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Old 12th March 2013, 21:12
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26-11-1943 abschuss Lancaster DS814 JI M, Germendorf Germany.

Hello Gents

Here is a very interesting entry which is written in a soldbuch which i got from a good friend. As you can see on this page an entry is made on 26 november 1943 for points for the Flakkampfabzeichen. An Abschuss for a Lancaster is written in this soldbuch with Abschussort Germendorf, Germany.

The attack by the RAF on Berlin, on 26 the 27th November 1943 was one of the most successful attacks in the so-called "Battle of Berlin". 28 of the 443 Lancaster were lost during this attack on Berlin. The crews from those 28 lost ended in death or captivity. Here a bit of background information from one of the Lancaster crews. Lancaster DS 814JI M in particular who took part in this attack.

The crew of Lancaster Mk.II, serial no.DS814 JI M of the 514th Squadron at Waterbeach, must have just been on her way home when she was shot down. The bombers approached from the south from Berlin, after they unload their bombs on the northeast sector of Berlin they returned home.

Lancaster DS814 JI M was probably spotted by searchlights in the Teschendorf/Lowenberg area, according to an eye witness. Shortly after the DS814 JI M was spotted by a searchlight he saw that it started to burn and crashed in the woods north of Germendorf.

The day after, he visited the crash site and besides the shattered hull from Lancaster DS814 JI M he saw the bodies of two dead crew members. The Lancaster 814 JI M crew was buried in Germendorf on 29 November 1943. After the war they were reburied on the Berlin War cemetry.

Pilot F/O. Maurice R. Cantin, 21 years, KIA, Berlin 9/D/16
Navigator F/Sgt. GF William Saddler, 20 years, KIA, Berlin 9/D/21-22
Flight Engineer Sgt. Kerry G. King, 19 years, KIA, Berlin 9/D/20
Air Bomber Sgt. Stuart E. Smith, unknown, KIA, Berlin 9/D/17
Wireless Operator Sgt. Mitchell WET, 22 years, KIA, Berlin 9/D/21-22
Air Gunner Sgt. Robert N. Walne, 20 years, KIA, Berlin 9/D/19
Air Gunner Sgt Leslie F. Eyre, 36 years, KIA, Berlin 9/D/18

Could it be Lancaster DS 814 JI M who crashed on the same date in Germendorf? Big chance it is..

here some background information about the Battle of Berlin

The Battle of Berlin was a British bombing campaign on Berlin from November 1943 to March 1944. The campaign was not limited solely to Berlin. Other German cities were attacked to prevent concentration of defences in Berlin, and Bomber Command had other responsibilities and operations to conduct. The campaign was launched by Arthur "Bomber" Harris, AOC of RAF Bomber Command in November 1943. Harris believed this could be the blow that broke German resistance: "It will cost us between 400 and 500 aircraft. It will cost Germany the war".By this time he could deploy over 800 long-range bombers on any given night, equipped with new and more sophisticated navigational devices such as H2S radar. Between November 1943 and March 1944, Bomber Command made 16 massed attacks on Berlin.
It is generally accepted that the Battle of Berlin was a failure for the (RAF) as it was not the knockout blow that Harris had predicted and during the battle, the RAF lost 1,047 bombers, with a further 1,682 damaged, and well over 7,000 aircrew, culminating in the raid on Nuremberg on 30 March 1944, when 94 bombers were shot down and 71 damaged, out of 795 aircraft.
There were many other raids on Berlin by the RAF and the USAAF 8th Air Force in the strategic bombing campaign of 1940–45 and this is reflected in the RAF battle honour, which is for bombardment of Berlin by aircraft of Bomber Command 1940–45.
In response for attacks on German cities, the Luftwaffe began Operation Steinbock—a series of attacks on London. The Operation suffered high loss rates, but lasted until May 1944. Attacking formations during Steinbock suffered a higher loss percentage over every mission than RAF operations over Germany.

The first raid of the battle occurred on the night of 18/19 November 1943. Berlin was the main target and was attacked by 440 Lancaster heavy bombers and four Mosquitos. The city was under cloud and the damage was not severe. The second major raid was on the night of 22/23 November. This was the most effective raid on Berlin by the RAF of the war, causing extensive damage to the residential areas west of the centre, Tiergarten and Charlottenburg, Schöneberg and Spandau. Because of the dry weather conditions, several firestorms ignited. Both the Protestant Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, now serving as a war memorial, and the New Synagogue (then used as a store house by the Wehrmacht), were heavily damaged on 22 November. In the next nights Bethlehem's Church, John's Church, Lietzow Church, and Trinity Church and in other nights Emperor Frederick Memorial Church, Kirche am Hohenzollernplatz and St. Hedwig's Cathedral followed. Several other buildings of note were either damaged or destroyed, including the British, French, Italian and Japanese embassies, Charlottenburg Palace and Berlin Zoo, as were the Ministry of Munitions, the Waffen SS Administrative College, the barracks of the Imperial Guard at Spandau and several arms factories.

On 17 December, extensive damage was done to the Berlin railway system. By this time the cumulative effect of the bombing campaign had made more than a quarter of Berlin's total living accommodation unusable. There was another major raid on 28–29 January 1944, when Berlin's western and southern districts were hit in the most concentrated attack of this period. On 15–16 February, important war industries were hit, including the large Siemensstadt area, with the centre and south-western districts substaining most of the damage. This was the largest raid by the RAF on Berlin. Raids continued until March 1944.
These raids caused immense devastation and loss of life in Berlin. The 22 November 1943 raid killed 2,000 Berliners and rendered 175,000 homeless. The following night 1,000 were killed and 100,000 made homeless. During December and January regular raids killed hundreds of people each night and rendered between 20,000 and 80,000 homeless each time. Laurenz Demps figured the losses. He evaluated (1) the damage reports of the Berlin police commissioner (Polizeipräsident) issued after each air raid with descriptions of losses and damages indicated by houses, and distributed to 100–50 organisations and administrations busy with rescue, repair, planning etc., (2) the reports of the main bureau for air raid protection (Hauptluftschutzstelle) of the city of Berlin, issued again in more than 100 copies in altering frequency, each summarising losses and damages by a number of air raids, the war diary of the air raid warning command (Luftwarnkommando, Wako Berlin), a branch of the German air force (Luftwaffe), and various sources on specific damages. According to Demps a total of 7,480 were killed (with an additional 2,194 missing), 17,092 injured and 817,730 made homeless. According to Reinhard Rürup, nearly 4,000 were killed, 10,000 injured and 450,000 made homeless.
The effect of smoke and dust in the air from the bombing and long periods spent in shelters gave rise to symptoms that were called "cellar influenza.
Despite the devastation they caused, however, these raids failed to achieve their objectives. German civilian morale did not break, the city's defences and essential services were maintained, and war production in greater Berlin did not fall. Area bombing consistently failed to meet its stated objective, which was to win the war by bombing Germany until its economy and civilian morale collapsed. The bombing had kept a check on German production output and caused to direct resources from offensive to defensive purposes.

The 16 raids on Berlin cost Bomber Command more than 500 aircraft, with their crews killed or captured, which was a loss rate of 5.8%, well above the 5% threshold that was considered the maximum sustainable operational loss rate by the RAF. Daniel Oakman makes the point that "Bomber Command lost 2,690 men over Berlin, and nearly 1,000 more became prisoners of war. Of Bomber Command’s total losses for the war, around seven per cent were incurred during the Berlin raids. In December 1943, for example, 11 crews from No 460 squadron RAAF alone were lost in operations against Berlin; and in January and February, another 14 crews were killed. Having 25 aircraft destroyed meant that the fighting force of the squadron had to be replaced in three months. At these rates Bomber Command would have been wiped out before Berlin". On the other hand, a loss of 500 aircraft had been anticipated, and Oakman observes that " would be wrong to say that it was, in a strategic sense, a wasted effort. Bombing brought the war to Germany at a time when it was difficult to apply pressure anywhere else".
Although the Battle of Berlin, as part of the Bomber Command strategic bombing campaign, did serve to divert German military resources away from the land war, and had an economic effect—in terms of both physical damage and worker fatalities and injuries, and through the enforced requirement to relocate and fortify industrial buildings and other infrastructure in an effort to protect it from Allied attacks—it is generally accepted that the battle was a failure for the RAF, in the sense that the bombing of Berlin did not did force the eventual German capitulation (as Harris and others had hoped) and in words of the official RAF history "in an operational sense the Battle of Berlin was more than a failure, it was a defeat".

Does somebody has more info about Lancaster DS814 JI M

Thanks in advance


Last edited by W.Hinke; 13th March 2013 at 07:07.
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