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Impact of allied strategic bombing on the german munitions program

RAF's and USAAF's doctrine during WWII stated that airpower by itself was sufficient to force the surrender of an enemy nation. Land campaigns were considered superfluous.

The bomber was the main tool of this doctrine and its mission was to destroy the enemy production centers.

American doctrine called for a direct attack on factories. British doctrine initially attempted the same, but the need to bomb by night to reduce losses decreased bombing accuracy. Therefore, GB switched to attacks to destroy the morale of the German population (direct attack on German civilians and their homes so they refused to work).

Without weaponry, the Germans would be forced to ask for peace was the theory.

The Americans and the British devoted massive resources to this end. Despite some important tactical successes, both air forces failed to achieve this goal.
The expectation was to annihilate German munition production with heavier air attacks but the opposite happened. In spite of heavier and heavier bombing, the Germans increased massively their weapons output as seen on the chart.

The theory failed, but the American effort (more than the British) contributed greatly to the final victory by achieving two very important results that will be shown in a future infographic:

a) The defeat of the Jagdwaffe (German fighter force) and the consequent attainment of air superiority

b) The destruction of German oil refineries once air superiority was obtained.


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