42 SUPPLEMENT t o t h e LONDON GAZETTE, 2 JANUARY, 1947
Moreover, the heavy daylight raids of the United
States Eighth Air Force into Germany achieved
a steady attrition of the German fighter forces.
Attrition of the G.A.F.
42. How crippling these blows were on Ger
man aircraft production is illustrated by inform
ation obtained from intelligence sources. A
comprehensive picture of the effects of direct air
attack in terms of enenty single-engine fighter
production during the five months from 1st Nov
ember, 1943 to 1st April, 1944 can be gained
from the estimates below: — *
November ... 1,280 600
••• i »335
January ... 1,415 650
February • 1,480 600
••• I o 55
43. The difference between the production
planned and achieved totals 4,115 aircraft, an
average loss to the enemy of more than 820
single-engined fighters per month.
44. These figures ignore the heavy losses sus
tained by German Air Force fighters in air
attacks on their airfields and in combat; also
ihe effective attacks on the factories producing
twin-engined fighters must be taken into
45. Parallel with the attacks on production
centres by the strategic air forces, a campaign
of day and night intruding against enemy air
fields, designed to hamper enemy training
schedules as well as to destroy the enemy in the
air, was carried out by aircraft of A.E.A .F.
with very great success. In addition, many
heavy attacks were made in the preliminary
period on the enemy's airfields, which achieved
considerable destruction of airfield facilities.
46. It became evident during this period
(November, 1943, to May, 1944) that the High
Command of the German Air Force was pur
suing a policy of conserving its air forces for
the defence of vital targets only. This policy
made it extremely difficult to get the G.A.F
to fight. Even large scale fighter sweeps failed
to produce any serious reaction. However, in
the period from 15th November, 1943, the date
of the formation of A .E .A .F ., to the 5th June,
1944, the eve of D-Day, the Allied forces
accounted for the following enemy aircraft in
air combat alone (see foot of page).
47. This enormous attrition of G.A.F.
strength is based on claims of enemy aircraft
destroyed in combat alone; no account is taken
in these statistics of aircraft destroyed on the
ground. Of the figures given above no less
than 2,655 enemy aircraft were destroyed by
Allied Air Forces operating out of the United
Kingdom during what I have termed the
preparatory period of the assault, namely
1st April to 5th June, 1944. 1 deal with the
planned attacks on the G.A.F. and its bases in
France during this preparatory period in para.
129 et seq.
(b) Preparatory Period.
Method of Presentation.
48. Since the war began all attacks against
enemy tafgets have, in some measure, in
fluenced the situation prevailing on the eve
of the assault. The commencement of the
preparatory phase for this Despatch I have,
however, fixed at 1st April, 1944, except in so
far as detailed co-ordinated plans for attacks
on targets of specific importance within the
framework of the “ Neptune ” plan were in
operation earlier. In these cases, I have in
cluded all the attacks made in accordance with
the complete plan.
49. For convenience of presentation, I have
dealt with these preparatory operations under
the headings set out below. These headings
cover the various operations planned and
carried out to fulfil the tasks laid on to the air
forces (see paragraph 25): —
Dislocation of Enemy Lines of Communi
cation, including Destruction of Bridges.
Neutralisation of Coastal Defences.
Disruption of Enemy Radar Cover and
W /T facilities.
Attacks on Military facilities.
Harassing of Coastwise Shipping and Sea
Attacks on Airfields.
Protection of the Assembling Assault
“ Crossbow ” Operations.
Aircraft on offensive operations........................... 711
Aircraft on defensive operations over the United
Kingdom and Channel a r e a s ........................... 167
Guns of Anti-Aircraft Command ...
Eighth Air Force— by Bombers ........................... 2,223 696 1,188
— by Fighters ........................... 1,835 202
R.A.F. Bomber Com m and....................................... 201
R.A.F. Coastal Command ... 28
Grand Totals ...........................
* Subjcct to modification in the light of information subsequently received.