Until the Night (The Bomber War Book 1)

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Although the "Joint Chiefs of Staff" had previously argued that it was impossible to impede German military rail traffic due to the large reserve capacity, [15] : 22—23 for the secondary priority Portal identified that pre-invasion railyard attacks only needed to reduce traffic so tactical airpower could inhibit enemy defenses during the first 5 weeks of OVERLORD. It confused the issue by speaking of a choice between the deliberate bombing of women and children and not bombing at all. Megan Garber is a staff writer at The Atlantic , where she covers culture. The First Schweinfurt Raid Of all Germany's war-critical industries, ball-bearing production was the most centralized, and also one of the most critical to the German war effort. Spaight, Bombing Vindicated London, , p. Knowing this, I have, I must confess, at times wondered whether the magnetism of the remaining German cities has not in the past tended as much to deflect our bombers from their primary objectives as the tactical and weather difficulties which you described so fully in your letter of 1 November.

Powered aircraft were first used in war in , by the Italians against the Turks near Tripoli, but it was not until the Great War of —18 that their use became widespread. At first, aircraft were unarmed and employed for reconnaissance , serving basically as extensions of the eyes of the ground commander. Soon, however, the need to deny such reconnaissance to the enemy led to air-to-air combat in which each side tried to gain superiority in the air. Fighter planes were armed with fixed, forward-firing machine guns that allowed the pilot to aim his entire aircraft at the enemy, and the effective range of these weapons no more than about yards meant that the first aerial combat took place at very short range.

barneconca.tk By the second year of the war fighter tactics emerged on all sides emphasizing basic concepts that, with modification, remained applicable through the jet age. The German ace Max Immelmann, in exploiting the superior abilities of his Fokker Eindeker to climb and dive quickly, helped expand aerial combat from the horizontal into the vertical dimension. Immelmann developed what became known as the Immelmann turn, in which an attacking fighter dove past the enemy craft, pulled sharply up into a vertical climb until it was above the target again, then turned hard to the side and down so that it could dive a second time.

Flying speed averaged miles per hour, and communication was by hand signaling, rocking the wings, and firing coloured flares. The next role to emerge for military aircraft was ground attack , in which planes, by strafing with machine guns and dropping rudimentary bombs, aided an advance on the ground, helped cover a retreat, or simply harassed the enemy. By the late stages of the war, ground-attack aircraft had forced almost all large-scale troop movements to be carried out at night or in bad weather. This role, never effectively implemented in World War I, was spurred largely by the German air attacks on London.

Carried out at first by zeppelin airships, the bombing was later done by aircraft such as the Gotha bomber , which, by flying at night and often as high as 20, feet forcing the crew to breathe bottled oxygen through a tube in the mouth , operated beyond the ceiling of many defensive fighters. Thus, the basic roles that aircraft would play in modern war were presaged in World War I: reconnaissance, air superiority, tactical ground support, and strategic bombing.

The all-metal monoplane represented a huge increase in performance and firepower over the aircraft of World War I, and the effects were first seen in fighter tactics. This modest force gave Britain the means to immediately strike back at Nazi Germany, but only against strictly military targets at first. Early raids against warships and airfields were conducted in daylight, but bomber aircraft were easy targets for enemy fighters and losses were heavy.

The bombers also flew over Germany at night, but dropped only propaganda leaflets. Pictured here are Vickers Wellingtons of No. The belief that bombers could defend themselves in daylight if they flew in close formation was soon proved wrong. On 18 December , 12 out of 22 Wellingtons were shot down by German fighters on a raid against shipping off Wilhelmshaven. In , after Hitler's invasion of France, the RAF began a night-time bombing campaign against German industry, especially synthetic oil production. But plans to hit specific factories proved impractical as crews invariably failed to identify individual factories and refineries in the darkness.

Their bombs were scattered far and wide. Bomber Command lacked the strength at this stage to do any serious damage. Pictured here is a Bristol Blenheims of No.

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The Bristol Blenheim was Bomber Command's principal light bomber in the early years of the war. By the time this photograph was taken, Bomber Command had switched to night bombing, but 2 Group was tasked to continue low-level daylight operations with a variety of aircraft until May In Bomber Command grew in strength, but navigation over blacked-out Europe was still a major problem. Setbacks in the Battle of the Atlantic meant a major effort was needed against German warships and U-boats.

German night-fighters and anti-aircraft guns were becoming more effective. Heavy losses caused a slump in morale. The Stirling was the first of the RAF's four-engine bombers to enter service.

It could not fly as high as the Halifax or Lancaster, and so was more vulnerable to anti-aircraft fire. Stirlings were withdrawn from bomber operations in November Accepting that precision bombing was proving impossible, the War Cabinet sanctioned 'area bombing' — the targeting of whole cities to destroy both factories and their workers. It was judged necessary to defeat an enemy that seemed on the brink of victory. In some cases, single missions have been considered to constitute strategic bombing.

Strategic bombing in Europe never reached the decisive completeness the American campaign against Japan achieved, helped in part by the fragility of Japanese housing , which was particularly vulnerable to firebombing through the use of incendiary devices. The destruction of German infrastructure became apparent, but the Allied campaign against Germany only really succeeded when the Allies began targeting oil refineries and transportation in the last year of the war.

At the same time, strategic bombing of Germany was used as a morale booster for the Allies in the period before the land war resumed in Western Europe in June However, the Japanese military in most places advanced quickly enough that a strategic bombing campaign was unnecessary, and the Japanese aircraft industry was incapable of producing truly strategic bombers in any event.

In those places where it was required, the smaller Japanese bombers in comparison to British and American types did not carry a bombload sufficient to inflict the sort of damage regularly occurring at that point in the war in Europe, or later in Japan.

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The development of the B gave the United States a bomber with sufficient range to reach the Japanese home islands from the safety of American bases in the Pacific or western China. The capture of the Japanese island of Iwo Jima further enhanced the capabilities that the Americans possessed in their strategic bombing campaign. Unlike the USAAF's strategic bombing campaign in Europe, with its avowed if unachievable objective of precision bombing of strategic targets, the bombing of Japanese cities involved the deliberate targeting of residential zones from the outset. Bomb loads included very high proportions of incendiaries, with the intention of igniting the highly combustible wooden houses common in Japanese cities and thereby generating firestorms.

The final development of strategic bombing in World War II was the use of nuclear weapons.

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On August 6 and 9, , the United States exploded the nuclear bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing , people and inflicting a psychological shock on the Japanese nation. On August 15, Emperor Hirohito announced the surrender of Japan , stating :. Should We continue to fight, it would not only result in an ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation, but also it would lead to the total extinction of human civilization.

Such being the case, how are We to save the millions of Our subjects; or to atone Ourselves before the hallowed spirits of Our Imperial Ancestors? This is the reason why We have ordered the acceptance of the provisions of the Joint Declaration of the Powers.

There Are Still Thousands of Tons of Unexploded Bombs in Germany, Left Over From World War II

Nuclear weapons defined strategic bombing during the Cold War. The age of the massive strategic bombing campaign had come to an end. It was replaced by more devastating attacks using improved sighting and weapons technology. Strategic bombing by the Great Powers also became politically indefensible. The political fallout resulting from the destruction being broadcast on the evening news ended more than one strategic bombing campaign.

Because the Korean War was widely considered a " limited war ", the Truman Administration prohibited the USAF to bomb near the borders of China and the Soviet Union in fear of provoking the countries to enter into the war. In response to the Chinese intervention, the USAF carried out an intensive bombing campaign against North Korea to demoralize the North Koreans and inflict as much economic cost to North Korea in order to reduce their ability to wage war.

The extensive bombing raids on North Korea continued until the armistice agreement was signed between communist and UN forces on July 27, In the Vietnam War , the strategic bombing of North Vietnam in Operation Rolling Thunder could have been more extensive, but fear by the Johnson Administration of the entry of China into the war led to restrictions on the selection of targets, as well as only a gradual escalation of intensity.

Bombing of Civilians in World War II

The aim of the bombing campaign was to demoralize the North Vietnamese, damage their economy, and reduce their capacity to support the war in the hope that they would negotiate for peace, but it failed to have those effects. The Nixon Administration continued this sort of limited strategic bombing during the two Operation Linebacker campaigns.

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Images such as that of Kim Phuc Phan Thi although this incident was the result of close air support rather than strategic bombing disturbed the American public enough to demand a stop to the campaign. Due to this, and the ineffectiveness of carpet bombing partly because of a lack of identifiable targets , new precision weapons were developed. The new weapons allowed more effective and efficient bombing with reduced civilian casualties. High civilian casualties had always been the hallmark of strategic bombing, but later in the Cold War, this began to change.

Strategic bombing was entering a new phase of high-intensity attacks, specifically targeting factories taking years and millions of dollars to build. Strategic bombing in the post—Cold War era is defined by American advances in and the use of smart munitions. More frequently in the Kosovo War , and the initial phases of Operation Iraqi Freedom of , strategic bombing campaigns were notable for the heavy use of precision weaponry by those countries that possessed them. Although bombing campaigns were still strategic in their aims, the widespread area bombing tactics of World War II had mostly disappeared.

This led to significantly fewer civilian casualties associated with previous bombing campaigns, though it has not brought about a complete end to civilian deaths or collateral property damage. Additionally, strategic bombing via smart munitions is now possible through the use of aircraft that have been considered traditionally tactical in nature such as the F Fighting Falcon or FE Strike Eagle , which had been used during Operation Desert Storm , Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom to destroy targets that would have required large formations of strategic bombers during World War II.

During the South Ossetia war Russian aircraft attacked the shipbuilding centre of Poti. Air warfare must comply with laws and customs of war , including international humanitarian law by protecting the victims of the conflict and refraining from attacks on protected persons. These restraints on aerial warfare are covered by the general laws of war, because unlike war on land and at sea—which are specifically covered by rules such as the Hague Convention and Protocol I additional to the Geneva Conventions , which contain pertinent restrictions, prohibitions and guidelines—there are no treaties specific to aerial warfare.

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To be legal, aerial operations must comply with the principles of humanitarian law: military necessity , distinction , and proportionality : [57] An attack or action must be intended to help in the defeat of the enemy; it must be an attack on a legitimate military objective , and the harm caused to civilians or civilian property must be proportional and not excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated. Terrorangriffe terror raids or Terrorhandlungen terrorist activities Terrorflieger terror flyers or terrorist airman.

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No one in Germany used such terminology in connection with German bombing raids against cities in England. Western Allies Not only did the writer denounce the allied "terror bombing", he also stressed the "special joy" that the "Anglo-American air gangsters" took in murder of innocent German civilians From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Main article: Strategic bombing during World War I.