THE RAF PATHFINDERS ARCHIVE

The Pathfinders & the World they Knew

RAF Bombers Deliver Dutch News

This tiny Dutch newspaper, De Wervelwind, ‘The Whirlwind’, was dropped by the RAF over the Netherlands in large numbers from 1942 to 1944. Its main purpose was to sustain Dutch morale, although it was also a reminder to the German occupiers that they had a powerful opponent with a very long reach.

This particular edition is No. 8. December 1942-January 1943. It is in rather poor condition, reflecting its great age and the fact that it had come down from thousands of feet at night. The unknown Dutch person who picked it up had to keep it secret, possession of such an item being highly illegal.

The front cover image is the famous picture of St Paul’s standing out from a sea of fire in 1940. See: Bomber Harris and the London Blitz. The tiny publication’s title also echoes Arthur Harris’s famous statement, made on newsreel in the summer of 1942:

The Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everybody else and nobody was going to bomb them.

At Rotterdam, London, Warsaw, and half a hundred other places, they put that rather naive theory into operation.

They sowed the wind and now they are going to reap the whirlwind.

There are 30 pages, but it is likely that there were another 2 which have disappeared over the years. The last page extant shows a list of RAF aircraft, including the Lancaster, the Wellington and the Halifax, one of which may well have dropped this particular copy of De Wervelwind.

With many thanks to Patrick van den Berg for the copy of ‘De Wervelwind’

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