Archives de catégorie : National Archives UK


Source : National Archives UK – WP (42) 399

In the present year the small proportion of our Air power employed offensively against Germany has destroyed Rostock, Lubeck and a large part of Cologne. It has done considerable damage to submarine resources at Hamburg, Kiel, Augsburg, Deutz, Emden and Oberhausen. It destroyed the Renault works equivalent to the fighting vehicles and transport of five Panzer Divisions. It has hit hard at Gennevilliers and the Heinkel works. It has taken very heavy toll of enemy shipping.

WAR CABINET WEEKLY RESUME ( N o . 191) of the NAVAL, MILITARY AND AIR SITUATION from 0700 April 22nd, to 0700 April 29th, 1943

Source : National Archives UK – WP (43) 182


Billancourt.—The U.S.A.A.F. attack on the Renault Works achieved considerable success and it is at present estimated that three months will elapse before anything approaching normal production will be possible. The turning-shop received two direct hits. Two-thirds of the lathes were rendered unserviceable and the remainder need repair. The transmission belting was cut and the roofing collapsed. The shop for finished lorries received six direct hits, resulting in 25 per cent, of the lorries being rendered useless, 25 per cent, being damaged but repairable, the remainder being serviceable. The joinery shop was completely wrecked by four direct hits. The spare parts store and the workmen’s rest room a n d canteen were destroyed.

WAR CABINET WEEKLY RESUME (No. 132) of the NAVAL, MILITARY AND AIR SITUATION from 0700 March 5th, to 0700 March 12th, 1942

Source : National Archives UK – WP (42) 120

Air Attacks on Enemy Territory in Europe.

Extracts from Recent Raid Assessment Reports.

The following reports of damage have been received during the past week from Air Reconnaissance and Intelligence sources : –

Occupied France.

Paris.-Persons present d u r i n g the attack on the night of the 3rd / 4 th March on the Renault Works describe this attack as the most important occurrence in France since the Armistice, and as a tremendous success for Great B r i t a i n . High Nazi authorities are stated to have been enraged because the German High Command, in direct violation of their advice, had denuded P a r i s and the greater p a r t of the occupied zone of defensive equipment. In the attack the Salmson Works were destroyed, and the Renault Works, with the exception of one department, were razed to the ground. The public i n P a r i s a r e said t o have been overjoyed at the attack, p a r t i c u l a r l y because the Renault factory had become the symbol of collaboration with Germany.

WAR CABINET WEEKLY RESUME (No. 185) of the NAVAL, MILITARY AND AIR SITUATION from 0700 March 11th, to 0700 March 18th,1943

Source : National Archives UK – WP (43) 110

Le Mans.

Photographs taken on the 8th and 11th March show the following damage to the Arnage marshalling yard after the attack on the 4th, and to the Renault Works after the attack on the 9th March :—

(i) In the marshalling yard one of the steam and electric locomotive sheds has been severely damaged, and the other has a large hole in the centre of the roof. The wagon, paint and repair shops have sustained severe roof damage, and there are two direct hits on railway lines causing blast damage to trucks.

(ii) In the Renault Works a six-bay building.has extensive roof damage, with particularly severe damage to the east end caused by one or more direct hits. A,19-bay building has been severely damaged over an area of 2,360 square yards, and a 10-bay building has roof damage over six bays. Two more six-bay buildings have also sustained roof damage.


WAR CABINET WEEKLY RESUME (No. 188) of the NAVAL, MILITARY AND AIR SITUATION from 0700 April 1st, to 0700 April 8th,1943

Source : National Archives UK – WP (43) 146

Germany and Occupied Territory.

Day. .

  1. U.S. heavy’ bombers operated on two occasions. The first attack, made by 87 Fortresses (B. 17), was on the Renault Works at Billancourt, near Paris, where 222 tons of H.E. were dropped in good weather conditions. Bombing is reported to have been good and an interpretation of photographs taken on the following day is referred to in Appendix VI. Many enemy fighters were encountered and 47 of these were destroyed by the Fortresses (B. 17) and a further 19 were probably destroyed or damaged. Four Fortresses were lost. “In conjunction with this operation, 25 Liberators (B. 24) carried out two uneventful sweeps. The second attack was made by 83 Fortresses (B. 17) and Liberators (B. 24) on the Erla aircraft and aero-engine repair works at Antwerp. Weather was excellent and 245 tons of H.E. were dropped, but no results were observed from the bombing, which was described as ” fair.” (For results as assessed from photographs, see Appendix VI.) In combat, provisional claims are 11 fighters destroyed, six probably destroyed and four damaged, for the loss of four Fortresses (B. 17). (…)


Paris.—Photographs taken on the 5th which cover the whole of the Renault Works show that, as, a result of the US.A.A.F. daylight attack on the 4th, damage is widespread throughout the works. Several buildings of the Salmson Works have also been severely damaged.

WAR CABINET WEEKLY RESUME (No. 189) of the NAVAL, MILITARY AND AIR SITUATION from 0700 April 8th, to 0700 April 15th,1943

Source : National Archives UK – WP (43) 157


Paris.—A final interpretation of photographs confirms the very heavy damage inflicted on the Renault Works by the U.S.A.A.F. attack on the 4th April. Almost every major building of the works has sustained damage, which amounts in many cases to the destruction of the greater part. In addition to the Renault and Salmson Works, the Farman Works lias suffered numerous points of damage, and a large unidentified works, situated near the’ Salmson Works and said to be engaged on aero-engine construction, has been extensively damaged. More than 40 distinct shops in the Renault Works have been damaged, and include—

Press shop—3.000 square yards severely damaged.

Assembly shops—9.800 square yards wrecked or seriously damaged.

Engine testing and finishing shop—3,300 square yards wrecked.

Component and tool shop—2.100 square yards collapsed and hole.

900 square yards, in middle of shop.

Radiator and axle shop—3,000 square yards wrecked.

P a t t e r n shop—2,500 square yards wrecked.

Foundry—9,000 square yards wrecked.

Sheet metal and radiator shop—22.000 square yards of roof destroyed.

Casting foundry—9.000 square yards wrecked.

Forges—7,000 square yards wrecked.

Engine shop—7.800 square yards wrecked or severely damaged.

Non-ferrous metal foundry—5.500 square yards wrecked.

Repair shops—6.000 square yards wrecked.

Aero-engine assembly shops—4.200 square yards wrecked.

WAR CABINET WEEKLY RESUME (No. 212) of the NAVAL, MILITARY AND AIR SITUATION from 0700 16th September, to 0700 23rd September, 1943

Source : National Archives UK – WP (43) 416

Paris.—An immediate interpretation of photographs taken on the 10th September shows considerable damage to targets in the P a r i s area resulting
from the U.S.A.A.F. attacks on the 15th September :—
1. Bois Colombes.
(a) Soc. Hispano-Suiza Aero-Engine Works.—Two main workshops in the north part of the works have been damaged, one of them severely. The heat-treatment shop, the machine shop and at least one other shop have all been affected.
(b) Cie (VApplications Mecaniques [CAM.) Bail-Bearing Works. Main workshop severely damaged.
(c) Soc. Berliet Repair Works and Store.—Main workshop severely damaged.
(d) Delage M/T Store.—Damaged in three places.

2. Point du Jour.
(a) S.A. des A vions Caudron-Renault.—With the exception of some buildings (probably offices) on the bank of the Seine, every building in the works has been damaged. Three of the largest have been partially destroyed (one of them having had five direct hits) and the long building running the whole length of the works on the east side has been severely damaged.
3. Billancourt.
(a) Renault Works.—These works have again been heavily damaged. The large sheet metal and radiator shop, on which repairs were practically complete, has been three-quarters destroyed. The radiator and axle shop, the gear shops and the core shop have all suffered, while several buildings on the He Sequin have been severely damaged.
4. Quai de Javel.
(a) S.A . Andre Citroen—Automobile Engine Construction and M. V. Assembly Plant.—Workshops in the south-west part have been damaged as has another in the centre of the works. Slight damage has been caused in the south-east part.
5. Issy-les-Moulineau-x.—Two hangars south-east of the power station have been damaged by direct hits.


Source : National Archives UK – WP (43) 142

Le’ Mans.—Photographs show that as the result of the attacks on the 4th and 9th March one of the Steam and Electric Locomotive Sheds in the Marshalling Yard has been severely damaged and the other has a large hole in the middle of the roof. The Wagon Paint find Repair Shops have sustained severe roof damage and two direct hits on railway lines have caused blast damage to trucks.

In the Renault works a 6-bay building has extensive roof damage, with particularly severe damage to the east end caused by one or more direct hits.

A 19-bay building has been severely damaged over an area of 2,360 square yards, and a 10-bay building has roof damage over 6 bays. Two more 6-bay buildings have also sustained roof damage.

NOTE.—Renault at Le Mans is the shadow factory for Billancourt. Much of the activity of Billancourt was transferred to Le Mans while Billancourt was out of action. Le Mans produced M.T., A.F.V. and aero-engines.


Source : National Archives UK – WP (42) 284

Damage sustained by Industrial Targets in Occupied France.

The following is believed to be substantially true, but allowance should be made for possible exaggeration for propaganda purposes :— A private report, dated the 15th June, 1942, states that the disastrous scale of destruction by the R.A.F. in France is shown by the computations for the assessment of insurance claims and estimates of the cost of reconstruction listed in French technical publications or mentioned in official communications. A preliminary estimate of the damage on the Renault works amounts to 400 million francs. The total damage to French dockyards between the 7th and 21st May is given as 300 million francs. The R.A.F. attack on the docks at Nantes, including the Chantiers de Bretagne,- on the 8th May resulted in 20 million francs damage; this includes the ” ateliers des pompes d’alimentation et de reparations de locomotives,” the “ateliers de tracage des croquis,'” the ” bureau des etudes,” and the ” prise d’eau dans la Loire,” ; the resumption of work before the beginning of J u l y is unlikely. Other conspicuous destructions include the Gnome-et-Rhone works at Gennevilliers and the Fonderie Sautee Lorraine. The Dietrich works are entirely destroyed, the Ericsson makers of navigation apparatus were gutted by fire. At Goodrich, all “depots and halls containing spares and reserves w-ere destroyed. The Amiot aeroplane works were entirely destroyed. Matford at Poissy was entirely destroyed. At the Worms submarine factory at Tray-sur-Seine, about half the works were destroyed, including three submarines under construction. Between 150 and 200 workmen were killed.