Arms City Wiped out in 18 Minutes



Arms City Wiped out in 18 Minutes


An article about the bombing of Remscheid. It is annotated 'No 5 30/7/43'.

Temporal Coverage




One newspaper cutting


This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit and






[inserted] No 5 30/7/43 [/inserted]

Arms city wiped out in 18 minutes
[italics] Sunday Express Air Reporter [/italics]

R.A.F. Bomber Station, Saturday.

REMSCHEID, medieval Rhineland city and centre of Germany's machine tool industry, had its first and probably last R.A.F. raid early today.

It was a thunder-and-lightning attack and lasted 18 minutes. By then Remscheid had been blasted by a load of bombs greater than fell on London during the heaviest 13-hour blitz of May 1941, and at least ten times greater than any raid on Britain this year.

The first waves of Lancasters, Stirlings and Halifaxes went in at 1.13 a.m., the last came out at 1.31.

As they recrossed the Dutch coast 200 miles from their target the homing air crews saw the glow of blazing Remscheid reflected against a thick pillar of black smoke.

No second time

"I do not think we shall have to pay it a second visit," a senior intelligence officer told me after interrogating the crews at this Halifax station in the North of England.

"Devastation seems to have been on the same scale as the Wuppertal raid on May 29. I put it well up in the higher class of bombing successes."

This view was shared by Group Captain H. H. Brookes, who accompanied our raiders as second pilot of Z for Zebra. Remscheid, he told me, is a city about the size of York.

"It was completely wiped up in one go," he added.

'Mushroom' fire

Captain of Z for Zebra was Squadron-Leader Peter Bunclark, D.F.C., D.F.M. His D.F.C. was awarded last Thursday.

Here are some descriptions of the Remscheid blasting from air crews who had bombed Hamburg three times in the previous six nights.

"The whole place was blazing like celluloid," "Fires like molten metal," "Just a bubbling sea of gold, silver, orange and red."

A navigator said that the outline of the blazing mass below exactly corresponded with the contour of his target map. He thought it uncanny. Remscheid measures 1.1/2 miles from east to west and 3 1/2 miles north to south.

Hitting the spot

Sergeant Reg Sloggett, former railway clerk from Manchester, was bomb-aimer in X for Xmas, last Halifax to leave the target area.

"It was a blazing mass when we went in and got bigger all the time," he told me. "I saw several terrific explosions and some of our bombs hitting the spot."

It was a clear night and, although night fighters were up in large numbers, there were no encounters by Halifaxes from this station, two of which are missing. Fifteen bombers in all were lost.

Remscheid's pre-war population of 107,000 is believed to have been greatly increased by the influx of foreign workers and refugees from neighbouring blitzed areas.

In the centre of the town are some 25 factories making machine tools and aircraft parts.


“Arms City Wiped out in 18 Minutes,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 19, 2024,

Item Relations

This item has no relations.