Aerial Pictures and Photographs of Germany at the end of World War II

Description and Flight Routes of the Trolley Mission

The Trolley Mission routes covered the targets of the industrial heart of Germany. The total target area would cover a map from Libia in North Africa to Oslo, Norway, and Czechoslovakia to the coast of France. There were two flight routes for the Trolley Mission over Germany between 7 May 1945 and 12 May 1945. Because the army of the Soviet Union conquered the eastern part of Germany, the Trolley Mission routes principally covered the western part of Germany. There were two flight routes depending on the weather conditions. Both routes lead all along the Rhine river. There was the northern flight route and the southern flight route.

The southern flight route of the Trolley Mission in World War Two
figure: The southern flight route of the Trolley Mission

During the southern flight route on German territory the pilots flew from Mannheim and Ludwigshafen to Aschaffenburg, Hanau and Frankfurt/Main. Then they flew along the Rhine river from Wiesbaden to Mainz, Koblenz and to the Remagen Bridge. After that they flew over Bonn, Cologne, Dusseldorf and the Ruhr Area. There were no landings during the flights.

The northern flight route of the Trolley Mission in World War II
figure: The northern flight route of the Trolley Mission

On German territory the pilots were flying under visual flight rules. During the northern flight route they crossed the Rhine river near Arnhem. Then they flow to the city of Münster, Osnabrück and Bremen. After that they flew over the big city of Hamburg and its harbor and shipyards. Thereafter they were flying to Brunswick and Salzgitter, near the so-called “Hermann Göring Steel Works”. Later on they flew over the city of Hannover, Bielefeld, Hamm, Dortmund and Duisburg even on the northern flight route were no landings.

For reaching more people - especially descendants, children of bomber pilots and bombardment group members - the author, Markus Lenz, wrote an e-book for the Amazon Kindle device. This e-book was written in the English language including more than 20 pictures, charts and maps. But note, the e-book is only a brief summary. Markus Lenz is still working on a new edition of this e-book. But after 70 years, it's difficult to find people who can give information about the Trolley Mission. And, for a German author, it's even more difficult to understand relationships and infrastructure of the United States Air Force in 1945. But so far, the e-book edition is actually a good way to find eyewitnesses and to generate attention to this special matter of World War II.

This e-book is available for the Kindle Paperwhite:
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The Trolley Mission 1945: Aerial Pictures and Photographs of Germany, 24 hours after World War II Kindle Edition