Hutchinson's Pictorial History of the War, Series 26, No 4

ALLIED AIR STRATEGY bv Wing-Commander John Strachey It has all com c together. Total war is turning into total defeat. The armies strike into Germany at a dozen point?— and find a- ruined land. That frantic Nazi resistance which kept thew argo in gall through last winter has had most serious consequences— above all lor Germany. It meant that w e had tc goon bombing and bombing and as the flak and fighter defences weakened the damage grew and grew .So long as the German Army was in the field killing our men and our allies it would have been crim in alto with old a single bomb from Germany wars industries to have done so would have meant condemning thousands o four troops to unnecessary death when they had to breakthrough into Germany. As it is. there have been no long outdrawn Passchen- daeles or battles o f the Somme in the final phases o f this war. The allied armies have flooded out into the German plain with much lower casualties than might have been expected. In a war commentary Major Lewis Hastings paid a splendid tribute from the Army to what the bombers have done to make that possible. What better reward could the aircrew shave than this knowledge that their years o f effort and their own heavy casualties have saved the olives f tens o f thousands o f their countrymen. As our armies enter one German city after another —Cologne— K refeld —Frankfort— M uenster— they find that the damage done b your bombing has been under, not overestimated. A ruined industrial city is an awe­ inspiring sight— a sight which may come as a shock to anyone who has never quite realised the power ol Bomber Comm and and the 8th American Air Force. But before w e begin to pity the inhabitants of the German cities we should think over this point. How strong and how dangerous Hitlers Reich must have been to have withstood such attacks year after year until now. German resistance is only now collapsing yet for 24 months her main industrial centres have been taking this punishment in its intensest form .Besides (he destruction in the German cities— which is what the armies mostly see— is not the only or even the main thing which our bombers have done to Germany. Especially in the last year the cream o four bomber eflort has not gone onto the German industrial centres at all it has gone onto precise targets. Above all onto the enem ys oil factories and his railways. A yous know I have always considered thai the attack on oil was the biggest single thing which the allied bombers were doing. B they 24th o f March— the d a yon which the Allies crossed the Rhine —only one o fall Germany synthetic’s oil plants and refineries was working and that at only a quarter o fits proper output. The experts A BOMB-LOAD FOR A TYPHOON' Typhoon Fighter-Bombers of the 2nd Tactical Air Force carry clusters of anti-personnel bombs to support the army without, causing craters. Here a canister containing 26 twenty-pound bombs being fitted under the wings of a Typhoon. 177
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