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Rockets and Jets


Through the fall of 1944, the Allies made slow but important gains against the enemy all along the Siegfried Line. Anything of possible value was attacked by the AAF and RAF to reduce German capability for defending its borders. At the same time, Germany's transportation system and industrial complex were attacked from England and Italy, particularly its factories for producing fuel and lubricants. In addition, a new type of target was bombed -- launching sites for the dreaded V-2 rocket, which had begun falling on London on Sept.8.

Much to the consternation of the Allies, the Luftwaffe began intercepting AAF heavy bomber formations in force once again late in September. By dispersing its fighter production into hundreds of small plants, Germany had been able to increase its output of Fw 190s and Me 109s, which were operated effectively from fields and roadways rather than from the vulnerable airfield targets, which were continually raided. In addition, the jet-powered Me 262 and rocket-powered Me 163, far superior to any Allied airplane in speed, began to appear in small numbers.

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