Bombing of Cologne in World War II
The German city of Cologne was bombed in 262 separate air raids by the Allies during World War II, all by the Royal Air Force but for a single failed post-capture test of a guided missile by the United States Army Air Forces. A total of 34,711 long tons of bombs were dropped on the city by the RAF. 20,000 people died during the war in Cologne due to aerial bombardments. While air raid alarms had gone off in the winter/spring of 1940 as British bombers passed overhead, the first bombing took place on 12 May 1940; the 30/31 May 1942 attack on Cologne was the first 1,000 bomber raid. The first 1,000 bomber raid by the RAF was conducted on Cologne on the night of 30/31 May 1942. Codenamed Operation Millennium, the massive raid was launched for two primary reasons: It was expected that the devastation from such raids might be enough to knock Germany out of the war or at least damage German morale; the raids were useful propaganda for the Allies and for RAF Bomber Command head Arthur Harris's concept of a Strategic Bombing Offensive.
Bomber Command's poor performance in bombing accuracy during 1941 had led to calls for the force to be split up and diverted to other urgent theatres e.g. the Battle of the Atlantic. A headline-grabbing heavy raid on Germany was a way for Harris to demonstrate to the War Cabinet that given the investment in numbers and technology Bomber Command could make a vital contribution to victory. At this stage of the war Bomber Command only had a regular front line strength of around 400 aircraft, were in the process of transitioning from the twin engined medium bombers of the pre-war years to the newer more effective four-engined heavy bombers such as the Handley Page Halifax and Avro Lancaster. By using bombers and men from Operational Training Units, 250 from RAF Coastal Command and from Flying Training Command, Harris could make up the 1,000 aircraft. However, just before the raid took place, the Royal Navy refused to allow the Coastal Command aircraft to take part in the raid; the Admiralty perceived the propaganda justifications too weak an argument against the real and pressing threat of the U-boats in the Battle of the Atlantic.
Harris scrambled around and, by crewing 49 more aircraft with pupil pilots and instructors, 1,047 bombers took part in the raid, two and a half times more than any previous raid by the RAF. 58 bombers were from Polish units. In addition to the bombers attacking Cologne, 113 other aircraft on "Intruder" raids harassed German night-fighter airfields. Cologne was not Harris's first choice. Poor weather made Hamburg a poor choice; this was the first time that the "bomber stream" tactic was used and most of the tactics used in this raid remained the basis for standard Bomber Command operations for the next two years and some elements remained in use until the end of the war. It was expected that such a large number of bombers flying in a bomber stream through the Kammhuber line would overwhelm the German night fighters' control system, keeping the number of bombers shot down to an acceptable proportion; the recent introduction of GEE allowed the bombers to fly a given route at height. The British night bombing campaign had been in operation for some months, a statistical estimate could be made of the number of bombers to be lost to enemy night fighters and flak, how many would be lost through collisions.
Minimising the former demanded a densely packed stream, as the controllers of a night fighter flying a defensive'box' could only direct a maximum of six potential interceptions per hour, the flak gunners could not concentrate on all the available targets at once. Earlier in the war four hours had been considered acceptable for a mission, it was anticipated that the concentration of bombing over such a short period would overwhelm the Cologne fire brigades and cause conflagrations similar to those inflicted on London by the Luftwaffe during the Blitz. In the raid, 868 aircraft bombed the main target with 15 aircraft bombing other targets; the total tonnage of bombs dropped. Two and a half thousand separate fires were started with 1,700 classed by the German fire brigades as "large"; the action of fire fighters and the width of the streets stopped the fires combining into a firestorm, but nonetheless most of the damage was done by fire and not directly by the explosive blasts. 3,330 non-residential buildings were destroyed, 2,090 damaged and 7,420 damaged, making a total of 12,840 buildings of which 2,560 were industrial or commercial buildings.
Among the buildings classed as destroyed were: 7 official administration buildings, 14 public buildings, 7 banks, 9 hospitals, 17 churches, 16 schools, 4 university buildings, 10 postal and railway buildings, 10 buildings of historic interest, 2 newspaper offices, 4 hotels, 2 cinemas and 6 department stores. The only military installation damaged was the flak barracks; the damage to civilian homes, most of them apartments in larger buildings, was considerable: 13,010 destroyed, 6,360 damaged, 22,270 damaged. The devastation was recorded by Hermann Claasen from 1942 until the end of the war, presented in his exhibition and book of 1947 Singing in the furnace. Cologne - Remains of an old city The RAF lost 43 aircraft, 3.9% of the 1,103 bombers sent on the raid. 22 aircraft were lost over or near Cologne, 16 shot down by flak, 4 by night f
Andersen Air Force Base
Andersen Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located 4 miles northeast of Yigo near Agafo Gumas in the United States territory of Guam. Along with Naval Base Guam, Andersen AFB was placed under the command of Joint Region Marianas on 1 October 2009; the two bases are about 30 miles apart at opposite ends of the island. Administration offices for Joint Region Marianas are about half-way in between, at Nimitz Hill; the host unit at Andersen AFB is the 36th Wing, assigned to the Pacific Air Forces Eleventh Air Force. A non-flying wing, the 36 WG's mission is to provide support to deployed air and space forces of USAF and foreign air forces to Andersen, to support tenant units assigned to the base. Andersen AFB was established in 1944 as North Field and is named for Brigadier General James Roy Andersen; the 36th Wing Commander is Brig. Gen. Gentry W. Boswell; the Vice Wing Commander is Colonel Matthew J. Nicholson and the Command Chief Master Sergeant is Chief Master Sergeant Gary R. Szekely.
The most important U. S. air base west of Hawaii, Andersen is the only one in the Western Pacific that can permanently base U. S. heavy strategic bombers, including B-1B, B-2, B-52 bombers. It is one of two critical US bases in the Asia Pacific region, along with Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. Andersen is one of four bomber forward operating locations of the US Air Force; these locations provide forward support to bomber crews deploying overseas in Europe, Southwest Asia and in the Pacific. The Air Force is establishing forward-deployed bomber beddown support at key locations throughout the world and Andersen is one of two critical bases in the Asia-Pacific region; the other location is Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. Guam's unrestricted airspace and the close proximity of the Farallon de Medinilla Island, a naval bombing range 184 miles north, makes this an ideal training environment. Andersen is home to the following units: 36th Wing 734th Air Mobility Support Squadron Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Twenty-Five * Andersen Air Force Base was established on 3 December 1944 and is named for Brigadier General James Roy Andersen.
General Andersen graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1926, served at various army installations, obtained his wings at Kelly Field, Texas, in 1936. During 1943–1944 he served on the War Department General Staff. In January 1945, General Andersen was assigned to Pacific Ocean Area, he died on 26 February 1945 in the crash of a B-24 Liberator aircraft between Kwajalein and Johnston Island while en route to Hawaii. Andersen Air Force Base's origins begin on 7 December 1941 when Guam was attacked by the armed forces of Imperial Japan in the Battle of Guam three hours after the Attack on Pearl Harbor; the United States Navy surrendered Guam to the Japanese on 10 December. At the height of the war 19,000 Japanese soldiers and sailors were deployed to the island. Guam was liberated by the United States Marine Corps' 3rd Amphibious Corps on 21 July 1944, in the Battle of Guam, after a 13-day pre-invasion bombardment; the Japanese managed to contain the Marines on two beachheads. The Marines renewed their assault, reached the northern tip of the island on 10 August 1944.
Japanese guerrilla activities continued until the end of the war, some were holdouts for many years afterwards. Guam was considered as being ideal to establish air bases to launch B-29 Superfortress operations against the Japanese Home Islands; the Marianas Islands are about 1,500 miles from Tokyo, a range which the B-29s could just about manage. Most important of all, it could be put on a direct supply line from the United States by ship. "North Field", as Andersen AFB was first named, was the first air base built on Guam after its liberation, being constructed by United States Navy Seabees beginning in November 1944. North Field and its co-located Northwest Field, was a massive installation, with four main runways, revetments for over 200 B-29s, a large containment area for base operations and personnel; the first host unit at North Field was the 314th Bombardment Wing, XXI Bomber Command, Twentieth Air Force. The 314th arrived on Guam on 16 January 1945 from Colorado; the 314th controlled four operational B-29 bomb groups, the 19th, 29th, 39th, 330th.
B-29 Superfortress missions from North Field were attacks against strategic targets in Japan operating in daylight and at high altitude to bomb factories and other objectives. Beginning in March 1945, the XXI Bomber Command changed tactics and started carrying out low-level night incendiary raids on area targets. During the Allied assault on Okinawa, groups of the 314th Bomb Wing attacked airfields from which the Japanese were sending out suicide planes against the invasion force. Flying out of Guam, S/Sgt Henry E Erwin of the 29th Bombardment Group was awarded the Medal of Honor for action that saved his B-29 during a mission over Koriyama, Japan, on 12 April 1945; when a phosphorus smoke bomb exploded in the launching chute and shot back into the plane, Sgt Erwin picked up the burning bomb, carried it to a window, threw it out. After the war, B-29s from North Field dropped food and supplies to Allied prisoners and participated in several show-of-force missions over Japan; the 29th, 39th and 330th Bomb Groups returned to the United States and inactivated in December 1945 while the 19th remained on Guam to become the host unit at the station
Guam is an unincorporated and organized territory of the United States in Micronesia in the western Pacific Ocean. It is the easternmost point and territory of the United States, along with the Northern Mariana Islands; the capital city of Guam is Hagåtña and the most populous city is Dededo. The inhabitants of Guam are called Guamanians, they are American citizens by birth. Indigenous Guamanians are the Chamorros, who are related to other Austronesian natives of Eastern Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan. Guam has been a member of the Pacific Community since 1983. In 2016, 162,742 people resided on Guam. Guam has a population density of 775 per square mile. In Oceania, it is the largest and southernmost of the Mariana Islands and the largest island in Micronesia. Among its municipalities, Mongmong-Toto-Maite has the highest population density at 3,691 per square mile, whereas Inarajan and Umatac have the lowest density at 119 per square mile; the highest point is Mount Lamlam at 1,332 feet above sea level.
Since the 1960s, the economy has been supported by two industries: tourism and the United States Armed Forces. The indigenous Chamorros settled the island 4,000 years ago. Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, while in the service of Spain, was the first European to visit the island, on March 6, 1521. Guam was colonized by Spain in 1668 with settlers, including Diego Luis de San Vitores, a Catholic Jesuit missionary. Between the 16th century and the 18th century, Guam was an important stopover for the Spanish Manila Galleons. During the Spanish–American War, the United States captured Guam on June 21, 1898. Under the Treaty of Paris, Spain ceded Guam to the United States on December 10, 1898. Guam is among the 17 non-self-governing territories listed by the United Nations. Before World War II, there were five American jurisdictions in the Pacific Ocean: Guam and Wake Island in Micronesia, American Samoa and Hawaii in Polynesia, the Philippines. On December 7, 1941, hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Guam was captured by the Japanese, who occupied the island for two and a half years.
During the occupation, Guamanians were subjected to beheadings, forced labor and torture. American forces recaptured the island on July 21, 1944. An unofficial but used territorial motto is "Where America's Day Begins", which refers to the island's close proximity to the international date line; the original inhabitants of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands were the Chamorro people, who are believed to be descendants of Austronesian people originating from Southeast Asia as early as 2000 BC. The ancient Chamorro society had four classes: chamorri, matua and mana'chang; the matua were located in the coastal villages, which meant they had the best access to fishing grounds, whereas the mana'chang were located in the interior of the island. Matua and mana'chang communicated with each other, matua used achaot as intermediaries. There were "makåhna" or "kakahna", shamans with magical powers and "Suruhånu" or "Suruhåna" healers who use different kinds of plants and natural materials to make medicine.
Belief in spirits of ancient Chamorros called "Taotao mo'na" still persists as a remnant of pre-European culture. It is believed that "Suruhånu" or "Suruhåna" are the only ones who can safely harvest plants and other natural materials from their homes or "hålomtåno" without incurring the wrath of the "Taotao mo'na", their society was organized along matrilineal clans. Latte stones are stone pillars; the latte-stone was used as a foundation. Latte stones consist of a base shaped from limestone called the haligi and with a capstone, or tåsa, made either from a large brain coral or limestone, placed on top. A possible source for these stones, the Rota Latte Stone Quarry, was discovered in 1925 on Rota; the first European to travel to Guam was Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan, sailing for the King of Spain, when he sighted the island on March 6, 1521, during his fleet's circumnavigation of the globe. When Magellan arrived on Guam, he was greeted by hundreds of small outrigger canoes that appeared to be flying over the water, due to their considerable speed.
These outrigger canoes were called Proas, resulted in Magellan naming Guam Islas de las Velas Latinas. Antonio Pigafetta said that the name was "Island of Sails", but he writes that the inhabitants "entered the ships and stole whatever they could lay their hands on", including "the small boat, fastened to the poop of the flagship." "Those people are poor, but ingenious and thievish, on account of which we called those three islands Islas de los Ladrones." Despite Magellan's visit, Guam was not claimed by Spain until January 26, 1565, by General Miguel López de Legazpi. From 1565 to 1815, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, the only Spanish outposts in the Pacific Ocean east of the Philippines, were an important resting stop for the Manila galleons, a fleet that covered the Pacific trade route between Acapulco and Manila. To protect these Pacific fleets, Spain built several defensive structures that still stand today, such as Fort Nuestra Señora de la Soledad in Umatac. Guam is the biggest single segment of Micronesia, the largest islands between the island of Kyushu, New Guinea, the Philippines, the Hawaiian Islands.
Spanish colonization commenced on June 15, 1
Bombing of Berlin in World War II
Berlin, the capital of Nazi Germany, was subject to 363 air raids during the Second World War. It was bombed by the RAF Bomber Command between 1940 and 1945, by the USAAF Eighth Air Force between 1943 and 1945, the French Air Force between 1944 and 1945 as part of the Allied campaign of strategic bombing of Germany, it was attacked by aircraft of the Red Air Force in 1945 as Soviet forces closed on the city. British bombers dropped 45,517 tons of bombs; as the bombings continued more and more people moved out. By May 1945, 1.7 million people had fled. When the Second World War began in 1939, the President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, issued a request to the major belligerents to confine their air raids to military targets; the French and the British agreed to abide by the request, with the provision that this was "upon the understanding that these same rules of warfare will be scrupulously observed by all of their opponents". The United Kingdom had a policy of using aerial bombing only against military targets and against infrastructure such as ports and railways of direct military importance.
While it was acknowledged that the aerial bombing of Germany would cause civilian casualties, the British government renounced the deliberate bombing of civilian property, outside combat zones, as a military tactic. This policy was abandoned on 15 May 1940, two days after the German air attack on Rotterdam, when the RAF was given permission to attack targets in the Ruhr, including oil plants and other civilian industrial targets that aided the German war effort, such as blast furnaces that at night were self illuminating; the first RAF raid on the interior of Germany took place on the night of 10 – 11 May. The Jules Verne, a variant of the Farman F.220 of the French Naval Aviation, was the first Allied bomber to raid Berlin: on the night of 7 June 1940 it dropped eight bombs of 250 kg and 80 of 10 kg weight on the German capital. Between 1939 and 1942, the policy of bombing only targets of direct military significance was abandoned in favour of "area bombing" — large-scale bombing of German cities to destroy housing and civilian infrastructure.
Although killing German civilians was never an explicit policy, it was obvious that area bombing must lead to large-scale civilian casualties. Following the fall of France in 1940, Britain had no other means of carrying the war to Germany on the European continent and after the entry of the Soviet Union into the war in 1941, bombing Germany was the only contribution Britain was prepared to make to meet Stalin's demands for action to open up a second European front. With the technology available at the time, the precision bombing of military targets was possible only by daylight. Daylight bombing raids conducted by Bomber Command involved unacceptably high losses of British aircraft, bombing by night led to far lower British losses, but was of necessity indiscriminate due to the difficulties of nocturnal navigation and bomb aiming. Before 1941, Berlin, at 950 kilometres from London, was at the extreme range attainable by the British bombers available to the Allied forces, it could be bombed only at night in summer when the days were longer and skies clear—which increased the risk to Allied bombers.
The first RAF raid on Berlin took place on the night of 25 August 1940. The bombing raids on Berlin prompted Hitler to order the shift of the Luftwaffe's target from British airfields and air defenses to British cities, at a time during the Battle of Britain when the British air defenses were becoming exhausted and overstretched. In the following two weeks there were a further five raids of a similar size, all nominally precision raids at specific targets, but with the difficulties of navigating at night the bombs that were dropped were dispersed. During 1940 there were more raids on Berlin; the raids were ineffective in hitting important targets. The head of the Air Staff of the RAF, Sir Charles Portal, justified these raids by saying that to "get four million people out of bed and into the shelters" was worth the losses involved; the Soviet Union started a bombing campaign on Berlin on 8 August 1941 that extended into early September. Navy bombers, operating from the Moonzund Archipelago conducted 8 raids to Berlin with 3-12 aircraft in each raid.
Army bombers, operating from near Leningrad, executed several small raids to Berlin. In total in 1941, 33 Soviet aircraft dropped 36,000 kilograms of bombs on Berlin. Combat and operational losses for the Soviets tallied 70 crewmen killed. On 7 November 1941, Sir Richard Peirse, head of RAF Bomber Command, launched a large raid on Berlin, sending over 160 bombers to the capital. 21 were shot down or crashed, again little damage was done due to bad weather. This failure led to the dismissal of Peirse and his replacement by Sir Arthur Travers Harris, who believed in both the efficacy and necessity of area bombing. Harris said: "The Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everyone else, nobody was going to bomb them. At Rotterdam, London and half a hundred other places, they put their rather naïve theory into operation, they sowed the wind, now they are going to reap the whirlwind." At the same time, new bombers with longer ranges were coming into service the Avro Lancaster, which became ava
Bombing of Warsaw in World War II
The Bombing of Warsaw in World War II refers to the aerial bombing campaign of Warsaw by the German Luftwaffe during the siege of Warsaw in the invasion of Poland in 1939. It may refer to German bombing raids during the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. During the course of the war 84% of the city was destroyed due to German mass bombings, heavy artillery fire and a planned demolition campaign. In 1939, the Luftwaffe opened the German attack on Poland with operation Wasserkante, an air attack on Warsaw on 1 September; this attack by four bomber groups was of limited effectiveness due to low-lying cloud cover and stout Polish resistance by the PZL P.11 fighters of the Pursuit Brigade, which shot down 16 German aircraft for the loss of 10 of their own. However, heavy losses in Polish fighter aircraft meant that by 6 September the air defense of Warsaw was in the hands of the 40 mm and 75 mm anti-aircraft guns of the Warsaw Defense Command; as the German Army approached Warsaw on 8 September 1939, 140 Junkers Ju 87 Stukas attacked the portions of the city on the east bank of the Vistula River and other bombers bombed the Polish Army positions in the western suburbs.
On 13 September Luftwaffe level and dive bombers caused widespread fires. Further resistance was followed by propaganda leaflet drops. Starting at 0800 on 25 September, Luftwaffe bombers under the command of Major Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen conducted the largest air raid seen by that time, dropping 560 tons of high explosive bombs and 72 tons of incendiary bombs, in coordination with heavy artillery shelling by Army units; the center of Warsaw was badly damaged. 1,150 sorties were flown by a wide variety of aircraft, including obsolescent Junkers Ju 52/3m bombers, which dropped 13 percent of the incendiary bombs dropped on the day. Only two Ju 52 bombers were lost. Although portrayed as being decisive, the Black Monday air attack was a mixed success. While the bombing lowered Polish morale, it did not cause the Polish surrender. Smoke from fires and large amounts of dust obscured targets and reduced accuracy; as a result, Luftwaffe bombers dropped a significant amount of their bomb loads on German infantry positions in the northwest suburbs of the city, leading to acrimonious discussions between Luftwaffe and Army commanders.
The tonnage dropped combined with only approximate delivery on target and the short duration does not begin to approximate the intensity of attacks major European cities were subsequently to suffer. However, on 26 September three key forts in the city defenses were captured, the Polish garrison offered its surrender - on 27 September German troops entered the city. By estimates around 20,000 to 25,000 civilians were killed, 40 percent of the buildings in the city were damaged and 10 percent of the buildings destroyed. However, some of the damage was the result of ground artillery fire and not caused by aerial bombing—including intense street fighting between German infantry and armor units and Polish infantry and artillery; the September 25 raid was an example of terror bombing, with the aim of breaking Polish morale and forcing a Polish surrender. However, according to the laws of war in 1939, Warsaw was a defended military target and the Luftwaffe raid a legitimate military operation. Air warfare of World War II Siege of Warsaw Planned destruction of Warsaw Corum, James S..
"The Luftwaffe's Campaigns in Poland and the West 1939-1940: A Case Study of Handling Innovation in Wartime". Security and Defence Quarterly. Warsaw: National Defence University: 158–189. Doi:10.5604/23008741.1191778. Electronic Encyclopedia of Civil Defense - Bombing of Warsaw Capturing the Ruins of Warsaw
Operation Overlord was the codename for the Battle of Normandy, the Allied operation that launched the successful invasion of German-occupied Western Europe during World War II. The operation was launched on 6 June 1944 with the Normandy landings. A 1,200-plane airborne assault preceded an amphibious assault involving more than 5,000 vessels. Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel on 6 June, more than two million Allied troops were in France by the end of August; the decision to undertake a cross-channel invasion in 1944 was taken at the Trident Conference in Washington in May 1943. General Dwight D. Eisenhower was appointed commander of Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force, General Bernard Montgomery was named as commander of the 21st Army Group, which comprised all the land forces involved in the invasion; the coast of Normandy of northwestern France was chosen as the site of the invasion, with the Americans assigned to land at sectors codenamed Utah and Omaha, the British at Sword and Gold, the Canadians at Juno.
To meet the conditions expected on the Normandy beachhead, special technology was developed, including two artificial ports called Mulberry harbours and an array of specialised tanks nicknamed Hobart's Funnies. In the months leading up to the invasion, the Allies conducted a substantial military deception, Operation Bodyguard, using both electronic and visual misinformation; this misled the Germans as to the location of the main Allied landings. Führer Adolf Hitler placed German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in charge of developing fortifications all along Hitler's proclaimed Atlantic Wall in anticipation of an invasion; the Allies failed to accomplish their objectives for the first day, but gained a tenuous foothold that they expanded when they captured the port at Cherbourg on 26 June and the city of Caen on 21 July. A failed counterattack by German forces on 8 August left 50,000 soldiers of the 7th Army trapped in the Falaise pocket; the Allies launched a second invasion from the Mediterranean Sea of southern France on 15 August, the Liberation of Paris followed on 25 August.
German forces retreated east across the Seine on 30 August 1944, marking the close of Operation Overlord. In June 1940, Germany's leader Adolf Hitler had triumphed in what he called "the most famous victory in history"—the fall of France. British craft evacuated to England over 338,000 Allied troops trapped along the northern coast of France in the Dunkirk evacuation. British planners reported to Prime Minister Winston Churchill on 4 October that with the help of other Commonwealth countries and the United States, it would not be possible to regain a foothold in continental Europe in the near future. After the Axis invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin began pressing for a second front in Western Europe. Churchill declined because he felt that with American help the British did not have adequate forces for such a strike, he wished to avoid costly frontal assaults such as those that had occurred at the Somme and Passchendaele in World War I. Two tentative plans code-named Operation Roundup and Operation Sledgehammer were put forward for 1942–43, but neither was deemed by the British to be practical or to succeed.
Instead, the Allies expanded their activity in the Mediterranean, launching the invasion of French North Africa in November 1942, the invasion of Sicily in July 1943, invading Italy in September. These campaigns provided the troops with valuable experience in amphibious warfare. Attendees at the Trident Conference in Washington in May 1943 took the decision to launch a cross-Channel invasion within the next year. Churchill favoured making the main Allied thrust into Germany from the Mediterranean theatre, but his American allies, who were providing the bulk of the men and equipment, over-ruled him. British Lieutenant-General Frederick E. Morgan was appointed Chief of Staff, Supreme Allied Commander, to begin detailed planning; the initial plans were constrained by the number of available landing-craft, most of which were committed in the Mediterranean and in the Pacific. In part because of lessons learned in the Dieppe Raid of 19 August 1942, the Allies decided not to directly assault a defended French seaport in their first landing.
The failure at Dieppe highlighted the need for adequate artillery and air support close air support, specialised ships able to travel close to shore. The short operating-range of British aircraft such as the Spitfire and Typhoon limited the number of potential landing-sites, as comprehensive air-support depended upon having planes overhead for as long as possible. Morgan considered four sites for the landings: Brittany, the Cotentin Peninsula and the Pas de Calais; as Brittany and Cotentin are peninsulas, the Germans could have cut off the Allied advance at a narrow isthmus, so these sites were rejected. Pas de Calais, the closest point in continental Europe to Britain, was the location of launch sites for V-1 and V-2 rockets still under development; the Germans regarded it as the most initial landing zone, accordingly made it the most fortified region. It offered the Allies few opportunities for expansion, however, as the area is bounded by numerous rivers and canals, whereas landings on a broad front in Normandy would permit simultaneous threats against the port of Cherbourg, coastal ports further west in Brittany, an overland attack towards Paris and into Germany.
Normandy was therefore chosen as the landing site. The most serious drawback of the Normandy coast—the lack of
Eighth Air Force
The Eighth Air Force is a numbered air force of the United States Air Force's Air Force Global Strike Command. It is headquartered at Louisiana; the command serves as Air Forces Strategic – Global Strike, one of the air components of United States Strategic Command. The Eighth Air Force includes the heart of America's heavy bomber force: the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber, the B-1 Lancer supersonic bomber, the B-52 Stratofortress heavy bomber aircraft. Established on 22 February 1944 by the redesignation of VIII Bomber Command at RAF Daws Hill in High Wycombe, the Eighth Army Air Force was a United States Army Air Forces combat air force in the European Theater of World War II, engaging in operations in the Northern Europe AOR, it was the largest of the deployed combat Army Air Forces in numbers of personnel and equipment. During the Cold War, 8 AF was one of three Numbered Air Forces of the United States Air Force's Strategic Air Command, with a three-star general headquartered at Westover AFB, Massachusetts commanding USAF strategic bombers and missiles on a global scale.
Elements of 8 AF engaged in combat operations during the Korean War. Eighth Air Force is one of two active duty numbered air forces in Air Force Global Strike Command. Eighth Air Force, with headquarters at Barksdale AFB, in the Bossier City – Shreveport, metro area, supports U. S. Strategic Command, is designated as U. S. Strategic Command's Task Force 204, providing combat-ready forces to the president; the mission of "The Mighty Eighth" is to safeguard America's interests through strategic deterrence and global combat power. Eighth Air Force controls long-range nuclear-capable bomber assets throughout the United States and overseas locations, its flexible and nuclear deterrence mission provides the capability to deploy forces and engage enemy threats from home station or forward positioned, any time. The 8th Air Force motto is "Peace Through Strength." The Eighth Air Force team consists of more than 16,000 Regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve professionals operating and maintaining a variety of aircraft capable of deploying air power to any area of the world.
This air power includes the heart of America's heavy bomber force, deploying the B-1 Lancer, B-2 Spirit and the B-52 Stratofortress. The Mighty Eighth's B-52 force consists of 76 bombers assigned to two active duty wings, the 2d Bomb Wing at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana and the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot AFB, North Dakota, one reserve wing, the 307th Bomb Wing at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana; the B-2 force consists of 20 bombers assigned to the active duty 509th Bomb Wing along with the Missouri Air National Guard's associate 131st Bomb Wing at Whiteman AFB, Missouri. The B-1 force consists of 62 bombers assigned to the active duty 7th Bomb Wing at Dyess AFB, Texas and the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota; the 131st Bomb Wing is operationally-gained by AFGSC and 8 AF from the Air National Guard, while the 307th Bomb Wing is operationally-gained from Air Force Reserve Command and 10th Air Force. Major General James Dawkins Jr. was named Commander of 8th Air Force on August 20, 2018, after having served as the Deputy Director for Nuclear, Homeland Defense, Current Operations on the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, Washington, D.
C. For additional history and lineage, see United States Air Forces in EuropeThe history of Eighth Air Force begins on 2 January 1942 with its activation at Savannah Army Air Base, Georgia. In quick order, on 5 January, Major General Carl Spaatz assumed command of HQ Eighth Air Force at Bolling Field, Washington, DC. On 8 January the order activating the "U. S. Air Forces in the British Isles" was announced. On 12 May, the first contingent of USAAF personnel arrived in England to join the Eighth Air Force. On 15 June, Spaatz arrived in England to establish the Headquarters of Eighth Air Force at Bushy Park, 15 miles WSW of London. Eighth Air Force was the command and control organization over its operational components: VIII Bomber Command Strategic bombardment using heavy, 4-engined bombers. VIII Fighter Command Provide fighter escort of heavy bombersVIII Air Support Command Provide reconnaissance, troop transport, tactical bombardment using twin-engine medium bombers. VIII Air Service Command Service and logistical support.
VIII Bomber Command was activated at Langley Field, Virginia, It was reassigned to Savannah Air Base, Georgia on 10 February 1942. An advanced detachment of VIII Bomber Command was established at RAF Bomber Command Headquarters at RAF Daws Hill England on 23 February in preparation for its units to arrive in the United Kingdom from the United States; the first combat group of VIII Bomber Command to arrive in the United Kingdom was the ground echelon of the 97th Bombardment Group, which arrived at RAF Polebrook on 9 June 1942. Regular combat operations by the VIII Bomber Command began on 17 August 1942, when the 97th Bombardment Group flew 12 B-17Es on the first VIII Bomber Command heavy bomber mission of the war from RAF Polebrook, attacking the Rouen-Sotteville marshalling yards in France. During World War II, the offensive air forces of the United States Army A