World War II Guide

Guns Air Defense Engines Jet Aircraft Atom Bomb FAQ Books
Bombs Royal Airforce Jet Aircraft Fighters People Videos Timeline
USAAF B-29 Offensive Jet Aircraft V Weapons Glossary Search Links

Read our WWII FAQ for answers to common questions about the war.



Raid on Ploesti oilfields Attack on Pearl Harbor
If you click on one of our recommended items, you will be taken to a web site for more information. There is never any obligation to buy. Browsing is encouraged - any book, video, software, magazine, poster or print you purchase contributes to the work done on this site.
VOTE!
WWII Poll
Which is the better bomber, the B-17 Flying Fortress or the B-24 Liberator?

B-17
B-24

World War II was a war no country was fully prepared for - even Germany. But the vast manufacturing capacity of the belligerents was utilized to the fullest extent to forge weapons in quantities sufficient for the immense scale of the conflict. Strategic bombing reached new levels of power and achievement during the war. But it also failed in one major aspect and that is in the role visionaries like Giulio Douhet, Billy Mitchell and Hugh Trenchard saw for it:  being the primary instrument in winning a war by destroying the enemy's war making ability and / or morale.

The Combined Allied Bombing Offensive did hinder and interfere with German production and war aims but by far the biggest dividends came from concentrated attacks on transportation centers (railroad marshaling yards, bridges, and canals) and the sustained bombing of oil facilities. It helps to realize that 60% of the tonnage of bombs dropped on Germany were dropped during the last nine months of the war and with far greater accuracy than earlier missions. This applies both to the British and American bombing efforts in Europe. In the Pacific far more destruction was accomplished in a shorter time mainly due to the abandonment of precision bombing for massive area bombing with incendiaries and the extreme flammability of Japanese cities. But as in the European theater Japan was already losing the war badly before heavy sustained bombing commenced. It's fair to say that strategic bombing had a greater part in the Allied victory over Japan than against Germany but how much more is hotly debated especially when one considers the atomic bombings.

Perhaps strategic bombers could have acheived more in Europe but time and time again large numbers of bombers were transferred or re-assigned to support one effort or another and asked to do everything from naval reconnaissance and low-level pinpoint attacks to close air support! This would end up being a major frustration for strategic bombing enthusiasts throughout the conflict.

Consult our World War II FAQ for answers to popular questions about the war.

Need a question answered, have a suggestion or comment to make? Then fill out the form below and click Send.

Your Name: Your Email:

Your Opinion:


This Aviation History site is owned by
Daniel Green

Want to join the Aviation History ?
[ Skip Prev ] [ Prev ] [ Next ] [ Skip Next ] [ Random ] [ Next 5 ] [ List Sites ]

This World War II Web Ring site is owned by
Daniel Green .

Want to join the World War II Web Ring ?
[ Skip Prev ] [ Prev ] [ Next ] [ Skip Next ] [ Random ] [ Next 5 ] [ List Sites ]