The story of 4 Group, RAF Bomber Command operations in the first year of World War 11.Night after night this small force ranged far and wide over Germany and occupied Europe, flying in all weather conditions to carry out attacks against heavily defended targets, achieving the following notable ‘Firsts’.
3rd-4th September 1939. First RAF aircraft to fly over German mainland.
1st-2nd October 1939. First RAF aircraft to fly over Berlin.
12th-13th January 1940. First RAF aircraft to fly over ocupied Czechoslovakia and Austria.
7th-8th March 1940. First RAF aircraft to fly over occupied Poland.
19th-20th March 1940. First RAF bombing attack against a German land target.
11th-12th June 1940. First RAF bombing attack against an Italian target.
25th-26th August 1940. Took part in the first bombing attack against Berlin.
These raids had a profound stimulating effect on the morale of the apprehensive population of Great Britain and it was the lessons learnt by the crews involved during the first year of the war, which resulted in Bomber Command becoming such a mighty force later on.
The Whitley Boys: 4 Group Bomber Operations 1939 to 1940
When Britain first took on the might of Hitler’s Third Reich, the RAF had to use aircraft that were available to them at the time. To the men of 4 Bomber Group that aircraft was the lumbering, angular, and as some would say, downright ugly, Armstrong Wh tworth Whitley. From the day war was declared, the Whitley Boys were at the forefront, flying over Germany and all of the German occupied countries of Europe in their Armstrong Whitworth Whitleys. This is the story of their operations in the first year of the War.
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