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Black Friday (1945)8

Several minutes later, the main body of the raid reached the southern shore of Førde Fjord travelling north. To their surprise, the Allied planes passed directly over the German ships and came under intense attack from anti-aircraft guns, though no aircraft were hit.[18] In response, Milson wheeled his force to the right in an attempt to attack the ships from east to west as planned. The steep walls of the fjord protected Z33 from attack from this direction, however.[18][22] As a result, Milson led the force west to near the mouth of the fjord and ordered the Beaufighters to attack in relays from west to east. This required the aircraft to fly into the face of alerted German defences and then escape over steep mountains.[18] The narrow confines of the fjord also meant that the Beaufighters had to attack individually from a single direction and would not be able to swamp the German defences as they normally sought to do.[24]

Milson led the first group of Beaufighters into Førde Fjord at about 4:10 pm. His aircraft escaped undamaged after attacking a flak ship and other Beaufighters followed him into the fjord.[22] At about this time 12 Fw 190s arrived at Førde Fjord and flew through German flak to intercept the Beaufighters that were waiting their turn to attack. The British Mustangs were taken by surprise, but dived to intercept the German fighters.[23][25] This led to an intense air battle, with over 50 aircraft either engaged in dogfights or diving to attack the German ships; it was the largest aerial conflict ever fought over Norway.[25]

The fighting continued until 4:25 pm.[25] By this time seven Beaufighters had been shot down by the German ships and another two by Fw 190s. One of the Mustangs was also downed by a German fighter.[24] The Allied losses included six of the eleven No. 404 Squadron aircraft involved in the attack.[26] Overall, 14 Allied aircrew were killed and another four taken prisoner of war.[27] In exchange, the Allied force damaged Z33 and several of the other German ships and shot down either four or five Fw 190s.[26][28][29](III) Linz and another German pilot were killed.[25] German Navy fatalities included four sailors on board Z33 and another three on the converted trawler VP6808; both of these ships were also damaged during the attack. There may also have been further fatalities on the other German ships.[30]


Create Date : 14 ตุลาคม 2554
Last Update : 14 ตุลาคม 2554 2:45:19 น. 0 comments
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