Target Germany

AIR MINISTRY, WHITEHALL, S.W.I. February, 1944 It gives me great pleasure to introduoe to British readers the United States Government's official account of the first year's operations from this country of the United States Army Air Force VIII Bomber Command, It is a brave story of brilliant organisation and massive achievement, of gallant endeavour and epic heroism. It tells how in one year the VIII Bomber Command grew from small beginnings to the great and powerful force which, together with the Royal Air Force and the Air Forces of the Dominions and of our other Allies, is raining havoc and destruction on the Nazi war maohine. Interleaved with this story will be found something of the story of our own achievements and our own way of life as seen through the eyes of our American friends, and there will be found generous tribute to such help as we have been privileged to give them. The stories of the United States VIII Bomber Command and of our own Bomber Command overlap at many points. The enemy must be attacked by day and by night so that he may have no respite from the Allied blows, so that his defensive resources maybe taxed to the utmost limit. But day bombing and night bombing are separate though complementary tasks. Each requires a strategic plan, a tactical execution and a supporting organisation adapted to its special needs. So there has been a division of labour. To one force--the VIII Bomber Command— has been allotted the task of day bombing. To the other force--our Bomber Command--the task of night bombing. The methods are different, but the aim is the same: to paralyse the armed forces of Germany by disrupting the war economy by which they are sustained. The objectives of both the American and British Bomber Commands are strictly military. We have rejected the policy of reprisals either for orimes like the sacking of Lidice or for outrages like the Baedeker raids on the Cathedral cities of Britain. Instead we strike at the enemy’s industries and communications, at the nerve centres of his resistance, with such force as eventually to destroy his capacity and his will for bloodthirsty war and criminal oppression. Our aim, in a word, is to hasten the day of liberation of the enslaved and suffering millions of Europe. May that day come soon.
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