Ice!

Sometimes, Luftwafe night-ighters and antiaircraft ire were not the only enemy fought by RAF Bomber Command. On occasion, the weather was every bit as deadly as Elliot Doyle explains.

BELOW Halifax crews are given a weather briefing by the Met Officer prior to a sortie over enemy territory

The raid on Chemnitz on the night of 5 March 1945 cost Bomber Command 31 (4.1%) of the 760 bombers scheduled for the attack. Numbers 420 Sqn and 425 Sqn, RCAF, based at Tholthorpe, and 426 Sqn, RCAF, based at Lintonon- Ouse, each despatched 15 Halifax bombers – and lost ten (22%) in total. However, seven of those aircraft did not succumb to flak or to nightfighters over a hostile target. Instead, they were lost as they climbed away from their Yorkshire bases in the late afternoon and crashed before they had even cleared the county boundary; forty aircrew were killed; nine others managed to get out in time, four of them injured.

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