Bombing of Cologne in World War II
Overview
 
The City of Cologne
Cologne
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

 was bombed in 262 separate air raids by the Allies
Allies
In everyday English usage, allies are people, groups, or nations that have joined together in an association for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose, whether or not explicit agreement has been worked out between them...

 during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, including 31 times by the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 (RAF). Air raid alarms went off in the winter/spring of 1940 as enemy bombers passed overhead. However, the first actual bombing took place on 12 May 1940. The most notable attack on Cologne was the first Allied 1,000 bomber raid on 30/31 May 1942.
The first 1,000 bomber raid by the RAF was codenamed Operation Millennium, Cologne was chosen as the target and the raid took place on the night of 30/31 May 1942.
Encyclopedia
The City of Cologne
Cologne
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

 was bombed in 262 separate air raids by the Allies
Allies
In everyday English usage, allies are people, groups, or nations that have joined together in an association for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose, whether or not explicit agreement has been worked out between them...

 during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, including 31 times by the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 (RAF). Air raid alarms went off in the winter/spring of 1940 as enemy bombers passed overhead. However, the first actual bombing took place on 12 May 1940. The most notable attack on Cologne was the first Allied 1,000 bomber raid on 30/31 May 1942.

First 1,000 bomber raid

The first 1,000 bomber raid by the RAF was codenamed Operation Millennium, Cologne was chosen as the target and the raid took place on the night of 30/31 May 1942. The Thousand bomber raid was launched for several reasons:
  • It was expected that the devastation from such raids might be enough to knock Germany out of the war or at least severely damage German morale
    Morale
    Morale, also known as esprit de corps when discussing the morale of a group, is an intangible term used to describe the capacity of people to maintain belief in an institution or a goal, or even in oneself and others...

    .
  • The raids were useful propaganda
    Propaganda
    Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

     for the Allies and particularly for Sir Arthur Harris, 1st Baronet
    Sir Arthur Harris, 1st Baronet
    Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Arthur Travers Harris, 1st Baronet GCB OBE AFC , commonly known as "Bomber" Harris by the press, and often within the RAF as "Butcher" Harris, was Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of RAF Bomber Command during the latter half of World War...

    , and the concept of a Strategic Bombing Offensive. Bomber Command's poor performance in bombing accuracy during 1941 had led to calls for the force to be split up and diverted to other urgent theatres i.e. Battle of the Atlantic. A headline-grabbing heavy raid on Germany was a way for Bomber Command AOC
    Air Officer Commanding
    Air Officer Commanding is a title given in the air forces of Commonwealth nations to an air officer who holds a command appointment. Thus, an air vice marshal might be the AOC 38 Group...

     Arthur "Bomber" Harris
    Sir Arthur Harris, 1st Baronet
    Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Arthur Travers Harris, 1st Baronet GCB OBE AFC , commonly known as "Bomber" Harris by the press, and often within the RAF as "Butcher" Harris, was Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of RAF Bomber Command during the latter half of World War...

     to demonstrate to the War Cabinet
    War Cabinet
    A War Cabinet is a committee formed by a government in a time of war. It is usually a subset of the full executive cabinet of ministers. It is also quite common for a War Cabinet to have senior military officers and opposition politicians as members....

     that given the investment in numbers and technology Bomber Command could make a vital contribution to victory.


At this stage of the war RAF Bomber Command
RAF Bomber Command
RAF Bomber Command controlled the RAF's bomber forces from 1936 to 1968. During World War II the command destroyed a significant proportion of Nazi Germany's industries and many German cities, and in the 1960s stood at the peak of its postwar military power with the V bombers and a supplemental...

 only had a regular front line strength of around 400 aircraft, and were in the process of transitioning from the twin engined medium bomber
Medium bomber
A medium bomber is a bomber aircraft designed to operate with medium bombloads over medium distances; the name serves to distinguish them from the larger heavy bombers and smaller light bombers...

s of the pre-war years to the newer more effective four-engined 'heavies'. By using bombers and men from Operational Training Units (OTU's), 250 from RAF Coastal Command
RAF Coastal Command
RAF Coastal Command was a formation within the Royal Air Force . Founded in 1936, it was the RAF's premier maritime arm, after the Royal Navy's secondment of the Fleet Air Arm in 1937. Naval aviation was neglected in the inter-war period, 1919–1939, and as a consequence the service did not receive...

 and from Flying Training Command
RAF Training Command
Training Command was the RAF's command responsible for flying and ground training from 1936 to 1940 and again from 1968 to 1977.-History:Training Command was formed from Inland Area on 1 May 1936 and absorbed into RAF Support Command on 13 June 1977...

, Harris could easily make up the 1,000 aircraft. However, just before the raid took place, the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 refused to allow the Coastal Command aircraft to take part in the raid. The Admiralty
Admiralty
The Admiralty was formerly the authority in the Kingdom of England, and later in the United Kingdom, responsible for the command of the Royal Navy...

 perceived the propaganda justifications too weak an argument against the real and pressing threat of the U-boats in the Battle of the Atlantic. Harris scrambled around and, by crewing 49 more aircraft with pupil pilots and instructors, 1,047 bombers eventually took part in the raid, two and a half times more than any previous raid by the RAF. In addition to the bombers attacking Cologne, 113 other aircraft on "Intruder" raids harassed German night-fighter airfields.

Cologne was not the first choice of target - that was Hamburg - but poor weather shifted the choice to Cologne, the secondary target

This was the first time that the "bomber stream
Bomber stream
The bomber stream was a tactic developed by the Royal Air Force Bomber Command to overwhelm the German aerial defences of the Kammhuber Line during World War II....

" tactic was used and most of the tactics used in this raid remained the basis for standard Bomber Command operations for the next two years and some elements remained in use until the end of the war. It was expected that such a large number of bombers flying in a bomber stream
Bomber stream
The bomber stream was a tactic developed by the Royal Air Force Bomber Command to overwhelm the German aerial defences of the Kammhuber Line during World War II....

 through the Kammhuber line
Kammhuber Line
The Kammhuber Line was the name given to the German night air defense system established in July 1940 by Colonel Josef Kammhuber.- Description :...

 would overwhelm the German night fighter
Night fighter
A night fighter is a fighter aircraft adapted for use at night or in other times of bad visibility...

s, keeping the number of bombers shot down to an acceptable proportion. The recent introduction of GEE
GEE (navigation)
Gee was the code name given to a radio navigation system used by the Royal Air Force during World War II.Different sources record the name as GEE or Gee. The naming supposedly comes from "Grid", so the lower case form is more correct, and is the form used in Drippy's publications. See Drippy 1946....

 allowed the bombers to fly a given route at a given time and height. The British night bombing campaign had been in operation for some months, and a statistical estimate could be made of the number of bombers likely to be lost to enemy night fighters and flak, and how many would be lost through collisions. Minimising the former demanded a densely packed stream, as the controllers of a night fighter flying a defensive 'box' could only direct a maximum of six potential interceptions per hour, and the flak gunners could not concentrate on all the available targets at once. Earlier in the war four hours had been considered acceptable for a mission; for this raid all the bombers passed over Cologne and bombed in a window of 90 minutes, with the first having arrived at 00:47 of 31 May. It was anticipated that the concentration of bombing over such a short period would overwhelm the Cologne fire brigades and cause conflagrations similar to those inflicted on London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 by the Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

 during the Blitz
The Blitz
The Blitz was the sustained strategic bombing of Britain by Nazi Germany between 7 September 1940 and 10 May 1941, during the Second World War. The city of London was bombed by the Luftwaffe for 76 consecutive nights and many towns and cities across the country followed...



In the raid, 868 aircraft bombed the main target with 15 aircraft bombing other targets. The total tonnage of bombs dropped was 1,455 tons with two-thirds of that being incendiaries. Two and a half thousand separate fires were started with 1,700 classed by the German fire brigades as "large". The action of fire fighters and the width of the streets stopped the fires combining into a firestorm
Firestorm
A firestorm is a conflagration which attains such intensity that it creates and sustains its own wind system. It is most commonly a natural phenomenon, created during some of the largest bushfires, forest fires, and wildfires...

, but nonetheless most of the damage was done by fire and not directly by the explosive blasts. 3,330 non-residential buildings were destroyed, 2,090 seriously damaged and 7,420 lightly damaged, making a total of 12,840 buildings of which 2,560 were industrial or commercial buildings. Among the buildings classed as totally destroyed were: 7 official administration buildings, 14 public buildings, 7 banks, 9 hospitals, 17 churches, 16 schools, 4 university buildings, 10 postal and railway buildings, 10 buildings of historic interest, 2 newspaper offices, 4 hotels, 2 cinemas and 6 department stores. The only military installation damaged was the flak barracks. The damage to civilian homes, most of them apartments in larger buildings, was considerable: 13,010 destroyed, 6,360 seriously damaged, 22,270 lightly damaged.

The number reported killed was between 469 and 486, of whom 411 were civilians and 58 military. 5,027 people were listed as injured and 45,132 as "bombed out". It was estimated that from 135,000 to 150,000 of Cologne's population
Demographics of Cologne
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city and the largest city in the Rhineland. As of 30 June 2010, there were officially 1,000,660 residents. The city is center of the Cologne/Bonn Region with around 3 million inhabitants .- Population by district :- Population by migration background :1...

 of nearly 700,000 fled the city after the raid. The RAF lost 43 aircraft (German propaganda claimed 44), 3.9% of the 1,103 bombers sent on the raid. The losses were 22 aircraft were lost over or near Cologne, 16 shot down by flak, 4 by night fighters, 2 in a collision and 2 Bristol Blenheim
Bristol Blenheim
The Bristol Blenheim was a British light bomber aircraft designed and built by the Bristol Aeroplane Company that was used extensively in the early days of the Second World War. It was adapted as an interim long-range and night fighter, pending the availability of the Beaufighter...

 light bombers lost in attacks on night fighter airfields. A posthumous Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
The Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of the armed forces of various Commonwealth countries, and previous British Empire territories....

 was awarded to Flying Officer Leslie Thomas Manser
Leslie Thomas Manser
Leslie Thomas Manser VC was a British recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.-Details:...

.

Timeline

valign=top| Timeline
Date Bomber force Notes
1940-05-1817/18 May 1940 RAF Six Wellingtons bomb the railway yards
1942-02-1413/14 February 1942 RAF 39 aircraft encountered ice and cloud, poor bombing results reported.
1942-03-1313/14 March 1942 RAF 135 aircraft bombed involved in the raid. The raid killed 62 and injured a further 84. 237 separate fires were started and the RAF estimated the raid to be five times more effective than average of recent raids on Cologne. This is considered to be the first successful GEE
GEE (navigation)
Gee was the code name given to a radio navigation system used by the Royal Air Force during World War II.Different sources record the name as GEE or Gee. The naming supposedly comes from "Grid", so the lower case form is more correct, and is the form used in Drippy's publications. See Drippy 1946....

 led raid. The RAF lost one Avro Manchester
Avro Manchester
|-See also:-References:NotesCitationsBibliography* Buttler, Tony. British Secret Projects: Fighters and Bombers 1935–1950. Hickley, UK: Midland Publishing, 2004. ISBN 978-1857801798....

.
1942-04-055/6 April 1942 RAF 263 aircraft.
1942-04-2222/23 April 1942 RAF 69 aircraft.
1942-04-2727/28 April 1942 RAF 97 aircraft.
1942-05-3030/31 May 1942 RAF 868 aircraft bombed Cologne during the first 1000 bomber raid (1,047 aircraft).
1942-05-31-0131 May 1942 RAF Photo reconnaissance by 5 de Havilland Mosquito
De Havilland Mosquito
The de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito was a British multi-role combat aircraft that served during the Second World War and the postwar era. It was known affectionately as the "Mossie" to its crews and was also nicknamed "The Wooden Wonder"...

s of No. 105 Squadron RAF
No. 105 Squadron RAF
No. 105 Squadron was a flying squadron of the Royal Air Force, active for three periods between 1917 and 1969. It was originally established during the First World War as a squadron of the Royal Flying Corps and disbanded after the war. Reactivated shortly before the Second World War, it was...

.
1942-05-31-0231 May/1 June 1942 RAF Two aircraft. Conditions were cloudy over Cologne so no bombing was undertaken. Both aircraft returned to base.
1942-06-011 June 1942 RAF 2 Mosquitos in a nuisance,Nuisance raids forced the population into air raid shelters and activated other defence measures at little cost to the RAF and diversionary raid.Sending bombers to several different locations was intended to confuse the Germans and so helped to make it more difficult for the defenders to direct fighters onto the main attack.
1942-07-2626 July 1942 RAF 3 Mosquitos in a nuisance raid.
1942-08-1010 August 1942 RAF Single Mosquito on a nuisance raid, bombs and returns to base.
1942-08-2525 August 1942 RAF 4 Mosquitos to Germany on nuisance raids, one of them to Cologne, three complete their mission and bomb. One lost.
1942-09-022 September 1942 RAF 1 Mosquito on a nuisance raid, bombs and returns to base.
1942-09-022 September 1942 RAF 2 Mosquitos on a nuisance raid, bomb through cloud and return to base.
1942-09-077 September 1942 RAF 1 Mosquito on a nuisance raid, bomb through cloud and return to base, no record of the bombing on the ground.
1942-11-1515/16 October 1942 RAF 289 aircraft.
1943-01-2222/23 January 1943 RAF This was the first raid on Cologne using "Oboe"
Oboe (navigation)
Oboe was a British aerial blind bombing targeting system in World War II, based on radio transponder technology. Oboe accurately measured the distance to an aircraft, and gave the pilot guidance on whether or not they were flying along a pre-selected circular route. The route was only 35 yards...

 navigation, two Mosquitos damaged 55 houses, killing 5 people and 22 injured. This showed that using electronic aids a few bombers were able to inflict as much damage as 100-bomber raids in poor weather in the previous years.
1943-02-022/3 February 1943 RAF 161 aircraft.
1943-02-1414/15 February 1943 RAF 243 aircraft.
1943-02-2525/26 February 1943 RAF 6 Mosquitos to the Ruhr in a diversionary raid (the main attack was against Nuremberg), 13 people were killed in Cologne
1943-02-2626/27 February 1943 RAF 427 aircraft.
1943-05-00May 1943 RAF
1943-06-1111/12 June 1943 RAF 1 Mosquito as part of a diversionary raid (the main attack was against Düsseldorf
Düsseldorf
Düsseldorf is the capital city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and centre of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region.Düsseldorf is an important international business and financial centre and renowned for its fashion and trade fairs. Located centrally within the European Megalopolis, the...

)
1943-06-1313/14 June 1943 RAF 2 Mosquitos bombed Cologne one of several nuisance raid.
1943-06-1616/17 June 1943 RAF 212 aircraft.
1943-06-1717/18 June 1943 RAF 2 Mosquitos bombed Cologne, one of several nuisance raids.
1943-06-1919/20 June 1943 RAF 6 Mosquitos to Cologne, Duisburg and Düsseldorf (the main attack was against Le Creusot
Le Creusot
Le Creusot is a commune in the Saône-et-Loire department in the region of Bourgogne in eastern France.The inhabitants are known as Creusotins. Formerly a mining town, its economy is now dominated by metallurgical companies such as ArcelorMittal, Schneider Electric, and Alstom.Since the 1990s, the...

).
1943-06-2222/23 June 1943 RAF 4 Mosquitos as a diversionary raid, (the main attack was against Mülheim
Mülheim
Mülheim an der Ruhr, also called "City on the River", is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany. It is located in the Ruhr Area between Duisburg, Essen, Oberhausen and Ratingen...

).
1943-06-2323/24 June 1943 RAF 3 Mosquitos on a nuisance raid.
1943-06-2828/29 June 1943 RAF 608 aircraft.
1943-07-022/3 July 1943 RAF 3 Mosquitos on a nuisance raid.
1943-07-033/4 July 1943 RAF 653 aircraft attacked the Cologne's industrial area on the east bank of the Rhine. A new German unit, the Jagdgeschwader 300
Jagdgeschwader 300
Jagdgeschwader 300 was a Luftwaffe fighter-wing of World War II. JG 300 was formed on June 26, 1943 in Deelen as Stab/Versuchskommando Herrmann, from July 18, 1943 as Stab/JG Herrmann, and then finally redesignated on August 20, 1943 to Stab/JG 300...

, used the Wilde Sau
Wilde Sau
Wilde Sau was the term given by the Luftwaffe, during World War II, to the technique by which British night bombers were mainly engaged by single-seat fighter planes.- Origins :...

tactic in single engined fighters for the first time. The German fighters, taking advantage of the illumination from searchlights, target indicator flares and fires claimed that they shot down 12 aircraft, but had to share their claims with the anti-aircraft batteries who also claimed the downings. To avoid friendly fire
Friendly fire
Friendly fire is inadvertent firing towards one's own or otherwise friendly forces while attempting to engage enemy forces, particularly where this results in injury or death. A death resulting from a negligent discharge is not considered friendly fire...

 losses, anti-aircraft batteries restricted the height of their flak and the fighters operated above that pre-agreed ceiling.
1943-07-055/6 July 1943 RAF 4 Mosquitos on a nuisance raid.
1943-07-066/7 July 1943 RAF 4 Mosquitos on a nuisance raid.
1943-07-077/8 July 1943 RAF 4 Mosquitos on a nuisance raid.
1943-07-088/9 July 1943 RAF 288 aircraft.
1943-07-1313/14 July 1943 RAF 2 Mosquitos on a diversionary raid drop target indicators (the main raid was on Aachen).
1943-07-2525/26 July 1943 RAF 3 Mosquitos on a diversionary raid (the main raid was on Essen).
1943-08-044/5 August 1943 RAF 5 Mosquitos Cologne and Duisburg through cloud.
1943-08-044/5 August 1943 RAF 5 Mosquitos Cologne and Duisburg through cloud, the only sorties of the night. No losses
1943-08-066/7 August 1943 RAF 8 Mosquitos to Cologne and Duisburg, the only sorties over Germany that night. All 8 returned to base
1943-08-077/8 August 1943 RAF 4 Mosquitos in a nuisance raid.
1943-08-1111/12 August 1943 RAF 8 Mosquitos in a nuisance raid.
1943-08-2929/20 August 1943 RAF 4 Mosquitos equipped with OBOE, with another 4 to Duisburg, in a nuisance raids. One Mosquito lost.
1943-09-011 September 1943 RAF 8 Mosquitos were sent to Cologne and Duisburg. No Mosquitos lost.
1943-09-044/5 September 1943 RAF 8 Mosquitos were sent to Cologne and Duisburg. No Mosquitos were lost.
1943-09-1313/14 September 1943 RAF 5 Mosquitos equipped with OBOE with another 5 to Duisburg, in a nuisance raids. No Mosquitos were lost.
1943-09-1918/19 September 1943 RAF 5 Mosquitos on a nuisance raid. No Mosquitos were lost.
1943-09-2424/25 September 1943 RAF 8 Mosquitos to Cologne and Düsseldorf on nuisance raids. No Mosquitos were lost.
1943-09-2626/27 September 1943 RAF 4 Mosquitos to Cologne on a nuisance raid. No Mosquitos were lost.
1943-09-2626/27 September 1943 RAF 8 Mosquitos attacked Cologne and Gelsenkirchen on nuisance raids. These were the only Bomber Command sorties of the night. No Mosquitos were lost.
1943-10-022/3 October 1943 RAF 8 Mosquitos to Cologne and Gelsenkirchen on diversionary raids. The main raid was to Munich. No aircraft lost on the diversionary raids.
1943-10-033/4 October 1943 RAF 12 Mosquitos equipped with OBOE bombed the Knapsack
Knapsack, Germany
Knapsack is a locality of Hürth, Rhine-Erft district, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany..On Wednesday 17 October, 2007, King Harald of Norway opened Statkraft's first gas power plant at Knapsack in Germany...

 power-station near Cologne. No aircraft lost.
1943-10-1313/14 October 1943 RAF 4 Mosquitos to Cologne on a nuisance raid. No Mosquitos were lost.
1943-10-2020/21 October 1943 RAF 28 Mosquitos to Berlin, Cologne, Brauweiler and Emden. 2 Mosquitos were lost. The main raid of the night was to Leipzig
1943-12-2222 December 1943 VIII
VIII Bomber Command
The VIII Bomber Command is an inactive United States Army Air Forces unit that is better known as the later appellation Eighth Air Force, as was popularized in post-World War II filmsand is frequently called the First Eighth Air Force by its veterans and successors in the services.The command was...

Mission 163: 1 B-17 dropped two 2,000 pound (907 kF) general purpose bombs and 1 Photoflash at 2020 hours; no casualties.
1944-01-011/2 January 1944 RAF 1 Mosquito on a diversionary nuisance raid and returned safely to base (main raid to Berlin)
1944-01-044/5 January 1944 RAF 2 Mosquitos on a nuisance raid, both returned to base.
1944-02-022/3 February 1944 RAF 3 Mosquitos on a nuisance raid, all returned to base.
1944-03-1616/17 March 1944 RAF 8 Mosquitos on a diversionary nuisance raid, all returned to base (main raid Amiens)
1944-03-1717/18 March 1944 RAF 28 Mosquitos bombed Cologne, all returned to base.
1944-03-2121/22 March 1944 RAF 27 Mosquitos bombed Cologne, all returned to base.
1944-03-2929/30 March 1944 RAF 4 Mosquitos on a diversionary nuisance raid, all returned to base (main raids Vaires, near Paris, and Lyons).
1944-03-2929/30 March 1944 RAF 34 Mosquitos on diversions to Aachen, Cologne and Kassel, all returned to base, (but the main raid to Nuremberg resulted in the biggest Bomber Command loss of the war).
1944-07-1818/19 July 1944 RAF 6 Mosquitos on a diversionary raid, part a night when the RAF made four substantial attacks and a number of small raids like that on Cologne. They attacked the synthetic oil plants at Wessling and Scholven/Buer, railway junctions at Aulnoye and Revigny and a flying-bomb launching site at Acque.
1944-10-1414 October 1944 VIII Bomber Command
VIII Bomber Command
The VIII Bomber Command is an inactive United States Army Air Forces unit that is better known as the later appellation Eighth Air Force, as was popularized in post-World War II filmsand is frequently called the First Eighth Air Force by its veterans and successors in the services.The command was...

Mission 677: As part of a round-the-clock bombing operation
Operation Hurricane (1944)
Operation Hurricane was a 24 hour bombing operation to "demonstrate to the enemy in Germany generally the overwhelming superiority of the Allied Air Forces in this theatre" and "cause mass panic and in the Ruhr, disrupt frontline communications and demonstrate the futility of resistance"...

 made PFF
Pathfinder (RAF)
The Pathfinders were elite squadrons in RAF Bomber Command during World War II. They located and marked targets with flares, which a main bomber force could aim at, increasing the accuracy of their bombing...

 attacks on Cologne marshaling yards at Gereon, Gremberg, and Eifeltor; as well as Euskirchen
Euskirchen
Euskirchen is a town in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, capital of the district Euskirchen. While Euskirchen resembles a modern shopping town, it also has a history dating back over 700 years, having been granted town-status in 1302....

 in Cologne.
1944-10-15 The 486 BG bombed Köln.
8th AF
Eighth Air Force
The Eighth Air Force is a numbered air force of the United States Air Force Global Strike Command . It is headquartered at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana....

The VIII Bomber Command had been redesignated as the US Eight Air Force
Mission 681: 1,338 bombers and 811 fighters are dispatched on PFF attacks in the Cologne, Germany area; 465 B-17s are dispatched to hit marshalling yards at Cologne/Eifeltor (216) and Cologne/Gremberg (34); the targets of opportunity were Cologne/Kalk marshalling yard (151), 453 B-17s are dispatched to hit marshalling yards at Cologne/Gereon (295) and Cologne/Kalk (142)
1945-02-1212/13 February 1945 RAF 3 Mosquitos on H2S radar
H2S radar
H2S was the first airborne, ground scanning radar system. It was developed in Britain in World War II for the Royal Air Force and was used in various RAF bomber aircraft from 1943 to the 1990s. It was designed to identify targets on the ground for night and all-weather bombing...

 trials. No aircraft lost.
1945-03-022 March 1945 RAF In the last RAF raid on Cologne, 858 aircraft bomb in two waves. Only 15 of the 155 aircraft in the second wave dropped their bombs. A daylight raid in good weather, the bombing was "highly destructive".
1945-03-022 March 1945 VIII A single B-17 bombed Cologne as a target of opportunity.
1945-03-025 March 1945 9th Tactical Army Air Force
Ninth Air Force
The Ninth Air Force is a numbered air force of the United States Air Force's Air Combat Command . It is headquartered at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina....

Fighters dropped leaflets in the Cologne-Bonn area.
6 March 1945 American troops captured Cologne.

External links

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