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Crippling the Nazi War Machine: USAAF Strategic Bombing in Europe

Strategic bombing campaign in Europe during World War II.

Strategic bombing campaign in Europe during World War II.

 

At great sacrifice, the US Army Air Forces’ (USAAF) daylight strategic bombing campaign played a critical role in winning the war in Europe.

 

 

What is Strategic Bombing?

          Strategic bombing is a strategy to destroy a country’s ability or will to fight by attacking its homeland from the air.  Airpower advocates believed that strategic bombing could win wars—at the start of World War II, however, the theory was unproven.

 

In Europe, the USAAF conducted a daytime precision strategic bombing campaign targeting the enemy’s economic resources, while the British Royal Air Force (RAF) carried out a nighttime area-bombing campaign.

 

 

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Memphis Belle Crew

The “Memphis Belle” and Nose Art

26th Mission: War Bond Tour

Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress”

Heavy Bomber “Firsts”

Combat Aircraft to Museum Artifact

Crippling the Nazi War Machine: USAAF Strategic Bombing in Europe

Enabling Technologies

Key Leaders

Early Operations (1942 to mid-1943) - Eighth Air Force in England

Ninth/Twelfth Air Forces in the Mediterranean

Combat Box/Communication and Life at 25K

Keeping them Flying: Mechanics and Armorers

Combined Bomber Offensive: Summer 1943 to Victory

Bigger Raids, Bigger Losses, and Crisis

Deadly Skies over Europe (Luftwaffe defense)

Bomber Crew Protection

Operation Tidalwave (Ploesti, 1 Aug 43)

Regensburg/Schweinfurt (17 Aug 43)

Black Thursday/Schweinfurt (14 Oct 43)

Fifteenth Air Force (created Sep 43)

Gunners

Women’s Army Corps

Fighter Escort: Little Friends

Big Week (20-25 Feb 44)

Target Berlin

Operation Frantic: Shuttle Raids to the Soviet Union

Blind Bombing

D-Day Support

Strategic Bombing Victorious

Epilogue

 

 

Return to B-17F Memphis Belle Fact Sheet


Return to WWII Gallery List

 


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In accordance with the updated guidance released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Defense (DoD) and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force will require all visitors to wear face masks indoors effective July 30, 2021 until further notice.

Visitors ages three and up will be required to wear masks while indoors at the museum. This policy applies to all visitors, staff and volunteers regardless of vaccination status. Visitors may wear their own masks or a free paper mask will be provided. Cloth masks will also be available for purchase in the Museum Store.
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