This was recorded by a BBC sound recordist on the night of 19th May 1942… the night of the Mannheim air raid.

Poignant and surreal, a legendary snippet of sound in history that also inspired the Manfred Mann’s Earth Band’s album of 1975 “Nightingales and Bombers”.

www.lancaster-ed559.co.uk/uploads/5/0/1/3/50136325/nightingales_and_bombers_1942.mp3

Original post here

During the evening of 19 May, 1942, a BBC sound recording team were in a Surrey garden to transmit live the song of nightingales. Part way through the recording 197 bombers started to drone over on a mission to Mannheim. Thinking that the aircraft could potentially alert the Germans to an impending raid, the live recording was stopped, but the live recording continued to capture the passing of the bombers. It’s a haunting combination.

The raid involved 197 aircraft; 105 Wellingtons, 31 Stirlings, 29 Halifaxes, 15 Hampdens, 13 Lancasters and four Manchesters. 11 aircraft were lost; four Halifaxes, four Stirlings and three Wellingtons.