1,500 Ton Raid on Kassel Supply Link



1,500 Ton Raid on Kassel Supply Link


A newspaper article about the attack on Kassel. It is annotated 'No 16 22/10/43'.



Temporal Coverage




One newspaper cutting


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1,500-ton raid on Kassel supply link
[inserted] No 16 22/10/43 [/inserted]

[italics] Sunday Express Air Reporter [/italics]


SELDOM, if ever, has a force composed solely of four-engined bombers been used against a single target in such strength as that which last night showered its [missing word] bombs on Kassel, capital of the twin German [missing word] of Hesse and Nassau.

In 35 minutes they dropped a load of more than 1,500 tons. To reach this important and heavily defended railway and industrial centre (population 216,000) the armada of Lancasters, Stirlings and Halifaxes made a round trip of 1,000 miles.

They flew most of the way through violent electrical storms, heavy rain and ice-laden cloud, but found clear skies within 50 miles of Kassel, and bright moon above their target.

Kassel as a railway centre ranks with Swindon. It links central and western Germany. War supplies for the Russian front have passed through it on a colossal scale.

There are vast marshalling yards at the western end of the city, and close to them, yet away from the residential area, are two enormous factory groups employing many thousands of war workers.

'Not heavy loss'

From preliminary reports there is good reason to believe the target was very successfully dealt with, and the loss of 44 bombers is not considered unduly high for results achieved.

Of the large force of Lancasters sent out from the station I am visiting all were safely back before dawn.

Many of the losses suffered by other squadrons were due to intense night-fighter activity.

Several crews at this station reported successful encounters with large forces of fast high-flying fighters.

Two terrific explosions, one giving an orange flash which rose to 4,000 feet above the target, were mentioned by nearly every crew.

Many large fires were started, and there are unanimous reports of a 12,000ft. column of thick black smoke as the raiders turned for home.

A description of fighter flare lanes and how they are laid was given me by Flying Officer Thomas Neison, former golf professional of North Berwick, who was mid-upper gunner last night in W. for William.

Clusters of flares

Fighters wait until our bombing has actually started. As soon as the target to be defended has been identified they can be seen streaking towards it.

They start by laying clusters of bright yellow flares over the target. Then they lay lanes and avenues of them criss-crossing its approaches and surroundings for a distance of perhaps 20 miles.

The flares are launched by parachute at intervals of about 400 yards. The flares are made almost stationary for about 20 minutes.

Bomber crews going in early see the lanes of flares forming up behind them.

Frankfurt was also attacked, while Mosquitos bombed targets at Cologne, and other formations laid mines.


“1,500 Ton Raid on Kassel Supply Link,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 24, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/38146.

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