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In January 1941 Air Scientific Intelligence was still somewhat put out by the unsought turn of events:

[SPREE] was the one source from which the beam passed consistently over the target. Unfortunately [it] was accidentally knocked out by remote miss on Cherbourg on 11.10.40, so this useful target indicator was destroyed. This lengthened considerably the analysis of other azimuths, and trouble to ourselves was serious.

Three bombs fell SE of SPREE on the night of 17/18 November and two nights later two more came within 200 metres of one of the two Cherbourg transmitters without doing any damage. At 2230 GMT on the 20th a stick of 10 medium bombs was dropped from about 3000 m., with the aircraft seemingly approaching from behind the station and close to the beam (“on ‘1 right’, near OSKAR”). The first bomb fell 150 m away just after attacking aircraft had passed over the station, scoring a direct hit on the grid transformer, completely wrecking it. All the power cables and the lines to SPREE were cut and other bombs fell in east of the control post. There were no casualties, nor were operations interrupted.

Another raid ensued around 1815 on 22 November, between eight and 11 bombs falling on the coast about 450 m from SPREE’s living quarters and 650 m from the transmitter. The aircraft approached on a course of around 240 and because the bombs exploded almost simultaneously, the Germans suspected that they had been jettisoned.

PRUSPREE

 

Photographic Reconnaissance Unit photo showing the fall of bombs aimed at SPREE (codenamed GOERING by the British) by flying along the beam. (National Archives AIR40/3049)

The last attack of 1940 reported by the Germans came on 11 December at 1756 GMT, seven or eight medium-calibre bombs falling about 400 m from the station on a bearing of 190. The bomber had approached from a southerly direction.

continued on next page …

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