Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Importance of Airpower in Germany’s WWII Defeat

Currently responsible for business and strategic planning with RPG Consulting, Robert P. Givens previously served in the U.S. Air Force as general officer of Air Combat Command at Langley Air Force Base. Robert P. Givens is an avid reader of nonfiction and particularly enjoys historical works focused on the American War of Independence and modern airpower.

Air attack capabilities came to the fore in World War Two, when Allied air campaigns played a vital role in the defeat of the Germans in the West European Theater. In 1945, just following the end of World War Two, the United States Strategic Bombing Survey (USSBS) sought to better understand this role by taking an in-depth look at the effects of RAF and U.S. bombing in the Nazi regime’s defeat.

The conclusion was that at sea, airpower worked in tandem with naval forces to disrupt U-boats, which posed the largest threat to the Allies’ transport of needed supplies and forces. Bombing also set the stage for successful ground incursions through achieving destruction of strategic targets well inside enemy territory.

From February, 1942 on, bombing sorties focused on draining the enemy’s civil population of its morale. This directive went well beyond the normal targeting of submarine building yards, aircraft facilities, and transportation links, and included the targeting of large civilian areas. Whatever the human costs, the RAF & USAAF’s Combined Bomber Offensive did ultimately attain its aim of decimating German industrial capacities and ending a protracted war.

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