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Which did more to win the war in Europe?

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  • Which did more to win the war in Europe?

    The British Royal Air Force utilized what was commonly known as "area" bombing, while the Americans preferred what they called "precision" bombing in their aerial assaults on Nazi Germany. Which tactic did more to bring down the Nazi empire? The Americans might have laid claim to the moral high-ground with their "pickle barrel" accuracy, but that would have been based more on intent than actual results.
    Last edited by sherlock; 11 Apr 10, 11:42.
    If there are no dogs in Heaven, then I want to go where they went when they died-Will Rogers

  • #2
    Originally posted by sherlock View Post
    The British Royal Air Force utilized what was commonly known as "area" bombing, while the Americans preferred what they called "precision" bombing in their aerial assaults on Nazi Germany. Which tactic did more to bring down the Nazi empire? The Americans laid claim to the moral high-ground with their "pickle barrel" accuracy, but that seems to have been based more on intent than actual results.
    a short answer:none:both did harm the Germans,but none was decisive.
    An other point:I doubt that the US intention was 'a moral high-ground ':there were a lot of German civilian killed by the USAAF (but of-course,it is impossible to know how much ).
    Harris and Spaatz had the same intent:to prove that the air force could win the war,without any help from tha army and the navy .
    The US accuracy attacks did only have effect in the spring of 1944,and one could argue that at this period,the Nazi Regime was already brougth down .

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    • #3
      My understanding was that the US bombed in the daytime in an effort to put more tonnage on target at the risk of higher casualties while the British took the other route, bombing at night with reduced accuracy whilst theoretically taking less casualties than daytime runs.
      Harris and Spaatz had the same intent:to prove that the air force could win the war,without any help from the army and the navy .
      If that is the case, they should have taken lessons learned from Goering's flopped ego trip and realized that you can't take and hold ground with aircraft.
      "You listen to the ol' Pork Chop Express on a dark and stormy night......"

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      • #4
        Both bled the Luftwaffe and gave the Red Air Force a free reign but the rest of it seems conjecture. It is really that it was all a sum of the part that killed the Nazi War Machine and all parts were equally valuable.
        Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

        That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

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        • #5
          The USAAF started just like the RAF, believing in precision bombing of military targets.

          Like the RAF (and the Luftwaffe before them) they ended the war doing a lot of area bombing of German cities.

          The USAAF carried out their first area raids in the autumn of 1943, as soon as they got their first H2S radar. From then until the end of the war, they area bombed German cities. At first they admitted that was what they were doing, later they claimed they were attacking "marshalling yards" as a cover, but in practice they were still using H2X to drop large incendiary loads on German city centres.

          As to which was most accurate or damaging, by late war, when most of the bombs were dropped, the RAF had developed their radar and radio bombing aids to such an extent they were, on average, more accurate than the USAAF.

          My understanding was that the US bombed in the daytime in an effort to put more tonnage on target at the risk of higher casualties while the British took the other route, bombing at night with reduced accuracy whilst theoretically taking less casualties than daytime runs.
          The 8th stuck to daylight bombing because that's what they knew, what their crews had trained for, and what their equipment would allow.

          They did start using radar to operate more in cloudy conditions, noting that it cut their losses (and accuracy) considerably. They also increased bombing altitude to reduce losses (and again greatly reduced accuracy).

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          • #6
            Germany was producing tanks, planes, armaments etc right til the end of the war, so by failing to knock out the factories that produced those things, the Allied Air Offensive flopped in that respect.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Poor Old Spike View Post
              Germany was producing tanks, planes, armaments etc right til the end of the war, so by failing to knock out the factories that produced those things, the Allied Air Offensive flopped in that respect.
              It would have been impossible to shut down German war prodution completely, the question is how much did Germany NOT produce because of the bombings. From what I was told on this forum, this amount was quite serious.

              As to the original question, it is hard to say, you would need to get deeply into detail, determining who destroyed what, near impossible. If I had to take a guess, my money would be on the USAAF, being able to bomb accurately probably amounts to something.

              On a side note, has anyone else heard that the allies missed a big opportunity by not going for German power plants?
              Reaction to the 2016 Munich shootings:
              Europe: "We are shocked and support you in these harsh times, we stand by you."
              USA: "We will check people from Germany extra-hard and it is your own damn fault for being so stupid."

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Acheron View Post
                If I had to take a guess, my money would be on the USAAF, being able to bomb accurately probably amounts to something.
                But they did not bomb 'accurately' than the RAF. The tonnage dropped by the RAF in daylight was not too far behind the tonnage dropped by the USAAF.

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                • #9
                  Another possibility(or probability )is that it was the disruption of the transport system that was decisive and not the attacks on the industry (with the exception of the oil plants ),but was the disruption of the transport system the result of USAAF or RAF attacks ? Impossible to say,maybe a combination of both .

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                  • #10
                    If nothing else the round the clock bombing gave the Germans a serious case of insomnia.
                    Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

                    "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

                    What didn't kill us; didn't make us smarter.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Acheron View Post
                      If I had to take a guess, my money would be on the USAAF, being able to bomb accurately probably amounts to something.
                      First time they went to Berlin... they missed!!!
                      The long toll of the brave
                      Is not lost in darkness
                      Over the fruitful earth
                      And athwart the seas
                      Hath passed the light of noble deeds
                      Unquenchable forever.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Von Richter View Post


                        First time they went to Berlin... they missed!!!
                        Hi Von, what I saw of their bombing it was not safe to be within about 10 miles of their target!!
                        'By Horse by Tram'.


                        I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
                        " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by sherlock View Post
                          The British Royal Air Force utilized what was commonly known as "area" bombing, while the Americans preferred what they called "precision" bombing in their aerial assaults on Nazi Germany. Which tactic did more to bring down the Nazi empire? The Americans might have laid claim to the moral high-ground with their "pickle barrel" accuracy, but that would have been based more on intent than actual results.
                          Pickle barrel accuracy? HeHeHe! Precision bombing? MY A**E!! Their original way of bombing was to come over in huge swarms and on the O.K. all let go of their loads together.Precision bombing? I believe they showed a slight improvement later in the war particularly with their low level attacks but then you had to keep your heads down for they attacked ANYTHING that moved!! Very 'elementary my dear Watson'!
                          Last edited by lcm1; 11 Apr 10, 21:04.
                          'By Horse by Tram'.


                          I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
                          " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

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                          • #14
                            The one significant success of the Combined Bombing Offensive was the destruction of Nazi petroleum sources. That did much to cripple both the Luftwaffe and the Heer by late 1944, although the war was decided by that point. Other than that, all the posturing about "strategic" bombing is an exercise in public relations.

                            Cheers
                            Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge. It is the refusal to learn.

                            A contentedly cantankerous old fart

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by lcm1 View Post
                              Hi Von, what I saw of their bombing it was not safe to be within about 10 miles of their target!!
                              My late grandfather said he was bombed by US planes on numerous occasions. And no before anyone asks he was British 8th Army not
                              Wehrmacht.!

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