BOMBS AND BOMBERS
This five page article is written about bombing – a subject about which W E. Johns knows a great deal, being a former bomber pilot. One only has to read the opening lines about how “It is likely that I have killed hundreds of people; but I lose no sleep on that account”. “You can take it from me that the very last thing in our minds was the people underneath. Our one concern was to get to the objective and get rid of our bombs so that we could go home and continue the card game we left off”. “If ever you are caught in a raid, remember that the poor devil aloft is probably a good deal more frightened that you are”. “One of our regular objectives was Karlsruhe. We bombed it with 112 – and 230-lb. bombs time and time again, until I imagined – subconsciously, since I gave it no serious thought – that Karlsruhe was a heap of ruins”. “In due course I met the inevitable fate of the long-distance bomber. Returning by myself from a raid on Mannheim, I was suddenly confronted by the disagreeable spectacle of seventeen Fokker D.VII’s. The end was a foregone conclusion. My gunner dead behind me, and myself forming a resting-place for two bullets, the shattered remnant of my machine crashed, with me inside it, in Germany. I merely mention this in order to account for my presence in Karlsruhe in the autumn of 1918. Believe it or not, I marched through that very handsome town without seeing a single wrecked house. There were some, of course, and I saw them later, but the damage was nothing like one would expect”.