Published May 17, 2018
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.
Related Fact Sheets
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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
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)
Women’s Army Corps
Fighter Escort: Little Friends
Big Week (20-25 Feb 44)
Operation Frantic: Shuttle Raids to the Soviet Union
Strategic Bombing Victorious
Return to B-17F Memphis Belle Fact Sheet
Return to WWII Gallery List
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The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is located at:
1100 Spaatz Street
Wright-Patterson AFB OH 45433
(near Dayton, Ohio)