital archive. ...............
Hope this helps.
That is very helpful and it might be worth me contacting the IBCC to see what else they may have.  In any event it would be worth a trip nearer the Spring when the weather improves.

World War Two / Re: Bomber routes to Germany (Aachen)
« on: Thursday 15 December 22 18:55 GMT (UK)  »
According to the link below Lancaster ND389 was still on route to the target, and therefore full of fuel and bombs when shot down.
I think that's wrong and he was on the way home. 

The W/T signal was timed at 22:05  Given the take off time and assuming a cruising speed of a fully loaded Lanc at some 180mph that would put him somewhere near the Dutch coast so it is perfectly possible the signal meant 'enemy coast ahead' or similar.   At that point he was definitely  on the way in.  O/Lt Schnaufer claimed him at 23:15 near Beerse in Belgium not far from Antwerp so it's reasonable to suppose he was on his way home, albeit early in the journey. 

Neil has done some admirable work on tracing the history of ND389 but I'm not convinced the aircraft was on the way in when Schnaufer claimed him.  However, without a decent plot of the way point bearings or any detailed knowledge of the course it's difficult to conclude this with any certainty.

World War Two / Re: Bomber routes to Germany (Aachen)
« on: Thursday 15 December 22 15:00 GMT (UK)  »
An air chart for NW Europe for an slightly later period (winter of 1944) showing German air defences zones can be found here:
That's the sort of thing I'm looking for.  I'm certain something similar would have been available to the RAF. 

Unfortunately I can only persuade it to download a low-res image so the place names are difficult to decipher. 

Does anyone on here have any experience in interpreting aircraft loss cards?  The card also contains a reference to a W/T signal being received at 22:05 as: SLY V MCYA 2342 56603

By my reckoning and given take off time that would have put them somewhere just inside enemy territory in Holland, but I have no idea of the meaning of the signal.  It was the last they heard from the aircraft. 

World War Two / Re: Bomber routes to Germany (Aachen)
« on: Thursday 15 December 22 14:25 GMT (UK)  »
By 1944 various electronic navigation aids had been developed, H2S and GEE for example:
Thank you for this. 

According to the loss card, both GEE and H2S were on board this aircraft.  My understanding is that GEE involved the intersection of two radio beams which defined a particular point.  The suggestion is that the navigation points on the loss card would represent the intersections of some of these radio beams. 

These navigation points, effectively points at which the aircraft course would change, would have been given out at briefing since the aim would have been to keep the bomber stream in relatively close contact whilst enabling them to avoid known danger spots.  EG Nightfighter bases.

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