Battle of the Ruhr
|Conflict||Second World War, 1939-1945|
|Date from||5 March 1943|
|Date to||July 1943|
The battle of the Ruhr was one of three major bombing offensives launched by the Royal Air Force's Bomber Command in 1943-44. Its targets were the cities and towns of the Ruhr Valley, Germany's industrial heartland. The battle began with an attack on Essen on the night of 5 March 1943. The Ruhr, nicknamed "Happy Valley" by bomber crews, proved a difficult target to attack due to the haze generated by its industrial plants and a high concentration of German defences. Increasing numbers of German night fighters, equipped with radar and various electronic targeting devices, exacted a heavy toll on the attacking bombers. They were still able to inflict significant damage though, resulting in the relocation of a great deal of the industry located there. Post-war analysis, however, indicated that the impact upon German industry by the attacks on the Ruhr was not as great as had been believed.