was the Luftwaffe destroyed during the bombing of England?

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by 84superchamp, Feb 9, 2018.


  1. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    Among my dad and his peers, "spitfire" was a slang term they used to describe a high-energy, if not brazen, woman. As used:

    "That Brenda - she's a real spitfire!"​
     
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  2. Bob Womack

    Bob Womack Member

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    True... true. But I was speaking directly to the strategic campaign against the Luftwaffe.

    Bob
     
  3. blackie59

    blackie59 Member

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    I asked my dad about this same thing years ago and his answer was pretty straightforward. The U.S. practiced what was known at the time as strategic bombing that was designed in theory to shut down the war production machine. The idea sold to the crews was that if they successfully bombed a production plant it would take the Germans years to rebuild it (that didn't happen). The British bombers were setup for saturation bombing. Saturation bombing was designed to kill the maximum number of civilians around a production plant. The rationale for it was that it would take twenty years to grow a new worker. Combining strategic and saturation bombing would end the war all by itself which history has proven was not end result.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  4. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    This is too simplistic.

    The idea is, if you destroy all the infrastructure around the plant, there's no place nearby to find materials to rebuild the plant; no place to house the workers who would presumably rebuild the plant, and your objective is to take out power transmission, communications, water supply, railroad connections, roadways, bridges, vehicles, tools, equipment, canals and so forth. To keep this plant down or to make the enemy devote additional resources they'd otherwise be able to use elsewhere. IMO the fact that you also killed all the human beings nearby was more inevitable than it was an objective. Remember, young children, the elderly, and those without the strength or skills to assist in the war effort are in fact a substantial burden that the opposing country must carry - in a cruel way, you do your adversary a favor when you kill these classes of civilians. You'd rather not, in fact kill them if you can help it. By this stage in the war, a substantial part of the German population fit into these classes.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
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  5. 84superchamp

    84superchamp Silver Supporting Member

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    The ALLIED effort.:cool:
     
  6. nicktf

    nicktf Silver Supporting Member

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    It was realized early on by the British that pinpoint bombing was not feasible, especially at night. Targets were switched to cities simply because there was a better chance of hitting something. Later in the war, with improved air superiority, some more accurate bombing was practiced, with 617 squadron taking on the lion's share of targeted operations - the Dams, the Tirpitz and etc.

    Bombing evolved throughout the war, the British introducing Pathfinder Squadrons (either heavy bombers or mosquitoes) to mark targets with flares, a Master Bomber who would orbit the target and direct the operation, but absolute precision was never achieved by the Allies. One of the key differences between the UK and the US was the tight, fighter-protected daylight formations flown by the latter (aircraft could spend as long as 90 minutes circling their airfield as they formed up) and bombing by waiting on the lead bombardier (with a Norden) to drop, then releasing at the same time. The former's approach was to essentially fly solo to the target under cover of darkness, and aim for a timed arrival, and bomb individually, often not even seeing another aircraft. General consensus of the aircrews seems to have been that each thought the other approach brave but crazy.

    Martin Middlebrook has written some amazing books about these operations, another book well worth reading is Ploesti by James Dugan.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018
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  7. cragginshred

    cragginshred Member

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    Read 'D day through the eyes of a German' part one and two. Really cool perspective from different soldiers about D day including some Luftwaffe pilots who said 'we simply did not have the supplies to get in the air' so to speak. The Germans over and over said they coupld not believe the sheers number of ships, tanks, men, fuel, planes, guns ect. the Allies possessed. The Luftwaffe in contrast may have had a few planes on a runway but they may have not had the oil, petrol or other vital parts due to our effective bombing and general chaos the allies caused

    Each chapter is a different account from a different soldier. The content came from the authors grandfather who interviewed the ex soldiers 10 years after WWII and never published the work.

     
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  8. BADHAK

    BADHAK Member

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    And in any case, bombing a factory in daylight from 25,000 feet, in all types of weather, is going to end up killing civilians for miles around the target.
     
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  9. zzmoore

    zzmoore Member

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    Yeah.....No Zhit
    It was a mess.
    The children dealt with a unique brand of PTSD that was all their own. It stayed with them (as do all life events for all of us) for the rest of their lives.....assuming they lived.
    Part of the "Target" was always Civilians.
    There were no soldiers working in Factories.
    I am not sure if The German Populace hated anybody as much as they did the members of a British Bomber Crew.

    But it was basically all The Same . Whether the americans killed them at work during the day or The British killed them at home during the night.....it was raining death. If a place had a big road junction or rail bridge or telephone exchange, etc etc.....it got bombed.
    General Doolittle wrote a letter of protest, speaking out against bombing "Cities".....especially Berlin. It must have been (in the beginning anyway) very strange.
    At first it was orders to bomb:
    Firestone
    Apple Computers
    Silicon Valley
    Kaiser Shipyards
    Lima Locomotives
    Garment and Medical Facilities
    RCA
    Etc etc etc.

    Then it was orders to Bomb:
    San Francisco
    Houston
    Youngstown
    Pittsburgh
    Miami
    Boston

    I can see where Doolittle might have been miffed at first. But in the end, it all kind of meant the same thing...i guess. :dunno


    By wars end, Germany was a Health/Eco/Social/Political disaster.
    Everybody had their hands full to try and deal with the reality of "Total War"...circa 1945.
     
  10. Pitar

    Pitar Member

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    All strategic targets. The US bombing effort was a strategically planned offensive to hit only targets that had military value. This required daylight operations and exposure to the best defenses the Axis could put up. The English night bombing targeted nothing in particular and hit everything with the greatest collateral damage for the smallest exposure to enemy defenses. The night bombing of the German cities was a reciprocal return of favor for the German bombing of London during their blitz of 1940. All's fair in love and war.

    My pop never mentioned anything about his specific role in that war or the Korean war. I found out by reading his flight logs and military orders that he was a command pilot in the 8th Air Force flying B-17s over mainland Europe, and then after reading further I learned he flew ground support RF-51s (P51) in Korea. I knew he flew during both campaigns but if he wasn't volunteering, I wasn't asking because he was a Great Santini sort of dood. You spoke when spoken to or suffered the warrior 'tude.

    Germany lost the war on all fronts because it could not compete with the American industrial output. Plain and simple. If it could then we might all discussing how America lost the war because tit-for-tat, the soldering was on a par but German weapons technology was way ahead of the curve.

    Oh, luftwaffe simply means air weapon, in the literal sense, and air force in the interpretive sense.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  11. 335guy

    335guy Member

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    I thought that was part of it as well.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwtwo/area_bombing_01.shtml

    My dad also flew B-17s out of England. He did talk about it somewhat, and showed us photos of some of his sortes. But later on, he seemed to not want to talk about it much. He didn't fly in Korea but enlisted in the Air Force as a reservist, where he was an instructor for the most part. He eventually retired from the Air Force Reserve as a Lt. Colonel.

    The Russians as well, had quite a manufacturing ability, and overcame German tanks with their huge supply of superior T-34's, which was intially a big problem for the Nazis in Operation Barbarossa.
    http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-soviet-t-34-the-lethal-tank-won-world-war-ii-13889
     
  12. blackie59

    blackie59 Member

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    I was fortunate to have a Dad who talked in great detail about the war to my family. But he never ever spoke to his parents or brothers and sisters about the war. They knew he was a POW but didn’t know he was a bomber pilot. It was a real shock to them to learn about it after he had died. But his openness to us had a huge price too because he had a deep well of anger that he never really controlled and he was hell to live with as a child. He made the Great Santini seem like a rank amateur.

    I met and talked to several kids of his bomber crew as part of a research project the German Army conducted a few years ago and every kid told the same story of absolute and total fear of their dad’s anger. To say we all grew up in dysfunctional families doesn’t begin to describe some of the pain and suffering that war caused.
     
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  13. sixty2strat

    sixty2strat Member

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    Unglamorous as it seems part of the key to soviet victory was the dodge truck, the other was not giving a #$% about losses. German supplies and artillery were horse drawn for the most part, which contrasts with their image. Had the Red army not had the trucks to support their armor spearheads or even bring up supplies to units in defense their advances against determined Germans might not have been possible. They would have had similar issues and supply problems as the Nazi's in 42-45 and the Nazi's might have be able to stabilize a front. As the front moved west the supply route grew longer and rail lined destroyed it might have become more a static fight.
     
  14. sixty2strat

    sixty2strat Member

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    The problem with the strategic bombing was the idea they can win it alone with no boots on the ground, with nukes you can but who wants victory at that price. It works but it only a part of the effort. The 8th flew it's 1st mission in Aug of 42 and spent the next 6 months to year building up. Was it worth seems to be the question and it's fuzzy to this day. I have read the Nazi's had 10,000 Flak guns in the west, imagine 5,000 more to stop T34's let alone 20mm and 37mm AA guns. I was reading an old bio about Hartman and mentions how they were always taking the best man back to Germany. IIRC Rall said his group on 6/66 was in transit for home defense and they had 2 planes to attack D-day with. so no doubt the drained needed resources. Till they had fighter cover the cost was very high and that affected mission selection. Had they been able to keep up the Schiewfurt raids they would have really destroyed ball baring production, but the loses were too much. As it was the job was half done or risk losing the 8th. Were they were very effective was going after oil production, bombing stuff that burns is a no brainer. See a few refinery fires with one tank and heard a tanker blow up:holy #$%^, as unlike other war industries you could not split up the plants but for some reason they target priority only came latter in the war. Seems the wasted a lot of time on u-boat pens and aircraft factories.
     
  15. tim gueguen

    tim gueguen Member

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    Actually it was a British test pilot named Ronald Harker that came up with the idea of putting a Merlin in the Mustang after an April, 1942 test flight.

    Besides what the US provided Allied forces Canada produced a large quantity of military equipment, including some 16 thousand aircraft, 800,000 trucks and other wheeled vehicles, thousands of armoured vehicles of various sorts, and more than a million and a half small arms. But probably even more important was the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, which saw more than 130 thousand pilots and aircrew trained in Canada. Like US production Canadian production and training had the advantage of being invulnerable to Axis military attacks.
     
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  16. zzmoore

    zzmoore Member

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    It would (almost) be impossible to over estimate the importance of that last statement.
    Of the many Things that get credited with "Winning The War"
    The Russian Army
    Bletchley Park
    The Jeep
    Studebaker Trucks
    P-51
    Battle Of Britain
    Stalingrad
    El Alamein
    Hitler not being assassinated :)
    Etc etc etc
    The fact that North America was (besides Pearl Harbor and a few months of East Coast submarine attacks) just about free of Any Axis Attacks for the entire war, was Huge.....huge for Manufacture Might and Huge for Morale.
     
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  17. BADHAK

    BADHAK Member

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    Just the fact that the Wermacht was mostly horse-drawn means Germany never could have won. Hitler obsessing with wonder weapons while his armies relied on transport from another era shows how unrealistic the Reich was.
     
  18. jalmer

    jalmer Member

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    And yet there always has been talk about how the battle of the bulge almost turned the tide in favor of Germany.
     
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  19. Fred132

    Fred132 Member

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    Nah. Even if they had broken through to the Meuse, or taken Antwerp, or whatever, they didn't have the resources to hold on to those objectives or otherwise capitalize on short term success. They might have lengthened the war a bit, but that's about it.
     

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