Black night for Bomber Command
16th December 1943: Fog-bound runways mean a perilous return for RAF bombers returning from Berlin - and the new FIDO system only helps some
On the night of the 16th/17th December Bomber Command went back to Berlin yet again. Most of the bombing hit housing and railways rather than industrial sites. Over 700 people were killed, although German records were no longer as accurate as they had been. As many as 279 of those killed were foreign workers, including over 70 when a train received a direct hit.
By now around a quarter of housing in Berlin was uninhabitable. This raid caused significant damage to the railways in the Berlin area - causing serious delays to munitions traffic for the Eastern front. But this came at an unusually high casualty rate amongst bomber crews on this raid.