Header image: Lancasters in the bomber stream with enemy searchlights seeking them out.
Seventy-five years ago this month, in November 1943, Royal Air Force Bomber Command, under Air Chief Marshal Arthur 'Bomber' Harris, launched the second phase of an airborne bombing campaign against the German capital city that lasted to March 1944 and became known as the Battle of Berlin. Harris believed that the aerial assault on Berlin – if it came anywhere close to Hamburg’s terrifying destruction in July 1943 – could break German resistance and bring an early end to the war. “It will cost us between 400 and 500 aircraft”, he said. “It will cost Germany the war”. During the campaign period, attacks were not solely limited to Berlin, which endured 16 massive raids; other German cities were bombed too, to prevent the enemy concentrating its forces in defence of Berlin.