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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 203769
Last updated: 3 September 2019
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Date:02-JAN-1944
Time:04:15
Type:Silhouette image of generic me11 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Messerschmitt Bf 110 G-4
Owner/operator:8./NJG 3, Luftwaffe
Registration:
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:northern part of Leipzig, Sachsen -   Germany
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Lüneburg airfield
Destination airport:
Narrative:
During the night of 1-2 January 1944, RAF Bomber Command despatched 421 Lancasters to Berlin. The take-off was planned for mid-evening but it was delayed due to doubts about the weather and it only began around midnight. The delay also caused a change to the route, planned as a wide northerly approach over Denmark and the Baltic. The bombers were now ordered to fly the much used direct route accross Holland.

The German controller was not deceived by a Mosquito ‘spoof’ raid on Hamburg, and German fighters were directed on to the bomber stream at an early stage and were particularly active en-route to Berlin. Sixteen bombers are believed to have been lost along that flight, including 8 of the 81 despatched Pathfinders. But then few losses were suffered over Berlin, only two bombers being shot down by fighters there, and the local Flak was probably restricted to the height at which it could fire and only shot down two bombers over Berlin. 29 Lancasters crashed in Europe or were lost without traces, and two more crashed on return in England. Aboard these 31 bombers 183 crew were killed, 33 captured and one evaded.

The target area was covered in cloud and the accuracy of the sky-marking soon deteriorated. The Berlin report says that there was scattered bombing, mainly in the southern parts of the city. A large number of bombs fell in the Grunewald, an extensive wooded area in the south-west of Berlin. Only 21 houses and 1 industrial building were destroyed, with 79 people being killed, including 25 in a panic rush at the entrance of a public air shelter in the Neukölln district. A high-explosive bomb hit a lock on an important canal and stopped shipping at that area for several days.

Minor Bomber Command operations this night included Mosquito raids to Hamburg (15 aircraft), to Witten (11), to Duisburg (7), to Bristillerie (4) and to Cologne (1), 6 RCM sorties, and 14 OTU sorties, all without loss.

German night fighters claimed 27 victories this night, including six by Major Heinrich Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein (number 65 to 70) of Stab NJG 2. Known German losses are seven crew killed, four wounded and 6 aircraft lost: 3 Bf 110, 2 Ju 88 and 1 Bf 109, the latter and one Bf 110 falling to German Flak.
________________________________________________________________________

At 0415 hrs during the night of 1-2 January, a Bf 110 G-4 of 8./NJG3 was shot down in error by German Flak over the northern part of Leipzig. All three crew bailed out and survived but the pilot, Uffz Werner Rominger, and another crew, Uffz Rudi Geiger, were wounded.

Sources:

"The Bomber Command War Diaries", by Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt, ISBN 1-85780-033-8
"The Berlin Raids. RAF Bomber Command Winter 1943-1944", by Martin Middlebrook. ISBN 0-304-35347-7
"Royal Air Force Bomber Command losses, vol 5. Aircraft and Crews Losses 1944", by W R Chorley, ISBN 0-904597-91-1
"Lufwaffe Night Fighter Combat Claims 1939-1945", by John Foreman, Johannes Matthews and Simon Parry. ISBN 0-9538061-4-6
"Deutsche Nachtjagd Personalverluste in Ausbildung und Einsatz - fliegendes Personal -", by Michael Balss
"Deutsche Nachtjagd Materialverluste in Ausbildung und Einsatz", by Michael Balss. ISBN 3-925480-3-6
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leipzig
http://www.maplandia.com/germany/sachsen/sachsen/leipziger-land/leipzig/


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
03-Jan-2018 21:50 Laurent Rizzotti Added
31-Dec-2018 09:15 TigerTimon Updated [Departure airport]
31-Dec-2018 09:31 TigerTimon Updated [Aircraft type]

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