In the fall of 1944, a new Allied bombing directive called for heavy attacks on Germany’s industrial heartland, with oil, transportation and communication the chief targets, and the added benefit of eroding civilian morale.
The directive said the aim was virtual destruction of areas attacked, demonstrating the overwhelming superiority of Allied air forces.
“Bomber Harris [Royal Air Force Marshal Sir Arthur Harris] sent us on thousand-bomber raids…intending to flatten Germany,” said air gunner Murray Heselton in a Memory Project interview. “Which we pretty well did.”
Dortmund, the largest city in the Ruhr Valley, was in the sights of Bomber Command on Oct. 6-7, 1944. It was “the largest single enterprise ever attempted by Canada’s bomber force,” said Brereton Greenhous et al in The...