American heavy bombers carried on the massive aerial offensive against the Nazis yesterday with an attack on targets in northwest Germany, only a few hours after the RAF had dealt its fourth consecutive night blow at Berlin and had dumped 2,000-pound block-busters on Frankfurt.
18th Big Raid This Month
Eighth Air Force headquarters did not specify the target immediately, but Bremen radio went off the air shortly before midday, suggesting that the much-battered northwest German port might have been the objective.
The heavy daylight raid was supplemented by Marauder mediums' second operation in four days. They struck at Pas de Calais, the long narrow strip of French country extending inland about 80 miles from the Channel promontory closest to England.
It was the third recent Marauder operation against unspecified objectives in northern France.
The attack on northwestern Germany was the American heavy bombers' first operation in a week, but it was the 18th heavy Allied raid from Britain in November, the ninth for the USAAF. Indications were that the combined Anglo-American air forces were moving rapidly toward one of the biggest operational months of the war. A record 22 raids were made in August -- when the weather is considered the best of the year for flying.
Small but Effective
Yesterday's operation was the USAAF heavies' sixth thrust this month into Germany. Four days remain in which the big Fortresses and Liberators can equal or better their best previous record of ten operations in a single month.
The previous November score: Nov. 3, Wilhelmshaven; Nov. 5, Gelsenkirchen and Munster; Nov. 7, Duren; Nov. 11, Munster; Nov. 13, Bremen; Nov. 16, Knaben and Rjuken, Norway; Nov. 18, Kjeller, Norway, and Nov. 19, northwest Germany.
Berlin, still smoking from the two heavy attacks on Monday and Tuesday nights and from the lighter attack Wednesday night, heard the scream of sirens again Thursday night as RAF Mosquitoes roared in and dropped their loads of high explosive.
The raid was on a much smaller scale than the first two heavy attacks, but reports from Berlin to Stockholm admitted that it was effective.
The RAF's heaviest blow of the night was on the great industrial city of Frankfurt in western Germany. Thirteen bombers were lost in the entire night's operations, compared with 44 the last time Frankfurt was raided, along with Kassel, on Oct. 22.
Berlin radio said that 25 "British and U.S. bombers were shot down" during the night. German radio has mentioned Anglo-American night raids several times in the past, but there has been no indication from Eighth Air Force headquarters that U.S. bombers have yet joined the RAF in night operations, as Lt. Gen. Ira C. Eaker, USAAF commander here, promised they would in a statement many months ago.
The attack on Frankfurt, center of the huge I. G. Farbenindustrie works, international chemical trust, fitted in with three big raids last week on chemical centers -- Ludwigshaven and Leverkrusen -- in a campaign to obliterate one vital portion of Germany's military supplies.
Frankfurt also has Germany's biggest truck-manufacturing works, two of its biggest tire factories, and is a major railroad center.