Description: 234 aircraft - 146 Wellingtons, 41 Hampdens, 26 Stirlings, 21 Manchesters. 12 aircraft - 7 Wellingtons, 3 Stirlings, 1 Hampden, 1 Manchester - lost.
This raid was the first major success for Bomber Command against a German target. The attack was carried out in good visibility, with the help of an almost full moon and, because of the light defences of this target, from a low level, many crews coming down to 2,000 ft. The force was split into 3 waves, the leading one being composed of experienced crews with Gee-fitted aircraft; although Lübeck was beyond the range of Gee, the device helped with preliminary navigation. More than 400 tons of bombs were dropped; two thirds of this tonnage was incendiary. 191 crews claimed successful attacks. German sources show that 1,425 buildings in Lübeck were destroyed, 1,976 were seriously damaged and 8,411 were lightly damaged; these represented 62 per cent of all buildings in Lübeck.
The casualties in Lübeck were 312 or 320 people killed (accounts conflict), 136 seriously and 648 slightly injured.