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Operation "Chastise"
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From 15:00 GMT 15th of May till 07:00 GMT 18th of May, 2015

Participate in [Realistic battles] Operation “Chastise”, join the attack
as a British bomber or escort fighter pilot, or climb to the skies
as a German defender and face the overwhelming odds.

On the 5th of March, 1943, the Battle of Ruhr was begun; a campaign of strategic bombing that took place during the Second World War. This campaign was planned as an assault on the German industrial area of Ruhr, and both British and American forces took part. The area was considered of high importance, due to its steelworks, fuel-coke plants, and synthetic oil plant. In this campaign, twenty six major offensive targets were bombed, including the Krupp armament works in Essen, the Nordsten synthetic oil plant in Gelsenkirchen, and the Rheinmetall-Borsig plant in Düsseldorf. It was in this campaign that the famous ‘Dambusters raid’, a.k.a. “Operation Chastise” was carried out on May 17th, 1943.

For the British, Twin-engined Vickers Wellington medium bombers, and quad-engined Avro Lancaster heavy bombers took part in the offensive, as well as the Short Stirling and Handley Page Halifax.

British raids took place during the night, as daylight raids were considered too dangerous due to heavy losses. RAF Bomber Command were using Pathfinder squadrons and made use of the bomber stream tactic. The pathfinder group was mostly made up of Mosquitos from 109 squadron.

Despite cloud cover, and industrial generated pollution, an electronic navigation aid known as “Oboe”, using transponder radio technology, allowed Pathfinders to mark targets with flares during the dark hours of the night. Bombers would fly over the target areas outlined via guidance markers, and drop their bomb loads.

The bomber stream concentrated the force of bombers into a small tight time slot, which was so effective that it overwhelmed fighter defences in the air and fire fighting attempts on the ground.

Unlike the British, the USAAF, with B-17 Flying Fortress and the B-24 Liberator bombers available to them, carried out raids during daylight hours. The closely massed wings of the bombers provided good overall cover, allowing effective return fire against enemy fighters. With bombing raids from both British and American forces, during daylight and at night, there was little time to recover effectively. In addition to this, USAAF forces in the UK continued to increase during 1943. The majority of the bombings that took place were done by the RAF.

Despite their continued raids over the area, German defences continued to fight against their enemy, protecting their resources. AA cover was so fierce that the British nicknamed the Ruhr as “The valley of no return!”. The Campaign seriously disrupted German war production and led to great shortages of steel and armaments, which helped bring the end of the war closer.

The War Thunder Team

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