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RAF Bomber Command War Room Manual (1945)

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WAR ROOM MANUAL OF
BOMBER COMMAND OPERATIONS
1939-1945

SECRET

ISSUED BY AIR MINISTRY WAR ROOM
(STATISTICAL SECTION), BOMBER COMMAND, R.A.F.

355 489 (H), COPY No. 39


AIR MINISTRY WAR ROOM, 1945

An extremely rare, original, WW2 Bomber Command War Room Manual, marked ‘Secret’ on the cover and on each individual page, produced by the Statistical section of the Air Ministry in 1945. A large-format volume, this is a comprehensive reference work on Bomber Command’s operations from 1939-1945. The manual includes details of every operation undertaken by Bomber Command, with information on the aircraft deployed, targets, casualties, losses, tonnage of bombs dropped, and a huge amount of statstical information relevant to the assessment of the bombing campaign.

A distribution list at the front of the manual shows that it had an extremely restricted circulation, with only 54 copies being produced (this is copy number 39). All the copies were intended for named individuals, Departments, or designated personnel - this particular copy was assigned to the Director of Scientific Research at the Ministry of Aircraft Production. In 1945 this post was held by Sir Ben Lockspeiser. The manual was produced by the Air Ministry as part of the the work of assessing the effects of the strategic bombing offensive against Germany. In 1945 this was being investigated by a special commission led by Air Commodore C. B. R. Pelly (one of the 54 named recipients of the War Room Manual).

At the end of the war in Europe, Air Chief Marshal Portal, Chief of the Air Staff (another recipient of the War Room Manual), selected Pelly to head the RAF element of a proposed British Bombing Research Mission to look into the effectiveness of the strategic bombing offensive. Unfortunately, the government decided not to proceed with the survey, thereby depriving Britain of useful data on which to assess its bombing policy. However, it was decided to send two small teams into the field to gain what information it could and these proceeded into Germany under Pelly's control in the summer of 1945.

Contents: the build up of Bomber Command, aircraft strength by types, sorties by day and night, sorties by aircraft type, sorties by operation type, notes on casualties, wastage of aircraft, casualties by day and night, casualties by types of aircraft and operation, casualty yearly totals, aircraft dispatched and missing, aircraft missing on all operations, sorties and tonnage of bombs dropped: by types of aircraft, category of target, countries, distances, numbers of bombs dropped, note on targets, targets attacked: aircraft despatched, missing and tons of bombs dropped. 

This manual is an important historic document and a valuable insight into the operational work of Bomber Command during WW2. It would be a very useful resource and reference work for anyone interested in the bomber offensive against Germany during the Second World War. 
 


Condition:

In good condition. The card cover is in good condition, with general signs of wear and use, some wear at the edges and corners, and some marks. The stapled binding is secure. The text is in very good condition, with a few marks.
 
Published: 1945
Khaki card cover with black titling
Dimensions: 205mm 340mmm
Pages: 150