Mr. Anderson stated :
In other words, " Our glorious forces made an orderly strategic withdrawal to more easily defensibleUm, I would call it a "re-evaluation and a decision made to limit deep-penetration
raids aimed at targets far beyond escort range". It was neither a "halt" or a "pause".
Strategic German targets were still being attacked and the Luftwaffe was still coming up
and contesting the air space. You quote was simply incorrect on many particulars.
positions. The ragged, starving, demoralized enemy staggered behind in chaos..... "
No amount of war time propaganda by the Bomber Barons or post war ex post facto justification by
the House Historians of the USAF can conceal the fact that the two Schweinfurt Raids were disasters,
both in terms of the losses to aircraft and crews, and the resulting effect on the morale of the survivors.
After the October Raid, the USAAF puilled back, and for the rest of 1943, conducted only ' Milk Run '
missions while they rebuilt their crew and aircraft strength and tried to re-establish morale.
Actually, if you look at the attached map, from Paul Kennedy's ' Engineers of Victory '. you can see how,"Eighth Air Force halted raids into Germany" simply isn't true. Raids into Germany
never halted. Deep penetration raids into certain classes of targets ended until early 1944
and the arrival of large numbers of long-range escorts, but that is different.
after 2nd Schweinfurt, the USAAF conducted raids only in France and the Netherlands, and in the areas
of Germany where they could have P-47 escort. ( The P-38 had turned out to be a dud as a fighter escort
over Germany )
And, it is significant, Schweinfurt was OUTSIDE the radius of the P-47 in 1943. It wasn't until the P-51 with
' Paper Tanks ' reached the theater that the USAAF went back on the offensive into Germany. And it took
Jimmy Doolittle to unscrew the USAAF Fighter Escort Doctrine and make the whole thing work.
Um, sorry, but no, the Eighth Air Force could not lose something it had not yet gained.
No, but the USAAF COULD lose more than 60 bombers and 600 trained crewmen in a single day,
shattering the myth of the ' Defensive Bomber Box ' and convincing the Fortress and Liberator crews that
none of them were ever going to get home after 25 missions. Kind of like Linebacker in VietNam, where
the B-52 crews got the hell shot out of them over Hanoi. It only takes one or two missions where a lot of
your friends get killed to give the ' guys in the back ' a bad case of The Fear.
After BODENPLATTE it could be argued the allies achieved air supremacy, but that may be
Um, sorry, no. The USAAF achieved air superiority starting in early December of 1943, when the first P-51Bs
were re assigned from support missions to long range bomber escort. At the end of February, 1944, the USAAF
fought Operation Argument ( ' Big Week ' ) against the Luftwaffe, and killed so many veteran Luftwaffe pilots
that the JagdFlieger Squadrons never fully recovered. Following this, throughout the spring, summer, and
autumn of 1944, the Eight and Ninth Air Forces essentially were able to bomb any target in Germany, with far
fewer losses than they had suffered in 1943.
.....BTW, its pretty embarrassing that whatever internet PAO flack at Maxwell that typed up
that egregious manure didn't bother to check it against the facts.
Yeah, what can you say ? Guy was probably a history major.....
Paul R. Ward