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Was RAF night bombing campaign unnecessary and misguided?

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20 hours ago, R011 said:

It's also possible that coming in from a different direction might have caused fewer friendly casualties, but the Air Force believed it had good reason to go in as they did and second guessing them nearly eighty years later with 20/20 hindsight and outside the context of the time is not useful analysis.

Nobody's second guessing anyone.  The question is whether with more experience with the tactic friendly casualties could have been more effectively minimized, and whether 490 Allied casualties was an acceptable friendly fire tragey for 1,000 German casualties, when one also considers the bombardment helped, or actually caused, a clean breakthrough.   

I assume the answer to both is yes.    

Edited by glenn239
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11 minutes ago, MiloMorai said:

Maybe the heavies could have been used during the German attack during the B of the Bulge as the mediums and FB a/c couldn't.

Possibly for fixed points such as key rail junctions, or a supporting a front line position which had become static, and the weather was decent for a few days.    Bastogne maybe?   


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5 hours ago, DougRichards said:

Would not you need bigger balloons for helium (ie more latex) as helium is not a light as hydrogen?

IIRC He has 96% lift compared to H.

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On 4/10/2021 at 10:56 PM, DougRichards said:

So it is okay to kill a certain number of your own as long as you kill twice that number of the enemy with your action?  All good then....

Omar Bradley would approve. 😉

Edited by JWB
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On 4/7/2021 at 9:58 AM, Stuart Galbraith said:

Forgive me, but my point was not that they went in at low level, the point is that at low level they could bomb targets accurately using conventional bombs. But they rejected that, and preferred firebombing. It's almost as if the USAAF decided it was fully entitled to fight that way against Japan, but for politics sake decided it couldn't get away with it in Germany. Which is pretty weird when you remember the US embarked on the atomic bomb program with the apparent intent to use it on Germany.

That's pretty strange reasoning, right?

I read somewhere that alot of the Japanese war production was along the lines of a cottage industry set up. Mom and pop operations making war material and parts out of their homes and what not. They of course have huge factories but not to the extend of the Germans. Perhaps that was why a firebombing campaign against the cities would disrupt war production for the Japanese more then it would for the Germans.

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Well true, but there was a similar cottage industry emerging in Germany. Even in Britain we had small industrial operations in major cities. For example, I remember reading that the seats on British fighter aircraft were in part constructed by schoolkids who put a metal tube around the edges of the seats so their parachutes wouldnt tear on the edge of the frame. Im sure there were lots of operations like that which were disrupted by area bombing.


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