Baling out over Belgium
24th June 1943: A dramatic account of the fight to save a Lancaster bomber before it becomes inevitable that the crew must 'bale out'
A end of May 1943 RAF Bomber Command had attacked the Ruhr city of Wuppertal. The concentrated attack had started a firestorm, probably the first occasion that RAF bombing achieved this effect. Around half of the city had been destroyed then.
On the 24th June 1943, they returned to finish off the rest of the city. A force of 630 aircraft took part. In the post-war bombing survey they were estimated to have destroyed 94% of the Elberfield target area - 3,000 houses and 53 industrial premises were destroyed. Almost the same number were seriously damaged. Around 1,800 people died.
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