The Ruhr 1943

The RAF’s brutal fight for Germany’s industrial heartland

The Ruhr 1943 cover

The Ruhr 1943

The RAF’s brutal fight for Germany’s industrial heartland

Description

This illustrated study explores, in detail, the RAF's first concentrated air campaign of World War II against one of the hardest and most important targets in Germany – the industrial heartland of the Ruhr that kept Hitler's war machine running.

Between March and July 1943, RAF Bomber Command undertook its first concentrated bombing campaign, the Battle of the Ruhr, whose aim was nothing less than the complete destruction of the industry that powered the German war machine. Often overshadowed by the famous 'Dambusters' single-raid attack on the Ruhr dams, the Battle of the Ruhr proved much larger and much more complex. The mighty, industrial Ruhr region contained not only some of the most famous and important arms makers, such as the gunmakers Krupp of Essen, but also many other industries that the German war economy relied on, from steelmakers to synthetic oil plants. Being such a valuable target, the Ruhr was one of the most heavily defended regions in Europe.

This book examines how the brutal Ruhr campaign was conceived and fought, and how Bomber Command's relentless pursuit of its objective drew it into raids on targets well beyond the Ruhr, from the nearby city of Cologne to the Skoda works in Czechoslovakia. Drawing on a wide-range of primary and secondary sources, this is the story of the first titanic struggle in the skies over Germany between RAF Bomber Command and the Luftwaffe.

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION
CHRONOLOGY
ATTACKER'S CAPABILITIES
Preparing for the 'Main Offensive'
Navigation aids
Aircraft
Pathfinders (PFF)
DEFENDER'S CAPABILITIES
The rise, fall and rise of Germany's air defences
Night fighters and the Kammhuber Line
Flak
CAMPAIGN OBJECTIVES
The Reich's industrial heartland and its workers
The Ruhr cities, towns and industries
Industrial workers and morale
Dams, waterways and marshalling yards
Synthetic oil plants
The Rhineland cities
THE CAMPAIGN
The bomber battle in 'Happy Valley'
Precursor: the 'experimental' Ruhr attacks and 'diversions',
December 1942–February 1943
The main battle begins: Essen and Duisburg, March–April
Supporting the main battle
'Maximum effort' at Dortmund and the 'real catastrophe'
of Wuppertal, May 1943
The bitter battles of June
Endgame: the attacks of July
AFTERMATH AND ANALYSIS
FURTHER READING
INDEX

Product details

Published 28 Oct 2021
Format Ebook (PDF)
Edition 1st
Extent 96
ISBN 9781472846549
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations Illustrated throughout with around 60 photos and at least 14pp of colour illustrations
Series Air Campaign
Short code ACM 24
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors

Author

Richard Worrall

Dr Richard Worrall currently teaches military and…

Illustrator

Graham Turner

Graham Turner is a leading historical artist, spec…

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