French Air Raid on Berlin

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Reichenberg 40
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French Air Raid on Berlin

Post by Reichenberg 40 » 18 Jan 2008 12:06

Maybe someone can help me with this or direct me to a possible thread about it. I have read that the first air raid on Berlin was actually by the French in June of 1940 in retaliation for the German "Operation Paula" raid on Paris. Information about this raid is difficult to find. Were there any casualties or damage or were there any French planes shot down? Hopefully someone will have some information about this.

Thank you
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yarp
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Post by yarp » 18 Jan 2008 20:41

Maybe someone has better informations than me, but as far as I recall there was actually only 1 bomber (a flying boat from the navy) that conducted that raid.
So fortunately no airplane was shotdown, or the entire force would have been down ;)

The plane was 4 engines Farman "Jules Vernes" which took off from Lanveoc airbase (in Brittany, still an aéronavale airbase nowadays).

I'm sorry I don't know about the casualties it did inflict. But most probably minor ones as you can imagine.

btw I think I have an article on this air raid in the French Army Historical revue. I will dig it out and tell you more about the raid.

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Post by Auseklis » 18 Jan 2008 22:38

yarp wrote: which took off from Lanveoc airbase (in Brittany, still an aéronavale airbase nowadays).
I think it was Bordeaux-Merignacv...
The Farman droped about 2t of bombs on Potsdam-Babelsberg, but I don't know what damage was caused.

Reichenberg 40
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Post by Reichenberg 40 » 19 Jan 2008 11:15

Thanks for the replies. Yarp, I look forward to receiving any more information you may have.

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David Lehmann
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Post by David Lehmann » 20 Jan 2008 09:42

Hello,

The French Farman 220 series (222.2, 223.3 and 223.4) heavy bombers were ugly and slow, this was typical of France’s pre-modernization Air Force of the mid 30's. A total of 28 in metropolitan France, 2 in Indochina and 3 in Senegal were available on May 10, 1940.
The Farman 222.2 was a long range bomber (2,000 km with 2,500 kg bombs) and carried up to 4,195 kg bombs (generally 20x 200 kg, 40x 100 kg or a combination of 200 kg, 100 kg and 50 kg bombs). The aircraft was armed with 3x 7.5mm MAC 1934 MGs in single mounts in the nose turret, dorsal turret and ventral gondola. This Farman 222.2 was an "advanced" version of the Farman 221/222 and had retractable gear, but showed otherwise little improvement over its predecessor. It had a maximum speed of 320 km/h at 4,000 meters. Its service ceiling was 8,000 meters. This bomber had a crew of 5 men: pilot, co-pilot, nose gunner/navigator/bombardier, ventral gunner and dorsal gunner.
For the Farman 223.3, the armament consisted in 1x 7.5mm MG in the nose and 2x 20mm guns in the two rear-facing turrets, 4,185 kg bombs and a range of 2,400 km.
The Farman 222.2, 223.3 and 223.4 bombers of the French Air Force and French Navy dropped at first leaflets over Germany (e.g. December 22, 1939 over Munich) and Czechoslovakia but this aircraft was also the first allied plane to bomb Berlin (Siemens factory) on the evening of June 7-8, 1940. This very first raid over Berlin was a mission flown by the French Navy with a single Farman 223.4. It was a former civilian Air France plane named 'Jules Vernes' under modification and modified for military use. It was painted in black and had not yet a bomb bay. 80 explosive and incendiary bombs of 10 kg were dropped after a flight of more than 2,000 km. The Farman flew from Bordeaux-Mérignac up to the English Channel, skirted the Dutch coast, crossed Denmark and the Baltic Sea and attacked Berlin from the north). The 'Jules Vernes' safely returned to Mérignac after a 13.5 hour mission. From June 13 to June 16 the 'Jules Vernes' flew 12 additional raids over Germany.
The Farman 222/223 bombers also bombed other cities like Rostock - Heinkel factories -, Hamburg, Münich and Köln. They also took part to the bombings of rail-roads and crossroads in May and June 1940, like in Aix-La-Chappelle, Maastricht, Flessingue and Middelburg, in order to delay the German troops.
After Italy declared war to France, these bombers dropped leaflets, spending hours leisurely over Rome, Turin and other cities. They also bombed fuel refineries in Porto Maghera and Livourne. It prompted the creation of an impromptu night fighter unit in Italy (3x Fiat CR.32s) as well as having a squadron of Italy's better fighters stationed near Rome to prevent a repeat.
Only one Farman was lost during the Battle of France - and that was an accident. Vichy and the Luftwaffe used them as transports through 1944.

Other French bombers like e.g. the Lioré & Olivier 451 were also involved in bombing againt Germany.

Regards,

David

Reichenberg 40
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Post by Reichenberg 40 » 20 Jan 2008 12:36

Thank you David. That pretty much answers my questions.


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Re: French Air Raid on Berlin

Post by varjag » 04 Apr 2008 10:55

@ David Lehman.....
The Farman 222/223 bombers also bombed other cities like Rostock - Heinkel factories -, Hamburg, Münich and Köln.
Very interesting, have you got further details about these raids such as dates and number of raiding aircraft and bombloads dropped?
In anticipation...Varjag

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Re: French Air Raid on Berlin

Post by Topspeed » 11 Jan 2011 14:34


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Re: French Air Raid on Berlin

Post by Topspeed » 12 Jan 2011 16:26

Airborne here..similar 224;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6grevNQCpno

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Re: French Air Raid on Berlin

Post by Topspeed » 14 Jan 2011 09:55

The other 223.4 was shot down same year accidently by Italians over in Syria. Famous post flyer was killed onboard.

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Re: French Air Raid on Berlin

Post by Curnoe » 15 Jan 2011 11:58

What were the Italians doing over Syria? Was this during their attempted intervention n Iraq?

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Re: French Air Raid on Berlin

Post by jopaerya » 26 Jun 2018 18:20

Hello All

I am looking for more information on the Jules Verne Farman 223.4 about the bombing raids in Holland in 17 and 18 May 1940 ??

Regards Jos

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Re: French Air Raid on Berlin

Post by Topspeed » 17 Feb 2022 12:57

Mark Felton can help you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7qz_osKC-w

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Re: French Air Raid on Berlin

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 17 Feb 2022 22:26

Here is one version of the attack. <https://www.historynet.com/target-berli ... apital.htm> It matches details I've read in other locations. The target was the Siemens manufacturing plant on Berlins outskirts. Navigation proved easy as the French aircrew found the city was not effectively blacked out. Possibly there was no blackout ordered that night. The Templehof airport has been described as the primary landmark for the bomb run & the plane flew directly over it to orient of the Siemens factory. Post attack the government and news services described a gas explosion that night and not a air attack

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Re: French Air Raid on Berlin

Post by daveshoup2MD » 18 Feb 2022 02:58

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
17 Feb 2022 22:26
Here is one version of the attack. <https://www.historynet.com/target-berli ... apital.htm> It matches details I've read in other locations. The target was the Siemens manufacturing plant on Berlins outskirts. Navigation proved easy as the French aircrew found the city was not effectively blacked out. Possibly there was no blackout ordered that night. The Templehof airport has been described as the primary landmark for the bomb run & the plane flew directly over it to orient of the Siemens factory. Post attack the government and news services described a gas explosion that night and not a air attack
Interesting that despite all the PR, even Nazi Germany couldn't impose an effective blackout on their capital city nine months into the war; interesting comparison with alleged American and Canadian "failures" during PAUCKENSCHLAG... ;)

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