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BP in the sights of the Luftwaffe

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Gott in Himmel! (the now-aged readers of Victor / Commando / Battle Picture Library / War Picture Library comics will expect this to be followed by a 'Hande hoch' and or at least an 'Arrrggghhh!' - but not in this instance).

It appears - from a book 'Hitler's Holiday Snaps' (Nigel Clarke) featuring Luftwaffe recon and target photographs - that BP was in the sights of Balkankreuz and swastika adorned aviators.

Or strictly speaking the radio station was.

There is a photo in the book but it is so small  that it is of limited benefit to local historians. However, a search on the internet indicates that it may be possible to buy larger copies (as it is a commercial site I haven't included the URL to avoid breaching forum rules).

This photograph from the book 'Glimpses of old Queenswoodians' shows members of staff on the Queenswood School Hockey pitch inspecting the crater from the first 1,000 lb bomb to land on British soil - no doubt intended for the BBC transmitting station.

Nice photo.

May be it was a Sprengbombe Dickwandig (I've no idea - I just liked the name)

"SD = SPRENGBOMBE DICKWANDIG Medium cased steel weapons and, being either anti-personnel or semi-armour piercing, had a charge-to-weight ratio of 35 per cent explosive; 50, 250, 500 and 1700 kg versions."

Actually, Brookmans Park got away pretty lightly, particularly compared to nearby Potters Bar. Presumably they were trying to hit the railway line. See interactive map:


I wonder if all incidents are shown. Hatfield sustained one of the most devastating attacks on 3 October 1940 with 21 fatalities (a mass grave for 6 workers can be found in St Luke's Cemetery).

"Bombs fell within a mile of the Hatfield factory one day in every five, but there was only one direct hit on 3 October 1940 when a low flying Ju.88 dropped four bombs on the old 94 Shop, killing 21 people and injuring a further 70. "

The de Havilland factory was considered such an important target that the Germans sent Agent ZigZag to do the job on the ground.

Old Hatfield (I think they were probably aiming at the gasometers at the bottom of French Horn Lane - now housing - as Hatfield House was a military hospital. There is an official CWGC site, Hatfield Park War Cemetery, off the Great North Road that holds some of the patients who didn't pull through).


Hatfield Road

Hatfield At War


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