Lesson 17 WW II -- Combined Bomber Offensive. Lesson Objectives Become familiar with the origin of...

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Lesson 17 WW II -- Combined Bomber Offensive

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  • Slide 1
  • Lesson 17 WW II -- Combined Bomber Offensive
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  • Lesson Objectives Become familiar with the origin of strategic bombing Describe the differences between the airpower doctrine of the RAF and USAAF and that of the Luftwaffe Describe and analyze cost to the Allies and the impact on Germany of strategic bombing campaign in Europe. Discuss the legal, moral and ethical issues of the strategic bombing campaign as conducted against Germany.
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  • Total War and thus become legitimate military targets Total war: one in which the whole population and all the resources of the combatants are committed to complete victory Hugh Bicheno Oxford Companion to Military History and rules of war are disregarded. Automatic
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  • Airpower Theory Billy Mitchell Giuilo Douhet Curtis LeMay Ira Eaker All advocated the use of long range bombing
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  • Strategic Bombing WW I Source Zeppelin Raid on London (propaganda postcard) First Raid: January 19, 1915 First Raid on London: May 31, 1915 Summary of Zeppelin Raids: 52 raids 556 dead, 1,914 injured
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  • Early Demonstrations Billy Mitchell and the Osfriedland
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  • Early Demonstrations Intercepting the Italian Liner Rex - 1938
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  • Strategic Bombing "The bombers will always get through." Stanley Baldwin British Prime Minister 10 November 1932
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  • Principles of Strategic Airpower 1. Modern great powers rely on major industrial and economic systems for production of weapons and supplies for their armed forces, and for manufacture of products and provision of services to sustain life in a highly industrialized society. Disruption or paralysis of these systems undermines both the enemy's capability and will to fight. Air Corps Tactical School, c. 1935 2. Such major systems contain critical points whose destruction will break down these systems, and bombs can be delivered with adequate accuracy to do this. 3. Massed air strike forces can penetrate air defenses without unacceptable losses and destroy selected targets. 4. Proper selection of vital targets in the industrial/economic/social structure of a modern industrialized nation, and their subsequent destruction by air attack, can lead to fatal weakening of an industrialized enemy nation and to victory through air power. 5. If enemy resistance still persists after successful paralysis of selected target systems, it may be necessary as a last resort to apply direct force upon the sources of enemy national will by attacking cities. In this event, it is preferable to render the cities untenable rather than indiscriminately to destroy structures and people.
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  • On Targeting Civilians Sept. 3, 1939: Hitler issued War Directive No. 2 No bombing of French, British cities No mention of Poland, Holland US Centennial of Flight Commission Battle of Britain, August 24, 1940 German bombers accidentally attacked London RAF bombed Berlin the next night Hitler turned Luftwaffe against London, other cities
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  • "The Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everyone else, and nobody was going to bomb them. At Rotterdam, London, Warsaw, and half a dozen other places, they put their rather naive theory into operation. Air Marshall Sir Arthur "Bomber" Harris, RAF They sowed the wind, and now they are going to reap the whirlwind." * * Last sentence from Hosea 8:7
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  • RAF Heavy Bombers Avro Lancaster (1941)* * First flight Short Stirling (1939)*
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  • US Airpower First European bomber mission August 17, 1942 - Rouen, France RAF Propaganda Leaflet
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  • U.S. Heavy Bombers Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress Consolidated B-24 Liberator
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  • U.S. Heavy Bombers Boeing B-17 Flying FortressConsolidated B-24 Liberator
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  • Daylight, high-altitude precision bombing against specific industrial targets Targeting Philosophy U.S.: Together: Combined Bomber Offensive British: Night area-bombing of cities
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  • Precision Bombing Norden Bomb Sight
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  • Target: Germany
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  • Enlarged Version
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  • Strategic Bombing Targeting How to get the most bang for the buck! Challenge
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  • Strategic Bombing Challenge Selecting the most productive target sets Initially U-boat facilities After June 1943 Fighter aircraft Ball bearings Petroleum Prior to D-Day Transportation
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  • Challenges German Defenses Flak (AAA) Fighters
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  • Heavy Losses
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  • Bomber Tactics Element Formation
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  • Improved Bomber Armament Added defense against head-on attacks
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  • Fighter Escort P-47 Thunderbolt P-51 Mustang
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  • Fighter Escort P-51 Mustang P-47 Thunderbolt One of these aircraft was designed as a high altitude interceptor, the other as a ground attack aircraft. Each excelled in the other role. Which was which?
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  • Critique of Bombing Campaign Established a Second Front Tied down significant German resources Fortress Europe has no roof RAF propaganda leaflet
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  • Critique of Bombing Campaign Established a Second Front Precision bombing: results disappointing Difficult to execute in mass formation Weather, enemy defenses disrupted accuracy Technology still not up to task Fog of war
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  • Precision Bombing Myth
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  • Critique of Bombing Campaign Established a Second Front Precision bombing: results disappointing Impact on German morale: ultimately telling German experience different from British during Blitz "Bombing appreciably affected the German will to resist. Its main psychological effects were defeatism, fear, hopelessness, fatalism, and apathy. It did little to stiffen resistance through the arousing of aggressive emotions of hate and anger. War weariness, willingness to surrender, loss of hope in German victory, distrust of leaders, feelings of disunity, and demoralizing fear were all more common among bombed than among unbombed people." US Strategic Bombing Survey, European War
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  • German Cities Bombed 1,000 km600 km400 km
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  • Consequences of Bombing Germany Civilian Deaths: 300,000-500,000
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  • Critique of Bombing Campaign Established a Second Front Precision bombing: results disappointing Impact on morale: ultimately telling Impact on war production German production increased through mid-1944 Late decision to mobilization Fighter production displaced bombers 85% of US bombs were dropped after D-day Influenced final ground war after January 1945 Phillip S. Meilinger Bogus charges Against Airpower Air Force magazine, September 2002
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  • Strategic Bombing Video YouTube (39:55)
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  • End
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  • Target: Electrical Production Eder Dam Ruhr Valley
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  • Target: Water & Electrical Production Potential: Ruhr dams controlled some 25% of German industrial water Challenge: Dams were heavy masonry or earthen structures Located in narrow valleys Protected by torpedo nets
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  • Operation Chastise The Dam Buster Raids Source May 16-17, 1943
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  • Concept Source Dr. Barnes Wallis preliminary sketch
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  • Bouncing Bomb Concept Source
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  • Bouncing Bomb Concept Royal Air Force Museum Highball Weapon
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  • Bouncing Bomb Concept Royal Air Force Museum General Alignment Within Aircraft
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  • Bouncing Bomb Concept Royal Air Force Museum Spin Mechanism Alignment Within Aircraft National Archives (UK)
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  • Bouncing Bomb Concept Test of Highball Weapon Click here for video clip
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  • Upkeep Weapon National Archives (UK) Length: 60 inches (152 cm) Diameter: 56 inches (142 cm) Total Weight: 9,250 lb. (4,200 kg) Explosive Weight: 6,600 lbs (3,000 kg)
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  • Upkeep Weapon National Archives (UK) Upkeep mounted under Lancaster bomber
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  • Lancaster Bomber Dropping the Upkeep Bomb Royal Air Force Museum 617 Squadron Crest
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  • The Aircrews Challenge The weapon had to be dropped from an altitude of 60 feet, at a speed of 220 mph, between 425 and 475 yards from the target National Archives (UK) Green On Go! by Robert Taylor at night over water! How they did it
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  • Operation Chastise The Dam Buster Raids May 16-17, 1943 The Night They Breached The Dams by Robert Taylor Video Clip (10:26)Video Clip (1:47)
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  • Operation Chastise The Dam Buster Raids May 16-17, 1943 Results: Two of four dams breached 8 of 19 aircraft lost 53 of 133 crew killed (plus 3 POW) Commander, W/Cdr Guy Gibson, awarded Victoria Cross Moehne DamSource
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  • The Dambusters The Movie Trailer First Dam
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  • The Dambusters Opening Credits (1:54)(1:54) The Dilemma (7:38)(7:38) The Solution (3:24)(3:24) Searchlights (2:45)(2:45) The Takeoff (8:38)(8:38) Entering Enemy Territory (8:53)(8:53) The First Dam (10:26)(10:26) The Second Dam (7:03)(7:03) Conclusion (6:38)(6:38) The Movie
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  • Strategic Bombing Video YouTube (41:30)
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  • Memphis Belle "The Circle of Modern War" and logo Thomas D. Pilsch 2007-2013
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  • Lesson 18 WW II -- Amphibious Warfare: The Normandy Campaign Next:
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  • Lesson Objectives Build a foundation for understanding the complexity and potential of the amphibious assault as a military maneuver. Develop an appreciation for the magnitude and significance of the Normandy invasion (Operation Overlord). Understand the importance of deception in Operation Overlord. Analyze Operation Overlord as a logistics operation. Understand the sequence of events from June 1944 that led to the downfall of Nazi Germany.
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  • End
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  • Video Title "The Circle of Modern War" and logo Thomas D. Pilsch 2007-2013