|Combined Bomber Offensive|
alias: Allied Bomber offensive
|Part of the Strategic bombing campaign in Europe|
8th Air Force B-17 during raid of October 9, 1943 on the Focke-Wulf aircraft factory at Malbork, Poland (Marienburg in German).
|Commanders and leaders|
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. 241 in the final stages of the War in Europe.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, :
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.
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.
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 portionof 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Both the British and the US (through the Air War Plans Division) had drawn up their plans for attacking the Axis powers.
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,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:
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.
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.
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."
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, [ 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 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. :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. [ 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" :206 ("Intermediate Objectives" section).and the "Report of Committee of Operations Analysts" was submitted to Arnold on March 8, 1943 and then to the Eighth Air Force commander as well as the British Air Ministry, the MEW, and the RAF commander
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.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.
Eaker's "Combined Bomber Offensive Plan" was "a document devised to help Arnold get more planes and men 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. The Combined Chiefs of Staff approved the "Eaker Plan" on May 19, 1943, and identified six specific "target systems" such as the German aircraft industry (including fighter strength): :207for the 8th Air Force" and not "designed to affect British operations in any substantive way." :
|1942 December 9 onwards||US Committee of Operations Analysts|
|1943||Combined Operational Planning Committee :19–40[ verification needed ]|
|1943 July 21||Joint Crossbow Target Priorities Committee|
|1944 July 7||Joint Oil Targets Committee|
|1944 October||Combined Strategic Targets Committee [ clarification needed ]|
On 14 June 1943, the Combined Chiefs of Staff issued the Pointblank directive which modified the February 1943 Casablanca directive.Along with the single-engine fighters of the CBO plan, 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.
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.
The Combined Bomber Offensive began on 10 June 1943 [ specify ]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, 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.
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? ] After Arnold submitted the October 9, 1943 "Plan to Assure the Most Effective Exploitation of the Combined Bomber Offensive" [ specify ] on October 22 the "Allied Joint Chiefs of Staff" signed orders to raid "the aircraft industries in the southern Germany and Austria regions". :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".
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:
On February 13, 1944, the CCS issued a new plan for the "Bomber Offensive", which no longer included German morale in the objective: 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.— 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.
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."
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.
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.
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. 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. [ clarification needed ] 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. 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.
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. [ specify ] of its aircraft industry across 729 medium and very small plants (some in tunnels, caves, and mines). :237Despite 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). Following Operation Pointblank, Germany dispersed the 27 larger works
However, Operation Pointblank did help to diminish the Luftwaffe's threat against the Allies, and by the Normandy Landings, the Luftwaffe had only 80 operational aircraft on the North French Coast, which managed about 250 combat sorties against the 13,743 Allied sorties.
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.
During the "winter campaign against the German aircraft industry ... January 11 [-] February 22, 1944", 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). 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, :201 but when the committee met in March, no consensus was reached. :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, 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. 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" :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. :22–5:
USAF historian Herman S. Wolk, June 1974
However, after "very few German fighters rose to contest the early attacks on French rail yards" 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" :207 Although Tedder's original Overlord air directive in mid-April listed no oil targets, :211 Eisenhower permitted Spaatz to test that the Luftwaffe would defend oil targets more heavily. 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. :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. :214:
Pointblank operations ended on the fifth day of the Invasion. 260 was approved by the CSTC on November 1. :260 On April 12, 1945, Strategic Bombing Directive No. 4 ended the strategic bombing campaign in Europe.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" :
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 destroyedon October 9, 1943. (p. 465)
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)
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)
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)
a stoppage of, or a marked curtailment, of the production of ball bearings would probably wreck all German industry.(quoted by Coffey, p. 237)
|url=value (help)(PDF). Defense Technical Information Center.
J.I.C. reports 5, vil. 185
|year=(help) (p. 201)
further referenced to Garret, Ethics and Air Power in World War II pp.32–33
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.
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)
Bomber Command is an organisational military unit, generally subordinate to the air force of a country. The most famous ones were in Britain and the United States. A Bomber Command is generally used for strategic bombing, and is composed of bombers.
In military tactics, close air support (CAS) is defined as air action such as air strikes by fixed or rotary-winged aircraft against hostile targets that are in close proximity to friendly forces and which requires detailed integration of each air mission with fire and movement of these forces and attacks with aerial bombs, glide bombs, missiles, rockets, aircraft cannons, machine guns, and even directed-energy weapons such as lasers.
The second Schweinfurt raid was a World War II air battle that took place 14 October 1943, over Nazi Germany between forces of the United States 8th Air Force and German Luftwaffe's fighter arm (Jagdwaffe). The aim of the American-led mission was a strategic bombing raid on ball bearing factories in order to reduce production of these vital parts for all manner of war machines. This was the second mission attacking the factories at Schweinfurt. American wartime intelligence claimed the first Schweinfurt–Regensburg mission in August had reduced bearing production by 34% but had suffered heavy losses. A planned follow-up raid had to be postponed to rebuild American forces.
Berlin, the capital of Nazi Germany, was subject to 363 air raids during the Second World War. It was bombed by the RAF Bomber Command between 1940 and 1945, by the USAAF Eighth Air Force between 1943 and 1945, and the French Air Force between 1944 and 1945 as part of the Allied campaign of strategic bombing of Germany. It was also attacked by aircraft of the Red Air Force, especially in 1945 as Soviet forces closed on the city. British bombers dropped 45,517 tons of bombs; the Americans dropped 23,000 tons. As the bombings continued more and more people moved out. By May 1945, 1.7 million people had fled.
The Plan for Completion of [the] Combined Bomber Offensive was a strategic bombing recommendation made by HQ USSTAF for the Allies of World War II to target Axis petroleum/oil/lubrication (POL) targets prior to the Normandy Landings.
The Transportation Plan was a plan for strategic bombing during World War II against bridges, rail centres, including marshalling yards and repair shops in France with the goal of limiting the German military response to the invasion of France in June 1944.
Big Week or Operation Argument was a sequence of raids by the United States Army Air Forces and RAF Bomber Command from 20 to 25 February 1944, as part of the European strategic bombing campaign against Nazi Germany. The planners intended to attack the German aircraft industry to lure the Luftwaffe into a decisive battle where the Luftwaffe could be damaged so badly that the Allies would achieve air superiority which would ensure success of the invasion of continental Europe.
Crossbow was the code name of the World War II campaign of Anglo-American "operations against all phases of the German long-range weapons programme. It included operations against research and development of the weapons, their manufacture, transportation and their launching sites, and against missiles in flight".
Royal Air Force station Shipdham or more simply RAF Shipdham is a former Royal Air Force station located 3 miles south of Dereham, Norfolk, England.
The Defence of the Reich is the name given to the strategic defensive aerial campaign fought by the Luftwaffe over German-occupied Europe and Nazi Germany during World War II. Its aim was to prevent the destruction of German civilians, military and civil industries by the Western Allies. The day and night air battles over Germany during the war involved thousands of aircraft, units and aerial engagements to counter the Allied strategic bombing campaign. The campaign was one of the longest in the history of aerial warfare and with the Battle of the Atlantic and the Allied Blockade of Germany was the longest of the war. The Luftwaffe fighter force defended the airspace of German-occupied territory against attack, first by RAF Bomber Command and then against the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF).
Jagdgeschwader 300 was a Luftwaffe fighter-wing of World War II. JG 300 was formed on June 26, 1943 in Deelen as Stab/Versuchskommando Herrmann, from July 18, 1943 as Stab/JG Herrmann and finally renamed on August 20, 1943 to Stab/JG 300. Its first Geschwaderkommodore was Oberstleutnant Hajo Herrmann.
The Casablanca directive was approved by the Combined Chiefs of Staff (CCOS) of the Western Allies at their 65th meeting on 21 January 1943 and issued to the appropriate the Royal Air Force and United States Army Air Forces commanders on 4 February 1943. It remained in force until 17 April 1944, when the Allied strategic bomber commands based in Britain were directed to help with preparations for Operation Overlord.
The Allied oil campaign of World War II was directed by the RAF and USAAF against facilities supplying Nazi Germany with petroleum, oil, and lubrication (POL) products. Part of the immense Allied strategic bombing effort during the war, the targets in Germany and "Axis Europe" included refineries for natural oil, factories producing synthetic fuel, storage depots, and other POL infrastructure resources.
The Battle of the Ruhr of 1943 was a 5-month British campaign of strategic bombing during the Second World War against the Nazi Germany Ruhr Area, which had coke plants, steelworks, and 10 synthetic oil plants. The campaign bombed 26 major Combined Bomber Offensive targets. The targets included the Krupp armament works (Essen), the Nordstern synthetic-oil plant (Gelsenkirchen), and the Rheinmetal–Borsig plant in Düsseldorf. The latter was safely evacuated during the Battle of the Ruhr.Although not strictly part of the Ruhr area, the battle of the Ruhr included other cities such as Cologne which were within the Rhine-Ruhr region and considered part of the same "industrial complex". Some targets were not sites of heavy industrial production but part of the production and movement of materiel.
The oil campaign chronology of World War II lists bombing missions and related events regarding the petroleum/oil/lubrication (POL) facilities that supplied Nazi Germany.
Blitz Week was a period of United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) aerial bombardment during the 1943 Combined Bomber Offensive of World War II. Air raids were conducted on six of seven days as part of Operation Gomorrah, against targets such as the chemical plant at Herøya, Norway, which produced nitrates for explosives; and the AGO Flugzeugwerke AG plant at Oschersleben, Germany that assembled Focke-Wulf 190s. The Kassel mission on July 28, 1943 was the first use of P-47 Thunderbolt auxiliary fuel tanks.
The air warfare of World War II was a major component in all theaters and, together with anti-aircraft warfare, consumed a large fraction of the industrial output of the major powers. Germany and Japan depended on air forces that were closely integrated with land and naval forces; the Axis powers downplayed the advantage of fleets of strategic bombers, and were late in appreciating the need to defend against Allied strategic bombing. By contrast, Britain and the United States took an approach that greatly emphasised strategic bombing, and tactical control of the battlefield by air, as well as adequate air defences. Both Britain and the U.S. built a strategic force of large, long-range bombers that could carry the air war to the enemy's homeland. Simultaneously, they built tactical air forces that could win air superiority over the battlefields, thereby giving vital assistance to ground troops. The U.S. and Royal Navy also built a powerful naval-air component based on aircraft carriers, as did Japan; these played the central role in the war at sea.
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)
"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)
The German rail and waterborne transportation systems; tank production plants and depots, ordnance depots; and M.T. (motor transport) production plants and depotsbecame the secondary priorities. (quoted by Mets note 23, pp. 260,393)
the Committee of Operations Analysts submitted on 8 March 1943 a comprehensive report on Axis industry. ... Nineteen vital industries were selected ... which if destroyed would ... stagnate the German war machine.