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Old 25th April 2014, 19:52
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Luftwaffe raids on Adlington, Lancashire. Oct/Nov 1940

Greetings All, My first post.
I am trying to find out more about a number of raids on our town/village during WW2. Mercifully no one was killed or seriously injured despite a couple of "very large bombs".

Adlington is a small township in Lancashire on the edge of the west pennine moors. It is built along and between two major roads (A673 & A6) about half a mile apart running northwest between the towns of Bolton

and Chorley.It is also about 20 miles north east of Liverpool and 20 miles north west of Manchester. The town although small,had two railways, two railway stations and the Leeds to Liverpool canal crammed into

its south west corner.

Although in a rural setting, it was only six miles north of a major railway works and aircraft factory and five miles south of a very large Royal Ordnance Factory. During the war it was

hit several times by Luftwaffe raids, usually when the majority of the raids were targeting Liverpool. I would like to know if anyone can offer any further information concerning these raids, which Luftwaffe

Units were likely responsible and what their bomb loads were.

My primary sources of information are a list of bomb incidents from the Master ARP List for Lancashire kept in the local record office and "The Blitz, Then and Now, Vol 2, by G Ramsey".

The raids were as follows with the time being the time of report:

13:00, 5 October 1940 (other sources have this as 4Oct).
A "delayed action" bomb fell behind a public house on the A673 demolishing an adjacent smithy.

21:55, 9 October 1940, One HE bomb in Field near A673.

12:30, 10 October 1940, One HE & one Incendiary in field near A673.

12:30, 10 October 1940, One HE & one Oil Incendiary in field near A673.

12:30, 10 October 1940, Two HE in field near A673.

As the incident of the 5th October is only 100 yards from the incidents of 9/10 October I suspect this may be a mistranscription and all these incidents are from the same raid. There only appear to have been

two raids over lancashire on the 4th Oct (One Liverpool, One down from Carlisle) and two raids over lancashire on the 5th Oct (Both Liverpool). On the night of 9/10 Oct there where 6 raids between Manchester

and Liverpool.

21:35, 19 October 1940, One HE, in garden behind Terraced Houses on A6, four houses demolished.
22:20, 19 October 1940, One HE, in front of cotton mill on A6 which was damaged. 50 yards from previous incident

On 19 Oct there where initially 7 raids from Cherbourg to Liverpool/Coventry then some more to Lancashire.

And the big one !

01:30, 29 November 1940, One HE (possibly Luftmine) in field behind Cotton Mill on A6. Considerable damage to mill. Two slight casualties.
And then 70 yards away:

??:??, 29 November 1940. One UXB Luftmine. RN called in. Reports tell of of "burning the outer panel off with acid" and "steaming out half the contents before it started ticking" this being followed by a

controlled detonation. Eitherways 20 houses were so badly damaged they were demolished and most surviving houses nearby show gable end repairs.

This attack, concurrent with a major raid on Liverpool presumably was with two luftmines although the damage caused by the first detonation does seen small for this type of weapon. Can anyone advise if a bomber

would carry a mixed Bomb/Mine load? Seventy years on, no one seems to know just where the first one exploded and the pattern of damage is confusing.

The BBC website has a report on this attack on


09:37, 10 Jan 1941, eleven HE one mile south of Town in fields.

Anything that anyone can add on this would be greatly appreciated. Particularly which Luftwaffe units were active and what the split on their bomb loads was.

Whilst local urban myths have it that Adlington was mistaken for one of the big targets to the north and south, it is my own suspicion that the extensive long thin resevoirs to the north of the town may have

been mistaken in bad weather,for the River Mersey, by aircraft flying up from the south (same alignment) and consequently they thought they were bombing Birkenhead/Wirral.

Bill Martindale
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Old 27th April 2014, 17:12
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Re: Luftwaffe raids on Adlington, Lancashire. Oct/Nov 1940


I am afraid what you are asking for is hard to answer. I can say that on 28-29 Nov 40, the target was Liverpool/Birkenhead and 192 bombers from Luftflotte 3 dropped 192.10 tonnes of heavy bombs and 25654 incendiaries. No mention of your town though. I can see no daylight attack on 10 Jan 41 but the night of 9-10 Jan 41 saw an attack on Manchester with a small diversionary attack on Liverpool. Again, no mention of your town. I could list the units involved and the bombs dropped but best bet for the latter 2 attacks is to look at my book 'The Luftwaffe's Blitz'
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adlington, lancashire, luftwaffe

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