HomeVisitMuseum ExhibitsFact SheetsDisplay

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.



Related Fact Sheets


The Memphis Belle: American Icon and 25th Mission

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)


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







Return to B-17F Memphis Belle Fact Sheet


Return to WWII Gallery List



Featured Links

Plan Your Visit
E-newsletter Sign-up
Explore Museum Exhibits
Browse Photos
Visit Press Room
Become a Volunteer
Air Force Museum Foundation