Torpedoes and bombs

Late on 11 August, a Luftwaffe signals unit reported that raiders had dropped 20–26 HE and incendiary bombs on Lanvéoc’s northern perimeter and adjoining open country. Three men had been killed, three seriously injured and 12–15 slightly hurt among signals and army construction personnel; base personnel had suffered burns. Two more bombs, one a dud, had fallen into the sea south of the Naval Academy without doing any damage:

15.20 [GMT+2], Aerodrome Brest Lanvéoc-Poulmic: 6 HE (3 UXB), several incendiaries. Bombs drop in immediate surroundings of the aerodromes [causing] several fires. 3 soldiers dead, 4 seriously injured, several slightly wounded.

Ob.d.L. Situation Report No. 341

Lorenz had apparently missed all this for he landed in 1T+BH at 01.45 hours while just over an hour later, 1T+GL arrived in Lanvéoc from Marx.

KM120840In the early hours of the 13th, Brest’s radio beacon was ordered to stay on until 06.00 for Lorenz’s aircraft. Back on the ground he reported that at 21.40 hrs. the previous evening he had attacked a cargo vessel of about 6,000 tons in the southern exit of St. George’s Channel. Both his torpedoes had dropped successfully but despite the close range and just 1º difference in their set angle, one had passed ahead and one astern of the target. He had seen 10–15 similar ships in the area, apparently an inbound convoy (possibly HG 40 which arrived off Milford Haven on the morning of the 13th).

RN120840Lanvéoc was bombed again on the 13th, a Bf 109 being put out of commission and another damaged. Three men were injured, two of them seriously (the Admiralty noted that four Blenheims had attacked aerodromes in NW France and seaplane bases at Brest, St. Brieuc, Querqueville and Dinant). Lorenz expected to take off again that evening, probably at 18.45 hrs., and asked for radio beacons 13, 14 and 15 (Cherbourg, St. Malo and Brest respectively) to be switched on until morning. It was also announced that at 19.50 hrs., Fliegerdivision 9 would be sending 21 Heinkels north of the Thames to take part in harassing attacks and mining, the day’s situation report recording that: “9. Fliegerdivision carried out a special task according to plan”.

NOTE: There are many such entries in the daily reports during the period of Lorenz’s operations but none that I have found mentions torpedo attacks.

During the day, KG 40 was instructed to report to the Division on every torpedo attack after the completion of the operational trials and by 25 August at the latest; after that, daily reports would be required.

continued on next page…

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PART TWO OF SIX

© Nick Beale 2016–2020


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