Weather forecast at the afternoon conference indicated that high pressure
center would be situated over the southwest Germany, causing a condition
of no cloud in the bases and in the target areas. The only weather affecting
these would be local fog patches in the valleys and it was expected that these
would burn off as the day progressed.
It was upon this forecast that the decision was made to dispatch
a maximum effort of heavy bombers, which was to be the largest mission
Targets were selected in the area of Frankfurt and the battle line.
1st bomb division was to dispatch fourteen groups of 36 A/C each on airfields
at Ettinghausen, Kirch Gons, Nidda, Merzhausen and Giessen.
2nd bomb division was to dispatch all available operational aircraft on fourteen
tactical targets in the front line area.
3rd bomb division was to dispatch all available operational aircraft on airfields
at Gross Ostheim, Darmstadt/Griesheim, Biblis, Babenhausen, Frankfurt/Rhein Main
and Zellhausen. This would consist of approximately twenty three groups of 36 A/C each.
Forces available by the respective divisions were uncertain up to just prior to take-off
due to the fact thatprevious operations had caused a number of A/C to be diverted to
fields other than own.
All divisions were to depart UK and penetrate southeast to the target areas.
Axis of the attack was chosen as being generally up or down wind for all
divisions, with 1st division attacking up wind and breaking off their target to
withdraw along the reciprocal of penetration route.
2nd division was attacking upwind along the Gee-H approach, their
withdrawal being the reciprocal of the penetration route.
3rd division was attacking downwind from the northeast in order to minimize
the effect of anti-aircraft defenses in the target areas.
Withdrawal was to be south of Saarbrucken and northeast to UK.
Timing was controlled further to eliminate the possibility of conflicting courses
within the target areas. Zero hour was chosen at 1100 hours in order to allow
ample time for take-off assembly of such a large force and to allow time for the
fog to dissipate in the target areas.