Freeing the French Resistance from Gestapo Jail, Amiens 1944 – Raid
With D-Day looming, early 1944 was a time of massive intelligence activity across northern France, and many résistants were being captured and imprisoned by the Germans. Among the jails full of French agents was Amiens, where hundreds awaited likely execution for their activities. To repay their debt of honour, MI6 requested an air raid with a seemingly impossible brief: to simultaneously blow holes in the prison walls, free as many men and women as possible while minimizing casualties, and kill German guards in their quarters. The crews would have to fly their bomb-run at an altitude of just 20ft. Despite the huge difficulties, the RAF decided that the low-level specialists of No. 140 Wing had a chance of success.
With the aid of first-hand accounts, explanatory 3D diagrams and dramatic original artwork, the eminent historian Robert Lyman explains how one of the most difficult and spectacular air raids of World War II was pulled off, and debunks some of the myths over why the raid was ordered in the first place.