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NAZI BOMBING RAID MAPS GO UNDER HAMMER; Luftwaffe charts set to fetch pounds 2,000 at auction.

Byline: Telegraph Reporter

THE maps that Hitler's bombers used to pinpoint Coventry targets for death and destruction are being sold.

They are part of a chilling collection of Nazi charts highlighting hundreds of targets across Britain which caused the deaths of 40,000 civilians in the Second World War.

The map of Coventry, one of the most bombed cities during the war, had a staggering 140 different bomb targets identified. They included Morris Motors Ltd, Swallow Coach Buildings, the Gas Works on Hill Street and Coventry Gear Cutting Company.

The maps are expected to raise pounds 2,000 at auction later this month.

Luftwaffe commanders circled each target with purple pen which was marked with a number corresponding to a key at the side of the maps to help pilots cross-off each 'hit'.

Typical targets included factories, car manufacturers, ammunition works, canals, shipyards. A total of 121 maps and dozens of photographs used by pilots to identify targets - including a grainy aerial shot of Buckingham Palace - were seized by British forces after the end of the wa r.

Other detailed bomb-maps include London, Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham. One of the most surveyed locations, with five separate maps, was Dudley, West Midlands.

The Nazis believed dozens of factories were hidden in secret tunnels under the town and it came under sustained bombing.

The maps were discovered in a secret library in St Lambrecht Abbey, Austria, which was used as a bolt-hole for Nazi high command.

Auctioneer Richard Westwood-Brookes, said: ''These maps highly detailed and proved a deadly resource for the German air force. It's a bit chilling to think these led to the deaths of so many Britons. These maps go to show how efficient the Luftwaffe were, they were not just mindless killers but highly skilled and accurate pilots."

He added that he was intrigued by the race between Russia and Britain to retrieve the maps.

"Britain had to commandeer dozens of trains to ship hundreds of boxes of documents back to London and they did so just before the Russians got there.'' The collection of maps belonged to Squadron Leader H.C.K Henderson, who was in charge of the mission to raid the library in Austria.

The 121 British maps are being sold in nine lots by Mullock's auctioneers at Ludlow Racecourse, Shropshire on August 18. Also being sold are memos and the diary of H.C.K Henderson.

CAPTION(S):

DESTRUCTION: The maps identify more than 140 different bomb targets THE NAZIS' MAP OF COVENTRY: Bombing targets were circled with purple pen
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 6, 2011
Words:425
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