Jump to content

Need help with targets bombed in Normandy before D-Day


LukeFF
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hey all,

 

In the months before the invasion of Normandy (April to June 1944), what large / significant targets were bombed in France? I'm thinking of targets like rail yards, factories, bridges, ports, radar sites, V-1 launch sites, etc. Thanks!

Edited by LukeFF
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • LukeFF pinned this topic

Best of luck. It's going to be a big list! This says 72 just for the railways - none of which are depicted on the Rheinland map. Fingers crossed for them getting added to that and Normandy...

 

...from https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/d-day-and-the-aerial-battle-for-normandy which I expect you've seen.

 

In all, RAF and USAAF bombers carried out operations against 72 separate rail centres in France, Belgium and western Germany before D-Day - locomotive depots, repair facilities and marshalling yards. The 37 assigned to Harris’s force were all destroyed or seriously damaged. Bomber Command’s night attacks proved more accurate than American daylight strikes – a fact Harris was keen to trumpet. The rail yards at Juvisy and La Chapelle near Paris were completely destroyed after single attacks on each, with minimal collateral damage. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, that is a good start, thank you! To add to my question up above: is there a map showing known V-1 launch sites that were active in the runup to D-Day?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1CGS

Does anyone have information on a German radar station near the Surtainville area (or navigational beam station in Sortosville-en-Beaumont) southwest of Cherbourg?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, BlackSix said:

Does anyone have information on a German radar station near the Surtainville area (or navigational beam station in Sortosville-en-Beaumont) southwest of Cherbourg?

What type of radar do you mean?

 

A list of Luftwaffe/Kriegsmarine stations on the Cotentin peninsula can be found here:

http://www.atlantikwall.info/radar/france/rf_.htm#Cotentin

 

According to the map in the link below there were Kriegsmarine radar stations in the areas you've mentioned. They were used for sea surveillance and for fire control of coastal artillery.

http://www.gyges.dk/pre_dday_attacks_on_the_german.htm


 

Edited by Juri_JS
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1CGS
16 hours ago, Juri_JS said:

What type of radar do you mean?

We try to find any info and photos about Luftwaffe navigational beam station in Sortosville-en-Beaumont.

It was destroyed by Mosquitoes from No. 613 Squadron on May 19, 1944.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

38 minutes ago, BlackSix said:

We try to find any info and photos about Luftwaffe navigational beam station in Sortosville-en-Beaumont.

It was destroyed by Mosquitoes from No. 613 Squadron on May 19, 1944.

According to German Wikipedia there was "Knickebein" station at Sortoville. Knickebein was used for guiding bombers during night attacks.

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knickebein_(Funkfeuer)

 

Here some information in German on the Sortosville-en-Beaumont station:

https://www.normandie1944.de/kampf-um-cherbourg/orte-und-denkmäler-auf-dem-cotentin/sortosville-en-beaumont/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Juri_JS
  • Thanks 2
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

 

1.

This project on the Battle of Normandy... appears to be attempting to collate a lot of different data sources and produce digital databases - might be worth talking to as potential collaborators: https://www.project44.ca/intelblog/mapping-the-battle-of-normandy

 

2. Library of Congress World War II military intelligence map collection:

 

This collection actually includes multiple reports on possible targets and some aerial photographs... see: https://findingaids.loc.gov/exist_collections/ead3pdf/gmd/2015/gm015009.pdf 

 

In addition to the annual reports for France there are also detailed regional reports (specific railways within France, traffic to be interdicted on the River Rhone etc.) It also looks like getting duplicates of reports made would only cost a few hundred dollars: https://www.loc.gov/duplicationservices/products-pricing/

 

3. This is the U.K. collection of aerial photographs from the war: https://ncap.org.uk/ Perhaps a deal could be negotiated? The collection apparently has 10,000,000 records (although not all are digitised). It is very pricey compared to the Library of Congress though.

 

4. Library of Congress Mumford collection

Several planning maps and 91 aerial photographs and associated documents: https://lccn.loc.gov/2018585083

 

5. National Archives foreign aerial photographs (including WWII)

https://unwritten-record.blogs.archives.gov/2019/09/11/researching-foreign-aerial-photography/

 

_____________________________________________________________________

6. Some of these archives should have target lists for Normandy, and some of the others might have material of interest for Operation Steinbock. From comments on the following blog post: https://blogs.loc.gov/maps/2017/02/the-bob-crozier-collection-aerial-reconnaissance-in-world-war-ii/

 

"Most WWII documents captured by the U.S. armed forces were microfilmed by the National Archives.
https://www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/242.html

Primarily such photographs are associated with records group 242.9.4 Other air force records (the air force being the German WWII Luftwaffe).

 

Aerial Photographs (8,000 items): Target dossiers of sites in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, with each dossier consisting of a map, an overprinted aerial photograph, and a site description, 1938-44; aerial photograph studies relating to specific types of targets in the United Kingdom, France, and the USSR, 1940-44; aerial mosaics of coastal areas in the United Kingdom and France, 1942-43; aerial prints and anaglyphs of central Italy, 1943-44; and aerial photographs of North African and Mediterranean sites, compiled for the German X Air Corps war diary, 1941-44. See ALSO 242.25.

Finding Aids: Daryl Bottoms, comp., World War II Records in the Cartographic and Architectural Branch of the National Archives, RIP 79 (1992).

 

However, this is not the be all, end all. In fact, The Library of Congress has various collections that contain German WWII aerial photography.

 

For example, a recently processed collection known as the Karl Bender German World War II military intelligence map collection contains maps used by the German army and air force during World War II to plan military operations in Russia, Norway, and other locations. It includes aerial photography.

Link to the catalog record:
//lccn.loc.gov/2016430891

Link to the finding aid:
//hdl.loc.gov/loc.gmd/eadgmd.gm017001

 

A larger collection in the Geography and Map Division is the World War II military intelligence map collection: declassified maps from the American, British, and German militaries.

It contains maps and textual documents used by the Americans, British, and Germans during World War II to plan military operations between 1931 and 1945. All material is declassified.

Link to the record:
//lccn.loc.gov/2014591000
Link to the finding aid:
//hdl.loc.gov/loc.gmd/eadgmd.gm015009

 

Lastly, I am presently working on a small collection of WWII materials donated by a member of an American bomb group that took part in inserting agents, presumably OSS, behind enemy lines in France. It has a single map showing locations, even giving precise coordinates, of the drops. The collection was donated by Robert Clift and is scheduled to have a record and finding in the next few months.

 

Ryan Moore
Cartographic Specialist”

 

Richard Kehrberg wrote:

"At the end of the Second World War the U.S. Army about twenty tons of German photo-reconnaissance and ground photography. This material passed through the U.S. Air Force’s Aeronautical Chart and Information Center in St. Louis, Mo, before landing at the Defense Intelligence Agency in the early 1960s. In the mid- to late-1970s, when the General Services Administration was pressuring the DIA to reduce the amount of material it had stored at the GSA’s Federal Record Center at Suitland, MD, the DIA destroyed some of the photographs and passed the rest to the National Archives and Records Administration’s Modern Military Branch. They are now part of Record Group 373: Records of the Defense Intelligence Agency, 1920 – 2006; Series: German Flown Aerial Photography, 1939 – 1945 (https://research.archives.gov/id/306065)."

gm015009.zip

Edited by Avimimus
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • BlackSix unpinned this topic

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...