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Effectiveness And Legality Of Strategic Bombing

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  • #31
    The point was the Americans can spare the munitions and more. It wasn't even a dent in their production. No, the air war was not going to bring you strategic victory but it does bring you tactical victory. The target was rendered inoperable until repaired.
    Chimo

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    • #32
      SO one last post and then let's return to the topic. The USAAF & RAF bombing campaign was designed to do 3 things...reduce the effectiveness of the Luftwaffe to impact an Allied invasion of Western Europe, disrupt oil production and break transportation networks. The idea to attack the ball bearing plants in 1943 were intended to indirectly going after the Luftwaffe along with their aircraft factories. Come late 1943-early44 the Allies finally had large masses of highly effective long range fighter for escort...P-47s & P-51s. This allowed the USAAF to have fighter escort all the way to the target and back. And this is finally what killed the Luftwaffe...Allied fighters killing German fighters. This really started during the February 1944 Big Week. And once planes destroyed on the ground were credited to a pilots total the fighters were released to go after the Luftwaffe where they lived...once relieved the fighters dropped to the deck and shot up every German airfield they could find.

      We also can see the impact on the transportation networks and oil facilities. Operation Tidal Wave was the first and far from the last large scale assault against Rumanian oil production. Also the Allies added synthetic oil production facilities to the target list in late 1943. Couple with that railways & canal systems were added to the target lists. Hell, the Allies built 2 tactical air forces to dedicate to destruction of German transportation networks...the 9th USAAF & 2nd Allied Tactical Air Force (RAF) and their light & medium bombers and fighter bombers absolutely savaged the rail lines and bridges of Western Europe to isolate the beaches of France. They didn't start the mission of close air support until after 9 months after formation. The 9th started in the Mediterranean and transferred to the UK in fall 1943 for this task.

      Interesting tidbit is German had their highest output in 1944, right as the finally went to full mobilization. And their distribution of products actually eased in the second half of 1944...not because the Allies had inefficient bombing results. It's cause the front line shrunk closer to production areas Some of the easiest distribution from factories to front came in late NOV-early DEC 44 especially in the area where the attack from the Battle of the Bulge occurred...cause the Ruhr was right there. And once the Bulge were kicked off the #1 item on the Allied target list was...snowplows. Cause the road transportation networks had several winter storms dump meters of of snow. The Allies picked the one effective distribution pain point which had the greatest effect. And the Germans had to use the roads cause there were no railroads left in the battle area.

      And the Bomber Command assault against German population centers to demoralize the work force backfired. Bomber Harris refused to learn his own country's lessons from the Blitz: the attacks motivated the work forces.

      Now let's get back to Ukraine.
      Last edited by Albany Rifles; 17 Sep 22,, 22:18.
      “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
      Mark Twain

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
        And the Bomber Command assault against German population centers to demoralize the work force backfired. Bomber Harris refused to learn his own country's lessons from the Blitz: the attacks motivated the work forces.
        When I saw that that John Kenneth Galbraith was involved in the study that came to this conclusion, I immediately understood why it was a sham. Galbraith is a BS'er par excellence. Say what you will about Paul Krugman's liberal pronouncements - he has done good work in his metier - microeconomics. Whereas Galbraith's economics work, while similarly liberal, is just layer upon layer of nothingness. Anyhow, here's a different take on the effects of attacks on civilian targets:
        In a recent paper, we examine the effect of Allied bombing on domestic resistance against the Nazi regime in WWII Germany (Adena et al. 2020). Despite the extraordinary effectiveness of the Gestapo – the German secret police – and the propaganda prowess of the Nazi regime (Evans 2009), we find that a combination of Allied radio propaganda and military force helped to create resistance on the ground.

        The more German cities turned into rubble at the hands of Allied bomber crews, and the more easily Germans could listen to the BBC, the clearer it became to them that the war was lost – and the more likely active acts of domestic resistance became (USSBS 1945).

        An important synergy between radio and bombing also suggests that the same level of resistance could have been produced by better radio transmission and fewer bombs: We estimate that an increase of one standard deviation in radio signal strength would have had the same effect as a 25% increase in bombing. In other words, a government’s failure to protect its own population undermined support in Germany during WWII – as it did in Vietnam (Dell and Querubin 2018).

        The effect of bombing did not stop with the civilian population. We examine the performance of fighter pilots, whose skill and commitment were essential for success (Ager et al. 2017). While it is theoretically possible that strong supporters of the regime might have ‘closed ranks’ and supported it even more in the face of adversity, that is not what we find. Whenever the hometown of a fighter ace was bombed, his performance suffered – immediately, and for many months thereafter.

        Recent research has already reassessed the military value of the Allied air campaign, arguing for much greater benefits (O’Brien 2015). Our research suggests that strategic bombing was not ‘the greatest mistake’ of the war. While no wave of popular unrest swept the Nazi government from power, the basic mechanism – the destruction of cities demonstrating that Germany could not win, thus sapping morale – worked as intended. Hermann Goering himself, the head of the Luftwaffe, told his entourage in 1944 that the war was lost when he saw the first US Army Air Force B-17 bombers over Berlin accompanied by long-range fighter escorts (Hastings 2013, Evans 2009).

        Both the morale of top performers in the German armed forces as well as of civilians back home were effectively undermined by the hail of bombs that hit Germany from 1942 onwards. This does not mean that terror bombing was morally justified or that the same resources could not have been used elsewhere, perhaps to greater effect; but it casts doubt on the widespread belief that external pressure will always backfire, galvanising support for the enemy (Kattelman 2020).
        William of Normandy used terror tactics against the losers. The Normans not only went on to consolidate their rule over England, they went on to rule for centuries:
        The Harrying of the North refers to a series of campaigns waged by William the Conqueror in the winter of 1069–1070 to subjugate northern England, where the presence of the last Wessex claimant, Edgar Ętheling, had encouraged Anglo-Danish rebellions. William paid the Danes to go home, but the remaining rebels refused to meet him in battle, and he decided to starve them out by laying waste to the northern shires using scorched earth tactics, especially in the city of York, before relieving the English aristocracy of their positions, and installing Norman aristocrats throughout the region.

        Contemporary chronicles vividly record the savagery of the campaign, the huge scale of the destruction and the widespread famine caused by looting, burning and slaughtering. Some present-day scholars have labelled the campaigns a genocide, although others doubt whether William could have assembled enough troops to inflict so much damage and have suggested that the records may have been exaggerated or misinterpreted. Records from the Domesday Book of 1086 show that 75% of the population died or never returned.
        Oddly enough, those of Alfred the Great's Saxon descendants who fled William the Conqueror's depredations are said to have set up shop near Crimea in a place they called New England:
        New England (Latin: Nova Anglia, Old English: Nīwe Englaland) was a colony allegedly founded, either in the 1070s or the 1090s, by English refugees fleeing William the Conqueror. Its existence is attested in two much later sources, the French Chronicon Universale Anonymi Laudunensis (which ends in 1219) and the 14th-century Icelandic Jįtvaršar Saga. They tell the story of a journey from England through the Mediterranean Sea that led to Constantinople, where the English refugees fought off a siege by heathens and were rewarded by the Byzantine Emperor Alexius I Comnenus. A group of them were given land to the north-east of the Black Sea, reconquering it and renaming their territory "New England".

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        • #34
          Adam Tooze, the English boffin who wrote the Wages of Destruction, an analysis of Germany's economy throughout the war had this to say about the effects of strategic bombing in a book review:
          The disconnect between apparently wanton destruction and the supposed ineffectiveness of the bombers is the cornerstone of the moral critique of bombing that began to be voiced in the 1940s and that has recently been revived by German historians such as Jörg Friedrich in his dramatic book "The Fire: The Bombing of Germany, 1940-1945" and by A.C. Grayling in "Among the Dead Cities." Bombing was a disproportionate, ineffectual and unjustifiable use of force, the argument goes.

          Mr. Overy adds the authority of this weighty book to this familiar critique. In so doing he ignores evidence revealed by the opening of the archives in East Germany after the fall of the Wall. This has effectively debunked the self-congratulatory narrative spun by the survivors of the Third Reich. The best evidence from inside the German war machine suggests that, from 1943 onward, the Allies had the means to inflict truly devastating setbacks. German armament production didn't collapse, as the theorists of air power had once predicted. But from the moment at which British bombing of the industrial districts of the Ruhr began in 1943, armament production halted its monthly increase. It began growing again only in early 1944, after the RAF had frittered away the fall in bombing Berlin—a political, not an economic, target.

          When the Allies shifted toward tactical priorities in France ahead of D-Day, they gave the German war economy a further six months of respite. By exhausting factory capacity, exploiting every able slave laborer and taking advantage of the usual benefits of mass production learning curves plus a little extra manipulation of statistical returns, Speer conjured one last burst of record production. But as soon as the full weight of strategic air power was focused again on German targets from mid-1944, the Third Reich's productive system was rapidly destroyed.

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          • #35
            When the Allies shifted toward tactical priorities in France ahead of D-Day, they gave the German war economy a further six months of respite. By exhausting factory capacity, exploiting every able slave laborer and taking advantage of the usual benefits of mass production learning curves plus a little extra manipulation of statistical returns, Speer conjured one last burst of record production. But as soon as the full weight of strategic air power was focused again on German targets from mid-1944, the Third Reich's productive system was rapidly destroyed.


            *** Looking at the Battle of Berlin *** Could have fooled me.
            Chimo

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