Tonnes of war materials passed through Whitemoor in WWII

Between 1940 and 1944, there were 137 incidents involving aerial bombing which occurred in the former isle of Ely, mostly around March and Wisbech.

Several hundred high explosive and thousands of incendiary bombs also a few oil bombs, also a few oil bombs and land mines were dropped by the Luftwaffe. Chatteris was bombed too.

The bombing targeted railway lines a few miles from Whitemoor railway marshalling yards at March, the object to disrupt rail traffic in and out of March.

This had little effect and damaged lines were quickly repaired by specialised gangs.

Thousands of tonnes of war materials passed through Whitemoor, the largest bidirectional rail yard in the country, partly equipped by German firms.


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The Luftwaffe were ordered to leave Whitemoor intact though they went near to it and machine gunned the crossing at Wisbech Road, March, and strafed trains at Murrow and Wimblington and bombed lines at Manea.

It was planned to use Whitemoor when, as was expected, the enemy invaded Britain. March streets were strafed.

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Railway decoys were bombed and the worst incidents occurred at March and Wisbech.

Five high explosive bombs fell on Norwood Road, March, destroying six homes and killing five people.

Thirty were injured and houses were bombed at Wisbech and at least on person was killed.

I moved from one of the houses a month beforehand.

Five Luftwaffe crew baled out over March and I saw them waiting to be picked up on March bridge.

They were out of the war and as happy as sandboys!

A Wellington bomber crashed in a pit at Whitemoor killing all crew.

At Thorney a German bomber flew down the beam of a search light machine gunning. The searchlight crew shot up the beam and brought the plane down.

Twenty allied and enemy aircraft crashed in the Fens during World War II. There was never a dull moment.

TREVOR BEVIS

St Peter’s Road

March

* Strafing is the practice of attacking ground targets from low-flying aircraft using aircraft-mounted automatic weapons.

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