Combined Bomber Offensive

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Combined Bomber Offensive
alias: Allied Bomber offensive
Part of the Strategic bombing campaign in Europe
Raid by the 8th Air Force.jpg
8th Air Force B-17 during raid of October 9, 1943 on the Focke-Wulf aircraft factory at Malbork, Poland (Marienburg in German). [1] [2]
DateJune 10, 1943 – April 12, 1945
Location European Theatre of World War II
Result Disputed

Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom

Flag of the United States (1912-1959).svg  United States
Flag of German Reich (1935-1945).svg  Nazi Germany
Commanders and leaders
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Arthur Harris
Flag of the United States.svg Carl Spaatz
Flag of German Reich (1935-1945).svg Hermann Göring

The Combined Bomber Offensive (CBO) was an Allied offensive of strategic bombing during World War II in Europe. The primary portion of the CBO was against Luftwaffe targets which was the highest priority from June 1943 to 1 April 1944. [3] The subsequent highest priority campaigns were against V-weapon installations (June 1944) and petroleum, oil, and lubrication (POL) plants (September 1944). Additional CBO targets included railyards and other transportation targets, particularly prior to the invasion of Normandy and, along with army equipment, [4] :241 in the final stages of the War in Europe.

Strategic bombing during World War II

Strategic bombing during World War II was the sustained aerial attack on railways, harbours, cities, workers' and civilian housing, and industrial districts in enemy territory during World War II. Strategic bombing is a military strategy which is distinct from both close air support of ground forces and tactical air power.

<i>Luftwaffe</i> Aerial warfare branch of the German military forces during World War II

The Luftwaffe was the aerial warfare branch of the combined German Wehrmacht military forces during World War II. Germany's military air arms during World War I, the Luftstreitkräfte of the Army and the Marine-Fliegerabteilung of the Navy, had been disbanded in May 1920 as a result of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles which stated that Germany was forbidden to have any air force.

Invasion of Normandy Invasion and establishment of Western Allied forces in Normandy during WWII

The Western Allies of World War II launched the largest amphibious invasion in history when they assaulted Normandy, located on the northern coast of France, on 6 June 1944. The invaders were able to establish a beachhead as part of Operation Overlord after a successful "D-Day," the first day of the invasion.


The British bombing campaign was chiefly waged by night by large numbers of heavy bombers until the latter stages of the war when German fighter defences were so reduced that daylight bombing was possible without risking large losses. The US effort was by day – massed formations of bombers with escorting fighters. Together they made up a round-the-clock bombing effort except where weather conditions prevented operations.

The Pointblank directive initiated Operation Pointblank that was the code name for the primary portion [5] of the Allied Combined Bomber Offensive intended to cripple or destroy the German aircraft fighter strength, thus drawing it away from frontline operations and ensuring it would not be an obstacle to the invasion of Northwest Europe. The Pointblank directive of 14 June 1943 ordered RAF Bomber Command and the U.S. Eighth Air Force to bomb specific targets such as aircraft factories, and the order was confirmed at the Quebec Conference, 1943.

Pointblank directive

The Pointblank directive authorised the initiation of Operation Pointblank, the code name for the primary portion of the Allied Combined Bomber Offensive intended to cripple or destroy the German aircraft fighter strength, thus drawing it away from frontline operations and ensuring it would not be an obstacle to the invasion of Northwest Europe. The Pointblank directive of 14 June 1943 ordered RAF Bomber Command and the U.S. Eighth Air Force to bomb specific targets such as aircraft factories, and the order was confirmed when the Allies met at the Quebec Conference, 1943.

A code name or cryptonym is a word or name used, sometimes clandestinely, to refer to another name, word, project or person. Names are often used for military purposes, or in espionage. They may also be used in industrial counter-industrial espionage to protect secret projects and the like from business rivals, or to give names to projects whose marketing name has not yet been determined. Another reason for the use of names and phrases in the military is that they transmit with a lower level of cumulative errors over a walkie-talkie or radio link than actual names.

Allies of World War II Grouping of the victorious countries of World War II

The Allies of World War II, called the United Nations from the 1 January 1942 declaration, were the countries that together opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War (1939–1945). The Allies promoted the alliance as a means to control German, Japanese and Italian aggression.

Up to that point the Royal Air Force and United States Army Air Forces had mostly been attacking German industry in their own way – the British by broad night attacks on industrial areas and the US in "precision attacks" on specific targets. The operational execution of the Directive was left to the commanders of the forces and as such even after the directive the British continued in night attacks and the majority of the attacks on German fighter production. [6] [7]

Royal Air Force Aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces

The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the United Kingdom's aerial warfare force. Formed towards the end of the First World War on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world. Following victory over the Central Powers in 1918 the RAF emerged as, at the time, the largest air force in the world. Since its formation, the RAF has taken a significant role in British military history. In particular, it played a large part in the Second World War where it fought its most famous campaign, the Battle of Britain.

United States Army Air Forces Aerial warfare branch of the United States army from 1941 to 1947

The United States Army Air Forces, informally known as the Air Force,or United States Army Air Force, was the aerial warfare service component of the United States Army during and immediately after World War II (1939/41–1945), successor to the previous United States Army Air Corps and the direct predecessor of the United States Air Force of today, one of the five uniformed military services. The AAF was a component of the United States Army, which in 1942 was divided functionally by executive order into three autonomous forces: the Army Ground Forces, the Services of Supply, and the Army Air Forces. Each of these forces had a commanding general who reported directly to the Army Chief of Staff.

Casablanca directive

COA report "vital industries" and the CBO target types [8] [9]
# single-engine fighter aircraft (22 targets) [5]
  1. ball bearings (10)
  2. petroleum products (39)
  3. grinding wheels and crude abrasives (10)
  4. nonferrous metals (13)
  5. synthetic rubber and rubber tires (12)
  6. submarine construction plants and bases (27)
  7. military transport vehicles (7)
  8. transportation
  9. coking plants (89)
  10. iron and steel works (14)
  11. machine tools (12)
  12. electric power (55)
  13. electrical equipment (16)
  14. optical precision instruments (3)
  15. chemicals
  16. food (21)
  17. nitrogen (21)
  18. anti-aircraft and anti-tank artillery

Both the British and the US (through the Air War Plans Division) had drawn up their plans for attacking the Axis powers.

Air War Plans Division

The Air War Plans Division (AWPD) was an American military organization established to make long-term plans for war. Headed by Harold L. George, the unit was tasked in July 1941 to provide President Franklin D. Roosevelt with "overall production requirements required to defeat our potential enemies." The plans that were made at the AWPD eventually proved significant in the defeat of Nazi Germany.

After the British Ministry of Economic Warfare (MEW) published the "Bombers' Baedeker" in 1942 that identified the "bottleneck" German industries of oil, communications, and ball bearings, [10] the Combined Chiefs of Staff agreed at the January 1943 Casablanca Conference to conduct the "Bomber Offensive from the United Kingdom" and the British Air Ministry issued the Casablanca directive on 4 February with the object of:

Combined Chiefs of Staff

The Combined Chiefs of Staff (CCS) was the supreme military staff for the United States and Great Britain during World War II. It set all the major policy decisions for the two nations, subject to the approvals of Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklin D Roosevelt.

Casablanca Conference Conference for allied powers to plan for the next phase of World War II

The Casablanca Conference was held at the Anfa Hotel in Casablanca, French Morocco, from January 14 to 24, 1943, to plan the Allied European strategy for the next phase of World War II. In attendance were United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British prime minister Winston Churchill. Also attending and representing the Free French forces were Generals Charles de Gaulle and Henri Giraud, though they played minor roles and were not part of the military planning. Premier Joseph Stalin had declined to attend, citing the ongoing Battle of Stalingrad as requiring his presence in the Soviet Union.

Air Ministry former department of the British Government

The Air Ministry was a department of the Government of the United Kingdom with the responsibility of managing the affairs of the Royal Air Force, that existed from 1918 to 1964. It was under the political authority of the Secretary of State for Air.

"The progressive destruction and dislocation of the German military, industrial and economic systems and the undermining of the morale of the German people to a point where their capacity for armed resistance is fatally weakened. Every opportunity to be taken to attack Germany by day to destroy objectives that are unsuitable for night attack, to sustain continuous pressure on German morale, to impose heavy losses on German day fighter force and to conserve German fighter force away from the Russian and Mediterranean theatres of war." [11]

After initiating the preparation of a U.S. targeting plan on December 9, 1942; on March 24, 1943, General "Hap" Arnold, the USAAF Commander requested target information from the British, [12] and the "Report of Committee of Operations Analysts" was submitted to Arnold on March 8, 1943 [13] and then to the Eighth Air Force commander as well as the British Air Ministry, the MEW, and the RAF commander[ clarification needed ]. :27[ not in citation given ] The COA report recommended 18 operations during each three-month phase (12 in each phase were expected to be successful) against a total of 6 vulnerable target systems consisting of 76 [14] specific targets. The six systems were 1) German submarine construction yards and bases, 2) German aircraft industry, 3) ball bearing manufacture, 4) oil production, 5) synthetic rubber and tires, and 6) military transport vehicle production. [15] :19–13 Using the COA report and information from the MEW, in April 1943 an Anglo-American committee (composed of British Chiefs of Staff and the American Joint Chiefs of Staff) under Lieutenant General Ira C. Eaker; led by Brigadier General Haywood S. Hansell, Jr.; and including Brig. Gen. Orvil A. Anderson completed a plan for the "Combined Bomber Offensive from the United Kingdom", which projected the US bomber strength for the four phases (944, 1,192, 1,746, & 2,702 bombers) through to 31 March 1944. [16] [ verification needed ] Eaker added a summary and final changes such as: "If the growth of the German fighter strength is not arrested quickly, it may become literally impossible to carry out the destruction planned" [2] :206 ("Intermediate Objectives" section). [17]

CBO Plan

A committee under General Ira C. Eaker, led by Brigadier General Haywood S. Hansell, Jr. and including Brig. Gen. Orvil A. Anderson, drew up a plan for Combined Bomber Operations. Finished in April 1943, the plan recommended 18 operations during each three-month phase (12 in each phase were expected to be successful) against 76 specific targets. [18] The plan also projected the US bomber strength for the four phases (944, 1,192, 1,746, and 2,702 bombers) through 31 March 1944. [19]

Eaker's "Combined Bomber Offensive Plan" was "a document devised to help Arnold get more planes and men [20] for the 8th Air Force" and not "designed to affect British operations in any substantive way." [2] :206 While the CBO Plan was being developed, the British independently drew up a plan in April 1943 entitled "The Attack on the GAF" which identified German fighter strength as "the most formidable weapon...against our bomber offensive" and advocated attacks on airfields (by fighters and medium bombers) and aircraft factories and, in the case of the latter, may have influenced targets selection by the Eighth AF. [21] The Combined Chiefs of Staff [22] approved the "Eaker Plan" on May 19, 1943, and identified six specific "target systems" such as the German aircraft industry (including fighter strength): [2] :207

1. Intermediate objectives [23]
German fighter strength
2. Primary objectives:
German submarine yards and bases
The remainder of the German aircraft industry
Ball bearings
Oil (contingent upon attacks against Ploiești)
3. Secondary objectives:
Synthetic rubber and tires
Military motor transport vehicles
CBO committees
1942 December 9 onwardsUS Committee of Operations Analysts [24]
1943Combined Operational Planning Committee [15] :19–40[ verification needed ]
1943 July 21Joint Crossbow Target Priorities Committee
1944 July 7Joint Oil Targets Committee [25]
1944 OctoberCombined Strategic Targets Committee [26] [ clarification needed ]

Pointblank directive

On 14 June 1943, the Combined Chiefs of Staff issued the Pointblank directive which modified the February 1943 Casablanca directive. [27] Along with the single-engine fighters of the CBO plan, [27] the highest priority Pointblank targets were the fighter aircraft factories since the Western Allied invasion of France could not take place without fighter superiority. In August 1943, the Quebec Conference upheld this change of priorities. [28] [29]

Among the factories listed were the Regensburg Messerschmitt factory (which would be attacked at high cost in August), the Schweinfurter Kugellagerwerke ball-bearing (attacked in October and also causing heavy USAAF losses) and the Wiener Neustädter Flugzeugwerke (WNF) which produced Bf 109 fighters.

Beginning of operations

The Combined Bomber Offensive began on 10 June 1943 [30] during the British bombing campaign against German industry in the Ruhr area known as the "Battle of the Ruhr". Pointblank operations against the "intermediate objective" began on 14 June, [31] [27] and the "Effects of Bombing Offensive on German War Effort" (J.I.C. (43) 294) by the Joint Intelligence Subcommittee was issued 22 July 1943. [32] [ specify ]

Losses during the first months of Pointblank operations and lower-than-planned U.S. bomber production resulted in Chief of the Air Staff Sir Charles Portal complaining about the 3-month CBO delay at the Cairo Conference, where the British refused a U.S. request to place the CBO under a "single Allied strategic air commander."[ why? ] [33] After Arnold submitted the October 9, 1943 "Plan to Assure the Most Effective Exploitation of the Combined Bomber Offensive" [34] [ specify ] on October 22 the "Allied Joint Chiefs of Staff" signed orders to raid "the aircraft industries in the southern Germany and Austria regions". [35] :186[ verification needed ]

July 1943 was the first time that the USAAF would coordinate a raid on the same location as the RAF. They were to fly two daylight missions against industrial targets (U-boat pens and yards) in Hamburg following the opening raid of the RAF campaign against Hamburg. However fires started by the night's bombing obscured the targets and the USAAF "were not keen to follow.....RAF raids in the future". [36]

In October 1943 Air Chief Marshal Arthur Harris, C-in-C of RAF Bomber Command writing to his superior urged the British government to be honest to the public regarding the purpose of the bombing campaign and openly announce that:

"the aim of the Combined Bomber Offensive...should be unambiguously and publicly stated. That aim is the destruction of German cities, the killing of German workers, and the disruption of civilized life throughout Germany. [37]
It should be emphasized that the destruction of houses, public utilities, transport and lives, the creation of a refugee problem on an unprecedented scale, and the breakdown of morale both at home and at the battle fronts by fear of extended and intensified bombing, are accepted and intended aims of our bombing policy. They are not by-products of attempts to hit factories." [38]

On February 13, 1944, the CCS issued a new plan for the "Bomber Offensive", which no longer included German morale in the objective: [39] :52

progressive destruction and dislocation of the German military, industrial and economic systems, the disruption of vital elements of lines of communication and the material reduction of German air combat strength, by the successful prosecution of the combined bomber offensive from all convenient bases.

Section 2, "Concept"
Overall reduction of German air combat strength in its factories, on the ground and in the air through mutually supporting attacks by both strategic air forces pursued with relentless determination against same target areas or systems so far as tactical conditions allow, in order to create the air situation most propitious for OVERLORD is immediate purpose of Bomber Offensive. [40]
Combined Chiefs of Staff, February 13, 1944

"The subject of morale had been dropped and [the number of cities with targets] gave me a wide range of choice. ... the new instructions therefore made no difference" to RAF Bomber Command operations (Arthur Harris). :154 The February 13 plan was given the code name "Argument", and after the weather became favorable on February 19, Argument operations were conducted during Big Week (February 20–25). Harris claimed the Argument plan was not "a reasonable operation of war", and the Air Staff had to order Harris to bomb the Pointblank targets at Schweinfurt. :53

In practice the USAAF bombers made large scale daylight attacks on factories involved in the production of fighter aircraft. The Luftwaffe was forced into defending against these raids, and its fighters were drawn into battle with the bombers and their escorts. [41]

Pointblank operations

USAAF P-51 Mustang, assigned to protect 8th Army Air Force bomber formations and to hunt for German fighters. P-51-361.jpg
USAAF P-51 Mustang, assigned to protect 8th Army Air Force bomber formations and to hunt for German fighters.
Fw 190 single-engine fighter targeted by Pointblank. Focke-Wulf Fw 190 050602-F-1234P-005.jpg
Fw 190 single-engine fighter targeted by Pointblank.

Following the heavy losses (about ¼ of the aircraft) of "Black Thursday" (14 October 1943), the USAAF discontinued strikes deep into Germany until an escort was introduced that could follow the bombers to and from their targets. In 1944, the USAAF bombers—now escorted by P-47 Thunderbolts and P-51 Mustangs—renewed their operation. Gen. Eaker gave the order to "Destroy the enemy air force wherever you find them, in the air, on the ground and in the factories." [30]

General Eaker was replaced at the start of 1944 as 8th Air Force commander by then-Major General Jimmy Doolittle, the leader who first struck Japan in April 1942 with a force of 16 B-25 Mitchell bombers, partly to damage Japanese morale. Doolittle's major influence on the European air war occurred early in 1944 when he changed the earlier 1942–43 USAAF policy requiring escorting fighters to remain with the bombers at all times. With his permission, initially performed with P-38s and P-47s with both previous types being steadily replaced with the long-ranged P-51s as the spring of 1944 wore on, some American fighter pilots on bomber escort missions would primarily fly far ahead of the bombers' combat box formations in air supremacy mode, "clearing the skies" of any Luftwaffe fighter opposition heading towards the target. This strategy fatally disabled the vulnerable twin-engined Zerstörergeschwader heavy fighter wings and their replacement, single-engined Sturmgruppen of heavily armed Fw 190s, clearing each force of bomber destroyers from Germany's skies throughout early 1944. As part of this game-changing strategy, especially after the bombers had hit their targets, the USAAF's fighters were then free to strafe German airfields and transport while returning to base, contributing significantly to the achievement of air superiority by Allied air forces over Europe.

Soon after Doolittle took command of the 8th Air Force, between February 20 and 25, 1944, as part of the Combined Bomber Offensive, the USAAF launched Operation Argument, a series of missions against the Third Reich that became known as "Big Week". The Luftwaffe was lured into a decisive battle for air superiority through launching massive attacks by the bombers of the USAAF, protected by squadrons of Republic P-47 Thunderbolts and North American P-51 Mustangs, on the German aircraft industry. In defeating the Luftwaffe, the Allies achieved air superiority and the invasion of Western Europe could proceed.

Battle of Berlin

The Avro Lancaster was the main aircraft in service with RAF Bomber Command during the Battle of Berlin (Winter 1943/44). Lancaster B MkI 44 Sqn RAF in flight 1942.jpg
The Avro Lancaster was the main aircraft in service with RAF Bomber Command during the Battle of Berlin (Winter 1943/44).

The wording of both the Casablanca directive and the Pointblank directive allowed the Commander-in-Chief of RAF Bomber Command Arthur "Bomber" Harris sufficient leeway to continue the British campaign of night-time Area Bombardment against German industrial cities. [29]

Between 18 November 1943 and 31 March 1944, RAF Bomber Command fought the Battle of Berlin which consisted of 16 major raids on the German capital, interspersed with many other major and minor raids across Germany to reduce the predictability of the British operations. In these 16 raids the RAF destroyed around 4,500 acres (18 km²) of Berlin for the loss of 300 aircraft. [42] Harris had planned to reduce most of the city to rubble, break German morale and so win the war. During the period of the battle of Berlin, the British lost 1,047 bombers across all its bombing operations in Europe with a further 1,682 aircraft damaged, culminating in the disastrous raid on Nuremberg on 30 March 1944. [43] [ clarification needed ] [44] The campaign did not achieve its strategic objective, and coupled to the RAF's unsustainable losses (7–12% of aircraft committed to the large raids), the official British historians identified it as an operational defeat for the RAF. [45] At the end of Battle of Berlin, Harris was obliged to commit his heavy bombers to the attacks on lines of communications in France as part of the preparations for the Normandy Landings and the RAF would not return to begin the systematic destruction of Germany until the last quarter of 1944.

Pointblank outcome

Operation Pointblank showed that Germany's aircraft and ball bearings plants were not very vulnerable to air attack. Its production of synthetic rubber, ammunition, nitrogen, and ethyl fluid was concentrated in fewer factories and would likely have been much more vulnerable. [25] Despite bombing, "German single-engine fighter production ... for the first quarter of 1944 was 30% higher than for the third quarter of 1943, which we may take as a base figure. In the second quarter of 1944, it doubled; by the third quarter of 1944, it had tripled, in a year's time. In September 1944, monthly German single-engine fighter production reached its wartime peak – 3031 fighter aircraft. Total German single-engine fighter production for 1944 reached the amazing figure of 25,860 ME-109s and FW-190s" (William R. Emerson). [5] Following Operation Pointblank, Germany dispersed the 27 larger works[ specify ] of its aircraft industry across 729 medium and very small plants (some in tunnels, caves, and mines). [35] :237

However, Operation Pointblank did help to diminish the Luftwaffe's threat against the Allies, [27] and by the Normandy Landings, the Luftwaffe had only 80 operational aircraft on the North French Coast, which managed about 250 combat sorties [5] against the 13,743 Allied sorties. [46]

According to Charles Webster and Noble Frankland, Big Week and the subsequent attack on the aircraft industry reduced "the fighting capacity of the Luftwaffe" through threatening the bombing of strategic targets and "leaving the German fighters with no alternative other than to defend them" but "the combat was primarily fought and certainly won" by the US long range fighters. [47]

Overlord air plan

During the "winter campaign against the German aircraft industry ... January 11 [-] February 22, 1944", [48] :266 review began on the initial "Overlord air plan" which omitted the requirement "to seek air superiority before the landings were attempted." Instead, the plan was to bomb communications targets (primary) and rail yards and repair facilities (secondary). [49] Air Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory, who would command the tactical element of the invasion air forces had been assigned the responsibility on June 26, 1943, for drafting the plan, and at the February 14, 1944, meeting regarding the Overlord air plan, he claimed German fighters would defend and be defeated during the attacks on rail yards, and if not, air superiority would instead be won over the D-Day beaches. Harris rebutted that even after the planned rail attacks, German rail traffic would be sufficient to supply invasion defenses; and Spaatz proposed attacks on industry in Germany to require fighters to be moved away from the Overlord beaches to defend the plants. Tedder concluded that a committee needed to study the pre-Overlord targeting, [50] :201 but when the committee met in March, no consensus was reached. [50] :203

On March 25, 1944 Portal chaired a meeting of the generals and restated the Pointblank objective of air superiority was still the highest CBO priority. Although the "Joint Chiefs of Staff" had previously argued that it was impossible to impede German military rail traffic due to the large reserve capacity, [15] :22–23 for the secondary priority Portal identified that pre-invasion railyard attacks only needed to reduce traffic so tactical airpower could inhibit enemy defenses during the first 5 weeks of OVERLORD. [51] Sir John Kennedy and Andrew Noble countered that the military fraction of rail traffic was so small that no amount of railyard bombing would significantly impact operations. As endorsed on March 6 by the MEW and the U.S. Mission for Economic Affairs, Spaatz again proposed that "execution of the oil plan would force the enemy to reduce oil consumption ... and ... fighting power" during Overlord. Although "concerned that military transportation experts of the British Army had not been consulted" [50] :208 about the Transportation Plan, Eisenhower decided that "apart from the attack on the GAF [German Air Force] the transportation plan was the only one which offered a reasonable chance of the air forces making an important contribution to the land battle during the first vital weeks of Overlord". Control of all air operations was transferred to Eisenhower on April 14 at noon. [15] :22–5

General Carl Spaatz had been insistent—and correct. The enemy would fight for oil, and the enemy would lose his fighters, his crews, and his fuel. [52]

USAF historian Herman S. Wolk, June 1974

However, after "very few German fighters rose to contest the early attacks on French rail yards" [50] :211 and the Ninth (tactical) AAF in England had dropped 33,000 tons of bombs through April on French railway targets, Churchill wrote to Roosevelt in May 1944 that he was not "convinced of the wisdom of this plan" [35] :207 Although Tedder's original Overlord air directive in mid-April listed no oil targets, [50] :211 Eisenhower permitted Spaatz to test that the Luftwaffe would defend oil targets more heavily. [53] During the trial raids of May 12 and May 28, German fighters heavily defended the oil targets, and after the invasion had not begun during the good weather of May, Luftwaffe fighters in France were recalled to defend Reich industry. :78 The German plan was to await the invasion and then, "on the cue words 'Threatening Danger West',"[ specify ] redeploy fighter strength back to unused French air bases when needed against the invasion. [35] :211 The last two Jagdgeschwader 26 Fw 190As, piloted by Josef Priller and his wingman Heinz Wodarczyk, that were to be recalled conducted two of the very sparse Luftwaffe day sorties over the Normandy beaches on D-day, :78 and on June 7/8 the Luftwaffe began redeploying c. 600 aircraft to France for attacking the Normandy bridgehead. [35] :214

Pointblank operations ended on the fifth day of the Invasion. [54] and the highest priority of the Combined Bomber Offensive became operations against the German rocket weapons in June 1944 and the Oil Campaign in September. Tedder's proposal to keep oil targets as the highest priority and place "Germany's rail system in second priority" [50] :260 was approved by the CSTC on November 1. [50] :260 [55] On April 12, 1945, Strategic Bombing Directive No. 4 ended the strategic bombing campaign in Europe. [56]

See also


    1. Davis, 2006 & p.465.
    2. 1 2 3 4 Coffey, Thomas M. (1977), Decision over Schweinfurt: The U.S. 8th Air Force Battle for Daylight Bombing, New York: David McKay Company, pp. 204–7,236–7,264–5,354, The Germans were caught by surprise at Marienburg ... which was so far east they didn't realize it had to be defended ... Only one building of the factory [was] not destroyed on October 9, 1943. (p. 465)
    3. Craven and Cate Vol III p. 56
    4. Kreis, John F; et al. (1996), Piercing the Fog: Intelligence and Army Air Forces Operations in World War II, Washington DC: Air Force Historical Studies Office, pp. 154, 185, 242, ISBN   978-1-4289-1405-6 , retrieved 2008-12-11
    5. 1 2 3 4 Emerson p. 4
    6. "Aspects of The British and American Strategic Air Offensive against Germany 1939 to 1945" . Retrieved 2007-01-16.
    7. Zaloga p12
    8. AAFRH-22 page 6
    9. Kreis 1996, p. 154.
    10. Ministry of Economic Warfare, The Bomber's Baedeker, PRO London, AIR 14/2662 (cited by Coffey, p. 237)
    11. Harris & Cox 1995 , p.  196
    12. USAFA McDermott Library, Clark Special Collections Branch:
      ^5.10 [letter to Spaatz & Eaker], 10 April 1942, We must, therefore, apply [bombardment] to those specially selected and vital targets which will give the greatest return [and apply it] with precision (quoted by AAFRH-3, p. vii)
      ^5.20 Arnold, Henry H. (9 December 1942), [letter to "AC/AS, Management Control"] (cited by AAFRH-10, p. 212)
      ^5.30 "[letter to Spaatz: "Dear Tooey"]", Spaatz Collection, Box 14, 27 December 1943, we must use our initiative and imagination with a view of seeking out, destroying the German Air Force in the factories, depots, on the ground, or in the air, wherever they may be. (quoted by Mets note 51, pp. 191,383)
      ^5.40 Letter to Portal in London, March 24, 1943 (the letter "included a report by Arnold's operations analysts about strategic targets in Europe" (Coffey, p. 203-4) and was delivered by Col. C. P. Cabell, "It was ... a week before he took the letter to Portal, along with one signed by General Eaker" (Coffey, p. 205):
      cover letter: Eaker, Ira C. (30 March 1943), [letter introducing Cabell to Portal], in order to build up an American Air Force of sufficient size in U.K. [Arnold] must be armed with two needs: first, a list of the industrial targets in Germany which, if destroyed, will cripple her ability to wage war; and secondly, the size of the air forces required for the accomplishment of this task. (quoted by Coffey, p. 206)
      ^5.50 Arnold, Henry H. (March 25, 1943), [letter to Harry Hopkins at the White House], a stoppage of, or a marked curtailment, of the production of ball bearings would probably wreck all German industry. (quoted by Coffey, p. 237)
      ^5.60 Command and Control of Strategic Air Forces operating against Germany [memo], 20 August 1943 (identified in AAFRH-10, p. 82)
      ^5.70 Plan to Assure the Most Effective Exploitation of the Combined Bomber Offensive, 9 October 1943 (identified in AAFRH-10, p. 86)
    13. AAFRH-10 page 13
    14. LIEUTENANT COLONEL SON M. LE (2002). [ "THE ANGLO-AMERICAN COMBINED BOMBER OFFENSIVE IN EUROPE DURING WORLD WAR II, 1942-1945"] Check |url= value (help)(PDF). Defense Technical Information Center.
    15. 1 2 3 4 USAAF. "Army Air Force Research Histories". AAF Historical Offices. Retrieved 2011-02-14.
    16. Stormont p 15
    17. Jablonski Vol II p 155
    18. Stormont p13,15
    19. Stormont p15
    20. The "Bradley Plan" was for Eighth Air Force troop build-up (AAFRH-10, p. 84)
    21. AAFRH-10 page 18, 19
    22. AAFRH-10 page 17
    23. Infield, Glenn B. (1973), The Poltava Affair: A Russian Warning, An American Tragedy, New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., p. 9, LCCN   72-93628
    24. AAFRH-10 page 13
    25. 1 2 Levine, Alan J (1992), The Strategic Bombing of Germany, 1940–1945, Greenwood Publishing Group, p. 149,197–198, ISBN   978-0-275-94319-6 , retrieved 2006-06-30
    26. Kreis 1996.
    27. 1 2 3 4 Darling , p. 181
    28. Background: Combined Bomber – World War Two cites "Strategic air offensives. The Oxford Companion to World War II". Accessed 14 July 2008
    29. 1 2 Delleman, Paul. "LeMay and Harris the "Objective" Exemplified". Air & Space Power Journal . Chronicles Online Journal. Retrieved 2008-07-14.
    30. 1 2 "Birth of the Combined Bomber Offensive". Leaping the Atlantic Wall: Army Air Forces Campaigns in Western Europe, 1942–1945. Retrieved 2009-06-24.
    31. Kreis 1996, pp. 154, 185, 242.
    32. "Effects of Bombing Offensive on German War Effort", The William J. Donovan Papers, J.I.C. reports 5, vil. 185
    33. Davis 2006, p. 202.
    35. 1 2 3 4 5 Galland, Adolf (1968 Ninth Printing — paperbound) [1954], The First and the Last: The Rise and Fall of the German Fighter Forces, 1938–1945, New York: Ballantine Books, pp. 186,201,207–8,211,214,232,237, ISBN   0-553-11709-2 Check date values in: |year= (help) (p. 201)
    36. "Hamburg, 28th July 1943", Bomber Command 60th Anniversary, RAF, 2004, archived from the original on 2009-04-02
    37. John V. Denson (1999-11-30), The costs of war: America's Pyrrhic Victories, p. 352, ISBN   978-0-7658-0487-7, further referenced to Garret, Ethics and Air Power in World War II pp.32–33
    38. Getting MAD: Nuclear Mutual Assured Destruction, Its Origins and Practice, Strategic Studies Institute, p. 36, ISBN   978-1-4289-1033-1
    39. Jablonski [ specify ]
    40. Combined Chiefs of Staff (February 13, 1944), [Argument plan][ specify ] (quoted by Jablonski p. 52 of Tragic Victories volume (Book I: Target Germany, Kites over Berlin chapter)
    41. Zaloga p85
    42. Harris (2005), pp. 187, 188. Harris says that after the war the total damage to Berlin during the war was 6,380 acres, 500 before the Battle of Berlin, 1,000 by the Americans, and additional damage by Mosquito light bomber nuisance raids which is not quantified.
    43. Advanced Higher History Specimen Question Paper p. 22. quotes SOURCE C From Martin Kitchen, A World in Flames, published in 1990
    44. "Bomber Harris Pre-World War II". The Dambusters.
    45. Daniel Oakman Wartime Magazine: The battle of Berlin on the Australian War Memorial website
    46. Staff D-Day 6 June 1944 The Air operations: Time line RAF website
    47. Webster, Sir Charles; Frankland, Noble (1961). "The Strategic Air Offensive against Germany, 1939–1945". London: II: 280–281; III: 131.
    48. Shugg, Roger W.; DeWeerd, H. A.; Lieutenant Colonel (January 1947) [January, 1946—First Edition], World War II: A Concise History (Second ed.), Washington: Infantry Journal Press, p. 266, the aerial Battle of Berlin (November 18, 1943 – February 15, 1944), dropping over twenty thousand tons of bombs on the city, destroying or damaging 326 factories, and losing nearly five hundred bombers.
    49. Zuckerman, Solly (1972), From Apes to Warlords, New York: Harper and Row, pp. 217–9 (cited by Mets note 87, pp. 200,385)
    50. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Mets, David R. (1997) [1988], Master of Airpower: General Carl A. Spaatz (paperback ed.), pp. 201, 203, 209
    51. "Final Minutes of a Meeting held on Saturday, March 25, to Discuss the Bombing Policy in the Period Before 'Overlord'", Spaatz Collection, Box 14, n.d., apart from the attack on the GAF, [German Air Force] the transportation plan was the only one which offered a reasonable chance of the air forces making an important contribution to the land battle during the first vital weeks of OVERLORD (quoted by Mets, p. 208)
    52. Wolk, Herman S (June 1974), Prelude to D-Day: The Bomber Offensive, p. 65 (cited by Mets note 140, pp. 216,387)
    53. Haines, William (Lt. Col.) (6 June 1945), ULTRA History of U.S. Strategic Air Force Europe vs. German Air Forces, SRH-013 (cited by Mets, pp. 212,386,392: "copy provided to author by Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Another copy is in the National Archives". p. 343: "Powell, Jr. was a member of General Spaatz's staff in England")
    54. Kreis 1996, p. 241.
    55. Cooney
    56. Davis 2006, pp. 554, 555.

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    ^19.10 Spaatz, Carl (27 June 1943), Bombardment Directive 
    ^19.20 ----- (3 February 1944), Objectives for Area Attack [memorandum to Eaker] 
    ^19.30 Hughes, Richard D. (15 February 1944), "Conference Held at A.E.A.F Headquarters, Stanmore 15 February 1944 [letter and notes]", Spaatz Collection, Box 14  ("letter" cited by Mets notes 49 & 50, pp. 190,383; "notes" cited by Mets note 89, pp. 201,385)
    ^19.35 Col. Richard D. Hughes was Eaker's "target-selection specialist." (Coffey, p. 237)
    ^19.40 Spaatz, Carl (24 March 1944), "Employment of Strategic Air Forces in the Support of OVERLORD", Spaatz Collection, Box 14, We believe attacks on transportation will not force the German fighters into action. We believe they will defend oil to their last fighter plane.  (quoted by Mets note 100, pp. 204,386)
    ^ ^ ^19.50 "Final Minutes of a Meeting held on Saturday, March 25, to Discuss the Bombing Policy in the Period Before 'OVERLORD'", Spaatz Collection, Box 14, "apart from the attack on the GAF,[German Air Force] the transportation plan was the only one which offered a reasonable chance of the air forces making an important contribution to the land battle during the first vital weeks of OVERLORD  (quoted by Mets, p. 208)
    ^19.60 Kuter, Laurence S. (Brig. Gen.) (9 August 1944), "[memo to Arnold]", Spaatz Collection, Box 15  Kuter quotes an Air Ministry memorandum for the July 5 meeting. (cited by Mets note 60, pp. 269, 394: at a "staff meeting the British Chiefs of Staff ... 5 July 1944 ... Portal had tried to move Harris away from area bombing to join in the attacks on oil. ... the recommendation that emerged was a gigantic attack on Berlin")
    ^19.70 "Directives Agreed by DCAS, RAF, and Lieutenant General Carl Spaatz", Spaatz Collection, Box 15, 23 September 1944, The German rail and waterborne transportation systems; tank production plants and depots, ordnance depots; and M.T. (motor transport) production plants and depots  became the secondary priorities. (quoted by Mets note 23, pp. 260,393)
    (1949). Volume Two – Europe: Torch to Pointblank: August 1942 – December 1943
    (1951). Volume Three – Europe: Argument to V-E Day: January 1944 – May 1945

    Further reading