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Strategic Bombing Of The Ussr Essay

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Even before the end of the Second World War, the USSR was a very secretive and closed society. US intelligence had little to no information about Soviet military strength and did not even have accurate maps of the USSR. The best aerial photographs available to western planners were from the Luftwaffe and had been captured by the allies at the end of WWII. Outside of these captured photos, virtually no maps or aerial photography existed of the USSR, especially those areas in the Urals, Siberia and the Far East. As victory in WWII appeared imminent, the USAAF under General Hap Arnold commissioned studies to assess the impact of strategic bombing in the war. In addition to results about strategic bombing, the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey (USSBS) concluded that “the U.S. should have an intelligence organization capable of knowing the strategic vulnerabilities, capabilities and intentions of any potential enemy.” In spite of the aforementioned dearth of intelligence on the USSR, very specific information was needed for military and political leaders to make decisions regarding their strengths, weaknesses, and capabilities. Additionally, the strategic bomber forces needed a list of verified targets in case conflict with the USSR broke out. In order to fill the major voids in information the US civilian leaders employed a bifurcated approach: human intelligence (HUMINT) obtained through agency operatives, and signals (SIGINT) and imagery (IMINT) intelligence acquired
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