In 1945 twelve USAAF B-25 aircraft bombed a rocky outcrop in the Alps to cause a landslide to block a road…. – The Aviation Geek Club

By late 1944, the Italian Campaign was secondary to the campaigns in France, and Allied forces were not strong enough to break the Germans’ mighty Gothic Line. These fortifications were supplied by rail through the Alps, with trains arriving hourly and delivering 600,000 tons of supplies a month, enough to keep the German Army going forever.
But, as told by Thomas McKelvey Cleaver, in his book Gothic Line 1944–45, The USAAF starves out the German Army, in the bitter winter of 1944-45, the mighty Gothic Line would be defeated by American air power, in one of the most pivotal but least-known air campaigns of World War II. It would not be a direct assault; instead Operation Bingo would ruthlessly cut the Germans’ supply lines and leave them starved. However, it would not be easy. The rail routes were defended by a formidable array of heavy flak, and every raid was expected. Conditions were freezing, and even in electric flying suits, men suffered both hypoxia and frostbite.
On Feb. 13, 1945, 12 B-25 Mitchell bombers from the 486th Bomb Squadron headed for San Ambrogio, ten miles northwest of Verona, in the Brenner Pass. It was cold, but other than a ground haze the weather was clear.
The mission was codenamed Operation Glass Knob. A colonel had come up with the idea of bombing the rocky outcrop of the mountain next to the main road in order to cause a landslide which would block the road. The colonel flew on the mission as an observer in the lead ship.
The B-25s were loaded with 1,000lb bombs. Normally, after “Bombs Away,” someone would yell, “Let’s get the hell out of here!” and the formation would return to evasive action. But the colonel wanted to see the results of his plan, so the formation made a slow turn so that he could look back on his handiwork.
6Y, “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” (the B-25 in the foreground portrayed in the artwork by Anastasios Polychronis featured in this article) was in the No 6 position off the right wing of 6A, “Sahara Sue II.” 6Y shuddered as it took a direct hit in the left engine. Pilot 1st Lieutenant Roman Figler told his co-pilot, 2nd Lieutenant James O’Connor, to feather the prop. The grim reply was, “I can’t, the engine’s gone!”
Figler headed the aircraft toward home, but near Rovereto they were hit by another burst of flak on the right side which took out the hydraulics, causing the wheels and flaps to drop and the bomb bay doors to fall open.
With the extra drag, 6Y could not maintain altitude and was facing mountains higher than they could climb. The order was given to bail out. The crew was taken prisoner immediately upon landing.
6W, flying in the same box of six aircraft, was also hit and unable to return to base.
The mountain resisted the onslaught of bombs; the road remained open.
Gothic Line 1944–45, The USAAF starves out the German Army is published by Osprey Publishing and is available to order here.
Photo credit: Anastasios Polychronis
You must be logged in to post a comment.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Get the best aviation news, stories and features from The Aviation Geek Club in our newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox.

What are you waiting for? Set your Throttles to Full AB and Join The Aviation Geek Club!

This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website.
View the Cookie Policy
The Twitter Tweet button and social widgets are services allowing interaction with the Twitter social network provided by Twitter, Inc.
Place of processing: United States –  Privacy Policy.
YouTube is a video content visualisation service provided by Google Ireland Limited. This service allows this Website to incorporate content of this kind on its pages.
This widget is set up in a way that ensures that YouTube will not store information and cookies about Users on this Website unless they play the video.
Personal Data collected: Tracker; Universally unique identifier (UUID); Usage Data.
Place of processing: Ireland –  Privacy Policy.
Gravatar is an image visualisation service provided by Automattic Inc. that allows this Website to incorporate content of this kind on its pages.
Place of processing: United States –  Privacy Policy.
Google AdSense is an advertising service provided by Google Ireland Limited. which uses the “Doubleclick” cookie to track the use of this application and the behaviour of the User in relation to the advertisements, products and services offered.
You can disable all the Doubleclick cookies by clicking on: Google Ad Settings.
In order to understand Google’s use of data, please read Google’s partner policy.
Personal information collected: Tracker; Usage Data.
Place of processing: Ireland –  Privacy Policy – Opt Out.
The Facebook Like button and social widgets are used to interact with the Facebook social network and are provided by Facebook Ireland Ltd.
Personal data that are processed: Tracker; Usage Data.
Place of processing: Ireland –  Privacy Policy
Google Fonts is a service used to display font styles operated by Google Ireland Limited and serves to integrate such content into its pages.
Personal Information processed: Usage Data; Tracker
Place of processing: Ireland –  Privacy Policy.
Google Analytics is a web analytics service provided by Google Ireland Limited (“Google”). Google uses the Personal Data collected to track and examine the use of this Application, compile reports on its activities and share them with other services developed by Google.
Google may use your Personal Data to contextualize and personalize ads in its advertising network.
This Google Analytics integration anonymizes your IP address. The anonymization works by shortening the IP address of the Users within the borders of the member states of the European Union or other countries that are members of the Agreement on the European Economic Area. Only in exceptional cases, the IP address will be sent to Google’s servers and shortened within the United States.
Personal Data collected: Tracker; Usage Data.
Place of processing: Ireland –  Privacy Policy – Opt Out.


A propos de l'auteur

Avatar of Backlink pro
Backlink pro

Ajouter un commentaire

Backlink pro

Avatar of Backlink pro

Prenez contact avec nous

Les backlinks sont des liens d'autres sites web vers votre site web. Ils aident les internautes à trouver votre site et leur permettent de trouver plus facilement les informations qu'ils recherchent. Plus votre site Web possède de liens retour, plus les internautes sont susceptibles de le visiter.


Map for 12 rue lakanal 75015 PARIS FRANCE