1943 was a year for the US and British strategic aviation forces to move from coordinated operations to joint operations, and it was also a year for the first test of joint bombing offensive operations.
In January 1943, the British army had nearly 840 bombers of all types, of which only more than 270 were Lancaster heavy bombers, while 13 were Boston and adventure bombers, which were of little value to strategic air attack, and 13 were old-fashioned Wellington and Stirling bombers.
With more than 150 bombers from the Eighth Air Force and the fifteenth air force, the total number of bombers used by the Allied forces to attack Germany does not exceed 1000.
By January 1944, the US and British strategic aviation forces had nearly 3000 bombers, including 600 Lancaster heavy bombers, accounting for half of the total number of British bombers.
There are no more old-fashioned bombers such as “Wellington” in the front-line forces.
The US strategic aviation force is fully equipped with B-17 “air fortress” and B-24 “liberator” heavy bombers.
After more than a year of combat, the strategic air force of the United States and Britain has grown.
For the US and UK strategic air forces, what is more important is that this year they finally realized the joint strategic air attack on Germany.
Although there are differences, successes and setbacks, they have formed a unified strategic air force after all.
The real start time of the United States and Britain’s joint bombing attack on Germany was June 10, 1943.
On this day, the joint staff of the United States and Britain approved the operation plan of the joint bombing attack of the strategic aviation forces codenamed “direct fire”.
As the date of “direct plan” is approaching, a very important problem is becoming more and more prominent, which is the threat of German fighters.
On April 17, 1943, the Eighth Air Force dispatched 115 bombers, escorted by 140 P-47 fighters, to attack the Fokker Wolff aircraft factory in Bremen, Germany.
Bremen is in northern Germany, bordering on the North Sea.
Although this was an assault on close targets in Germany, 16 B-17 “air fortress” heavy bombers were shot down and 39 bombers were injured.
The total number of aircraft shot down and injured by the US military has been close to half of the total number of aircraft dispatched.
This result made the US and British forces realize that the primary threat to the joint bombing operation was the fighter force of the German air force.
The Allied strategic bombing needs to obtain air superiority first.
Based on this understanding, the German aviation industry rose to the top position in the assault target sequence of the “direct plan”.
To this end, the “direct fire plan” stipulates that in such an environment, it is very important to stop this growth and weaken the enemy’s ability to deal with our day and night fighters on this battlefield.
In order to achieve this goal, the top priority of the bomber forces of the United States and Britain in Britain is the German fighter force and the aviation industry they rely on.
On June 13, 1943, the Eighth Air Force of the US army went deep into Germany for the first time after the start of the “direct fire plan”.
The fourth bomber wing dispatched 76 B-17 bombers.
As a result, 22 bombers were shot down and 23 were injured.
Another reason why the “direct plan” will destroy the German aviation industry as the primary task is that the “overlord plan” is approaching.
The “overlord plan” was the first important operation of the Allied forces in 1944.
In view of the importance of weakening the combat capability of the German air force to the victory of the “overlord plan”, the US UK Joint Chiefs of staff also actively supported the inclusion of the German aircraft industry as the top important assault target of the US UK strategic aviation force.
On June 10, 1943, with the release of the “direct fire plan”, the joint bombing attack of the US and British strategic aviation forces officially began.
The target first points to Germany’s aviation industry.
However, in the second half of 1943, the US and British strategic aviation forces carried out only 14 raids on German aircraft factories, with a total of 4000 tons of bombs, with an average of less than 670 tons per month, accounting for only 2% of the total number of bombs dropped by the US strategic aviation forces during this period.
The main reason why the German aviation industry was not hit as it should be was that Germany had conducted extensive evacuation of aircraft factories, and the military strength of the US British strategic aviation force was quite limited at that time, which was not enough to attack many aircraft factories after evacuation.
Therefore, under a unified general principle, the US and British strategic aviation forces launched combat operations in accordance with their established policies.
While the US and British strategic aviation troops raided the German aircraft factory, the US military selected the German bearing factory as the main assault target.
Bearings are essential parts for manufacturing aircraft, tanks, military vehicles, submarines, precision instruments and other weapons and equipment.
The attack on bearing factories will have a serious impact on the military production department of Germany.
This is consistent with the guiding ideology of the US military to paralyze the entire military production capacity of Germany by destroying key departments in the German industrial system.
The reason why the US military chose German bearing factories as the main target is that German bearing factories are mainly concentrated in three major cities in Germany, of which Schweinfurt is particularly attractive to the US military.
Because there are three bearing factories in this city, and the production capacity accounts for 52% of the whole bearing production capacity of Germany.
Therefore, when the combat effect of the Eighth Air Force of the US Army on the German aircraft industry was not ideal, it took Schweinfurt’s bearing factory as the main target.
In August and October 1943, the Eighth Air Force of the US Army carried out two large-scale attacks on three bearing factories in the city, which once caused some difficulties for the supply of bearings in Germany.
On August 17, 230 B-17 heavy bombers were dispatched by the first bombing division of the US Army, which bombed the Schweinfurt bearing factory in Germany.
The main assault targets are the bearing factory in Schweinfurt, and the backup targets are the general engineering equipment factory in Frankfurt, Germany, the railway shunting yard in Aachen and the instrument factory in Bonn.
The first bomber division led by Williams entered the European continent through the French coast at 13:47 on the 17th, and then was constantly attacked by German fighter planes.
Due to the bad weather over the English channel, the take-off time of the first bomber division was delayed again and again.
As a result, German fighters had enough time to prepare for the second bomber division after attacking the third bomber division in the morning.
The P-47 fighter plane, which was responsible for covering the first echelon of the first bomber division, took off 9 minutes late and failed to meet the bomber formation of the first bomber division at the scheduled time.
As a result, the first echelon of the first bomber division had toFighting alone without fighter escort, 15 bombers were shot down before flying to Schweinfurt.
The later P-47 fighters took off on time, providing limited escort within the combat radius for the second and third echelons.
The first bomber division, led by Williams, had 188 bombers over Schweinfurt.
The bombing began at 1400 hours.
The US military dropped 1000 250 pound incendiary bombs, 700 500 pound ordinary bombs and 235 1000 pound ordinary bombs in 12 minutes.
The power station, bungalow workshop, building workshop, office building and warehouse of the trager Fischer bearing factory were all hit.
Fichtel – a bungalow workshop in the saxophone bearing factory was directly hit by two bombs, and three or four bombs hit nearby buildings.
Three bearing factories were severely damaged.
At 1500 hours, the first bombing division of the US Army dropped its bombs and withdrew from the attack.
On the way back, the first bomber division was fiercely attacked by German fighters.
According to the U.S. military report, during the whole operation, more than 300 German aircraft attacked the first bomber division.
A total of 36 B-17 heavy bombers were shot down, and more than 360 crew members were killed or missing in the operation.
Although the Allies were very satisfied with the bombing effect of the Schweinfurt bearing factory, the losses of the U.S. military were also very heavy, far beyond the limits they could bear.
The US military had to temporarily suspend its combat activities deep into Germany.
On October 14, 1943, after careful preparation, the U.S. military raided the bearing factory in Schweinfurt again.
This time, a total of 29 B-17 heavy bombers were dispatched and divided into two commandos.
The first commando consists of 150 B-17 bombers of the first bomber division and the second commando consists of 140 B-17 bombers of the third bomber division.
In addition, the second bomber Division also dispatched some B-24 bombers to conduct containment operations.
In view of the lessons of the last assault, the US and British strategic aviation forces strengthened fighter escort this time.
Each commando is escorted by a fixed P-47 fighter brigade.
In addition, when the bombers withdrew from the battle and returned, a P-47 fighter brigade was sent to the European continent to meet them.
It was responsible for providing support for the returning bomber formation in the European continent and escorting the bomber formation across the English Channel.
In addition to the P-47 fighter, the US military also arranged the newly arrived British P-38 fighter to open up an air passage for the bomber formation.
The two squadrons of Spitfire IV fighters of the British army were arranged to finish the work and continue patrolling in the air to protect the straggling bombers after the last bomber formation separated from the interception of German fighters.
The 40th combat wing of the US first bomber division flew in front of the whole formation and was first attacked by German fighters.
It suffered heavy losses.
Before reaching the target, seven bombers had been lost and many planes were injured.
The aircraft of the first and third bomber divisions lost a total of 28 bombers before reaching the target.
Although the US bomber formation suffered great losses, the bombing of Schweinfurt’s bearing factory was very successful.
At 1439, when the bombers of the first bomber division entered the starting point of the bombing route, the German air attack weakened.
The visibility over the target was good, and the assault formation entered the attack as scheduled.
The 40th combat wing flying in the front first dropped bombs and dropped 53% of the bombs within 33 meters from the aiming point.
At 1451, when the third bomber division began to drop bombs, the smoke and dust raised by the first bomber division caused some difficulties in their aiming.
In the US military’s operation against Schweinfurt, a total of 209 B-17 bombers arrived over the target and dropped 1122 high explosive bombs with a total of 395 tons.
In addition, 88 tons of incendiary bombs were dropped.
88 of the 1122 high explosive bombs directly hit the factory buildings.
However, 60 bombers and their crew were also lost, and the war damage rate was as high as 20.62%. In the air battle, the US Army shot down 186 German fighters.
In October 1943, after the United States and Britain attacked Schweinfurt’s bearing factory for the second time, the production capacity of Germany’s entire bearing industry decreased by 32% and Schweinfurt’s bearing production capacity decreased by 60% compared with July, which was not affected by the bombing.
German military production minister Speer admitted after the war that if we concentrate on bombing the bearing factory, “military production will be fundamentally weakened in two months.
After about four months, military production will be completely stopped”.
However, the Eighth Air Force of the US military did not have a full escort of long-range fighters, resulting in heavy losses to bombers and had to suspend operations deep into Germany.
Germany’s bearing industry got a breather and soon resumed production.
As early as the “direct plan” was still in the brewing stage, the British strategic aviation launched the Ruhr bombing campaign directed at Germany.
Ruhr district is the most important industrial zone in Germany.
Air strikes on this area can have an important impact on the destruction of German military production.
The battle began on March 5, 1943.
On that night, the British bombing aviation sent 442 planes to bomb Essen in Ruhr district.
This is the location of Krupp, Germany’s largest military production enterprise.
In the vast darkness, the biggest difficulty in going deep into Germany is to accurately find the predetermined assault target.
To this end, the British army has always been committed to improving the navigation technology during the operation in 1942.
After more than a year of research and development, it finally applied the more advanced “Europa wave” navigation technology to the night bombing of Germany.
On the 5th night, the meteorological conditions in the UK were not good.
The thick fog covered the three British islands and extended over the English Channel.
This is a severe challenge to the “Oubo” navigation system used in actual combat for the first time.
The plan stipulates that the attack will start at 21:00 on March 5.
Flying in the front are eight “mosquito” aircraft equipped with “Europa” navigation system.
Taking Krupp’s factory as the aiming point, they first drop red marker bombs to indicate ground targets and provide aiming points for the rear target indicating aircraft and main aircraft.
The second batch of pilot aircraft should reach the sky over the target 3 minutes after the first batch of aircraft, and the third batch of pilot aircraft should reach the sky over the target 7 minutes after the start of the attack.
The last batch of “mosquito” aircraft responsible for throwing red marker bombs reached the sky above the target at 21:33.
The operation plan stipulates that all aircrew throwing red marker bombs do not need to search for ground targets, but only according to the “Europa” navigation systemThe red flag was dropped blindly as indicated by the system indicator.
In order to strengthen the marking of ground targets, the British Army specially selected 22 heavy bombers as target indicating aircraft to throw green marker bombs.
These targets indicate that the aircraft is not equipped with “Europa” navigation equipment, so take the red marker bullet as the aiming point, visually aim and drop the green marker bullet.
The bomber troops responsible for the main attack mission are divided into three waves connected with each other.
The first wave was composed of “harifax” bombers, which carried out assault within 20 minutes after the attack began.
The second wave consists of “Wellington” and “Stirling” bombers, which will attack within 15 to 25 minutes after the attack.
The third wave is composed of Lancaster bombers, which will attack within 20 to 40 minutes after the attack.
According to the requirements of the operation plan, the main attack force takes the red marker bullet as the main aiming point for aiming and bombing.
If the red marker bullet cannot be seen, it can aim and bomb according to the green marker bullet.
In the evening of March 5, 422 aircraft took off from different airports in the UK according to their tasks.
Due to mechanical failure, misoperation and other reasons, 56 bombers were forced to return before reaching the target.
At 20:58, the first “mosquito” aircraft equipped with “Europa” navigation device dropped the first batch of red marker bombs.
At 21:03, the first target indicating aircraft responsible for throwing green marker bombs also began to drop bombs.
Then, the main attack forces responsible for bombing began to attack one after another.
In the first attack wave composed of 75 “harifax” bombers, except for five bombers who attacked in advance or delayed, the other 70 bombers bombed within the scheduled time.
In the second attack wave composed of 141 Wellington bombers and Stirling bombers, 106 bombers completed the bombing within the scheduled time.
The third of the 121 heavy bombers was launched as scheduled.
The destruction area is located in the city center, where about 160 acres have been razed to ruins.
Krupp’s factories were also severely damaged, of which 13 main buildings of Krupp factories were destroyed or severely damaged, and at least 53 workshops were affected to varying degrees.
British bombing airmen lost 14 planes and injured 38 others in this battle.
During the whole Ruhr bombing campaign, the British army carried out many air strikes on Essen.
In five major attacks, the British Army dispatched 2070 sorties.
In addition, British troops also raided Duisburg, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Dortmund and Bohong in Ruhr district.
In the 16 major raids on these cities in Ruhr district, the British troops dispatched nearly 8000 sorties.
In fact, the operational scope of this air attack campaign was not limited to Ruhr district.
The British army also attacked Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart and Nuremberg in Germany, lorion in France, Turin and Las pezia in Italy, stedin in Poland and Bilson in Slovak in the Czech Republic.
During the whole Ruhr bombing campaign, the British Army dispatched more than 18000 aircraft and lost 872 aircraft.
Britain hopes to strike the German will to resist by destroying Germany’s most important cities, so as to end the war as soon as possible.
In order to achieve this goal, after the “direct plan” began, Britain first selected Hamburg.
Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany and the most important port city in Europe, with a population of 1.
75 million at that time.
Hamburg has factories producing aircraft parts, various engines and oil refineries.
In addition, it is also the largest submarine production base in Germany.
Another reason why Britain chose Hamburg as the first strike target is that the terrain of Hamburg is more suitable for the new airborne radar navigation device newly equipped by British bombers to identify targets.
Hamburg is at the northernmost end of Germany.
It is an important city close to Britain.
The Elbe river runs through Hamburg and divides the city into two.
All submarine factories, aircraft parts factories, oil refineries and most engine factories in Hamburg, as well as wharf warehouses for storing military materials, are concentrated on the South Bank of the Elbe River.
The political, economic and living areas of Hamburg are located on the North Bank of the Elbe River.
The city spans rivers and is close to the coast.
It is easy to identify from the air or from the radar screen.
Before the battle of Hamburg, the British bombing airmen had carried out 98 attacks on Hamburg.
As early as May 1942, when the British Army planned the first “thousand aircraft bombing”, the preferred target was Hamburg.
The British army made a detailed operational plan for this, and Cologne was only a backup target at that time.
However, by the end of May 1942, the Hamburg area had been covered with thick clouds, and Harris was forced to decide to attack Cologne instead.
The Germans have not relaxed the construction of Hamburg’s air defense forces, and have established a tight air defense firepower network in the central area of the city.
In July 1943, the German army deployed 54 heavy anti-aircraft artillery companies, 24 searchlight companies and 3 smoke generating teams in Hamburg and its surrounding areas.
On the night of July 24, the British army took off 791 bombers and flew directly to Hamburg.
After entering German waters, all attack aircraft dropped tin foil strips interfering with German radar at the speed of one bundle per minute.
This is the first time in the history of human war to use electronic jamming device, which is code named “window”.
At 0:57 on July 25, British bombers flew over Hamburg and the bombing of Hamburg officially began.
Eight British target indicating planes aimed at the aiming point of Hamburg and dropped red marker bombs.
The landing point of the marker bomb forms four relatively concentrated areas near the aiming point.
Around the four concentrated landing areas of red marker bombs, more than 700 main attack aircraft quickly established four concentrated bombing areas.
Half an hour later, along the bombing route, a burning area more than 10 kilometers long appeared.
728 of the combat crew reported attacking the target, but the results of photographic reconnaissance at night showed that, Only 300 crew dropped the bomb within 5000 meters of the aiming point.
During the operation, 12 British bombers did not return.
In addition, 31 bombers were injured.
Due to the first use of the “window” electronic jamming device, the radio communication between the German air and ground was seriously disturbed by the tin foil dropped by the British aircraft.
The ground controller of the German night fighter was unable to command the pilots in the air to conduct effective interception operations.
The German searchlights also swept aimlessly in the sky, and the anti-aircraft guns lost their radar targetsTarget and can only shoot blindly.
The first major air raid on Hamburg caused extensive and serious damage to the port city.
1500 people in Hamburg were killed in the air raid.
British bombers also destroyed the water supply system in Hamburg, which made it impossible to put out the fire in Hamburg due to lack of water in the air raid in the following days, aggravating the losses.
However, the direct damage caused by this attack was far less than the damage to the cities in Ruhr district in the previous Ruhr bombing campaign.
During the day of July 25 and 26, the Eighth Air Force of the United States participated in the air raid.
In these two air strikes, general Ike, commander of the Eighth Air Force, sent 365 B-17 heavy bombers, dropped 456 tons and lost 33 bombers.
After each us day attack, the British bombing airmen dispatched several “mosquito” bombers to conduct supplementary sexual harassment bombing at night, so that Hamburg could not get a breather.
On the night of July 27, the British army carried out the second large-scale air raid on Hamburg and dispatched 787 bombers.
Before the main attack, 25 aircraft equipped with HZS dropped yellow marker bombs according to the instructions of HZS.
The main attack force followed closely and quickly established a fire concentration area around the targets indicated by these yellow marker bombs.
Although 722 combat aircrafts claimed to have hit the target, the results of night photographic reconnaissance showed that only 325 aircrafts dropped the bomb within 5000 meters from the aiming point.
After being disturbed by the “window” for the first time, the German army began to take measures to adjust the tactics of German fighters to deal with the interference of British “window” devices.
This time, 17 British bombers did not return, and 49 bombers were injured.
On the night of July 29, the British army carried out the third large-scale air raid in the battle of Hamburg.
This time, the British Army dispatched more than 770 bombers.
24 minutes after the bombing, the city of Hamburg was attacked by incendiary bombs.
This time, the battle damage rate of British bombers increased significantly.
This shows that the effect of “window” electronic jamming device is significantly reduced.
The German army adopted a tactic codenamed “live broadcast”, that is, the German ground commander appropriately relaxed the control of fighter pilots to make fighter pilots conduct air combat more autonomously in the air.
This is the best way for Germany to deal with when the British aircraft scattered the aluminum foil strip.
German fighters made nearly 100 interceptions in this operation.
Thirty British bombers did not return and 43 others were injured.
On the night of August 2, 1943, the British sent 740 bombers for the last attack.
When British bombers flew over the North Sea, they had to break into cumulonimbus clouds due to bad weather.
There was no moonlight, the visibility was zero, and it rained cats and dogs on the ground.
The target indicator bombs dropped by the aircraft equipped with HZS radar navigation device can only be seen by the main bombers occasionally, and nearly half of the crew came back and reported that they had not found the target at all.
In this night’s attack, 30 British bombers did not return, and 51 bombers returned with injuries.
In the whole battle of Hamburg, Harris dispatched 3095 bombers and dropped nearly 9000 tons, about half of which were incendiary bombs.
86 bombers were lost and 174 bombers were wounded.
The Allied air raid on Hamburg completely destroyed more than 277000 houses in Hamburg, and other houses were damaged to varying degrees.
The British air raid also destroyed many factories, office buildings, public service facilities, hospitals, schools, churches, cultural and entertainment centers, banks and financial institutions, postal facilities, railway centers and bridges in Hamburg, bringing Hamburg to a total paralysis.
While the battle of Hamburg was going on, the British army also carried out two air attacks on Essen and remshaid in Germany on the night of July 25 and 30, 1943.
On the night of July 25, when the attack on Essen began, 11 “mosquito” aircraft equipped with “europo” navigation system accurately dropped marker bombs indicating the target, and 604 bombers followed.
The results of night photographic reconnaissance showed that 368 aircraft dropped bombs within 5km of the aiming point.
110 of the 190 Krupp factories were attacked.
Fires in many buildings in Essen continued for two days.
During the operation, 23 British bombers did not return and 67 were wounded.
The attack on remshaid was small, but very successful.
Nine “mosquito” aircraft equipped with “Europa” navigation system flew in the front, leading the way for 273 bombers.
Finally, 228 bombers dropped bombs over the target, of which no less than 191 dropped bombs within 5km of the aiming point.
From the reconnaissance photos, the city center was almost completely destroyed and the fire was still burning the next day.
15 British bombers did not return, and no less than 12 were injured.
On the night of August 17, 1943, the British army launched an air attack on the German pinimand missile test and Research Institute.
In the past night operations, the British army carried out area bombing of cities.
This time, it carried out accurate bombing of point targets at night.
The British bombing air force dispatched 597 heavy bombers, using several night precise bombing techniques.
The bombing was very successful, but the cost was also the highest.
A total of 40 British bombers did not return and 32 bombers were wounded.
After the battle of Hamburg, the British army began to plan the next target.
As the capital of Germany, Berlin is not only the political and economic center of the Third Reich, but also the military command center.
To this end, the British Army believes that destroying Berlin can have a greater shock to the Germans than destroying Hamburg.
On the night of November 18-19, 1943, after full preparation, the British army began a large-scale bombing of Berlin that lasted three and a half months.
The British bombing aviation command is well aware that destroying Berlin will be an extremely difficult and costly task.
Because their combat target is the capital of Germany, with a city area of nearly 750 square kilometers and more than 850 kilometers from the British coast, the Allied bomber formation will continue to be fiercely attacked by German night fighters during its flight of nearly 600 kilometers in the European continent.
In the Berlin area, the German army also concentrated a lot of anti-aircraft guns, making Berlin the area with the strongest air defense force and the highest fire density in Germany.
The bombing target chosen by the British army is the government building and administrative district in the center of Berlin, which is also the most densely populated area with about 103 military factories, mainly engine factories and power equipment listed as the first important target by power expertsFactory.
In the first attack on the night of November 18, the British Army dispatched 450 heavy bombers, of which about 400 successfully reached the target and dropped 1593 tons of high explosive bombs in the central area where the government is located.
The British army lost nine bombers in the battle.
On the same day, in order to cooperate with the assault on Berlin and attract German night fighters, British bombing airmen attacked Ludwigshafen in Germany while attacking Berlin.
The next two large-scale attacks were carried out during the night of 22-23 November and 23-24 November.
The two raids were still dominated by heavy bombers.
In these two battles, 1200 people were killed and injured in Berlin, and the bombing caused a fire in Berlin.
The largest air raid in December was carried out at night from 2 to 3.
The whole bombing lasted only 40 minutes, 650 bombers took part in the war, and 458 bombers arrived and dropped bombs over the target.
In January 1944, the British Army conducted six bombings, with an average of 1500 tons each time.
Two of them were large-scale at night, and more than 400 heavy bombers were dispatched each time.
The largest air raid in February took place on the night of 15 to 16.
891 bombers participated in the air raid and 806 reached the sky above the target.
The air raid lasted 38 minutes and dropped 2642 tons of bombs.
The main target was the industrial zone of Berlin.
On March 2, 1944, the bombing campaign in Berlin came to an end.
In the battle of Berlin, the British army carried out 16 large-scale air strikes and dispatched more than 9000 bombers, most of which were carried out by heavy bombers, including more than 7000 Lancaster bombers.
The British army lost 537 bombers and 4000 aircrew in the battle.
In the air raid in Berlin, 6166 people were killed and more than 18000 people were seriously injured.
Nearly 10 square kilometers of construction area in the city center was razed to ruins, and 43 of the 103 most important military factories were damaged to varying degrees.
In order to cooperate with the bombing of Berlin and disrupt the defense of the German army, while carrying out air strikes on Berlin, the British bombing airmen also carried out 19 large-scale bombings on other targets, including Ludwigshafen, Leverkusen, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Leipzig, stedin, Brunswick, Magdeburg, Schweinfurt, Augsburg, Essen Nuremberg and other cities.
In these coordinated attacks, the British Army dispatched 11000 aircraft, of which 7000 were Lancaster bombers.
After the second bombing of Schweinfurt’s bearing factory on October 14, 1943, the US strategic aviation force was unable to use the cover of the British strategic aviation force at night to fight in depth in Germany for a long time, nor dare it rush into depth in Germany in the daytime without the full escort of fighter planes.
On December 5, 1943, the US military dispatched 36 newly developed “Mustang” long-range fighters to provide full escort for US bombers for the first time.
After that, the Eighth Air Force of the US Army gradually went deep into the deep area of Germany to fight.
On March 4, 1944, the US Strategic Air Force conducted an experimental air raid on Berlin in the daytime.
The Eighth Air Force of the US military sent 500 heavy bombers to fight in depth in Germany under the cover of 770 fighters.
The “b-238” bombers of the 17th air strike division were sent to Berlin.
In the bombing of Berlin, US bombers dropped 42.
8 tons of high explosive bombs and 24.
6 tons of incendiary bombs.
Then, the US military joined the large-scale air raid on Berlin.
On March 6, the US strategic air force carried out the first large-scale daytime air raid on Berlin.
The first bomber division of the Eighth Air Force dispatched 262 B-17 “air fortress” bombers, and the second bomber division dispatched 226 B-24 “liberator” bombers to air raid Berlin under the escort of 801 fighter planes.
Among them, 100 P-51 “Mustang” fighters provided full escort for these bombers.
A total of 446 bombers reached over Berlin and dropped 1600 tons of high explosive bombs on Berlin’s industrial zone.
During the whole operation, only 200 German fighters took off to fight with the US bomber formation and escort fighters.
The US military lost 34 B-17 heavy bombers and 5 P-51 fighters in the battle.
On March 8 and 9, the US Eighth Air Force dispatched 980 heavy bombers again, dropping 1855 tons of bombs.
Since then, as the US and British strategic aviation forces were ordered to support the upcoming “overlord” operation, the air raid on Berlin ended temporarily.