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Paul J

Bodenplatte.

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I was just flicking through one of my 2nd TAF books and the German New years day, Operation Bodenplatte, caught my attention. So, I was wondering if any body else has realised that it was the 70th anniversary of the event on the 1st of Janyary!!!

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Yes I celebrated by scowling at my Eduard 190

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I always remember it along with the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge-16Dec, both Schweinfurt missions, 17th Aug & 14th Oct and the Dams Raid 16/17 May.

Edited by tank152

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Every day is a Anniversary of some obscure event

Also we mustn't forget that today is the first anniversary of January the 4th 2014

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Every day is a Anniversary of some obscure event

For anyone interested in WW2 airpower and particularly the Luftwaffe I wouldn't describe it as obscure :)

It's not every day that a supposedly beaten foe can launch an operation on this scale, however futile it turned out to be.

The Luftwaffe managed to destroy 143 single engine allied aircraft and damage a further 139. For twins these figures were 74 and 12, four engine aircraft 15 and 5, giving a total of 232 destroyed and 156 damaged.

Losing nearly 400 aircraft on one morning wouldn't have seemed 'obscure' to the Allied air forces sustaining the losses!

The futility lies in the Allies ability to simply replace these aircraft from air parks in the UK, often within a couple of days.

The Luftwaffe lost 271 Bf 109s/Fw 190s destroyed and 65 damaged, and several Ju 88s serving as path finders (Lotse), a trade it could make.

The real problem was the loss of 143 pilots killed, 70 taken PoW and 21 wounded. These were irreplaceable, particularly 22 unit commanders comprising 3 Kommodore, 5 Kommandeure and 14 Stafelkapitane. Many of the others lost, around 145, had less than ten operational missions, several were flying their first.

A day on which well over 700 aircraft were destroyed or damaged on both sides makes even the heaviest days' losses in the Battle of Britain look like skirmishes

It was the last throw of the dice for a once mighty air force. Obscure? Depends what you are interested in :)

Cheers

Steve

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Good reply Steve(Stonar).

I read a book on this operation and it was a fascinating read. I must go back and read up the Bodenplatte section in my 2 TAF book. It has lots of details of Allied losses. If all the other one day aerial/land battles this one always seems to be overlooked unlike Pearl Harbour for example that gets lots of mentions.

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Well I guess you could say that Pearl Harbour was more significant as it brought the US into the war.

Must admit I've never really looked into Bodenplatte much, and which types of aircraft were involved. :hmmm:

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Well I guess you could say that Pearl Harbour was more significant as it brought the US into the war.

Must admit I've never really looked into Bodenplatte much, and which types of aircraft were involved. :hmmm:

Significance is something else. For the Allies Bodenplatte wasn't particularly significant because their materiel losses could easily be replaced and their personnel losses were minimal. They knew they were winning the war. Nonetheless, I'm sure it was a nasty shock!

It was significant for the Luftwaffe for the reasons above. It also followed very heavy Luftwaffe losses in the weeks preceding the operation in an understandably better known affair "Wacht am Rhein", Battle of the Bulge. There's nothing like a Hollywood movie :)

"Bodenplatte" really was a last gasp.

I was surprised to see one of the major air offensives of the war described as obscure. This is not a criticism of the poster or the comment, it really does depend on what you are interested in :)

Cheers

Steve

Edited by Stonar

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Just another thought and more WW2 70th anniversary dates, will the crossing of the Rhine be recollected and VE Day in May! And then the Pacific theatre.....

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The Hikoki book on it is quite good. It's sitting in my bookshelf.

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May I think you will find

Oops, shame on me.

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Let's not forget other two "obscure" events that took place on the very same day;the German Counteroffensive in Alsace (Fall Nordwind) and the German Counteroffensive in Hungary (Fall Konrad)!
This( http://spaghettibowl.freehomepage.com/custom3.html) could be considered an "obscure" event by many,but not by me,in fact my late father and his older brother joined the USAAF after the 8th September Armistice and served with the 12th AF as ground personnel,while another brother soldiered on with the Royal Canadian Dragoons!
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Cheers
Manu

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