Combined Bomber Offensive

map from Newsweek, 1/10/43

CBO of 1943

8th AF targets
from Craven vol. 2
"classic picture" of the air war,
from Newsweek, 12/6/43
ad featuring Ploesti raid,
from Time, 4/28/44
P-51B Mustang "Peg O' My Heart",
from ILN 1944/01/22
" World's No. 1 Bomber" Spaatz
from Time cover 1944/06/12
B-17 first day raid on Berlin, followed by 2nd & 3rd raids on Mar. 8 and 9, from ILN published 1944/03/18
B-24C, from USAFM

June 1943

July 24-30 - Hamburg

Aug. 1 - Ploesti oil refineries

Aug. 17 - Schweinfurt ball-bearing factories

Aug. 17-18 - Peenemunde rocket factories

Oct. 14 - Schweinfurt again

Nov. 1 - 15th AF created in Italy

Dec. 8 - Gen. Carl Spaatz replaced Eaker as AF head after Teheran decision to unify bomber command

Dec. 13 - 54 Mustangs escorted B-17s 490 miles on a raid over Kiel, Germany, and for the first time in the war successfully defended the bombers for 40 minutes over the targets, shooting down enemy fighter planes

Feb. 13-26, 1944 - "Big Week" - op. ARGUMENT

March 4-10 - raids on Berlin - pictures

April 1 - U.S. bombers violated Swiss neutrality, hit Schaffhausen by mistake, killed 48

May 21 - Op. CHATTANOOGA began, allowed escort fighters to leave bomber groups after mission completed and strafe railroads and highways on the way back to Britain

July 1944 - Hamburg firestorm

Dec. 15, 1944 - Glenn Miller plane lost over English Channel, possibly due to RAF bombers dumping unused bombs from higher altitude returning from aborted mission over Germany (according to Fred Shaw logbook, see article from AP April 13, 1999) - picture of B-17 losing tail

Feb. 13-14, 1945 - Dresden firestorm

Mar. 14, 1945 - The "Dambusters" 617 Squadron with AVRO Lancasters dropped the first 22,000 lb Grand Slam bomb on Bielefeld viaduct in Germany. This was the largest conventional bomb ever used in combat (heavier than the 21,700 lb MOAB bomb tested in 2003), able to penetrate 20 ft. of concrete and create a crater 100 ft deep. 41 Grand Slams were dropped in 1945. It was designed by Barnes Wallis in Britain who had also developed the 12,000 lb Tailboy bomb first used by the 617 Squadron after D-Day in June 1944 to destroy the Saumur tunnel between Bordeaux and Normandy, and to sink the German battleship Tirpitz at anchor in Norway on Nov. 12, 1944. 854 of these Tailboys were used in the war, able to penetrate 16 ft. of concrete and make a crater 80 ft. deep. - photos

Results of strategic bombing:

Films & Newsreels:


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