Title image: ‘Lancaster bomber en route to the target’. (Original photo by John Dibbs)
Seventy-five years ago this month, on the night of 14th February 1943 – St Valentine’s Day – RAF Bomber Command dispatched 142 Lancasters from Nos 1, 5 and 8 Groups to bomb the northern Italian city of Milan, a round trip of over 1,500 miles. In the early hours of 15th February, having made the long flight over the Alps, the bombers converged on Milan, concentrating the attack into the shortest possible space of time to overwhelm the defences. 110 tons of high explosive bombs and 166 tons of incendiaries were dropped, damaging several factories and railway yards, and starting many fires that could be seen from 100 miles away by the homebound bomber crews.