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Additional resources for Aircraft structures for engineering students (3rd edition) - Book Review
It was not an appealing prospect. 26 Twelve aircraft were despatched. They flew straight into a pack of fighters from the Richthofen squadron. In a cloudless sky the fighters fell on the under-armed Hampdens. It was clear to Lewis that the Germans had studied the Hampden and knew where to attack it. Five Hampdens were lost. If the German aircraft had had a better fuel consumption they would probably have destroyed all the attackers. For Lewis it was a terrifying experience. Ditching into the freezing waters of the North Sea was another experience not forgotten in a hurry.
54 Of course the King stayed until the planes returned from their mission and reported a successful sortie over German territory. The RAF itself was keen to avoid any charges of being a revenge force. When the BBC visited a station to broadcast the preparations for a typical mission listeners heard the Intelligence Officer state emphatically: ‘Your primary target, and your primary job, is the attack on the Stettiner railway station. I want everybody to definitely understand that. ’55 Ensuring a policy on the presentation of the work of Bomber Command was a concern which stretched to the very top.
It is now ‘retaliate or go under’. We are not dedicated to passive and polite martyrdom. We must hit back… Also the dislocation of German communications and nerve-centres is essentially a ‘military objective’ – if really it is reasonable to go on making this almost obsolete distinction. A distinction that wears very thin. People are killed, in the devilish war of today, everywhere, anyhow. People killed are, in tens of thousands, useful workers; mainly war workers. They are in the war. Everybody matters.