In this essay I will assess the significance of strategic bombing of Germany. I will do this by evaluating four key areas of the German war effort. This will include German and British moral, German economy, its effect on the outcome of the Eastern Front and the results of the preparation for D-Day. Overall allied bombing did not have a significant impact on the outcome of the war as for the majority of the war bombing techniques and technology were primitive and so had little effect. It only became a threatening tool latter on in the war, when the allies had effectively won.
On August 5, 1944, 1171 bombers and over 600 fighters of the 8th Air Force took off from bases in England to bomb enemy targets in Germany. The targets included tank and aircraft factories, as well as oil refineries in the areas of Magdeburg, Brunswick, and Hanover.
One of these battles was the Battle of Kanalkampf. The Kanalkampf, which means “channel battle”, was the German title for battles over Royal Air Force airfields. The assault to gain air superiority called for an all-out attack by the Luftwaffe on the RAF fighter airfields. These planned attacks on airfields were called Adlertag, meaning Eagle Day. Only the Fuher of Germany, Adolf Hitler, could call for when Eagle Day would occur. While the Luftwaffe waited for Hitler’s call to start Eagle Day, they would attack British ports in hopes to lure The Royal Air Force to come out and fight. The Luftwaffe hoped to inflict damage on The Royal Force to clean out its number of pilots. These attacks on British ports lasted from July 10 to early August (Wyatt Info-Poland). The Royal Air Force was able to keep the upper hand by matching the Luftwaffe’s number of pilots. At the start of August, Germany started to act on their plan Operation Sea Lion. The operation was to be done on August 5th, but due to bad weather, the assault did not to happen until the 12th. On August 12th, the Luftwaffe started to assault on the Radar Defense Systems. Southern England saw repeated bombing all day long. When the bombs and air fights stopped it was the Luftwaffe who took the opportunity to say they won Eagle Day. They had destroyed eight air bases and shot down eighty-four Royal Air Force aircraft. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a successful attack. It was a
“With its new aircraft, tactics, and superior numbers, New Operation Argument was launched”(Schill 80). Strategically, the mission was to achieve air superiority and immobilize Germany’s economy. The Eighth Air Force was in charge of targeting German electric power, transportation, petroleum, synthetic oil, and neutralize German air force”(Doolittle and Glines 295). Thus they launched seven consecutive days of visual bombing on February 19-25. Before conducting the official attack, Doolittle had his men practice fighting missions and maneuvers before conducting the operations. The attack was such a secret that airmen could not fly over German territory prior to the attack so that it would not compromise the future mission. Tactically, the Eighth Air Force had 3,300 heavy bomber sorties fly beside the Fifteenth Air Force consisting of 500 missions from Italy. In the meantime, “the Royal Air Force of Britain flew 2,750 night attacks aimed at German aircraft manufacturing plants (Olsen 82). After the “Big Week,” the United States gained air superiority over all of Europe. Operationally, Germany had undergone many months of decreased aircraft production during aircraft production during crucial time for them to counterattack. This resulted to Germany to having a small amount of German aircraft in the air and the rate of attrition of the Luftwaffe’s pilots to exceed Germany’s rate of
Whilst the significance that it had on the German home front may have been more limited than hoped for, it succeeded in dislocating and demoralising German civilians. Whilst its effect on Germany’s economic ability to produce and transport goods for the war effort may have been mostly limited, its effect on the transport infrastructure of German was of critical significance. Perhaps the most significant effect was bombing’s impact on other areas of the war and the German war effort because of how it saved thousands of potential casualties and facilitated the D-Day landings. Its impact on the USSR in terms of both keeping them as an ally and easing their invasion was also of great significance. The overall outcome from Allied Strategic Bombing may have been highly significant, but we must not fail to neglect the cost at which such a result came. 44.4% of Bomber Command crews failed to return from their missions (55,573) and over 18000 were wounded or became prisoners of war. 8,325 aircraft were lost and 1,030,500 tons of bombs were dropped. Despite the cost at which Allied Strategic Bombing came at, the evidence supports the argument that the Allied Strategic Bombing of Germany during the Second World War was significant to a large
The Battle of Britain is known for stemming the ever-expanding tide of Nazism across Europe. While Nazi Germany and its allies had taken over nearly the whole European continent, Britain remained the only major force standing in opposition against it. The key to invading Britain was to eliminate the British Royal Air Force (the RAF), which would otherwise prevent German ships from crossing the English Channel. The German air force (the Luftwaffe) had nearly every conceivable advantage, but the Germans made two fatal mistakes that cost them the battle: First, they waited for two weeks after France surrendered before striking Britain. Second, the Germans switched their focus in the middle of the battle from airfields and aircraft production
Shortly after the Battle of Britain Sir Winston Churchill, the prime minister of Great Britain, is quoted as exclaiming, "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few." The few that Churchill was referring to were the brave aircrew that undertook the daunting task of repelling the massive offensive by the dreaded German air corps, the Luftwaffe. In the year 1940 Adolf Hitler ordered an offensive in coordination with an attempted invasion of the isle of Britain. The only way Hitler was going to accomplish this great feat was the assert the power of his Air Force. In November of 1940 after months of constant bombardment of the English coastal cities, the
Germany attacked London first, dropping V1 and V2 rockets from aircrafts (“World War II”). They called these rockets flying bombs and nicknamed the V1 rocket the Doodlebug. The Doodlebug had no pilot and made a droning noise after it was dropped all the way until it hit the ground because they traveled at such a great speed. From the time that the Doodlebug was dropped people had only a short fifteen seconds to take cover before the rocket would make contact with the ground. Although the Doodlebugs did serious damage when they landed, most of them were duds and many of them never made contact with land. Over 10,000 Doodlebugs were launched, but only and estimated 2,500 ever made contact with land. The V2’s were silent bombs that made no noise whatsoever. They were much faster and way more efficient than the original V1 rockets. They flew so fast once they were dropped that nobody was able to shoot them down. Even though the V1 and V2 rockets were a better tactic of attacks on Germany’s side, they were much too expensive to make in mass. As a result, Germany turned to smaller bombs, such as oil bombs, incendiary, and high explosive bombs were the most common that blew up whole buildings at once (Barrow). The incendiary bombs were also popular. They were smaller bombs that started fires that burned uncontrollably when they made contact which lead some to believe that
Britain was the first major war to be fought mostly by air forces. The battle of Britain started from Germany’s ideology, which was that they wanted to conquer the whole of Europe. The only major county left was Great Britain so they wanted to conquer it however; Great Britain stood strong and was able to protect their nation as one, but with the help of Australia’s involvement, which that is shown in in my report. Germany and Britain both had air forces. Germany’s air force was called the “Luftwaffe” and Britain’s air force was called “the royal air force”. Both countries had air forces to help them during the battle however; it did have some problems as well as advantages, which is also mentioned in my report.