1942 Bomber Command Directives

February 1942

The 14th February 1942 directive advised that the Air Ministry wanted to maximise the benefits of the introduction of Gee navigational equipment (as a target-finding and blind bombing device) and, as such, the principle of conservation of forces was to be modified.

The directive stated that without restriction, “until further notice”, the primary objective of Bomber Command operations should be focused on the morale of the enemy civil population, and in particular, of the industrial workers.

Targets (within Gee range) included: Essen, Duisburg, Dusseldorf, Cologne, Bremen, Wilhelmshaven and Emden.

Targets (outside Gee range) included: Hamburg, Kiel, Lubeck, Rostock, Berlin, Kassel, Hanover, Frankfurt, Mannheim, Schweinfurt and Stuttgart.

A number of factories involved in power distribution, synthetic oil production and manufacturing were listed as “precise targets”, some within, and some outside, the range of Gee

May 1942

The 5th May 1942 directive stated that whilst the primary aim of operations must be the lowering of the morale of the enemy civil population, and in particular, of the industrial workers, every effort should be made to reduce the output of aircraft factories, particularly those producing fighter aircraft.

Bremen, Kassel, Frankfurt and Stuttgart were highlighted as key targets, along with a number of factories producing aircraft parts.

The 25th May 1942 directive advised that approval had been given to attack a number of factories in German occupied countries (provided special conditions relating to these attacks were observed).

July 1942

The 20th July 1942 directive advised changes to the factories that should be attacked in German occupied territories.

September 1942

The 3rd September 1942 directive stated that the Poelitz Hydrogeneration Plant should be added to the list of priority targets.