Operation Moonlight Sonata: The German Raid on Coventry

By Allan W. Kurki | Go to book overview
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Appendix C
U.S. Army Military Attache's Report on the Coventry Raid

The Coventry raid had a profound impact on the American Military Attache's office in London. The following report from Lieutenant Colonel S. A. Greenwell, the Assistant Military Attache at the American Embassy in London, back to the War Department in Washington gives a very graphic portrayal of the significance of the Coventry bombing. This report is contained in File 2082-973, Section 2, from the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

Military Attache Report, London Report No. 41900

Subject: The German Bombing of Coventry November 26, 1940

The following is quoted from a letter dated November 15, 1940, the day after the all night bombing of Coventry. While it contains no technical or tactical information on German bombing it is believed to be a valuable report from the standpoint of the writer's careful and impersonal observations as to such bombings on civilian morale, on effects upon industry and public utilities, and, above all, upon the probable effect upon Britain's war effort, if the answer to such night bombing is not found, and found soon.

The raid started last night at about 7 o'clock and continued until this morning at about 6 o'clock. The planes came over in groups. A very heavy anti-aircraft barrage was put up. The planes paid no attention to it, however. I stood on a hill not far from Leamington and, between the hours of 7 p.m. and midnight, watched the spectacle. It was perfectly evident from what I observed that the defenses put up were of virtually no effect. The planes came over at intervals of about six minutes, dropped their bombs on targets which had been lighted by fires and flares. The noise was something tremendous. The house which was situated about six yards

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