Operation Margin: The dramatic story of the Augsburg raid

Wednesday 17 February 2021

James Jefferies

In April 1942 the Second World War hung in the balance. Nazi Germany had occupied most of Europe and its seemingly unstoppable armed forces were driving deeper and deeper into Russia and North Africa. To add to Allied worries, German U-Boats were threatening to cut off Britain’s supply lines in the Battle of the Atlantic and force Britain out of the war. In a bid to turn the tide against the U-Boat threat, RAF Bomber Command, now armed with the new four engine Avro Lancaster, launched a bold low-level daylight raid to bomb the U-Boat engine factory at Augsburg on 17th April. Augsburg, located deep in the Nazi Reich, would mean the crews of the 12 unescorted Lancaster bombers would face the threat of enemy fighters and groundfire all the way there and back. This talk will tell the story of how this raid played out and use it as an example about why these sort of precision raids are so often forgotten.