Operation Bellicose was a World War II British strategic bombing mission against Friedrichshafen and La Spezia. The mission was the first use of shuttle bombing and the second use of a Master Bomber, which was first used in Operation Chastise.
The Avro Lancasters took off from bases in Britain and were controlled by the Master Bomber (Group Captain Slee of No. 97 Squadron RAF). When his aircraft developed trouble his deputy, Wing Commander Gomm (No. 467 Squadron RAF) took over.
Due to heavy flak around the target the bombers dropped from 15,000 ft rather than the planned 10,000 ft. The first stage was for the Pathfinder Force (PFF) to drop offset markers ('offset marking'). The main bombing force would use this as a baseline for their bombing; with the guides at a distance from the target, the location would not be obscured by smoke. The second stage was to use 'time-and-distance bombing runs', with bomb drops based on measuring from a set point - a location on the lake shore - to the distance to the target. From Friedrichshafen the planes headed toward Bilda, Algeria in North Africa for refuelling.
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