21/22 June 1944


Oil targets proved to be of particular worth in the defeat of Nazi Germany. The processing of oil and petroleum, the manufacture of synthetic substitutes and the transportation needed for the supply of raw materials and for the distribution and storage of products were all key vulnerabilities.

Such targets had tactical significance in the targeting associated with the invasion of Europe in 1944 and continuing strategic importance in the defeat of the Luftwaffe.

It is now well known that the Luftwaffe increasingly faced operating with insufficient hydrocarbons for training and operational needs - aircraft were relatively plentiful. The dwindling supply of experienced aircrew was also a factor in defeat. AOC-in-C Bomber Command Sir Arthur Harris's distaste for 'panacea' targets was reasonably based on the difficulties of accurately finding and keeping destroyed what were often pinpoint targets, which were very heavily defended because of their importance.

The Target

Information is sought on the synthetic-oil production target at Wesseling. Bomber Command recorded this as Target No.1(a) (iii) 10b - Union Rheinische Braunkohlen Kraftstoff AG - Lat 50 49' N, Long 07 00' E.

Please click the link for target map.

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Frank Haslam