In the aftermath of my Gran passing away a few weeks ago, a few stories of her past have come to light, at least to me.
Apparently in the past she spoke of how during the war, as well as having a Liberator bomber crash near her home (which she thought was a B17
See here: http://forum.keypublishing.com/showt...Fortress-story) she apparently was strafed by a German fighter, as far as can be worked out, in the same area as the Liberator crash.
Is there any way to find evidence of this? did the Luftwaffe record such unofficial strafing incidents? Where is it best to begin researching this story?
Where and when? My sister was strafed by Focke Wulf Fw 190's over Torquay and I have managed to pinpoint it through the Luftwaffe Crash Archive series but only because one of the raiders was brought down on the beach.
The incident supposedly occurred in Malborough, near kingsbridge, Devon, around the same time as the bomber crash, so 44. Although I think it'd probably be earlier, 1943 perhaps, after all would it not be unlikely for a German fighter to risk a raid over England in 1944?
A local Devon author wrote a fiction book about Luftwaffe fighter attack in Dartmouth Naval College which is nearby to the local on this and other thread I wonder if it was based on a true story (but not necessarily the same target)
Also, I've had a look around and found this article? Seems interesting at first glance:
It could have been 2 Jan 1943 when 10/JG2 attacked Kingsbridge. 'Poldi' Wenger actually photographed the attack, with bullets and shells visible hitting buildings near the church. I'd suspect this was it.
Editor: 'Britain at War' Magazine
A 'Key Publishing' product - Britain's Best Selling Military History Monthly
Not sure about the host website, though...
Last edited by ollynunn; 19th April 2017 at 11:40.
I'm not doubting anyone's story or family history but this topic brings up something I've often wondered about...
Did the Luftwaffe routinely strafe non-military targets?
Dropping down low to get off a few rounds to pepper a church or scare (or worse) civilians involved in daily activities seems rather a waste of ammunition and potentially dangerous (not knowing if some AAA site or Home Guards guy might get off a lucky shot).
There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.
My now dead father in law insisted he was strafed on the Beach at St Ives Cornwall, that seemed a stretch of the imagination to me at the time of telling, and still does !
Hertfordshire Airfields Memorial Group
I think the Luftwaffe did routinely throw their ammo around. I lived in Southend, and there was always the story of the day that the High Street was strafed by a lone Bf-110. Seems that it did occur in October 1942, and four people were killed in the attack. I often looked at the bullet holes that were still visible in the brick gate posts that remained on the site of the old college at the top end of the High Street. They were finally demolished to make way for a multiplex cinema in the early 90s.
A good friend of mine remembered getting in the way of a strafing run by a Bf-109, possibly in 1940 in Great Wakering. He was cycling along when he heard the noise of an approaching aero engine at low level. He managed to dive into a ditch as the lead started flying around his ears, and he believes that the aircraft was targeting hay stacks in the field he was cycling alongside. When he finally got home, he excitedly told his mother about what had happened, peppered with a few expletives, and promptly got a clip around the ear for swearing! Well, he was only 9 at the time.
Book is called "Dartmouth Conspiracy" and you can find it on Amazon reading this thread more it appears based on true events and even has the right aircraft (FW 190)
I noted on the website I posted a link to a few posts back that on March 30th 1943 there were attacks on Salcombe, Marlborough and Bolt Head.
Marlborough I am particularly interested in as it would quite likely have been when the incident occurred as it is where her (My Grandmother's) school was and I believe her home was in the area too.
Are there any details of that raid?
Later in the war, Luftwaffe fighters were frequent visitors to south coast towns, engaging in strafing and bombing attacks with often just one or two FW190's. More of a nuisance value than anything but they did, of course, kill civilians in the process and cause minor property damage. They must have been of very limited military value and designed to disrupt everyday life than destroy anything of strategic value.
Shoreham, Dover, Folkestone, Brighton, and many other coastal towns all came under attack by small hit-and-run raids though further west, as the distances from their bases increased and the Channel wider, raids were less frequent.
One of the 190's was shot down just off the Devon coast after attacking nearby, pieces being trawled up in recent years and some are displayed in a small (and very interesting) museum in Salcombe.
Bolt Head, up on the top of the Downs, just around the corner from Salcombe, near Malborough, was an operational airfield, and the launching point for many reciprocal attacks by Allied aircraft, and was occasionally bombed.
Last edited by Anon; 19th April 2017 at 18:10.
Worth looking in various free newspaper archives on the web. They include many local as well as national papers. Can be easily searched through key words and dates. Local libraries often provide free access if a short free trial does not suit.
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