The Role of the Handley Page Halifax

Along with the Avro Lancaster, the Halifax was an integral component of the RAF Bomber Command’s air offensive over German-occupied Europe. Whereas the Lancaster was used as a strategic bomber, the Halifax was a multi-purpose aircraft. It participated in bombing and mine laying, electronic jamming of enemy radar, weather and maritime reconnaissance.

It also towed gliders and was used in airborne operations that dropped commandos, agents and supplies to resistance forces in Europe.

The aircraft was affectionately known as the ‘Halibag’ and is especially significant to those who served in the RCAF and RAF during the Second World War. Halifax bombers of No. 6 (RCAF) Group, Bomber Command, accounted for more than 77 percent of the group’s wartime operations.

Second World War users of the Halifax:

  • Royal Air Force
  • Royal Canadian Air Force
  • Royal Australian Air Force
  • Royal New Zealand Air Force
  • Air Force of Poland
  • Free French Air Forces