Some of the known "tea" bombings over Holland by the Royal Air Force during 1941 are:
March 1941: 1,020 bags over 11 cities
April 1941: 9,770 bags over 6 cities
May 1941: 4,470 bags over 4 cities
June 1941: 4,585 bags over 5 cities
July 1941: 900 bags over 8 cities
August 1941: 10,230 bags over 2 cities
September 1941 300 bags over Rotterdam
December 1941 350 bags over 5 cities
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A report on the raid was published in the Dutch East Indies magazine De Bergcultures:
Before they returned home, these men (the air crews) were prepared to carry out an extra mission. They would fly at a low altitude over enemy dominated skies and drop "Tea from Heaven." The psychological purpose of this mission is clear: to raise the spirits of the Dutch people. "We dropped our bombs right on target and then, on the way home, laid a stick of tea bags across Amsterdam."
Also, old grumpy Arthur Harris wasn't too big a fan of the tea droppings. He wrote to Air Vice Marshall N. H. Bottomley in 1942 and wrote:
Can something now please be done to curb and keep within limits these uncorrelated and enthusiastic attempts to shower rubbish all over the world at the expense of the bomber effort.
When it comes to dropping tea, Christmas presents and Easter eggs, things have really gone too far. Something now must really be done to stop this growing urge of the exiled governments and individual busybodies with idle hands to play games in wartime when we are more than too busy on serious things.
I will not drop tea or Easter eggs anywhere unless you guarantee me that the packages are lethal...The only people who are likely to get the Easter eggs are the Gestapo, and why the devil should we feed them Easter eggs? How about quit fooling and getting on with the war? These jesters are getting completely out of hand and it is high time someone put a heavy foot on them – or behind them. I’m not cross, but I damn soon will be.
Anyhow, this particular teabag was picked of the street by my grandmothers brother, who has since passed on. Although they are not too large, they are quite sought after on the collectors market and fetch good prices. Granddad once told me that he and his dad scooped these things out of the gutter by the dozen and picked them of the roof, then made tea of all of them and threw away the ones that were dirty and soiled. If only he had kept a few...
Last edited by Wouter on Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:16 am; edited 1 time in total