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The lack of accuracy for these bombing missions often inflicted damage to non-military areas; the Allies knew it, but felt it was an inevitable part of war.Some precisely used this tactic against Germany, such as Royal Air Force Bomber Command's Air Marshal Arthur Harris.

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On , 21 Stirling bombers were dispatched to bomb Lbeck; 8 aircraft reached the city and 2 were lost.

On 24-, 13 Mosquito aircraft bombed Lbeck as diversion for the main target of Hamburg (see Bombing of Hamburg later in this article).

Although the operation had great propaganda value to the British public (having proved that bomber command could reach distant targets within Germany) the implications were serious.

Lord Selborne, the Minister of Economic Warfare wrote angrily to Sir Arthur Harris, furious that the target had not been one of those specified by his Ministry for attack.

The first major bombing by the Royal Air Force Bomber Command was conducted against the port city of Lbeck.

The city dated back to the Hanseatic days, thus many buildings were made of wood; Harris said that Lbeck was built "more like a fire-lighter than a human habitation".Aerial bombing against civilian cities was not a new phenomenon; the British had already experienced such raids in WW1 conducted by German Zeppelins.However, the advance in aircraft technology brought bombing to a new level.After seeing footage of the destruction, German Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels wrote in his diary "[t]he damage is really enormous, I have been shown a newsreel of the destruction. One can well imagine how such a bombardment affects the population".Smaller scale raids were conducted against Lbeck subsequently.The five surviving aircraft now had to make the perilous return flight across an enemy territory patrolled by Luftwaffe night fighters.

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