Operation Oyster: World War II's Forgotten Raid, Kees Rijken, Paul Schepers, Arthur Thorning

Operation Oyster: World War II's Forgotten Raid, Kees Rijken, Paul Schepers, Arthur Thorning

Operation Oyster was a low level daylight attack on the Philips Radio Works at Eindhoven, which produced components that were important in radar and other high-tech weapons systems of the period. The two Philips factories in Eindhoven were the target of a low level daylight raid on 6 December 1942, which inflicted significant damage on both plants.

Although I've read quite a few accounts of this sort of precision daylight bombing raid, all of the others only involved the de Havilland Mosquito. Other accounts of daylight raids have covered Bomber Command's early very costly raids, using the heavy bombers of the day for more general bombing raids.

The casualty figures here do help demonstrate why this sort of attack soon became a Mosquito speciality – the RAF lost nine Venturas, four Bostons and only one Mosquito during the raid. The Mosquito would go on to suffer a lower rate of losses than any other major Bomber Command aircraft during the war, relying largely on its speed to avoid trouble.

We also see the problems caused by trying to combine three aircraft types with different cruising speeds on a single raid – it was hard enough to marshal a formation made up of the same type of aircraft, but here the departure times and routes had to organised to make sure that the three different types all reached the target at about the same time.

This is an excellent study of one of the most impressive daylight raids of this period, made stronger by facing up to the civilian losses on the ground.

1 - Eindhoven and the Philips Company
2 - Choice of Target
3 - Forces Available for the Attack
4 - Planning and Training for the Raid
5 - The Raid
6 - Success Achieved
7 - The Cost to Philips and Eindhoven
8 - Aftermath and Hindsight
9 - Monument: Memorial in Eindhoven
10 - Postscript: Comments on Appendices

I - No.2 Group Operation Order 82
II - Low level navigation to Eindhoven
III - Operation Oyster Evaluation
IV - American Diversionary Raids
V - RAF Casualties
VI - Civilians Killed
VII - German Soldiers Killed
VIII - Philips Fire Service Report

Author: Kees Rijken, Paul Schepers, Arthur Thorning
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 256
Publisher: Pen & Sword Aviation
Year: 2014

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